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

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Losing Resources in Project Server 2013 and Project Online


    I have just made a very important posting over on the Project Support blog at Project Server 2013 and Project Online- What happened to my resources-.  This posting covers a recent bug we discovered with Project Server 2013 an Project Online and now have a fix for.  The symptom of this issue is that you can lose resources from your plan – and they appear as numbers rather than a name and are converted to material resources.  Please take some time to read it if you are using Project Server 2013 or Project Online and have had issues where you saw resources missing from your plans.

    *** Update 2/13 - please see Knowledgebase article - for published details on this issue - including a detection script and a SQL command to correct a stored procedure to avoid this problem ***

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2010: August CU issues


    I’ve updated the relevant blogs and posted a new one at but wanted to be sure my subscribers see this too.  The core of the issue is that if SP2 needs to make DB updates (usually needed – but not if June CU was installed) then the August CU will get confused by the version number that SP2 writes into the published DB versions table and fail during the configuration wizard.  See the link above for your options to avoid or recover from this.

    Repeating the error here just to help the search engines:

    • Configuration Failed – One or more configuration settings failed…  Failed to upgrade SharePoint Products. An exception of type Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.PostSetupConfiguration.TaskException was thrown.

    and from the Upgrade Log:

    • [OWSTIMER] [PublishedDatabaseSequence] [ERROR] Upgrade object too new (build version = 14.0.7010.1000, schema version = Current server (build version = 14.0.7104.5000, schema version = 14.1.702.0)
  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007 gets the Hyper-V Treatment


    You've probably seen the many other posts surrounding RTM and the more recent support announcements for Microsoft server products on Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008 so I am trying not to make this a "me too" post.  But just for completeness probably Christophe's post has the most useful set of links for Project Server IT Pro's - including some great tips for getting a demo VPC up and running in Hyper-V.

    In reading through the supported servers you will see it includes SharePoint and Project Server 2007 (must be SP1, Infrastructure Update strongly recommended) but for SQL Server the only supported version is SQL Server 2008.  If you want to run with SQL Server 2005 then this will need to stay on real hardware.  And just because you can run all tiers including the database in a virtual environment does not mean you should in every circumstance - particularly if this will mean resource contention on the host server.

    The key thing to remember if considering moving to a virtual environment is that you don't get anything for nothing.  Granted it can give you much reduced maintenance overhead - but in terms of performance you still need to make sure that the machines, virtual or otherwise, are capable of supporting your users. If you have a single server install running poorly then running Hyper-v and virtualizing a three tier server farm on the same hardware isn't going to magically make things work faster.

    Also remember that when working with Microsoft support we will want to know configuration information about the host as well as the guest servers and operating systems.  Please help us to help you.

    For information on configuration of Hyper-V for SharePoint and Project Server expect some details on TechNet soon (I'll add a link to the post too) - but for excellent background reading on how to get the most out of Hyper-V then the Virtualization Team blog and John Howard's blog - and the many fine places they each link to should be your starting point.

    And as a final point - with Hyper-V there can now be no excuse for not having a test environment!  Another instance of PWA on your production server does not count.

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Demo Cowboys: Two (or more) nations divided by a common language


    Doug and Christophe collaborated on this great video BE A DEMO MASTER – HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE RECOMMENDATIONS NOW AND BEYOND which will really help those of you who either demonstrate Project Server to potential customers – or just need a convenient platform to configure or develop against Project Server.  The cowboy in the picture may well be known to you – and if you come to the Project Conference in Phoenix he may well be dressed in the same gear.

    So why the title to this blog?  I am from England, and now live in Seattle, and many words haven’t made the same journey intact.  Obvious spellings like color/colour aren’t too difficult – but some words are just different (elevator/lift) – and yet others have different meanings for the same word.  One that can catch the Brits at Microsoft out is “to table and idea”.  In England this gets something on to the agenda – in the US it takes it off!  So what about cowboys?  I don’t have to explain that cowboys are very well regarded in the US (even French ones!) – but in the UK??  I turn to the Oxford English Dictionary and definition 3.e, which I am afraid is probably still the first thing that springs to mind when I hear the term.

    A person without qualifications who competes against established traders or operators, providing shoddy goods or services usu. at low (or inflated) prices; one who is recklessly unscrupulous in business. Freq. attrib. slang.

    I think this explains why Doug didn’t wear the Cowboy outfit… but it could be the right definition if your demo equipment isn’t up to spec!

    Doug prefers this definition:

    Strong, lightweight and wiry men who were persevering and loyal defined a new American spirit of freedom and independence. Mothers shared great pride in seeing their sons grow up to be cowboys.

    Which cowboy/cowgirl are you?  See you in Phoenix!

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    New Colo(u)rs and a New Map!


    I had a change around over the weekend and moved away from my blatant copy of Keith Comb’s site and got my own identity.  Basically still mostly copied from Keith (thanks Keith) – but with some new colors.  I’ll get around to updating my picture too – perhaps some spring flowers?

    Also changed today is the map, as Worldmaps has moved I am moving with them and starting afresh.  For anyone interested in stats for the last 7 months - my most Westerly reader was in Kauai, Hawaii, most Northerly in Boden, Sweden, Easterly in Suva, Fiji and Southerly in Dunedin, New Zealand.  5% of my readers are within 100 miles, and 88% over 1000 miles away!

    The location that most confused me was the strong readership in the Isle of Man, which is an Island in the Irish Sea and part of the U.K. It is a big tourism and finance center (motorcycle fans have probably heard of it).  I assumed the Isle was totally populated with project managers – until I realized the .IM internet domain suffix owned by the Isle of Man probably has a life beyond the Irish Sea…

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