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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Just Released: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server - Project Server 2007 Connector

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    If you haven't already seen the announcement on Christophe's blog take a look at the new connector for Visual Studio TFS to Project Server 2007!  See http://www.codeplex.com/pstfsconnector/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=4887 for further details.

     

    OVERVIEW

    The Visual Studio Team Foundation Server - Project Server 2007 Connector is designed to integrate the project management capabilities of TFS with Project Server 2007. It's been developed by the Visual Studio Team System Rangers in response to significant customer demand for a connector solution. Future versions of Team System will have native integration with Project Server, in the meantime this Connector solution is the best way to integrate the two Microsoft products. This solution builds on the previous PS2003 VSTS Connector, published on GotDotNet. This solution is intended to provide guidance, provided as source code that can be used "as is," extended, or modified.

     

    BACKGROUND

    Microsoft® Office Project Server 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio® 2005 Team Foundation Server (TFS) are two powerful applications that are each used in different ways for management of software development projects. Up-to-date project information requires a seamless integration between the development environment and the project management tool.

    Managing projects, resources, and related information for an entire enterprise requires a holistic view and integration of project management data with the software development lifecycle. The Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solution with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 can help organizations effectively manage and coordinate people, projects, and processes. The Microsoft EPM solution provides tools for strong coordination and standardization between projects and project managers, centralized resource management, and high-level reporting on projects and resources. Through familiar tools and ease of integration with a broad range of programs in the Microsoft Office System, the EPM solution promotes broad participation for greater accuracy, accountability, and acceptance.

    Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) provides a solution for software development teams that integrates designing, developing, testing, and managing a project. TFS integrates with Microsoft Office Project Standard 2007 and Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 for desktop use and allows project managers to plan and manage projects on a local computer. However, because there is no integration with Project Server, the project data for each team is available only in a stand-alone plan. There is no simple way to aggregate project data across multiple projects.

    The Connector synchronizes Project, Resource and Task data between the two systems. Project Managers and Resource Managers continue to work in the EPM environment while the development team works in the development environment, i.e. TFS, and data seamlessly flows between the two systems. Updates to work items in TFS are automatically applied to the corresponding assignments and tasks in Project Server and vice versa. Project Managers have complete control over the inflow of the actuals into the project plan. In addition, resource management functions for all development projects, like managing time and utilization for resources working across multiple projects, team staffing etc. can be performed in Project Server. Lastly, portfolio and program level reports can easily be generated for projects being executed in TFS and managed in Project Server.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project 2007 Conference - session details now posted!

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    The session list for the Project 2007 Conference has been posted to the http://www.msprojectconference.com site.  Go to http://www.msprojectconference.com/tracks.htm to see the details.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    A couple more cube build error messages you might come across.

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    A couple more cube build error messages I have seen recently.  The first is related to a time out with Analysis Services 2005 and the clue is that failure will be just over an hour into the build (assuming the timeout is still the default 3600 seconds).  The error is:-

    • Failed to build the OLAP cubes. Error: Analysis Services session failed with the following error: Failed to process the Analysis Services database <cube name> on the <Analysis Server name>  server. Error: Internal error: The operation terminated unsuccessfully
    • Internal error: The operation terminated unsuccessfully. Internal error: The operation terminated unsuccessfully. OLE DB error: OLE DB or ODBC error: Unspecified error. Errors in the OLAP storage engine: An error occurred while processing the 'Assignment Timephased' partition of the 'Assignment Timephased' measure group for the 'Assignment Timephased' cube from the <cube name>  database.

    The first part of the error message will be localized if you are using a MUI - the second will not.

    To resolve the issue set the advanced property ExternalCommandTimeout to a value that will allow the building of the cube.  The default is 3600 (seconds) which is one hour.  Increasing to 36000 will be ten hours.  The value could be increased further or reduced depending if the cube builds within this modified time.

    To change the value of the timeout property go to Management Studio for SQL Server 2005 and connect to Analysis Services.  Right click the server name in the left pane and select Properties.  Check the option to Show Advanced (All) Properties then scroll down to ExternalCommandTimeout.  Change the value in the Value column then click OK.  A restart is not required.

    Another workaround would be to reduce the complexity of the cube build by either limiting dates or removing some or all added dimensions.  This workaround is unlikely to be a workable answer for most customers.

    The fact that a restart of the service is not required leads me to the second error message, which can appear if you do restart and then immediately try another cube build:-

    • Failed to build the OLAP cubes. Error: Analysis Services session failed with the following error: Failed to connect to the Analysis Services server <Analysis Server name>. Error: File system error: Error opening file; \\?\C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\OLAP\Data\DBCUbe260.0.db\0.CryptKey.bin is not a disk file or file is not accessible. Errors in the metadata manager. Processing for the database will be disabled because an error occurred while loading the '<random cube name>' database cryptography key. One possible reason for this error is that the service account has changed. File system error: Error opening file; \\?\C:\Program Files\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.2\OLAP\Data\FarmPWA.0.db\0.CryptKey.bin is not a disk file or file is not accessible. Errors in the metadata manager. Processing for the database will be disabled because an error occurred while loading the 'FarmPWA' database cryptography key. One possible reason for this error is that the service account has changed.

    There may well be other scenarios that give the same error, but for the scenario where you have just restarted the server then just try the build again and all will work. 

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Uninstalling Project Server from a farm? Don't forget to run PSConfig!

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    If you have Project Server 2007 installed on a farm on top of Office SharePoint Server 2007 then if you uninstall Project Server the final screen will remind you to run the SharePoint Products and Technologies Configuration Wizard (PSconfig - where PS stands for post setup, not Project Server).  Failure to run the wizard will leave you in a state where SharePoint will not work and if you look in InetMgr you may be shocked to see all your web sites gone!  Don't panic - just run the wizard and all will be well.  Well almost all.  If you have set host headers on sites I understand you may need to re-set these as the uninstall un-sets these.  We are investigating a better way to ensure a more reliable uninstall experience.

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  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Please Use the SharePoint Backup Options!

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    I guess many of you read all of the different blogs coming out of Microsoft from Treb, Christophe and others so I try not to repeat stuff - but there are some new postings concerning backup and restore and migration of data between servers.  The links are referenced on Christophe's blog.

    So to add value I'll concentrate on some problems I have seen - and hopefully convince you that having a full SharePoint backup of your farm is a good idea! 

    So two recent cases I worked on involved firstly one setting a new IP address for the SQL Server, and the second was actually changing the name of the SQL Server itself.  The first should not have been an issue; once DNS was up to date all would have continued OK.  But initially it gave errors indicating the database could not be contacted and the troubleshooting steps followed involved creating a new configuration database.  This is fairly common practice for WSS issues but in the new world of Office Server you also need to have a full SharePoint backup to make it easy to get your Shared Service Providers and Project Web Access sites (and data) back.  Unfortunately in this case there was no full SharePoint backup - but as there was really nothing wrong with the initial configuration database (it was just inaccessible for a while due to DNS issue) we could just re-run the SharePoint Configuration Wizard, disconnect from the new config db, then run again and connect to the old config db and everything was back working!  Be aware that the search and Project application services (and possibly others) will need re-starting in Central Administration, Operations, Services on Server.

    The renaming of SQL Server is a bigger issue.  In hindsight a good fix would be to just set an alias to the new server with the name of the old server and SharePoint would be happy.  If you have a named instance then the port is variable so a simple hosts file entry is not enough.  The article mentioned above details moving from one server to another and this is really what you are doing - assume your change of name for SQL is really a new server and have that full SharePoint backup ready!

    One thing I thought might work (and it didn't - so worth stopping anyone else wasting time) was to just re-run the configuration wizard pointing to the configuration database by referencing the new SQL Server name.  This seemed to work - but many of the internal references were still looking for the old server name and I could not find a good (supported) way to correct these.  However with the SharePoint full restore you can resolve this.

    I'm sure there will be some readers who take this as a challenge and come up with steps to resolve the SQL renaming issue without having to use the restore method and I would be very interested to hear your results.

     

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