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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    How to check a project in through the database

    • 35 Comments

    OK, so that was a mean trick.  Using a title like that to get you and your search engine to read about why you shouldn't check a project in through the database.  In the words of Douglas Adams "It doesn't necessarily get you where you wanted to go, but it turns out to be where you needed to be."

    With each successive version of Project Server we try to discourage direct database access more and more - and with 2007 we don't even document the ones we want you to stay away from.  There may be times when you do need to get to these databases to read stuff if it isn't available through the PSI or reporting database - and some very rare cases where bugs may lead to some database update being needed to resolve some data issue.  But in almost all cases a checked out project can be checked in without resorting to SQL.  The following steps are similar to how you would troubleshoot other queue problems - but are presented here specifically to work with checked out projects.

    1. The best first step if a project that you have closed and checked in says it is still checked out is to open read-only, then close - and then leave a short while and try and re-open.  This should flush through any pending check-in that gets caused by the closing bug in Project Professional 2007.  As mentioned before - if it is a large project or your server is VERY busy the save can take a little while - so patience may also be required.

    2. Assuming step 1 didn't help then time to look at the queue.  First we need to confirm it is still working.  A couple of options here - first in Manage Queue add the Job Completion State of "Success" to the view.  This should then show you what has been working.  A successful job in the recent past - or a job that says "Processing" and the % complete is still increasing are a good indication that things are working (just not for you).  A second check if this doesn't make things clear is to look at Task Manager on the Application Server (Right click the task bar and select Task Manager is a quick way to get this running) and check that you see multiple instances of Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.Queuing.exe on the Processes tab.  There should be (Number of Shared Services Providers with provisioned PWA site) + 1 instances.  So in most cases 2 - but possibly more.  Just seeing 1 is an indication that when the service started the database was inaccessible to the service so it could start the SSP specific instances.  Re-starting the service should resolve this.  just because in Administrative Tools, Services it says "Started" next to the service does not mean it is working!

    3. So we know the queue is working and I am guessing at this point that you have a "Waiting to be processed" against a Project check-in job.  And you may have selected a "Force check-in" several times too.  The word "Force" here is a misnomer - and should really be worded "Please check-in when you are ready".  If the job is waiting then it is waiting for something, and no amount of reboots, queue stop/starts will shift it.  We need to look deeper to find out what's holding things up.  In Manage Queue set the Job History to go back far enough to see any activity for the problem project, set the Filter Type to By Project and then just select the project you are interested in.  This should then show your pending check-in job as well as what is blocking it.

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    4. So now you should see what is blocking the check-in, and the owner will show who was the last person doing something.  In my case it was a save from Project Professional that hadn't complete (still "getting queued" - which means data is coming from the client cache to the message queue). 

    5. If you are not the owner of the blocking job then get that person to repeat step 1.  This should allow the job to complete; although in the queue it may show as a cancel and re-save.  In this case the cancellation is done by the server as the save was in the very early stage.  If this worked then all is now well and you can get at the project.  This is the best resolution because NO DATA IS LOST!

    6. If you can't find the owner, or they have since deleted their local cache then step 5 will not be possible and the only option then is to cancel the job (after also checking the Advanced Option, Cancel jobs getting enqueued and optionally un-checking Cancel subsequent jobs in the correlation.)  Once the job is canceled then any subsequent jobs should complete OK and you are back in business.  Any changes made by the user who was saving WILL BE LOST!

    And if this doesn't work for you and you really do need to check-in through the database - let me know!

    Technorati Tags: Project Server 2007

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Check-in still pending?

    • 36 Comments

    ***UPDATE***  Please see my posting on the December 2008 CU - http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2008/12/17/project-server-2007-december-2008-cumulative-update-released.aspx.  The Project Professional 2007 CU - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/959643 has a fix for this issue!

    *** 2nd Update *** But also see http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2009/02/11/project-server-2007-check-in-still-pending-even-after-december-cu.aspx 

    I replied to a comment on this topic – but think it warrants a new posting so I have polished my reply and added some stuff.  I am aware customers are still having some issues with check-in pending and I think it may be a timing issue around closing and opening Project.  I haven’t been able to repro this so would love to hear some consistent repro steps based on the August Cumulative Update – if anyone out there can make it happen to order.

    However, I have some ideas what might lead to the issue.  When you close Project we now give a message to ensure any saves that are in progress get a chance to complete.  However this only waits for the save from client to the queue to complete - then the "real" save from the queue to the database happens - then any publish and check-in jobs.  So the client may be closed when the check-in completes and so doesn't get the message – and will still think the check-in is pending.  On opening it takes a little while for the communication to the server and the responses for any updates on pending check-ins etc – and you may see a message Offline changes - and if the user does a File, Open immediately then they may see Check-in pending for a project that is really checked in.  This will not get updated while the dialog is open.  Either closing the dialog and re-opening - or opening a "pending" project (read only) and then closing should flush things through and get the project available. This is by far the best approach rather than clearing the cache as it does not risk any data loss.  The above symptoms may never appear on a very fast network, and may appear more often in a WAN situation where there is high latency between the client and server.

    But as I say, I haven’t been able to repro, even from home, where I have to traverse my home wireless network, then another wireless link a few miles across the valley before getting on to a T1 link and the internet.  Another few hops and I get to my server.  The ping time is a pretty respectable 50ms across 9 hops.  Just to add a little load to my server I set all my projects publishing from ProjTool too – but I never see check-in pending.  Perhaps I need to be saving a much larger project and have lots of custom fields at the task level?  So for any repro I’d also like to know project size, custom fields, network parameters such as a ping and tracert to the server.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2013 Requirements to build an OLAP Cube

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    There appears to be an error currently on our TechNet documentation at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee662106.aspx indicating that the version of the Analysis Management Objects required when building an OLAP cube from Project Server 2013 depends on the version of SQL Server you have running Analysis Services.  In fact it does not – and like previous versions of Project Server we actually require a specific version that our code talks to – regardless of which version it will actually be building the cube on.  For Project Server 2013 we require the ‘10.xx’ release so anything from RTM SQL Server 2008 Analysis Management Objects – version 10.0.1600.60 through to the SP2 of the SQL Server 2008 R2 10.50.4000.0 will work.  The only one that does not work in my testing is the SQL Server 2012 version.

    *** Update 11/13 - I should also point out that the requirement for the SQL native client is fulfilled by the SharePoint pre-requisite installer - so no need to add anything - but if you remove it then you will likely get an error like "Error: The 'SQLNCLI10' provider is not registered on the local machine" If this happens then just re-install SQL Native client 10.x such as the one from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30440 - look for sqlncli_amd64.msi. End Update ***

     

    If you have the 2012 version, or if you haven’t loaded any Analysis Management Objects then you will see the following error when trying to build a cube.

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    [11/12/2012 10:17 AM] Failed to build the OLAP cubes. Error: The attempt to build the OLAP database on server BriSmithSQL failed, the SQL Server Analysis Services Analysis Management Objects (AMO) client software may not be installed on this server, please install/update the client on this server and retry. The underlying exception was: Could not load file or assembly 'Microsoft.AnalysisServices, Version=10.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=89845dcd8080cc91' or one of its dependencies. The system cannot find the file specified.

    The SQL Server 2008 R2 SP2 version is the most recent and can be found in the feature pack at http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=30440 and you are looking for SQLSERVER2008_ASAMO10_amd64.msi (which is the x64 version) (***Update *** corrected the name - thanks Adrian!).  Direct download link is here. I haven’t tried building a cube against a SQL Server 2008 instance – that may need to use the earlier SQL Server 2008 feature pack – most recent is SP2 if you find the R2 version above doesn’t work.

    For those still having a hard time finding where we have hidden the cube building option (I admit it – it took me a while…) can find it either by going to Central Administration, Manage Service Applications, Project Server Service Application (or whatever you have called yours) and then use the drop down for the specific PWA site you are interested in and click Manage which will take you to the following page – and OLAP Database Management is the link you need:

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    Or Central Administration, General Application Settings, and click Manage under the PWA Settings header.

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    If you go this root you may need to change the PWA site in the upper right hand corner.

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    And if you are using the preview of Project Online (or you are reading this after the full release) and can’t find the link to OLAP cubes it is because that feature isn’t available in the online version.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Patience please - async processes at work

    • 23 Comments

    One thing that I have touched on before is the asynchronous behavior of the some of the processes in Project Server and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.  This is still catching some people out.  For instance, if you provision a new PWA site and then decide you want to change something - so you delete it - it looks like it has gone right away.  However, the site collection that was created as part of the process (usually /PWA) takes a while to be removed.  This means you may see an error if you try to re-create the PWA site immediately.  Another point of confusion is the "Waiting to be processed" message in the queue service of PWA.  This can sit there and look like it is doing nothing, when it is actually waiting for some other background task to complete.  Canceling and retry may make no difference - it will go when it is ready.  Of course there are times when something has gone wrong and it will never process - such as the queue service not running.  Perhaps a password has changed - or a connectivity or permission issue is stopping the account running the queue service from being able to get to the jobs (the queue jobs are held in the Project Server database tables).  Normally a look in the ULS logs or event logs will give clues to both these types of failures and also sometimes the reasons why a job may just be sleeping.

     For some internal details of the queue service take a look at the TechNet article at http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/en-us/library/0845d622-95ab-4c20-b419-0dbd5aab33a51033.mspx?mfr=true

    The most common time for patience if if you have saved and closed a large project to the server and you are working on a low bandwidth or high latency connection.  This scenario was virtually impossible with 2003 but with 2007 it can be done.  However the save and check-in of the project may still take a while from the point you click the button on the client - and you may well find that the project is still checked out if you try to open it up too soon.  And remember - force check-in will not speed anything up - this just puts another job on the queue!

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007: Microsoft Office December 2008 Cumulative Update and KBs Released!

    • 50 Comments

    ***Update*** If you are running MOSS with Project you should NOT load the December CU for MOSS as it has been withdrawn because of a search issue that is resolved in the February CU.  Thanks Shazeb for bringing this to my attention.  For full details of the reasons see http://blogs.msdn.com/joerg_sinemus/archive/2009/03/26/moss-december-cu-960011-is-not-available-anymore.aspx and for details fot the Feb CU see http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2009/03/13/project-server-2007-cumulative-update-for-february-2009.aspx 

    ***Update*** Panic over - I'd misinterpreted an issue we had with a more recent internal build.  Everything public is OK and always has been.  Just with the weather conditions around Redmond I was having difficuty getting comfirmation.  Betterr safe than sorry - hence the warning.

    ***Update***  We are just investigating a potential anomoly with the 960011 and 960010 patches.  For now I suggest just using the individual ones, 959644, 959637 and 960313.  I will update again once I know more. 

    Starting with the December 2008 Cumulative Update for Office Server 2007 (KB960011), the Project Server updates can be obtained packaged together with the Office Server ones – as well as being available individually.  Also included in the Office Server CU are InfoPath Forms Server, and of course the core Microsoft Office SharePoint Server fixes including Excel Services.  This encompasses both the global and local patches.  Windows SharePoint Server Cumulative Update for December 2008 (KB960010) is still kept separate, but does include both local and global patches.

    Both these Office and WSS CUs now include their respective Infrastructure Updates – so no need to install separately.  To be up to date all that is needed is the latest service pack and the latest CUs for WSS and Office Server.  The WSS CU can be requested here, and the Office Server one (including Project Server) here.  The client hotfix for Project Professional 2007 can be requested here

    These are the KB articles detailing the hotfixes:

    Windows SharePoint Server 3.0 - KB959644

    Office SharePoint Server 2007 – KB959637

    Project Server 2007 – KB960313

    Project Professional 2007 – KB959643

    and by following the Project Server link you can request the individual Project Server package – rather than getting is as part of the Office Server one (but why would you?).  For guidance on deployment of cumulative updates we have this article - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd239177.aspx 

    And finally - just in time for the holidays the Project Professional 2007 CU does contain the fix for the “check-in pending” issue!

     *** Update *** See also http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2009/02/11/project-server-2007-check-in-still-pending-even-after-december-cu.aspx

    Project 2007 still displays a plan as checked out after the Program Manager checks in the plan. Additionally, the plan is listed as checked in on the server.

    I know a lot of you have been waiting for this one.  Thanks for your patience.

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