January, 2010

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

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    How to Project 2010: Edit Project Custom Fields in PWA

    Recently got this question on the Project Server 2010 Forums: How can I edit Project custom fields (CF) in Project Web Access?

    Before I give you the answer let me remind everyone that you can do so using Project Professional 2010.

    So let’s assume I have created three Project CF, we will leverage the new Project Detail Pages (PDP) capability to create a custom page and will add a web part that will enable editing these fields:

    The three newly created CF (Server Settings –> Enterprise Data –> Enterprise Custom Fields and Lookup Tables) image
    Let’s now create a new PDP, go to:
    Server Settings –> Workflow and Project Detail Pages –> Project Detail Pages
    Click on Documents Tab, and click on New Document, enter a Name and Select a Layout image
    You should now be in edit mode for this newly created SharePoint page (if not click on the upper right corner under Site Action -> Edit Page) . Click on add web part and select Project Web Access –> Project Fields and add it to the desired zone on you page. image
    Now let’s edit the web part to specify which project fields will be displayed and hence editable.
    Edit web part and select Modify to select the custom fields you want to be able to edit.
    Apply changes to the web part and Stop Editing the page
    Now let’s add that page to the Enterprise Project Type you want to have that editing capability for. Go to:
    Server Settings –> Workflow and Project Detail Pages –> Enterprise Project Type (EPT) and select the EPT, probable the Basic Project Plan in your case. Scroll down to New Project Page/Project Detail Pages and add the newly created page from the steps above.
    Save changes.
    Go back to the Project Center and select the project plan you want to edit, the newly created PDP should now appear on the left hand navigation, click on Edit and voila! image

    This procedure also demonstrates the power and flexibility of the new Project Detailed Page infrastructure combined with Enterprise Project Type!

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Why SharePoint 2010 Developer Dashboard Is For All IT Professionals :)

    Ever heard of this great new feature of SharePoint 2010: Developer Dashboard (DD)? Bill Baer did a great post last year introducing its capability: Welcome to the Developer Dashboard. I personally think the name could be misleading and that you might think it’s only for Developers and folks that add custom webpart on a SharePoint site; well I think even in an out of the box site, DD could help any farm administrator, IT Professional get a an understanding why a page is taking a specific amount of time to load.

    For instance in my Project Server 2010 demo image I have built an Excel Services dashboard with lots of webparts to light up my structured Project Portfolio Management data. With DD I can easily breakdown the load time and potentially take action to optimize rendering:

    image image image

    DD will obviously not give you all answers you need to solve performance/page load issues (for instance you might have to talk to your SQL guru to optimize T-SQL queries or C# developer to optimize their webpart algorithm or tell your end user that they have put too many webparts on a page). In the end it will make the life of any user and a lot easier to understand page load in SharePoint 2010 and hence Project Server 2010.

    Script to turn on/off DD (not do not turn it ON in your production server since it will activate it for all pages for all users in your farm!) (copy and paste in a file and save with .BAT extension then execute in your farm):

    echo off

    @SET UTILS_ROOT=C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\BIN

    @echo ENABLE Developer Dashboard
    @echo ================================================================

    "%UTILS_ROOT%\stsadm" -o setproperty -pn developer-dashboard -pv ondemand

    @echo DISABLE Developer Dashboard
    @echo ================================================================

    REM "%UTILS_ROOT%\stsadm" -o setproperty -pn developer-dashboard -pv off


  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project 2010 Welcomes Project Web App!

    As announced on the main project blog Project Web Access (PWA) now becomes Project Web App: PWA now stands for Project Web App. For more information on what is a web app, check out the definition from Wikipedia: Web Application:

    A sneak peak of the new name in a recent Project Server 2010 build:


  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project Server 2010 Loves Excel Web App and Excel Services!

    This is a great topic I was planning to write on for a while and now that the Excel team has officially done a great series of posts on the topic, I figured it’s time to give my 2 cents. Again if you have never heard of Web App and in particular Excel please read these few recent posts: http://blogs.msdn.com/excel/

    So how does Excel Web App fit into a Project Server 2010 deployment? Some ideas that spring to mind:

    • capturing financial data
    • capturing metadata (custom fields/ lookup table…)
    • capturing project status (actually use that internally to track customers that are currently deploying Project Server 2010)
    • etc…

    I’m sure you can come up with a lot more scenarios. Typically once the data has been captured you can either “paste” it in a Project Custom Field for instance or use both Excel Services API and the Project Server PSI to automate data transfer/workflow/validation.

    As a reminder Excel Services and Excel Web App are two separate things as summarize on one of the Excel recommended post from above:

  • Excel Services: Version two of our real-time, interactive, Excel-based reporting and dashboard capabilities which ship as part of SharePoint Server 2010. Also included are APIs which enable rich business application development.
  • Excel Web App: The companion to the Excel client which extends the ability to create, view, edit, and collaborate on Excel workbooks using only a browser.
  • How about InfoPath? Yes InfoPath 2010 has great enhancements as well but I think Excel Web App might be a better alternative for some of the scenarios mentioned above.

    Not to mention other enhancements of Excel 2010 such as support for REST, never heard of this? Check out this great post from Andrew Lavinsky - Document Automation with the REST.API. Must read blog post about Excel Services and its extensibility is this one: Summary – new programmability capabilities in Excel Services, just amazing how far you can go and potentially nail you customer’s business needs with a little of code and Excel …!

    Bottom line, similar to all the great reporting options we have in 2010, Excel Web App (in addition to Excel Services which is required in project Server 2010) brings another set of capabilities to a Project Server deployment. Stay tune for more information on this subject (a white paper maybe :)).

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Office 2010 and SharePoint 2010 System Requirements

    Two recent must read posts from both the SharePoint and Office teams to better prepare your 2010 server and desktop requirements. The release is around the corner so ensure you are 2010 ready!

    As a reminded the following exists today on TechNet: Determine hardware and software requirements (Project Server 2010). (includes Project Professional 2010 and Project Web App (Microsoft Project 2010 Welcomes Project Web App!) requirements as well).

    Please note that Project Server 2010 does NOT support Windows Vista nor Windows 7 deployments!

    image image 

    Guess who’s hands are below, a tip: the ring on the right hand is a Canadian Iron Ring ?

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Business Intelligence and Microsoft Project Server 2010

    Timely subject with the following resources recently released on the topic; check out the following to learn more about it:

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project 2010 Forums

    In case you did not know we have a number of Forums for Project 2010 as listed below. These Forums are monitored by product experts from Microsoft and MVPs so don’t be shy and ask all your 2010 questions there. It’s great to see the feedback so far.

    Project Server 2010

    Project Server 2010 General Questions and Answers

    General questions, comments and discussions on Project Server 2010.

    Project Server 2010 - Setup, Upgrade, Administration and Operation

    Discuss setup, upgrade & migration, administration and operation for Project Server 2010.

    Project 2010 Customization and Programming

    Discuss customizations and programming for Project Web Access 2010, Project Server 2010, Project Professional 2010 and Project Standard 2010. Includes User Interface (UI) customizations, Project Server Interface (PSI) and Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Programming.

    Project Professional 2010

    Project Professional 2010 General Questions and Answers

    General questions, comments and discussions on Project Professional 2010.

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Announcing the release of the Microsoft Project 2010 Beta Demo Image

    [updated on Jan. 28th, direct download link is now live: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=8e709e2e-c9a1-4c7e-90d6-a52bcc8e5daf]

    As Doug mentioned it just got released today, it’s all based on the Public Beta (B2): Microsoft Project 2010 Beta Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution demo image now available for download

    Happy download (10GB compressed) and Project 2010 demos!

    Partners & Customers - Instructions on how to download the Microsoft Project 2010 EPM Solution demo image, installation instructions and associated presenter’s script by sending an email to the Proj2010@microsoft.com  alias.

    Please note that this is an Hyper-V image and hence it requires Windows Server 2008 as the base operating system for it to run (not to mentioned at least 8GB of RAM, and ideally a Solid State Drive for optimal performance, see this: http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie/archive/2009/08/13/the-ultimate-demo-machine-get-ready-to-demo-project-and-sharepoint-server-2010.aspx).

    Demo image contains (SharePoint Server Enterprise 2010, Project Server 2010, Office 2010, Project Professional 2010, Visio 2010, Visual Studio 2010 and more…):

    • PPM Governance: Separate governance workflows for both major and minor projects
    • Demand Management:
      • Major Project business case includes general information, strategic impact, resource plan, cost and benefit templates and risk assessment survey
      • Minor project includes general information and schedule PDP
      • Includes custom workspaces for both Major and Minor projects
    • Portfolio Selection & Analytics
      • Business Driver Library
      • Saved Business Driver Prioritizations
      • Saved Portfolio Analysis to run both Cost Constraint and Resource Constraint Analysis
    • Detailed Planning: During the detailed planning stages the project manager
      • Finalizes the project schedule
      • Finds and assigns named resources
      • Completes a secondary cost assessment
      • Baselines the plan
    • Manage:
      • Team Member: Team member receives and updates tasks and completes timesheet
      • Project Manager: Receives and approves task and timesheet updates
      • BI: Demo includes Corporate, Departmental and Project Level reports
  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Latest Microsoft Project RSS Feeds – January 2010

    Following this post last May 2009: My Favorite Microsoft Project RSS Feeds, my please below an OPML file with the latest Project related RSS feeds I read everyday (see these instructions for instance to import OMPL in IE http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Import-and-export-RSS-feeds-in-Internet-Explorer). It’s great to see increase in content in the past 9 months!

    If I have missed anyone’s blog that contains Microsoft Project content please let me know and I will gladly publish an updated list next time.

    (click OMPL link below , in IE right click View Source and save file on your local hard drive)

    MSFT Blogs MSFT Content Others
    image image image
  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Integrating Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 White Paper

    Happy to announce the recently released white paper: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 White Paper: Integrating Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 This white paper describes how to integrate Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 so that you can use the features of both programs to manage your projects.


    By integrating the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 Project accounting module with Office Project Server 2007, you can draw on features of both products for more granular control of the projects that your company manages. For example, you might want to use the complex resource scheduling capabilities of Office Project Server for a project that you are managing in Microsoft Dynamics AX.
    When you integrate the two programs, data changes in one program can be transferred to the other, so that all of your project records are current and synchronized in both programs.
    By using the flexible task hierarchy in Office Project Server, you can create a hierarchical structure that is similar to the hierarchical structure in Microsoft Dynamics AX. Corresponding hierarchies make it possible for information about projects, subprojects, and activities to flow between the two programs. As part of the synchronization process, actuals for labor, expenses, and revenue that are posted in Microsoft Dynamics AX are transferred to Office Project Server, and any changes to project or activity information in Office Project Server are transferred to the Microsoft Dynamics AX database.

    Prior post on the same topic: Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009 and Microsoft Project Server 2007 Demo Image

    Dyn-AX09_rgb_r image
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