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

December, 2010

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Professional 2007: COM Exception when using TimeScaleValue method

    • 2 Comments

    The Project Professional 2007 TimeScaleValue object can result in a COM exception, or other crash, if used several times in quick succession.  Reference to this method can be found at http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa195549(office.11).aspx.

    The error may be:

    AutomationException: 0x800a03ec - An unexpected error occurred with the method – but depending where you are using the methodand which language you are using you will get different wording and HEX code.

    Calling the TimeScaleData method returns a TimeScaleValues collection containing TimeScaleValue items. When iterating through the returned list in C#, VB.NET or VBA and accessing the Value member of each item, a COM Exception can occur on or about the 10th returned value. This is particularly noticeable in any form of loop that quickly iterates through the values.

    In order to work around this issue, you can call the .NET method GC.Collect, or  to ‘reset’ the condition that can lead to the error. Simply insert the garbage collection method in the loop so it runs on the 8th or 9th iteration, and the error should not occur, and the workaround shouldn’t cause noticeable performance issues.

    This article covers use of the GC.Collect method - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.gc.collect.aspx

    ** Update** - Had a quick response from Colby Africa who posted another workaround option at http://colbyafrica.blogspot.com/2010/12/microsoft-project-timescaledata-method.html.  A very novel approach!

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2010 – The Fab 40 Strike Again!

    • 2 Comments

    Regular readers may remember the bad things that happened in Project Server 2007 if you loaded the SharePoint (WSS) templates known as the Fab 40 - http://blogs.msdn.com/b/brismith/archive/2007/12/03/project-server-2007-users-beware-the-fabulous-40.aspx – and more specifically the ProjectTrackingWorkspace solution.  Well it is still possible to load some of the Fab 40 with SharePoint Server 2010 – and again things aren’t so Fabulous for Project Server, so please please avoid the ProjectTrackingWorkspace.wsp.  Not sure how this happened – and I’m sure the details are lost in history somewhere – but basically this is a stripped down version of the Project Site template – but still uses the same feature ID’s and the stripping down means that it loses some of the Project Server features – and the same feature ID means it tramples right over the correct feature.  Notably the ability to link entities such as issues and risks within the site lists, to tasks within the associated projects is lost.  The first visible indicator of this is the Custom Commands tab is missing when you open or try and add a  new item, such as an issue or risk.  You will also notice that the Links field is missing from the form, and in List Settings you will not see the Links column, which should be present and of type Project Link.

    It should look like this – note the Custom Commands tab and the Links field at the foot of the form (ignore my non-standard Category – that isn’t part of the problem):

    image

    But instead you just see this – no Custom Command tab and the Links field missing:

    image

    There are potentially other reasons why the tab may not be showing – and if you haven’t loaded the ProjectTrackingWorkspace then check that the Project Sites Collaboration Lists feature is activated for the site (Site Actions, Site Settings, Manage Site Features).  It should show like this:

    image

    If it isn’t active then probably just needs to be activated. In this scenario you would still see the Links field – just not the Custom Commands tab.

    So how to recover if you have loaded the ProjectTrackingWorkspace?  Similar to 2007, you need to remove the solution and then repair Project Server – and finally make sure all the features are enabled.  Steps to do this need to be run from the C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\BIN directory at a command prompt as a farm administrator, and are:

    1. Retract the current ProjectTrackingWorkspace solution
    1. stsadm -o retractsolution -name ProjectTrackingWorkspace.wsp -immediate
    • Delete the current ProjectTrackingWorkspace solution
    1. stsadm -o deletesolution -name ProjectTrackingWorkspace.wsp
    • IISRESET
    • Run a repair on Project Server 2010
    1. Control Panel
    2. Programs
    3. Programs and Features
    4. Select Microsoft® Project Server 2010 (® symbols pushes it down the list a bit)
    5. Click Change and then leave Repair selected on the dialog that appears and click Continue
    6. Wait for this to finish
    • At this point all the right files are returned to their right locations – but the features need to be installed and activated
    • Install all the Project site features for 2010
    1. Stsadm -o installfeature -name PWS
    2. Stsadm -o installfeature -name PWSCommitments
    3. Stsadm -o installfeature -name PWSCtypes
    4. Stsadm -o installfeature -name PWSDocLibs
    5. Stsadm -o installfeature -name PWSFields
    6. Stsadm -o installfeature -name PWSIssues
    7. Stsadm -o installfeature -name PWSRisks
    • IISRESET

    In my testing you will then find that the Project Sites Collaboration Lists feature will be active on the sites – so no need to activate for each one.

    In the Fab 40 there is one that is not so fabulous (and no, I am not going to sink to making any Ringo jokes here…) but there may still be other solutions that could be very useful, so I’m adding some reference material here, and will reach out to the various authors to see if I can get some warnings added about the impact on Project Server.

    The Fab 40 were a mixture of stp and wsp files, and altough the stp format is no longer supported in 2010, the wsp solutions can still be added – see http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?FamilyID=5807b5ef-57a1-47cb-8666-78c1363f127d&DisplayLang=en for the original download page, and http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/windowsserver/sharepoint/bb407286.aspx for details about upgrade from 2007 to 2010.

Page 1 of 1 (2 items)