Cascade Skyline - with Microsoft Logo and Project Support header - author Brian Smith

May, 2010

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Migration Complete! What do you think of the new blog site?


    From the stats it looks like normal service has been resumed – and the downturn in readership during the migration and re-indexing has turned back up again.  So what do you think?  I haven’t decided on the final look – and may bring back my brown, cyan and pink colours at some point, but I do like the clean look and feel of the new platform.  I’ve kept the translate feature and the map – and you can also find the links (which I have done some housekeeping on) and the archive and tag cloud.  Search will currently search all of MSDN blogs, so you might want to include BriSmith or Project to limit the search to relevant stuff (Visual Studio tends to also give results for “project”).

    Let me know if there is something special you would like to see, but future postings I have in my head currently are around Exchange Integration (working with MOhit on this one), Claims Authentication and the Advisory cases that we (Microsoft Customer Support and Services) are able to carry out for our customers.  Keep watching.  If you are reading this live, have a good long weekend (US, UK and several other countries).

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server: A good reason not to run services with accounts with which you log on to your servers


    Thanks to my colleague Jon Cantrell for this posting.

    There’s a new trend in Project Server issues we’re seeing as more users start deploying on Windows Server 2008. There is a change in how Windows handles user profiles that was introduced with Windows Vista and first made it into the server branch of code with Windows Server 2008. The change is that when a user account logs off, their profile is forcibly unloaded. In the past, services or applications that had registry handles or other items still open were allowed to continue using these resources. These issues can be a little more difficult to pin down as an IISReset will temporarily resolve the issue and this can make the error appear to be more intermittent.

    Where we see this impact the Project world is when someone logs on to a Windows session on one of the Project Servers in the farm using the same account that one of the IIS Application Pools is running under. By default, when the user then logs off, the application pool has its access to the registry and other resources revoked. This can lead to many downstream issues that include the Project Server Queue no longer processing jobs as well as an error similar to the following: “Retrieving the COM class factory for component with CLSID {BDEADEE2-C265-11D0-BCED-00A0C90AB50F} failed due to the following error: 800703fa”. These are just some of the symptoms that we’ve tracked down to this behavior, there probably many others due to the nature of this issue.

    There are two options you can use for a resolution. First, we recommend that non-user accounts be used to run the application pools. As such, their accounts should not be experiencing logoff events. If it is unavoidable that these accounts will log on and logoff then there is a new option for application pools in IIS7. That option is on the Advanced Settings page for Application Pools and is “Load User Profile”. If you set that to “True”, then the applications will maintain their registry and file access through Windows logon and logoff events.

    How can you tell if this is might be the root cause of a problem you’re experiencing? It’s actually rather simple. When the profile is forcibly logged off in such a fashion there is an event logged in the Windows Application Event Log.

    Log Name: Application
    Source: Microsoft-Windows-User Profiles Service
    Date: Date
    Event ID: 1530
    Task Category: None
    Level: Warning
    Keywords: Classic
    User: SYSTEM
    Computer: ComputerName
    Windows detected your registry file is still in use by other applications or services. The file will be unloaded now. The applications or services that hold your registry file may not function properly afterwards.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2010: My PWA site thinks it is a Workspace (Site) Revisited


    I posted a couple of weeks back about this scenario , which can be resolved with PowerShell in 2010, or through the UI in 2007 – but it appears there may also be a scenario where the UI does not show the PWA site associated with a project, yet still the rogue properties are set.  So without PowerShell you can instead use code to look at, and if necessary remove the values from these properties. 

    A couple of snippets of code that might help you do this (you will need a reference to Microsoft.SharePoint):

    To read the properties:-

    using (SPSite site = new SPSite("hhtp://servername/pwa"))
                    using (SPWeb web = site.OpenWeb())
                       String sPWAURL = web.AllProperties["PWAURL"].ToString();
                       String sMsPWAPROJUID = web.AllProperties["MSPWAPROJUID"].ToString();

    You could either output the strings or just view in debug – or build a little forms app around this.

    And to set then to NULL

    using (SPSite site = new SPSite("http://servername/pwa”))
                    using (SPWeb web = site.OpenWeb())

    I could be persuaded to use String.Empty in place of “”. 

    I’d certainly be interested to hear if many customers run in to this issue – and one clue that you have the Project Workspaces (or Sites, in 2010) Collaboration List feature turned on is seeing Issues, Risks, Deliverables and Project Documents on the main PWA site.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2010: Language Packs


    The first set of language packs for Project Server 2010, and SharePoint 2010 and the other family members, have now been posted up to the Download Center at  As for Project Server 2007 there are some that work for SharePoint Server 2010 and Project Server 2010, and a few that are not supported by Project Server 2010.  Unsupported just means that you will not get the language you might be expecting – but in the short term you should also avoid these unsupported ones until we fix an issue we found just before RTM.  If you have an unsupported language (Thai and Hindi, from the current – as of 5/12 – list) installed then Project Server will not be able to upgrade a set of Project databases from 2007 to 2010.  If you are already up and running then you shouldn’t have any problems, and the next time you need to upgrade the databases will very likely be when the fix is part of that upgrade (early CU, which will also be rolled up to the Service packs).

    The other good news is that they are exe and not iso this time – but all called ServerLanguagePack.exe, so if you are downloading a few you might want to rename.

    For the full list of languages supported and not supported, see Overview: Project Server 2010 with SharePoint Server 2010 Architecture.

    There will be a full TechNet article on the installation of Language Packs for Project Server 2010 coming in the next few weeks – I will update with a link when it is available.

    ***Update*** and here is the link .  You should note that although we list Portuguese and Brazilian - the Language pack is actually Portuguese (Brazilian).

    ***Another Update*** SharePoint have added Basque, Catalan and Galician language packs.  None of these are supported for Project Server, but like the other 'non-supported' ones, they are compatible.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2010: Migration Help over on the Project Administration Blog (2003 to 2010)


    Some great work from Treb to get the Virtual Migration Environment (VME) available to assist those customers who will be going from Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2010.  In simple terms it is a black box that you put your Project Server 2003 database into one end, and can take Project Server 2007 databases out of the other end ready to upgrade. OK, maybe not quite that easy – but saves you having to build up a 2007 system yourselves.

    See for the full details and the download link.

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