April, 2007

Christophe Fiessinger's Blog
Updates on Microsoft's Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) offerings

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Newly published content for Office Project Server 2007

    You should probably bookmark this url: Newly published content for Office Project Server 2007 and check it on a regular basis for updated documentation on the EPM 2007 platform.

    For instance this month a detail guide on configuring OLAP for EPM 2007 using both SQL 2K0 and 2K5 was published as shown below:

    Configure Office Project Server 2007 to use the Cube Building Service   This chapter describes how to prepare your Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 deployment to use the Cube Building Service. It provides an overview of how the Cube Building Service works and information about supported deployment options. This chapter also includes requirements for using the Project Server 2007 Cube Building Services with either SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services or SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services, because both are supported with Office Project Server 2007.

    This site also displays upcoming documentation for instance:

    ·         Manage the Project Server 2007 Cube Building Service

    ·         Configuring LDAP Membership Provider forms authentication for Office Project Server 2007

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Troubleshooting Project Server Active Directory (AD) Synchronization

    If you are having issues using AD synchronization with EPM (user not synched up for instance) you can do the following two actions to troubleshoot the sync. process:

    ·         Using “Active Directory Users and Computers” (dsa.msc) MMC snap-in, find the group to sync and if so, are the users listed under members tab?

    ·         Get detail logs of the EPM to AD sync process and analyze them.

    To activate the ULS do the following:

    1.     Go to your farm Central Administration page, select Central Administration > Operations > Diagnostic Logging

    2.     In Event Throttling, select Project Server Active Directory Synchronization category

    3.     Set Least critical event to report to the trace log as Verbose, and press OK

     

    ULS are typically located under: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\LOGS

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Adding an EPM Web Part to another SharePoint site

    Steps you will need to follow to display PWA Web Parts in another site within the same SharePoint farm:

    1.     Chose the Web Part (e.g. TimesheetPart) from the PWA homepage or the web parts gallery (Project Web Access > Site Settings > Galleries > Web Parts) and Export and Save to your preferred desktop location:

    2.     Edit the Web Part in Notepad. Find the following property PSIURL (or add if it does not exist) and change it accordingly for instance:

    <property name="PsiUrl" type="string"> http://server/PWA</property>

    3.     Save Web Part update

    4.     From http://server/sites/project  - Site Collection EPM > Web Part Gallery > Upload Document, select TimesheetPart modified earlier.

    5.     Add Web Part to the page you like (Site Action -> Edit Page)

    To cross SharePoint server farms, you can use the Page Viewer web part in conjunction with SimpleUI=31

    http://server/PWA/_layouts/pwa/timesheet/mytssummary.aspx?SimpleUI=31   

    If you encounter the following while adding the Web Part to the page : “Unable to add selected web part(s). My Timesheet: The request failed with HTTP status 401: Unauthorized” check the ULS logs. It’s typically an access right issue so make sure the user has access to the PWA site.

    Project Server 2007 Web Parts

    ·         MySchedule

    ·         ResourceAssignmentsPart

    ·         OWCViewPart

    ·         ResourceCenterPart

    ·         ProjectCenterPart

    ·         StatusApprovalsPart

    ·         ProjectDrillDownPart

    ·         TaskPart

    ·         ProjectWorkspacesPart

    ·         TeamAssignmentsPart

    ·         QueueStatusPart

    ·         TimesheetPart

    ·         RemindersPart

     

     

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    How to update Analysis Views (OLAP) after an EPM 2003 to EPM 2007 migration?

    After migrating your database from Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007, or after migrating from one environment to another (Production to Development for instance), a quick and easy way to update the Data Analysis Views is to issue the following T-SQL command in the REPORTING database:

     

    USE ProjectServer_Published

    GO

     

    -- Check Analysis Views that needs to be updated

    SELECT WVIEW_ASServerName,WVIEW_ASDatabase,WVIEW_ASCubeName,WVIEW_ASServerExtranetAddress,*

    FROM MSP_WEB_VIEW_REPORTS

    WHERE WVIEW_ASServerName IS NOT NULL

    AND WVIEW_FILTER IS NULL

     

    -- Update Analysis Server Name

    UPDATE MSP_WEB_VIEW_REPORTS

          SET WVIEW_ASServerName='MYASSERVERNAME\INSTANCENAME'

          WHERE WVIEW_ASServerName IS NOT NULL

          AND WVIEW_FILTER IS NULL

    Test this query on a test environment prior to applying it on a Production system!

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Integrating EPM 2007 with Line of Business Solutions such as ERP Systems

    As Project Server is gaining visibility as an enterprise application and a key application within companies, it needs to integrate with existing system starting typically with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft. A recurring question I thus hear from customers is for instance: How do you integrate Project Server with SAP?

    There are several ways to integrate EPM with SAP depending on what integration is needed (CATS, xRPM, R/3 CO/PS…) but typically there three approaches to achieve it:

    1.     Use a partner solution such as the one mentioned below

    Partner

    Solution

    Site Address

    Impress

    Impress for EPM

     

    http://www.impress.com/

     

    The Campana & Schott Group

    CS Connect

    http://www.campana-schott.de/

    The Project Group

    PSLink

    http://www.theprojectgroup.com/

     

    More information about partner solutions for EPM can be found on this site: EPM Connect http://www.epmconnect.com    

    2.     Build your own interface using the EPM 2007 SDK (a combination of PSI calls, custom events handlers and potential workflows)

    Microsoft will be releasing later on this year an update for Project Server 2007 to its ERP Connector developed initially for Project Server 2003 (http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=7e0eb648-9eef-4d53-88a8-3d7e6b9152e9&displaylang=en).

    3.     Build your own interface + leverage existing Business Process and Integration (BPI) system such as Microsoft Biztalk: http://www.microsoft.com/biztalk/default.mspx

    Due to the potential functional complexity of integrating EPM and SAP I do recommend working with one of the experienced partner mentioned above; the partner will bring industry/customer experience on how to best and efficiently integrate Project Server 2007 and SAP.

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    VhdResizer: a great tool for resizing VHD files

    I just came accross this great tool VhdResizer that will achieve the following:

    VhdResize will resize Microsoft's VHD files and will also convert between Fixed and Dynamic file types. This is a sector by sector copy operation from one size/type to the other and the source file remains unaltered.

    VhdResizer

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Updated Project 2007 SDK: Software Development Kit

    FYI a new version of the SDK was released yesterday (April 16th):

    Overview

    The Microsoft Office Project 2007 SDK is a release for solution providers, value-added resellers, and other developers to learn about the new Project Server 2007 platform, and how to extend and integrate Project Server 2007 with other applications for enterprise project management (EPM). It features conceptual and "How to" articles, sample code, and programming references.

    The download file for the Project 2007 SDK is updated from the RTM SDK download. The pj12ProjectSDK.exe download includes two HTML Help files: PJSDK2007.chm (conceptual topics and managed code reference), and pj12ReportingDB.chm (the Reporting Database Schema reference). OLAPCubeSchemas.xls is a Microsoft Office Excel file that lists the dimensions, measures, and properties of the 14 Project Server OLAP cubes. Additional references include the default Project Guide files and the XML schemas for Project 2007 and the ChangeXML parameter for Statusing methods in the Project Server Interface (PSI).

    The Project Portfolio Server 2007 schemas include the AccountData and AccountIndex database references. For more information, see the Project Portfolio Server 2007 Developer Reference.

    The download also includes the following complete sample projects that relate to topics in the SDK: ChangeXML Utility, Custom Web Parts, two Impersonation samples, Login Demo, OLP Example, Project Workspace, ProjTool (a tool with source code for testing and development), PSI Extensions, Report Pack, and Test Event Handler. The sample projects use Microsoft Visual C#®and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. The seven Report Pack samples use Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services.
  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    How to install Project Server 2003 & Project Server 2007 on the same server

    Thanks to Emmanuel, please find below the sequence to install a mixed Project Server 2003 & Project Server 2007 environment on the same server typically used for testing/merging data during a migration process.

    ·              Install Winproj (Project Professional) 2003 first, and then install Winproj 2007. They work side by side and thus can coexist on the same machine.

    Please note that only one of them will get registered as the default to open Winproj file formats. So for actions that involve opening Winproj from Project Web Access, you might end up getting the working version. To avoid this, it is advised to open WinProj before initiating actions from Project Web Access that would invoke WinProj.

    ·              Install EPM 2003 Server and WSS 2.0 first, and then install  EPM 2007 (you need to choose to install WSS 3.0 side by side with WSS 2.0 – NOT choose in place upgrade)

    WSS 2.0 and 3.0 needs to be extended on different web applications. If EPM 2003 needs to coexist on the same web app as EPM 2007, then you need to add excluded paths for Project Server and MSADC.

    ·              EPM 2003 and EPM 2007 ActiveX controls work side by side since they are distinctly named.

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Troubleshooting EPM 2007 Queue issues

    Thanks to Sharry please find below some useful steps when troubleshooting EPM 2007 queue issues:

    1.     Use Manage Queue page (Sever Settings -> Queue -> Manage Queue) to look at correlations (use the CorrelationUID column for help here) to see why a certain correlation is blocked.  Usually if your queue is still working for other jobs/entities, then restarting the queue is not necessary.  If you cannot see any problems and your queue is still working, then your filters on the Manage Queue page are not right – check them.  Restarting the Queue is only necessary when nothing is processing.  Using the “By Project” filter works nicely for looking at the queue job history of projects.  For other correlations, use CorrelationUID.

    2.     Look first for Failed and Blocking states – those are the jobs that are “blocking” others on the same correlation (again, use the correlation UID here to see what jobs are affected).  You can either retry these jobs if the error looks like something having to do with something recoverable (like loss of network or database connection), or you can cancel.  Canceling with the default settings will cancel the entire correlation, so make sure you know what data you could be losing by doing so.

    3.     Are jobs stuck in the “Getting Enqueued” state?  If so, WinProj needs to be opened again on that user’s machine who submitted the job to see if WinProj will continue sending the project.  If that doesn’t work, then you will need to cancel the jobs in this “getting enqueued” state.  Note that this effectively means that the save from WinProj never happened, and that data will need to be resaved again.  This is the same thing that happens when you just blindly restart the queue.  But at least doing it this way means that you know what is being lost.

    4.     Look at the error (click the link in the Error column) to get an idea about why the failure occurred.  Sometimes you can correct the problem and re-save/re-submit your job.

    5.     Start comparing Event Logs to what you’ve found on the Manage Queue page.  Look for errors around the same time as failed jobs in the queue.

    6.     SharePoint Logs (usually located here: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\web server extensions\12\LOGS ) .  Same technique as #5 – look for errors around the same time as failed jobs in the queue.

    Once you clear the blocking job(s), the queue should immediately resume processing on that correlation again, and pick up from where it last left off.

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Sample Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007 Migration Plan

    Due to popular requests, please find below a sample plan to migrate from EPM 2003 to EPM 2007.  Use this plan as a guide and a reminder of all phases and tasks that need to be accomplished during the migration project.  The effort (“work”) for each task does not necessarily represent what is required for your environment so use it with a “grain of salt”.

    The migration project is divided into four phases:

    1.       Resource Planning – In this phase the hardware and personal resources must be requested and obtained. It is assumed that a full 4 working weeks will be needed to accomplish this.

    2.       Migration Planning - here initial training occurs, plans are made, expectations are set, and agreements from all parties are obtained.

    3.       Migration Test – Here a test system is built out, and the migration procedures are tried out and verified for correctness. This duration of this phase is difficult to predict as issues sometimes occur that must be addressed by support.

    4.       Production Migration – Here we build up a new production system, migrate the data, and have all users verify that the data has migrated correctly. When this step is successfully completed, the old system can be turned off.

     Project Server Migration Plan

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