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

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project and Project Server Cumulative Update Archives Complete


    Just added the final piece to the full lists of fixes for each of Project and Project Server 2013, and Project and Project Server 2010 (and no – I am NOT going to be adding 2007 versions…) – over on the Project Support blog:


    Clicking the links will take you to a single page for each product that lists all the cumulative updates and service packs, including the fixed items and version numbers.  I aim to update these as each new update comes out – so just in time to be ready to add the next set on February 10th (or soon after).


  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project and Save to SharePoint and other recent blog posts


    I posted a blog over on Project Support covering some issues when opening mpp files from SharePoint, and also highlighting some of the differences Project has from its Office cousins – Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Visio – and will follow up with further information on version support and the Sync to SharePoint options.  First post is here and I did make some edits this morning to aid readability – added some headers and captions to the screenshots.  The main points remain the same however.

    While I am posting there are also some good new posts from the MVP community (and others) that I thought were worth a shout out:

    I usually only search through the MVP posts but Erik van Hurck has posting some good stuff at The Project Corner including a very useful Resources page.  And I’m ot just saying that because this site is on the list!  I’ll keep an eye out for other good project blogs – some of the regulars have been a little quiet lately!

    Finally in case you haven’t seen them we do have some support content from my European colleagues:

    Hope you enjoy all this great content!  And Happy New Year 2015!


  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Online: Create Projects does not like trailing spaces


    Always fun to find the root cause and a good way to unblock a customer, even if as in this case the customer was '”one of our own” in CSS using one of our (many) internal Project Online instances.  The problem here was with a feature that I am sure some of you may not have come across, which enables you to create a project from a list item in a custom list (not a Task list – just a basic custom list).  The idea here is that you have a list of potential projects in your custom list, and when you decide the time is right to make it a real project you just select it (or them) from the list and click in the Items Tab, and Create Projects! 


    Easy – except when it isn’t.  You may get the dreaded “Sorry, something went wrong” error, and a correlation ID – but as you can’t get at the logs there isn’t much to help you.  I do have access to the logs (as you would if you hit this on-premises – more later…) and I was suspicious of some white space between a project name and a full stop – plus of course the error “ProjectInvalidName”.

    12/29/2014 11:08:29.54    <servername>:w3wp.exe (0x42A8)    0x4CFC    Project Server    General    8yi1    Medium    Error is: ProjectNameInvalid. Details: Attributes:  PlusSpaces     . Standard Information: PSI Entry Point:…..

    The next problem is that if you just try again (either after removing the spaces, or just hoping it might work) then you get:

    A project already exists for list item with title PlusSpaces . Please select a list item that is not already converted to a project.


    What’s going on?  I had a dig around and from a previous question from one of our MVPs I had discovered that we add a field to the list item that we track to understand that a project was created – a GUID - MSPWAPROJUID.  I’d played around with this on-premises, but hadn’t needed to do this kind of thing in Project Online.  A quick search got me to a good sample of a PowerShell script from Craig Riter on StackOverflow – then just needed to home in on the properties I was interested in and reset then to empty.  I suspect other project creation failures may also leave the list item already tagged to a project, and my first work-around was just to copy and paste to a new list item – but cleaning with with PowerShell feels like a better solution.  In my on-premises environment I repro the failure to create the project – but I just needed to delete the spaces and it would then work fine.  It looks like we have changed the GUID stamping in one or the other environments.

    Here is my PowerShell in case you find yourself having a similar issue – and thanks again to Craig,

    #Load necessary module to connect to SPOService
    [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SharePoint.Client") | Out-Null
    [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime") | Out-Null

    #Login Information for script
    $User = "me@<"
    $Pass = “MyPassword”

    $WebUrl =">https://<sitename>

    #Connect to SharePoint Online service
    Write-Host "Logging into SharePoint online service." -ForegroundColor Green

    $Context = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($WebUrl)
    $Context.Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($User, (ConvertTo-SecureString $Pass -AsPlainText -Force))

    #Get the right list
    Write-Host "Getting the required list." -ForegroundColor Green
    $List = $Context.Web.Lists.GetByTitle("Project Intake")

    $Query = [Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.CamlQuery]::CreateAllItemsQuery(100);
    $Items = $List.GetItems($Query);


    #Edit existing list items
    foreach($item in $Items){
            If ($item["Title"].Trim() -eq "PlusSpaces")
             $item["MSPWAPROJUID"] = ""
            $item["MSPWAPROJPUBJOBID"] = ""
            Write-Host "Removing PWA GUIDS for Id=$($item.Id)." -ForegroundColor Green

    Write-Host "Your changes have now been made." -ForegroundColor Green

    In this example I was just looking for my “PlusSpaces   “ project – and used the trim as the first time my “If” didn’t hit as I got the number of spaces wrong.  Duh…  I executed this from my on-premises environment and the SharePoint Management Shell so probably had all the right DLLs handy – if you are using just your normal PC and PowerShell you may need to load other stuff – but I’m sure there are blogs out there to point you in the right direction.

    This sets me thinking that there is also an answer to the funny stuff that can happen with the hidden user information list and Project Online.  Anyone for a name change? 



  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Online: Lost your reports?


    A quick shout out for my recent post over on the Project Support blog.  In case you have lost your reports then worth looking at Project Online- Where did my reports go- - and not I haven’t got your reports, but I may be able to help you find them!


  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project 2013 CU page added–and Blog post roundup -


    I managed to get the second page of my Cumulative Update project live today – the Cumulative Updates for Microsoft Project 2013 (this covers both Standard and Professional) – now just the 2010 products to go.  That will take me a little longer as there is a bit more history there!  Please be patient.  It is live at Project 2013 Cumulative Updates and there is a link from both the main page and individual blog post pages.


    That screenshot also highlight a recent post you might want to read if Firefox is your browser of choice.  You might want to avoid spaces in your Project names -

    Other news from around the Project Blogosphere:

    Alex Burton gave a good overview of the new Nav Bar and App Launcher - Customising the Nav Bar & App Launcher in Office 365 Sorry the ‘Projects’ link still only takes you to the default …/sites/pwa though.

    Nenad introduces some new terms - Crashing and Fast Tracking in MS PROJECT 2013

    Looks like the other MVPs are either too busy in the run up to the holiday’s – or have already switched off!  If there are any blogs posts out there from the last few weeks I should be noticing then let me know!


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