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

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    SharePoint Configuration Step 8 of 9 is really slow all of a sudden!

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    We have been working on different SharePoint farm configurations recently and particularly those involving adding Microsoft Office SharePoint Server to a farm that already has Project Server loaded.  The penultimate step - 8 of 9 - was being really slow and we had reports of users canceling, starting again to try and solve this problem.  Then one of my colleagues said "That step is taking about an hour".  Hmm - having read Chris Boyd's recent posting on event registration not happening immediately because of the recent DST changes I suspected this process may also be affected by the issue documented in KB 932563.  A quick test setting the timezone to GMT and my colleague confirmed the whole process was now back to the 10 minutes or so!  So until next week be patient - or change your time zone as mentioned in the KB.

    I'm just waiting for the Autumn (Fall) as the clocks go back the other way to see if it then finishes 10 minutes before you start!

    Technorati Tags: Project Server 2007

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    What makes a Good Repro when logging a support call

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    Sometime on a support call the customer will say "I have a great repro - just open this mpp file and things will crash!".  Unfortunately this is a little like seeing an automobile wreck and trying to work out how the cars got where they did - and which direction they possibly came from.  The mpp is already bad - but how did it get that way?  The perfect repro is starting from a new project, doing a set a steps and then something bad happens.  Even better is when following the same steps on our machines still gives the same problem! 

    Having a good repro also helps when working with Project Server 2007 issues - and the more information you have for us then the better we can help you.  This may be in terms of getting to a resolution more quickly - or understanding the root cause of something that can be avoided until we get a good fix.  Help us to help you!  It isn't unknown that when working a call we suspect a specific problem - but can't get confirmation directly, but the clues are all over the logs.  You know what the issue is; you know that we know that you know what the issue is...

    This leads me on to one of my favorite current issues - but this will have to wait for my next blog - "An unexpected error has occurred".  What's the deal with this message - and how can you recover?

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    Project Server 2007 - Common installation problems

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    These are probably repeats for many of you reading - but based on personal experience there are still some people that haven't got these messages:-

    1. If you are going to run Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 on the same farm then ALL servers need both sets of bits loaded - and preferably Office SharePoint Server loaded first.  Failure to do this will probably first be seen when provisioning fails for your PWA sites.  You don't have to run all the services on all the servers - but you just can't have a "Project Server" in a farm of SharePoint servers.
    2. If you do a one-click installation of Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 (either using the Basic option, or then Advanced and Stand-alone) and then can't find your databases then chances are they are in a SQL Server 2005 instance called <machinename>\OFFICESERVERS.  The one-click doesn't allow you to choose your database server - it creates a SQL Server 2005 Express Edition instance for you.  If this isn't what you want then best to uninstall and try again - this time using the Advanced, and then Complete - which does allow you to select your SQL Server.  This will still permit you to have everything on a single stand-alone server - but with the SQL Server of your choice.

    Technorati Tags: Project Server 2007

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    RESOLVED! ActiveX Component Can't Create Object: Cube build failure against SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services

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    The original posting is still repeated below to help with other's troubleshooting.  I uninstalled the client tools to double check if the original instructions were OK.  It turned out that I didn't have the SQL Server 2005 Management Objects installed - even though when I tried loading it again it told me I hade a "higher version". (It also didn't show in Add/Remove in control panel - my clue to home in on this component). 

    To find out more about this "higher version" message I re-ran the msi with the /l* <logfilename> parameters to get a more complete log file.  This identified a component that was triggering the "higher version" message.  So I searched the registry for this GUID and identified it as the SQL Server Reporting Services 2005 Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Technologies - which is a neat add-in to get SSRS report libraries in SharePoint and is a SQL Server 2005 SP2 feature.  I uninstalled this add-in and could then load the Management Objects.  I re-applied SP2 and then I could build cubes!

    The specific thing that identifies this issue is that in Process Monitor I found that the system could not find the key HKCR\CLSID\{554BBCA3-925F-4797-9460-2421A8CD7030} - I guess that the client tools has the bits I needed - as well as the Management Objects.

    I then re-loaded the SharePoint add-in and it said a lower version was present; did I want to upgrade - so somehow these two components are tied together.

    UPDATE - re-installing the add-in removed the key again and cube building breaks!  Remove it and add back the Management Objects and all is OK.  I'll search for a workaround that enables both to coexist...

    ORIGINAL POSTING BEGINS HERE...

    I've been working on my own servers and testing cube builds to remote servers this week, and one of the combinations of servers gave me this error - ActiveX Component Can't Create Object.  I quickly fell in to the "one error - one solution" trap and assumed I hadn't installed the components required - so re-visited the KB and checked.  They were all apparently there.  So I compared to a running system and ran Process Monitor to try and catch the differences.  It seemed the first failure point was trying to find Microsoft.AnalysisServices.DLL and the working server had this as it also had the full install of Analysis Services 2005 - even though for my tests I was building a cube on a remote server.

    The long and the short is that I then loaded the client tools for SQL Server 2005 on my application server and it all started working.  Not sure at this stage if it came from the management tools, connectivity tools, SDK or the legacy components - but I will have a look around next week and see what more detail I can find.  I'm not keen on giving workarounds like loading a set of stuff you don't really need - but if it gets someone out of a hole...

    One of the purposes of my work is to get a new KB together that serves for Project Server 2007 the way that KB 921116 serves for 2003.  We usually refer people to this KB even for 2007 - but the hotfix part of the KB is irrelevant for 2007 - so it can get confusing. I'd like to get to the bottom of this particular issue and cover as many failure modes as possible.

    If you haven't used Process Monitor then it is a cool tool.  A combination of filemon and regmon that shows all file and registry access and you can track what accounts are doing what.

    Technorati Tags: Project Server 2007

  • Brian Smith's Microsoft Project Support Blog

    My Queue is Still Stuck! - Troubleshooting Steps

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    As a follow up to my previous queue post these are the steps I follow when investigating queue issues:-

    • Is the queue running?
      • Check services and ULS/event log if for some reason it is not running at all - it could be a password change that means the Microsoft .Office.Project.Server.Queuing service isn't starting
      • Look for active Active Cache category messages in the ULS logs - the category Project Server Active Cache Sav logs jobs writing data into the queue - this can help identify if a job that appears "stuck" is still actually doing some work.  Sometimes the % complete in the queue may not move for a while 
      • Use Task Manager on the Application Server to see if …Queuing.exe is busy - a queue service consuming most of the processor and lots of RAM may mean it is just very busy - or could point to a data issue.  Again the ULS logs will help identify the root of the problem
      • Add the “Success” to the job completion states to see when the last successful job was
    • Is it just one job that is not going through?
      • Look for the earliest non-successful appearance of this job in the queue and troubleshoot the first failure – you may need to change the Job History if this was a day or more ago
    • Is there a legitimate reason for the slow/stopped queue?
      • Any Failed and Blocking Correlation jobs? Troubleshoot these from the ULS logs
      • A Cube Build, Reporting Database rebuild or just a very busy server can all mean that jobs may sit around for a while
      • All of these potential delays should be evident from the Manage Queue screen – although a user may not be aware of this if they are just looking at their personal queue

    Technorati Tags: Project Server 2007

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