January, 2009

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

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Running SharePoint Server and Project Server 2007 on Windows Server 2008 R2 Beta

    It works! I downloaded the ISO from MSDN and followed the instructions to deploy SharePoint Server 2007 and Project Server 2007 on Windows Server 2008, and it works like a charm on R2 (notice the Windows 7 similar toolbar at the bottom with the big PowerShell icon)!

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    What’s new with Windows Server 2008 R2 check these two links:

    Also check this related post if you want to experiment with our upcoming OS: Windows 7 Beta and Project Professional 2007

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Windows 7 Beta and Project Professional 2007

    Could not resist! Downloaded the Windows 7 64bit ISO, built a new Hyper-V virtual machine, installed Project Professional 2007 and connected to Project Web Access:

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    So far so good, looks very promising, tempted to reformat my home PC this week-end…

    More Windows 7 information here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-7/default.aspx

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution Webcast Series

    Starting February 18th, 2009 at 11 am (EST) we will be running a webcast series every Wednesday that will show how the Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution and related Microsoft technologies can be deployed to meet varying horizontal scenarios.  

    Why should customers attend the webcast series?

    • Work Smart – Save time by sending your prospects to a recurring live webcast versus having to deliver the demo yourselves
    • Educate  – Customers will receive a comprehensive overview of each solution and be able to get answers to initial questions
    • It’s Live – Send your customers to a live webcast rather than to a recording or click-through demo
    • Better Together – Show the value of integrating the EPM Solution with SharePoint Server and Visual Studio Team Foundation Server

    Please note these webcast are targeted at customers not partners.

    Reduce Costs: Seven Steps to Optimize Project Portfolio Selection

    Microsoft and UMT Consulting Group invite you to join this complimentary webcast to learn how Microsoft’s Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution can help identify and select project portfolios that best align with your organizations business strategy whilst optimizing costs.

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    Registration and Schedule


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    Capital Planning & Investment Control for Government

    Microsoft and Robbins-Gioia invite you to this complimentary webcast to learn how the Capital Planning & Investment Control (CPIC) Solution can help government agencies improve decision making, and effectively control investments throughout their lifecycle.
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    Registration and Schedule

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    Connecting the Worlds of Project Portfolio Management & Application lifecycle Management
    Microsoft invites you to join this complimentary webcast to learn how integrating Portfolio Management (PPM) and Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) processes helps to improve visibility across the entire development lifecycle and in turn connect two disparate worlds.
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    Registration and Schedule

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    Growth: Transform Your Business with Innovation Management

    You are invited to join this complimentary webcast to learn how Microsoft’s Innovation Process Management (IPM) Solution can help organizations to manage the end-to-end innovation process with greater transparency, coordination and discipline.

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    Registration and Schedule

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    Maximize Efficiency: Drive ROI by Enhancing Project & Portfolio Execution

    Microsoft and Pcubed invite you to join this complimentary webcast to learn how Microsoft’s Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution can help organizations to improve project and portfolio execution, eliminate costly overruns and enhance operational efficiency and agility.

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    Registration and Schedule

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  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project Portfolio Server 2007 Software Requirements

    With the recent publication this week of this Project Portfolio Server 2007 document: Project Portfolio Server 2007 Guide: Configuration Recommendations and I since I have seen a lot of questions on the subject lately, please find a recap of the software requirements for Portfolio Server 2007:

    Operating System Windows Server 2003 or Windows Server 2008, 32-bit versions only The current version of Portfolio Server 2007 SP1 is compatible with both Windows Server 2003 and Server 2008. The same compatibility is expected to be part of all planned future versions.

    Project Portfolio Server 2007 requires a 32-bit machine. There is no 64-bit version and the installer will not run on a 64-bit operating system. In addition, the administrator needs to install the reporting tier on a 32-bit reporting server.

    Database Server Microsoft SQL Server 2005 32-bit versions only Portfolio Server supports all 32 bit version of SQL 2005 except for the Express version. Portfolio Server also requires SQL 2005 Reporting Services.
    Virtualization Project Portfolio Server 2007 virtualization is not supported at this stage.  

    Related links

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    Fields required to run Project List and Project Detail Reports

    I posted this set of sample SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) reports almost a year ago: New SQL Reporting Services Sample Reports for Project Server, and due to popular demand finally documented the required custom fields and lookup tables to run the following two reports:

    • Project List
    • Project Detail

    If you are looking for a sample database with the required fields, check this: Project Server 2007 Sample Databases

    So basically you’ll have to add the listed lookup tables and custom fields first (see the Excel attachment at the bottom of this post), then update the metadata for projects and the reports will run. As mentioned in this post: How to deploy the Timesheet Compliance Report

    In the end the best way to troubleshoot a SSRS report is to run the queries directly in SQL using the query editor. Until you get the results expected in the query window no need to work in SSRS!

    As usual with MSDN blog postings the code is supplied “AS-IS”, with no warranties or support and could probably be improved to optimize performance.

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    Inventory of SQL Databases in a Typical Project Server Deployment

    I have recently seen this question on how many databases are created once the Project Server and Project Portfolio Server are installed?  My first answer was: “it depends!” Here is why. Assume we are installing both Project Portfolio Server and Project Server on a SharePoint Server farm and that they all share the same SQL server instance:

    Product Database Name Description Requirement Related Documentation/Links
    SharePoint 2007 SharePoint Farm Configuration SharePoint configuration database (only one per farm). Required http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262869.aspx
      SharePoint Central Admin Content The content database for Central Administration (only one per farm). Required  
      Shared Services Provider (SSP) Administration Database(n) A content database for the Shared Services Administration Web application (if the SSP is using its own Web application) Required  
      Shared Services Provider Content Database(n) SSP Content database Required  
      Shared Services Provider Search Database SSP Search database (one per SSP) Required  
      Portal site Web application content database (n) – PWA Site Collection You need a content database for each SharePoint site, we recommend having a dedicated site collection to host Project Web Access Required  
      Portal site Web application content database (n) – PWA Workspaces Have a separate site collection/content database to store all project workspaces, this helps with back/restore and general data isolation from the rest of the farm. Recommended  
      Portal site Web application content database (n) – My Sites Have a dedicated content database to store “My Site” content, refer to the link on right for other best practices. Recommended http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc262706.aspx
    Project Server 2007 Archive Database(n) The Archive database saves backed-up and older versions of projects. Required http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc197534.aspx
      Draft Database(n) The Draft database contains tables for saving unpublished projects from Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007. Project data in the Draft database is not accessible by using Microsoft Office Project Web Access. Required http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc197534.aspx
      Published Database(n) The Published database contains all of the published projects. Published projects are visible in Office Project Web Access. The Published database also contains tables that are specific to Office Project Web Access (timesheets, models, views, and so on), and global data tables (outline codes, security, and metadata). Required  
      Reporting Database(n) The Reporting database is the staging area for generating reports and online analytical processing (OLAP) cubes. Data in the Reporting database is updated nearly in real-time, is comprehensive, and is optimized for read-only report generation. Required  
    Project Portfolio Server 2007 PPS Account Data This database contains the actual account data, such as the project, application, program and portfolio data, related cost and resource information, optimization scenarios, and other data. Even though this database can contain information from multiple accounts, we recommend having only one account per database to ease future upgrades or database migrations. For more information about setting up multiple accounts, see the Creating multiple accounts section of this document. Required http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=8977C122-A64F-4C4E-A78B-0EA8E150FE3A&displaylang=en
      PPS AccountIndex This database contains information about the defined accounts in Office Project Portfolio Server 2007. Each account acts like a single instance of Office Project Portfolio Server 2007. Information cannot be shared across multiple accounts. For more information about setting up multiple accounts, see the Creating multiple accounts section of this document. Required  
    SQL Reporting Services 2005/2008 Report Server Database “ReportServer” This database is used for primary storage of all SSRS data (reports, security settings, …) Required (for Project Portfolio Server) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms157285.aspx
      Report Server Catalog “ReportServerTempDB” This second SSRS database is used to store all temporary data Required (for Project Portfolio Server)  
    SQL Server Analysis Services 2005/2008 Analysis Services Repository The SQL Server Analysis Services Repository is used to store OLAP metadata ("OlapObjects”) (for example, cubes and dimensions). Recommended http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc197552.aspx
    .NET aspnet Membership provider database, it’s used to store all user account/password for users that are not part of Active Directory for instance Required (if you using Forms Authentication) http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc197472.aspx

    “(n)” simply means that you could have multiple databases depending on your configuration (number of PWA instances for instance).

    So in the end for one Project Web Access instance setup on a SharePoint Server farm with Portfolio Server and SQL Reporting Services all sharing the same SQL Server instance you will typically have 18 relational databases. If you have another PWA instance, other SharePoint site, other SSP, PerformancePoint Server, etc… expect additional databases… I recommend you carefully plan your EPM deployment and architect your solution based on the above recommendations and the latest TechNet content for all these products; involve a trained Partner as well if you are not familiar with all the products. So in summary “it depends” but hopefully this gives you a good starting point :)

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Project Server 2007 Renaming tool

    Following this initial post How to Rename Projects After a Project Server 2007 Migration written by Mike Shughrue I’ve modified it a bit to have the ability to rename any project as shown below (used to be hardcoded to replace the “_Published” string).

    Executable and source code are located here: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/PS2007Rename

    Happy renaming!

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    After:

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  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Upcoming Project Server webcasts – Mark Your Calendar!

    Please find below a list of EPM 2007 webcast in the coming months as well as on-demand webcasts (recorded in the past 4 months) . These webcast are primarily targeted to  IT Professionals and will present in details key aspects to consider when you evaluate, plan, deploy, and operate Project Server 2007.  On February 12th, Larry Duff will present the recently released Solution Connector for Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2007 on MSDN Code Gallery to the developer community. You need to register to each webcast by clicking their respective link (all free of charge); then you get emailed a link to sign on and participate in the web cast on its date and time.

    Each webcast is recorded for later viewing (on-demand) which should be through the same registration URL. For a listing of all EPM webcasts check the following link: http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/epm.aspx

    Webcast Title Abstract Date
    Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 - Server Administration

    This webcast covers Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 Server Administration best practices. We discuss SharePoint's Central Administration, Shared Service Provider Administration and Project Web Access Administration.  This webcast is part of a webcast series targeted at IT professionals.  In the series, we present in detail key aspects to consider when you evaluate, plan, deploy, and operate Project Server 2007.

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    1:00 PM Pacific Time

    Project Server and Project Portfolio Server Advanced Customization

    Attend this webcast to discover two of the latest solution starters produced for Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 and Office Project Portfolio Server 2007, the Solution Connector and the Project Server audit framework. The Solution Connector is a Microsoft ASP.NET Web service and Microsoft .NET class library, which provides a set of methods for programmatically creating, updating, or deleting projects and their attributes in Project Portfolio Server 2007. The Solution Connector was created to support both the Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Capital Planning and Investment Control for Federal Government (CPIC) and Innovation Process Management (IPM) solutions. In these solutions, projects and ideas are captured in Microsoft Office SharePoint Server and at a specific point in the workflow the information is pushed to Project Portfolio Server 2007 (utilizing the new Solution Connector Web-service) for analysis. The Project Server audit framework solution gives you the ability to audit specific Project Server events within a framework. Join us to learn more.

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    8:00 AM Pacific Time

    Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 - Maintenance and Monitoring

    This webcast covers Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 Maintenance and Monitoring best practices. This session will cover maintenance plans that should be put in place as well as performance counters that should be monitored.  We also discuss how to deploy software updates for both Project Server and Project Professional 2007. This webcast is part of a webcast series targeted at IT professionals. In the series, we present in detail key aspects to consider when you evaluate, plan, deploy, and operate Project Server 2007.

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    11:00 AM Pacific Time

    Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 - Deployment into a SharePoint Server Intranet Farm

    This webcast covers Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 Deployment best practices into a SharePoint Server intranet farm (out of the box Project Server 2007 is deployed on top of Windows SharePoint Services V3). We discuss SharePoint Server deployment pre-requisites, deployment scenarios and best practices. This webcast is part of a webcast series targeted at IT professionals. In the series, we present in detail key aspects to consider when you evaluate, plan, deploy, and operate Project Server 2007.

    Wednesday, March 18, 2009

    11:00 AM Pacific Time

    Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 - Disaster Recovery

    This webcast covers Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 Server Disaster Recovery options and best practices. We discuss how to recover from a catastrophic failure on your SharePoint/Project Server far;, this includes what are the options to recover from a loss of any component of your SharePoint/Project Server farm: SQL server, Application Server, Disk etc … We present farm and database restore options.  This webcast is part of a webcast series targeted at IT professionals. In the series, we present in detail key aspects to consider when you evaluate, plan, deploy, and operate Project Server 2007.

    Wednesday, April  8, 2009

    11:00 AM Pacific Time

    Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 - Virtualization

    This webcast covers Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 Server Virtualization best practices using Windows Server 2008's Hyper-V. We discuss deployment best practices with respect to virtualization, including optimum architecture configuration (which component should be deployed on a  virtual environment and which ones should be deployed on a physical environment), and how to architect a high availability virtual farm.  This webcast is part of a webcast series targeted at IT professionals. In the series, we present in detail key aspects to consider when you evaluate, plan, deploy, and operate Project Server 2007.

    Wednesday, April 29, 2009

    11:00 AM Pacific Time

    On-Demand Webcasts

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    Microsoft PerformancePoint Server 2007 Roadmap Update

    Microsoft announced last week important changes to our PerformancePoint Server product roadmap, check the following blog post to learn more:

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    Upcoming Project Server Developer Webcasts: the fundamentals!

    Hello my colleague Jan has just announced on the Project Programmability blog a series of upcoming Project Server developer webcasts you might want to attend to either ramp up on Project Server development or review the fundamentals.

    Title Abstract Date
    Project Server 2007 Architecture for Developers (Level 400)

    During this webcast, we analyze all of the components that make up Project Server 2007. Once we examine the components, we discuss their importance in programming Microsoft Office Project Server 2007. Thursday, February 26, 2009

    8:00 A.M Pacific Time

    Project Server Interface Programming Overview (Level 300)

    In this webcast, we provide an overview of what the Microsoft Project Server Interface (PSI) is and how the PSI is built. We also discuss the concepts of using Web services, custom datasets, and error handling. Thursday, March 12, 2009

    8:00 A.M Pacific Time

    Review of the Project Server Interface Web Services (Level 400)

    In this webcast, we walk you through each of the Microsoft Project Server Interface (PSI) Web services, identify key usage of each of the Web services, and provide tips and tricks for working with PSI Web services. Thursday, March 26, 2009

    8:00 A.M

    Project Server 2007 Events and Workflow (Level 400)

    During this webcast, we describe how events extend Microsoft Office Project Server 2007, build handlers for different events explaining when or when not to use them, and demonstrate how to use workflow as a way to illustrate event usage. Thursday, April 2, 2009

    8:00 A.M Pacific Time

    Office Project Client Programmability (Level 300)

    We show you how to develop against the Microsoft Office Project client object model. We look at using Microsoft .NET and Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for the Microsoft Office System (VSTO) for programming to supplement standard Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and we examine connecting to Microsoft Office Project Server via the Project client object model. Thursday, April 9, 2009

    8:00 A.M Pacific Time

    Related links:

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