December, 2009

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

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    How to Create a New Project Server 2010 Site Template

    Hello for those of you that have downloaded and installed Project Server 2010 Public Beta (Announcing Microsoft Project 2010, Project Server 2010 Public Beta Availability), please find below the step by step on how to create a custom project workspace site template that could be associated with a Project Type during project initiation:

    1. Create New Site (Site Actions | New Site | Select Microsoft Project Workspace type)
    2. Customize look and feel of new site, go to Edit Page (check out the new Theme feature of SharePoint for instance), you can also add specific documents associated with the template (Cost Forecast Excel workbook for instance)
    3. Once happy with custom look and feel: Go to Site Actions | Site Settings | Site Actions | Save Site as Template
    4. Go to Site Settings | Galleries | Solutions, select Solution and Activate (ribbon button)
    5. Leverage newly created template in your Enterprise Project Types (EPTs)
      • Project Web Access | Server Settings | Workflow and Project Detail Pages | Enterprise Project Types (newly created template should now appear in the dropdown list under Project Site Template)

    And voila! It’s that easy in 2010!

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project Server 2010 and PowerShell

    In case you have not heard SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010 will support PowerShell and hence will ship with a library of already about 650 commands. Please find below a few examples I wrote trying to automate Project Service Application creation.

    One useful commands to get started:  Get-Help *project* (lists all cmdlet that contains the word ‘project’).


    Check out this recently Project Server 2010 PowerShell Help file for more information:

    As usual we will release Project Server 2010 PowerShell documentations by RTM on TechNet. One of the great thing about PowerShell is that you can easily create your own commands (think of a utility that issues PSI calls for instance…), stay tune for more samples MSDN, in the meantime experiment the power of PowerShell :)

    $projectapppool = "ProjectServer-AppPool"
    $projectserviceapp = "ContosoProjectServiceApplication"
    $pwaname = "PWA"
    $projectwebappname = "Contoso Project Server Site"
    $projectwebappport = 82
    $projectwebappurl = ""
    $projectwebcontentdb = "ProjectServer"+$projectwebappport+"_Content"
    $adminaccount = "contoso\administrator"
    $databaseserver = "DEMO2010A"
    # Create Application Pool
    New-SPServiceApplicationPool  -Name $projectapppool -Account $adminaccount
    # Create Project Service Application
    New-SPProjectServiceApplication -ApplicationPool $projectapppool -Name $projectserviceapp
    # Create Project Service Application Proxy
    New-SPProjectServiceApplicationProxy -Name ContosoProjectServiceApplicationProxy -ServiceApplication $projectserviceapp
    # Create Project Server Web Application with its own Content Database
    New-SPWebApplication -Name $projectwebappname -Port $projectwebappport -URL $projectwebappurl -ApplicationPool $projectapppool -ApplicationPoolAccount $adminaccount -DatabaseName $projectwebcontentdb
    # Create New Project Server Site Collection
    # Get-SPWebTemplate
    New-SPSite -Url ($projectwebappurl+ ":" +$projectwebappport) -OwnerAlias $adminaccount -ContentDatabase $projectwebcontentdb -Template PWS#0
    # Provision PWA Instance
    New-SPProjectWebInstance -AdminAccount $adminaccount -ArchiveDbname ($pwaname +"_Archive") -DraftDbname ($pwaname +"_Draft") -PrimaryDbserver $databaseserver -PublishedDbname ($pwaname +"_Published") -ReportingDbname ($pwaname +"_Reporting") -ReportingDbserver $databaseserver -Url ($projectwebappurl + ":" + $projectwebappport + "/" + $pwaname) -Lcid 1033

    Great PowerShell resources:


  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    How to report across multiple SharePoint lists? i-PMO SharePoint Data Miner to the rescue

    Exactly a year ago while stuck at home during a Seattle snowstorm I wrote this post How to report Project Risks at a Program Level? 

    Basically the need is: how can you easily create a report that aggregate multiple SharePoint lists (typically Issues and Risks in the Project Server world but not only if you have created custom lists in your Project Workspaces)? My solution was hardcore, not flexible and not easy to administer. Well, it must be Christmas very soon because i-PMO from down under Australia has actually built a solution that solves this problem and more in an elegant way: i|PMO DataMiner 2009 for SharePoint

    No they have not paid me to post this and if you also have a solution that addresses this reporting problem let me know and I will gladly update my post!

    I downloaded the trial version of i-PMO SharePoint Data Miner in my favorite PPM V4 demo image and within minutes was able to mine all my project workspaces for all Issues and Risks.

    Application Management (Central Admin)image Issues Reporting Schemas (repeat for all SP list you want to track)
    Easily add event receiver to all Project workspaces you want to track list items from:
    Mine existing data with one click!

    and voila all your items from all your lists are now stored in one reporting database and you can then easily create powerful dashboards using you favorite reporting tool (SQL Server Reporting Services, Excel Services, PerformancePoint Services to name a few :)) What I liked about this solution beside solving the problem at hand is that it was easy to install and configure and I did not need to purchase additional services to be up and running. In the end you might still want to work with a Business Intelligence expert to build the exact report/dashboard/KPI that you need but at least this solution does all the work for you of storing all the items from the all the SP lists.

    Please note that this solution is applicable to not only Project Server 2007/SharePoint 2007 but also the upcoming 2010 release.

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project 2010 Overview PowerPoint Deck

    Following our two sessions on Microsoft Project 2010 at the last TechEd in Europe (Berlin, Germany): Microsoft Project 2010 Session at Tech Ed Europe 2009 please find here (SkyDrive location) the two decks used.

  • Microsoft Project 2010 Overview - OFS214
    This session provides an overview of the key investment areas and capabilities of Project Server 2010 and Project Professional 2010, including demand management, portfolio analysis, time tracking, and reporting.
  • Microsoft Project Server 2010 for IT Professionals and Developers - OFS206
    This session provides details of what Project Server 2010 offers IT professionals and developers, including new features for easier deployment and management, and developer-related enhancements across Server and Client.
  • image

    Also check check these two videos we did for IT Pros and developers: Are you Microsoft Project 2010 IT Professional Ready?

    Happy 2010 readiness!

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project 2010 upcoming webcasts : book your calendars!

    We are happy to announce the following upcoming webcasts on Project and Project Server 2010. These webcasts will be delivered by members of the product group and Project MVPs.

    Expect other webcasts in the coming months.


    Title Description Presenter Date/Time
    Overview of Microsoft Project Server 2010 for IT Professionals In this webcast, we provide an overview of Microsoft Project Server 2010 features, requirements, and deployment considerations that IT professionals need to know about the product. Topics we discuss include: system requirements, deployment scenarios, installation procedures, upgrade options, and administration and operations enhancements that help IT professionals. Christophe Fiessinger, Senior Technical Product Manager, Microsoft Corporation As part of the Microsoft Business Division Product Marketing Group, Christophe Fiessinger focuses on the Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) and Microsoft Office Project Professional solutions for project and portfolio management. Christophe is responsible for technical readiness and promoting the value of EPM by speaking at global Microsoft conferences like TechEd, SharePoint Conference, and Project Conference. He is a major advocate for enterprise deployments of Microsoft Office Project Server, speaking on topics such as architecture planning and design, deployment and upgrade, administration, and operation. Christophe also creates other technical readiness materials related to Project Server and Project Professional on CodePlex, including whitepapers, training, blogs, solution starters, and tools. Tuesday, December 15, 2009 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    Project 2010 Overview Keshav Puttaswamy, Group Program Manager, Microsoft, will discuss and demonstrate core capabilities and features of the upcoming release – Microsoft Project 2010. The webcast will cover the key bets of unifying project & portfolio management, improving execution with effective  collaboration, enhancing user experience & appeal, and simplifying deployment & interoperability.
    Join us to learn how you can utilize the powerful capabilities included in Project 2010. Obtain unique insights into how the next release will continue to support your business during the first in a 3 part series, delivered by Microsoft engineers and product managers.
    Keshav Puttaswamy, Group Program Manager, Microsoft Wednesday, December 16, 2009 6:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada
    Project 2010 and Project Server 2010 Programmability In this webcast, we provide an overview of the programmability enhancements that are in the upcoming versions of Microsoft Office Project 2010 and Microsoft Office Project Server 2010. We highlight Windows Communication Foundation, Ribbon programmability, and the new programmability features such as Workflow. We also discuss writing backwards compatibility for Microsoft Office Project 2007 applications. Chris Boyd, Program Manager II, Project Development Group, Microsoft Corporation Thursday, December 17, 2009 8:30 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    Project Server 2010 Project and Portfolio Management Reporting In this webcast, we provide insight on how you can take advantage of the great reporting features in Microsoft Office Project Server 2010 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2010. By using Excel Services, Project Server delivers a suite of pre-defined reports out of the box. During the presentation we: · outline how users are able to generate their own reports and report templates. · give an overview on how to manage projects and portfolio dashboards by creating key performance indicator (KPI) reports using PerformancePoint Services. · show how organizations can visualize their project and portfolio management process by generating and integrating a dynamic visual report using Visio Services. · provide an overview of all new reporting features that Project Server 2010 has to offer. Marc Soester, Managing Director, iPMO Marc Soester is the managing director of i-PMO Australia. He and his team deliver enterprise project management (EPM) solutions throughout Australia. Marc has been implementing Microsoft EPM solutions for more than six years to a wide range of international organizations. Marc is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Microsoft Office Project. Wednesday, January 06, 2010 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    Microsoft Project 2010 Desktop: Tips and Tricks In this webcast, we focus on using some of the new features in Microsoft Project 2010 that help you to build effective schedules quickly. Topics we cover include outlining, building schedules, and making resource assignments. Jack Dahlgren, Consultant, Microsoft Project MVP, P-Cubed Jack Dahlgren is a project management consultant with extensive experience in the areas of design and construction, new product development and IT initiatives. Jack has been awarded a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award for his contributions to the Microsoft Project user community for each of the past 10 years. Tuesday, January 19, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    Microsoft Project 2010 Portfolio Analysis In this webcast, we discuss the purpose of portfolio management, detail the portfolio management process according to Project Management Institute (PMI) standards, and explain the benefits of portfolio management and the challenges for the senior management. Discover portfolio management–related concepts and techniques, such as pair-wise comparison, prioritization matrix, and efficient frontier, and understand the benefits of these techniques in project prioritization, portfolio balancing, and optimization. Using Microsoft Project 2010 and applying the portfolio management techniques, we demonstrate typical portfolio management process scenarios. Hilde Corbu, Managing Partner, Trilex Thursday, January 21, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    User-Controlled Scheduling in Microsoft Project 2010 There are situations when user-controlled scheduling offers an advantage, and there are times when you should turn off user-controlled scheduling. In this webcast, we demonstrate user-controlled scheduling in Microsoft Project 2010 to illustrate the benefits and drawbacks of user-controlled scheduling.   Ben Howard, Lead Consultant, ApplePark, Ltd. Ben Howard is the lead consultant at ApplePark in the U.K. He is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in Microsoft Project Server with 20 years of customer-facing experience in implementing IT-based solutions to solve business problems across all sectors. Ben is a highly experienced consultant with an extensive list of successful enterprise project management (EPM) deployments. He is also a leading expert for Microsoft Project Server installation, configuration, deployment, and training, working with Microsoft, Microsoft Partners, and end customers to provide innovative Project Server solutions. Ben can be contacted at Monday, January 25, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    Microsoft Office Project 2010 Enhanced Project Management Discover how you can do more, better, faster, and cost effectively, by taking advantage of the new features in Microsoft Office Project 2010. In this webcast, we discuss how advanced new features in Project 2010 help you to better manage, control, and progress dynamic project schedules with amazing ease and simplicity. Learn how confusion between buttons and toolbars is eliminated in Project 2010 thanks to the Ribbon feature, which adds value and simplicity while greatly expanding customizability. Other Project 2010 topics we cover include: · Core time-saving functional changes. · Converting Microsoft Office Excel super users with top-down and open-ended planning. · Modeling custom lists while retaining planning history with inactive tasks. · New methods for forecasting with additional scheduling engine features. Tim Runcie, President, Advisicon Tim Runcie, the president of Advisicon and a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Microsoft Office Project, has more than 15 years of experience in creating project management solutions for information systems and 12 years of construction project portfolio management experience. His overall background has been in project portfolio planning, and he has guided organizations to successfully manage competing initiatives using scarce resources, fixed budgets, and interconnected schedules. Tim is particularly adept at teaching and establishing project methodologies that are adopted into the project management culture of organizations and creating custom tools to expedite and automate the project management process. Wednesday, January 27, 2010 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada)
    Resource Management in Microsoft Project 2010 In this webcast, we examine resource management from the perspective of the new and improved features in Microsoft Project 2010. Topics we discuss include Team Planner, use of Status Indicator for over allocation, Team Builder, Issue Log, and Status using Task Updates. Join us to learn more. Renke Holert, IT Project Manager and EPM Consultant, Renke Holert is a Microsoft office Project Server and Microsoft Exchange Server consultant, trainer, and developer. He holds a diploma in industrial engineering and management. Renke runs his own business ( in Munich, Germany, where he specializes in integrating Microsoft Project with Microsoft Office Outlook, Exchange Server, and Lotus Notes/Domino Server. He is also author of a book Microsoft Office Project 2007 - Das Profibuch (Microsoft Press, 2007). View other sessions from Microsoft Project: Align People, Work, and Priorities Tuesday, February 23, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)

    Another way to get the entire list of available and upcoming Project 2010 webcasts:

    Happy readiness!

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Volume Activation for Microsoft Project Professional 2010

    Hello in case you did not know Office 2010 and hence Microsoft Project 2010 is using a new activation method in the next “2010” release due out next year. As mentioned on TechNet Volume Activation site for Office 2010:

    Microsoft Office 2010 uses the same volume activation technology as Windows 7 and Windows Vista. If you have already set up a Key Management Service (KMS) host to activate Windows, you can use the same host to activate Office 2010 after a few steps. 

    Start ramping up on MAK and KMS (both acronyms are documented on the site above :)) to plan future deployment of 2010.

    If you are having issues activating Project Professional 2010 Public Beta also check the documented workaround on the Project 2010 Forums, see this workaround documented by Vladimir for instance for this error: 0x8007232B

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Free Microsoft Project 2010 Training in Singapore and Sydney in February 2010

    As announced last September: Are you Project 2010 Ready? - Announcing Project 2010 Technical Ignite and Sales Training we will be delivering free (yes there are no registration fee associated with this event!!) Microsoft Project 2010 training at the upcoming two locations in Asia/Pacific region in February, as part of the Project 2010 Ignite readiness program:

    • Singapore – February 2, 3, 4 2010
    • Sydney, AUS – February 9, 10, 11 2010

    So far the feedback from attendees in both Europe and recently Mexico City and Sao Paulo have been extremely positive so don’t miss out this great readiness opportunity, seating is limited so register today to secure a seat. Yes this training is also open to non EPM specialized partners (typically SharePoint partners) and customers (assuming they are familiar with Project Server 2007).

    For detailed agenda and link to the registration page go to the following Ignite site.

    We have booked our travel/hotels to both locations and location forward to train you all in this exciting upcoming release for Project Professional and Project Server 2010!

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project 2010 Technical Preview and Public Beta Expiration Date

    Following these two releases of Project 2010 Announcing Microsoft Project 2010, Project Server 2010 Public Beta Availability (Beta 2)and Announcing Microsoft Project 2010 Technical Preview (Beta 1) I am sure you all have been actively deploying and testing this great upcoming release. By the way if you are still running Tech Preview time to upgrade to Public Beta which is a lot more stable.

    As a reminder  both versions will expire on October 31, 2010

    (this also applies to SharePoint 2010)

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Dear Microsoft Project Community Happy Holidays/Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!

    Dear Microsoft Project/EPM Community I wish you all a great break and lots of great non-epm time :) I see working with EPM as a marathon so here is a picture of a recent one I did (Portland last October), yes spectators cheered someone called “EPM 2010”!


    After some rest in the next two weeks I look forward to an exiting 2010 year with a very exiting release in the pipe!

    For those of you that I have not met yet, here is a recent video shot before the last Project Conference in September where I talk about what I do, still confused, send me an email :)

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    2010 Server Language Packs for SharePoint Server 2010 Beta, Project Server 2010 Beta, and Search Server Express 2010 Beta

    Ready for download as of today:

    comes in German, French, English, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and Chinese flavors!

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