July, 2010

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

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Project Server 2010 and SharePoint 2010: one farm or multiple?

    [Update 11/30/2010 – another great reason to deploy it in a single farm is the ability to integrate Project Server web parts in other location within a farm, see this documentation on TechNet for more info. Plan for Project Server 2010 Web Parts]

    Following a number of questions on this topic at Tech.Ed a few weeks ago and this recent post from Joel Oleson: Project Server 2010 and SharePoint 2010 Coexistence please find below my humble opinion on this question: Should Project Server 2010 be deployed in a standalone Farm or should it be deployed in an existing SharePoint Farm?

    First lets start with an overview of the two deployment scenarios:

    1. Together/Coexistence - Single farm with both Project Server and SharePoint Server 2010
    2. Apart/Standalone - Dedicated Project Server Farm running SharePoint Server 2010

    As a reminder please find the version compatibility below (see recent Tech.Ed presentation below); in a nutshell you cannot mix 2007/2010 version of Project Server and SharePoint:

    image

    So while mix scenarios are not supported, it is possible to go from 1 to 2 (Together to Apart) or the reverse from 2 to 1 as shown below

    image

    So back to the initial question, which scenario to choose (again there are plenty more pros and cons I have put together in these slides listed below), well it depends as listed below, but I would recommend a single farm for the following reasons:

    image image

    Why Together (#1) in no particular order:

    • Single Infrastructure: You can leverage the same infrastructure you have put in place for your farm, for instance lets say you have architected the farm for high availability on all tiers (redundancy/multiple servers at the Web Front End and Application tiers, and a SQL cluster for storage), why buy another set of hardware for a Project Web App (PWA) Farm and duplicate resources? Similarly why not apply software update, cumulative updates at the same time, why duplicate efforts across farms?
    • Content Management: If you have two separate farm all the SharePoint content generated during the usage of Project Server (document artifacts etc…) cannot be stored in your main content management farm, hence you will duplicate your Enterprise Content Management efforts (governance, digital asset management, record management, etc…), similarly you cannot integrate PWA web parts across farms (we will publish an article this month on what PWA web parts can be integrate in different sites/pages of a Farm)…
    • Project Server is a SharePoint App: yes it is and yes it’s not free! but since 2007 we have been build on SharePoint so again why a separate farm. As an anecdote since we are built SharePoint if you deploy Project Server in a standalone farm (scenario 2) you are effectively deploying a second SP Farm in your organization… The 2010 version has gone a long way in terms of scalability, stability/quality so why not deploy it in the same intranet farm according to documented best practices and as usual monitor it so you are always pro-active if issue arises or if the PWA is becoming resource constrained. So why start putting every Service App/Web App in separate Farms, isn't the power the consolidation from a IT and functional point of view?

    While with the 2007 version most customer deployment I saw was about a 50/50 split between 1 and 2 (I did talk to a few customers that did not realized what they lost from a functional point of view by separating the farms and were looking for non-supported workaround); in 2010 with the tighter integration with SharePoint 2010 (the Business Intelligence/Reporting capabilities used by PWA or the Demand Management/Workflow capabilities to name a few) and the fact that organization want a consolidated infrastructure for Collaboration (whether its document management, performance management or project management) I would  strongly recommend option 1. To follow up on Joel’s arguments (yes this is a constructive argument and Joel and I know one another!):

    • Licensing – one could argue that it could cost more to have two farms, if for instance you have redundant servers in both farms you will need to purchase more SharePoint Server licenses for instance. Additionally while its important to focus on acquisition cost, a more important vision is to look at Return On Investment, Total Cost of Ownership and measure the true value of a single/multiple farm over their lifespan. Again you will loose value and incur additional maintenance cost by going with two separate farms as mentioned above.
    • Performance – well yes potentially but if you Farm has been architected properly by SP experts and if it’s monitored according to best practices then performance should not be an issue, typically the bottle neck at the end of the day is the database tier (SQL servers: CPU/RAM and disk I/O)
    • Patching – yes but again there are two sides to this, you can argue that since Project Server Cumulative update are part of the SharePoint Server CU why not patch all at once instead of duplicate efforts?

    So again think of the functional, technical, maintenance, licensing implication of deploying Project Server and SharePoint Server together or apart, thanks to Joel for starting the debate Smile, in the end the great news whether you decide to go with 1 or 2 is that you can always reverse the decision as mentioned before. As with all my post feel free to send feedback and share your opinion. Happy Project Server 2010 and SharePoint 2010 deployment!

    image

    Resources on this subject:

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project Server and Team Foundation Server 2010 CTP Virtual Machine

    ** Updated 9/22/2010 ** – on the same topic please check this post as well: Microsoft Project Server and Team Foundation Server 2010 Technical Preview Reminders

    Very happy to announce the released by the TFS team of the Microsoft® Team Foundation Server® 2010 and Microsoft Project Server® 2010 Integration CTP Hyper-V Virtual Machine. This virtual machine provides a community technical preview (CTP) of the integration of Team Foundation Sever 2010 with Project Server 2010. Included with this download are four walkthroughs scenarios that demonstrate using enterprise project plans in Project Server associated with team projects in Team Foundation Server.  The integration work is not yet complete but the engineering team would like to hear your feedback on the integration of the two products and the supported scenarios.  The Beta release is tentatively scheduled in the fall and will be highly dependent on the CTP feedback received. Please note this CTP is provided as a Virtual Machine and is not intended to be used in a production environment.

    The download contains the full Hyper-V VM, four  walkthrough scenarios listed below:

    1. Real-time project status for the PMO,
    2. Agile teams are no longer black holes,
    3. Set the dial on your project plan details
    4. Resource visibility for the PMO

    Download CTP VM: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=196413

    Give feedback on our new Project Server integration Forum: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/tfsprojectsrvint

    Additional VM information can be found on Brian Harry’s blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/bharry/archive/2010/07/06/tfs-2010-support-for-project-server.aspx

    Overview

    This community technical preview of Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server 2010 Integration allows teams to share data between the two servers. This virtual machine includes enterprise project plans in Project Server mapped to team projects in Team Foundation Server, along with sample data to highlight key integration scenarios. The walkthrough documents provide four scenarios that simulate the interactions between the project manager, working in Project Server, and the software development team, working in Team Foundation Server.
    The value of Project Server and Team Foundation Server integration is to provide up-to-date project status and resource availability across agile and formal teams; help project managers track high-level requirements and allow the team lead to manage the details; and permit project managers to live in Project Server and manage projects across the enterprise while development team leads live in Team Foundation Server and manage their software development project. With this tool, the Project Management Office (PMO) is able to plan, collaborate and track real-time progress made by formal or agile teams.
    This virtual machine is running Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition R2. It contains a full installation of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate, Project Server 2010, with Office 2010 and all necessary prerequisites. All Windows Updates as of April 16, 2010 have been applied.

    Project Server 2010

    Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Project Server 2010 Risk Evaluation Form Solution

    Following yesterday’s webcast: Microsoft Project and SharePoint Server 2010 Better Together–free webcast July 27 & 28 someone asked how can the Risk Evaluation demoed be customized to your own business needs?

    This form is based on an InfoPath custom form and stores its answers tied to each project in the Project Risk Forms library in the demo dataset.

    image

    To customize the form to your needs (risk assessment questionnaire) do the following:

    You can also download and check our based demo VM to see how we did in our sample demo dataset: http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9713956

    Project 2010 Business Risk

    Project 2010 Technology Risk

    Project 2010 Implementation Risk

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Search Project Server 2010 data using SharePoint BCS and FAST Search

    Hello just published the following solution on MSDN Code Gallery: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/PS2010Search (a good follow up to this solution I published in 2008 on CodePlex: Search Project Server data using MOSS' BDC and Enterprise Search - CodePlex Solution Starter)

    The following project demonstrates how to setup Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Business Connectivity Services (BCS) and SharePoint 2010 FAST Search to query Project Server 2010's Project Project Web App (PWA) entities: Project, Task, and Resource. This code sample leverages the recently released 2010 Information Worker Demonstration and Evaluation Virtual Machine (RTM) as well as the Microsoft Project 2010 Demonstration and Evaluation Installation Pack. While the documentation explains how to configure search within that demo VM and dataset you could easily leverage this document to implement the same functionality in your own Project Server 2010 and SharePoint 2010 environment. If you have any questions or feedback please leverage MSDN Code Gallery to ask questions (“Discussions” tab).

    Sample queries from this solution to wet your appetite (check out step by step document for more sample queries):

    Project with the Project Health KPI set to Green:

    image

    Manually Scheduled tasks:

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    Resources belonging to the IT department:

    image

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project Server 2010 Video demos and training–July 2010

    Great landing page the TechNet writers have put together, plenty of content for you to watch during the relaxing summer days! http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff628958.aspx

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    New Book: Implementing and Administering Microsoft Project Server 2010–Must Buy!

    Just finished reading Implementing and Administering Microsoft Project Server 2010 and have to admit I was very impressed by the extend and the depth of the content. If you need a reference book for Project Server 2010 or a study guide this has to be one one of them! A well worth investment for anyone who deploys or administer Project Server 2010. See yourself by checking this impressive Table of Content.

    Excellent job Gary, Dale and Tony from msProjectExperts!

    Configuring and Administering Microsoft Project Server 2010
    Overview

    A must-read learning guide and reference for implementers and administrators who deploy or manage the Microsoft EPM platform. This book includes deployment guidance from forming a team through gathering requirements and managing a pilot. Follow our best practice installation and configuration guide to achieve success. Authors: Gary L. Chefetz, Dale A. Howard & Tony Zink; ISBN: 978-1-934240-09-0; PAGES: 912

    http://projectserverbooks.com/books/index.aspx

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project and SharePoint Server 2010 Better Together - white paper & webcasts

    I am very excited to announce the release of a 54 pages white paper written by Tim Cermak and Tim Runcie from Advisicon, entitled Microsoft Project and SharePoint Server 2010 -- Better Together: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=197213. In conjunction with this release, we will be delivering a two part webcast series next week describing the concepts discussed in the white paper (see below).

    Executive Summary

    Managing projects is so much more than just checking task status, schedules and the critical path. It is a multi-faceted animal that can become a beast if not controlled. Projects succeed and thrive with effective collaboration and control over knowledge assets to deliver top and bottom-line business results. Keeping the Project Team and stakeholders up to date on all aspects of a project’s status is crucial to managing stakeholders and completing a project successfully. The ability to bring robust Project, Program and Portfolio Management together with extensive collaboration has been long in coming, but it is now captured in the new release of Microsoft Project Server 2010.

    Microsoft SharePoint Server provides the most widely used collaboration platform on the market today, with a powerful set of capabilities and features. Enterprise Project Management (EPM) helps organizations select and deliver the right projects, reduce costs, drive efficiencies, and ultimately plant the seeds to grow the business. However, in most organizations, while operating mostly in parallel, these elements remain separate from one another.

    The new feature set in Microsoft Project Server 2010 creates a formidable tool that provides multiple capabilities to encompass successful Project Management, Program Management and Portfolio Management. Now, a single tool can guide an entire organization in selecting, planning, executing and managing its initiatives with the specific goals of meeting project success metrics, aligning with strategic objectives and driving the business forward toward its goals.

    This whitepaper is written with the end user in mind. It will highlight the new features in Project Server 2010 and how this tool has evolved into a must-have requirement for Project Management. You will see capabilities in this release that you have been wanting, hoping for and most likely haven’t even thought of. Plus with Microsoft tethering Project to their shining star, SharePoint, it has created the most significant Project release of the decade.

    Webcasts

    Title

    Date/Time

    Description

    Presenter

    Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010: Focus on Project Management

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)

    In this webcast, we introduce project management methodologies for people who are familiar with collaboration platforms. Discover how Microsoft Project Server 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 are better together. Topics we cover include risk management, issue management, resource constraint management, project alignment with strategic business objectives, demand management, cost analysis, and business intelligence for dashboards and status reporting.

    Tim Cermak, Senior Portfolio Advisor, Advisicon, Inc.

    Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010: Focus on Collaboration

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)

    In this webcast, we introduce the integration of collaboration strategies and features of Microsoft Project Server 2010 for participants in a project management office (PMO)/project portfolio management (PPM) environment. Join us to learn what Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 has to offer with features such as Project Sites and Workspaces, version control, task synchronization between Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010, governance workflows, tagging, wikis, discussion boards, integration of connectivity with remote team members via the web and mobile devices, and business intelligence for dynamic reporting.

    Tim Cermak, Senior Portfolio Advisor, Advisicon, Inc.

    You need to register for the free of charge webcast by clicking the links below; then you get emailed a link to sign on and participate in the web cast on its date and time (please note only the first two webcast are available for registration at this stage). Each TechNet webcast is recorded for later viewing which should be through the same registration URL: http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/epm.aspx?tab=webcasts

    As a reminder a similar white paper and webcasts focused on Demand Management and Portfolio Strategy were published and delivered since May, 2010:

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project and SharePoint Server 2010 Better Together–free webcast July 27 & 28

    Don’t forget it’s tomorrow morning and Wednesday as announced ten days ago: Microsoft Project and SharePoint Server 2010 Better Together - white paper & webcasts

    Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010: Focus on Project Management

    Tuesday, July 27, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)

    In this webcast, we introduce project management methodologies for people who are familiar with collaboration platforms. Discover how Microsoft Project Server 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 are better together. Topics we cover include risk management, issue management, resource constraint management, project alignment with strategic business objectives, demand management, cost analysis, and business intelligence for dashboards and status reporting.

    Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010: Focus on Collaboration

    Wednesday, July 28, 2010 8:00 AM Pacific Time (US & Canada)

    In this webcast, we introduce the integration of collaboration strategies and features of Microsoft Project Server 2010 for participants in a project management office (PMO)/project portfolio management (PPM) environment. Join us to learn what Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 has to offer with features such as Project Sites and Workspaces, version control, task synchronization between Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010, governance workflows, tagging, wikis, discussion boards, integration of connectivity with remote team members via the web and mobile devices, and business intelligence for dynamic reporting.

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Just passed Exam 70-177: TS: Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuring

    Hello I have just passed this morning the very first Microsoft Project Server 2010 exam: Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuring with a very good score. Skills measured: Installing Project Server 2010 (23 percent); Managing Resources and Security (25 percent); Configuring Project Server 2010 (25 percent); Administering Project Server 2010 (27 percent). Beside being an avid fan of all content on TechNet and having installed Project Server 2010 multiple times, the following two books I blogged about before are great study guides for the exam:

    Would expect all you consultants/partners/customers that deploy and configure Project Server 2010 every day to be certified soon!

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Project Server and Team Foundation Server 2010 Integration Technical Preview webcast on August 20th, 2010

    Following this announcement Microsoft Project Server and Team Foundation Server 2010 CTP Virtual Machine I am happy to announced that we will delivering a webcast to showcase the integration between Team Foundation Sever 2010 with Project Server 2010 on August 20th, 2010 from 8 to 9am Pacific Time, so book your calendars, download the VM to test it out yourself and asks lots of questions during the webcast, don’t be shy we want to hear from you Smile! Registration: https://msevents.microsoft.com/CUI/WebCastEventDetails.aspx?EventID=1032456432&EventCategory=4&culture=en-US&CountryCode=US

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