March, 2011

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

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project Conference 2012 March 19-22, 2012– SAVE THE DATE!

    It’s official, our next Microsoft Project Conference will be held a year from now in sunny Phoenix: Next Project Conference – March 19-22, 2012. We will have plenty more content about the event in the future; until then as mentioned in the past you cannot miss this event for the quality of the content delivered by experts from our community worldwide and from the Microsoft Project group, not to mention the key networking opportunities you will gain at this event.

    Start planning by blocking off your calendar!

    Microsoft Project Conference 2012

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Project/Project Server Presence at Tech·Ed 2011

    Please find below a summary of the Microsoft Project and Project Server presence at the upcoming Microsoft Tech.Ed North America 2011 in Atlanta, May 16-19, 2011. We have a very exciting content and speakers line up (see summary below); not to mention a full Project booth with experts from Microsoft product group, support, consulting services and Project MVPs. Last but not least, yes we will have exciting giveaways as well, stay tune for more information, in the meantime register and attend (point your manager to this page: How to Convince Your Boss).

    See you in Atlanta in May!

    Title Description Speaker
    OSP202 SharePoint Governance and Lifecycle Management with Microsoft Project Server 2010 Is SharePoint becoming an important part of your company’s overall IT offering? If so, it's likely that you have a need to better manage SharePoint business requests – things like new sites, workflows, custom applications, web parts, and Business Intelligence dashboards. Join industry expert Scott Jamison as he discusses the importance of SharePoint lifecycle management from an IT governance perspective. We’ll introduce a free, downloadable solution that provides a powerful request and workflow process, enabling IT to view, analyze, prioritize and resource requests using the workflow and portfolio analytics capabilities of Project Server 2010. Business users are able to make special project requests through a form in Project Web App, and project managers can monitor and assign resources, evaluate priorities, and manage their overall project portfolio more efficiently. Scott Jamison, Christophe Fiessinger

    OSP203 Application Lifecycle Management: Microsoft Project Server 2010 and Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010, Better Together

    The Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack further strengthens the Microsoft Application Lifecycle Management Solution by bridging the gap between Project Portfolio Management and Application Development. By bringing the best of these two worlds together, it creates a win-win situation that enables developers and project managers to use the tools and processes of their choice and collaborate at the granularity they desire. Bi-directional data synchronization between Team Foundation Server and Project Server allows the PMO and Development teams to share project information transparently and provide management with insight into resource utilization, portfolio execution and alignment with strategic objectives. This session provides an overview and demonstrates the Team Foundation Server and Project Server Integration feature pack. Ed Blankenship, Christophe Fiessinger

    OSP371-INT Best Practices Troubleshooting Microsoft Project Server 2010 Deployments

    Project Server 2010 is an integrated solution with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise, and makes extensive use of Microsoft SQL Server – both through SharePoint and directly with its own databases. Troubleshooting requires knowledge of the full stack and the tools associated with gathering and analyzing data from each of the layers. This session highlights how these various tools are used in Microsoft Premier Support to troubleshoot issues and help resolve customers' problems – and shows how you can use these tools. Brian Smith

    TechEd NA 2011

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Project Server 2010 Driver Export/Import Tool

    While I was working on a demo VM, and similar to the Playbook tool (Microsoft Project Server 2010 Server Settings Backup/Restore Tool) I wrote this tool to easily export all the business drivers and impact statements from one PWA instance into a XML file and let you import them all (drivers & impact statements) into another PWA instance (few screenshots below). I have provided the source code so you can modify at will! You could also use this to backup a snapshot of drivers and impact statements at regular interval. I did not include prioritization but you could easily extend it yourself using the documented API in the SDK. This tool further illustrates how extensible the Project Server 2010 platform is.

    As usual please test this out on a test environment before using it production.

    Project Server 2010 Drivers Project Server 2010 Drivers
  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    New white paper: Portfolio Analysis with Microsoft Project Server 2010

    I am very excited to announce the release of a great white paper written by Andrew Lavinsky from UMT Consulting Group, entitled Portfolio Analysis with Microsoft Project Server 2010, A Guide for the Business User. This 132 pages document is an easy read with lots of figures and diagrams that will explain in details the mechanism and functionality of portfolio analytics capabilities. Start you download!

    Summary:

    This white paper is a comprehensive user guide for the Portfolio Analysis module of Microsoft Project Server 2010. The intended audience for this document is an experienced non-technical user or PMO administrator charged with analyzing portfolios of projects within Project Server 2010.This white paper assumes that the reader has a basic understanding of the mechanics of working with resource loaded projects within Microsoft Project Professional 2010.This white paper does not address the technical aspects of configuring Project Server 2010 to support Portfolio Analysis, that is, any of the functionality typically found on the Server Settings page of Microsoft Project Web App (with several minor exceptions as noted). This white paper does not address the implementation of workflow to support organizational Demand Management practices, including discussion of Project Detail Pages or Enterprise Project Types.

    In other words, this white paper focuses primarily on the new functionality that is behind these three simple links on the Project Web App Quick Launch:

    • Driver Library
    • Driver Prioritization
    • Portfolio Analyses

    High level table of content:

    1. Foreword
    2. Executive Summary
    3. Process Overview
    4. Preparing for Portfolio Analysis
    5. Defining the Portfolio
    6. Performing Cost Analysis
    7. Performing Resource Analysis
    8. Completing the Analysis
    9. Conclusion
    10. About the Author
    11. List of Figures
    12. List of Tables
    13. References
  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    New Microsoft ALM case study: Microsoft Team Cuts Status Meeting Time by 90 Percent and Improves Information Access!

    Following the release of the Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack  last Tuesday (Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack has released!) I’m very happy to announce the very first customer case study on the topic of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM): http://www.microsoft.com/casestudies/Microsoft-Visual-Studio-Team-Foundation-Server-2010/Microsoft-IT/Microsoft-Team-Cuts-Status-Meeting-Time-by-90-Percent-and-Improves-Information-Access/4000009358

    Microsoft Team Cuts Status Meeting Time by 90 Percent and Improves Information Access

    MSCom Grid, part of the IT team at Microsoft, wanted to improve collaboration between project managers and developers, who were using different tools to manage workflow. It wanted better and more objective insight into progress and quality, and how changes would affect scheduling. MSCom Grid implemented the Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack, which connects Team Foundation Server with Microsoft Project Server 2010. By sharing data more efficiently, the team was able to reduce weekly time spent in status meetings from 20 hours to 2 hours. Now developers and project managers can focus on their work instead of spending hours each week in status report meetings, and managers can make better, data-driven decisions. Also, they have streamlined access to information they need and have better insight into the entire ALM process.

    Quotes from Michael Lucas, Program Management Lead Microsoft

    • When we talk with developers and testers, we can easily correlate that schedule to the details in Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010. As a result, everyone has better insight.
    • We no longer spend more than 20 hours a week in status meetings. By sharing information with the feature pack solution, the team can focus on the discipline they’re good at.

    More Project & Project Server customer evidence can be found here.

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack has released!

    As announced today on the main Project blog: New Feature Pack from Visual Studio Improves Project Management and Software Development Team Collaboration its released! After working on this launch since last year I’m very very very excited to see this go-live. Customers and partners feedback has been extremely positive. I believe it puts Microsoft in a very unique position against others in terms of offering a very strong Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) solution. As mentioned on the other post, expect a lot more content on this topic in the coming months, in the meantime start your download!

    Team Foundation Server 2010 and Project Server Integration Feature Pack

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Great read: How to Choose the Right Business Intelligence Technology to Suit Your Style – Microsoft BI!

    Great white paper published in January from Microsoft Business Intelligence team: Choose the right business intelligence technology to suit your style (white paper)

    From the white paper’s introduction:

    This white paper discusses five different styles of BI reporting:

    • Self-Service Analysis – Self-Service Analysis describes free-form reporting and analysis by users so that they can integrate data from disparate sources and drill-down and understand the root cause for data anomalies. These non-technical users value the ability to perform their own reporting and analysis without relying on IT or others.
    • Business Reporting – This style describes formatted reports that are created by advanced business users or analysts. Reports are typically based upon approved corporate data, and then shared more broadly with managers, teams, or departments. In this style, IT involvement is moderate, usually overseeing the distribution and monitoring of the reporting environment and building of the structured data layer upon which the reports are built.
    • Parameterized & Operational Reporting – Similar to the Business Reporting style, Parameterized &Operational Reporting is also characterized by fixed-format reports. The reports, however, are authored and managed by IT instead of business users and usually follow a pixel perfect format and rendering style. Consistency, scalability, manageability, and automated distribution are some of the key characteristics of this style.
    • Performance Monitoring – This style describes dashboard-style reports that allow users to quickly and easily monitor the performance of their business. This style is catered to executive level or department leadership who require at-a-glance visibility on the health of the business, but it often also permits further investigation via interactivity.
    • Scorecarding – Scorecarding is a style that describes highly summarized views with Key Performance Indicators (or KPIs) measured and scored against predefined targets such as a balanced scorecard. This style is generally a part of a performance management program, though it can also be used to measure operational performance.

    This white paper provides readers a practical guide on how to identify both which BI style is being used as well as the tools that best fit each of the styles. The white paper outlines the following:

    • The key characteristic of the BI style in the Description section.
    • The Tool Options to consider along with the recommended “Best Fit” for the characteristics of the style
    • Infrastructure considerations
    • A Case Study highlighting how the “best fit” technology was used to support that style

    Microsoft Business Intelligence

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    How to leverage Dynamic Memory in your SharePoint and Project Server 2010 Demo VM

    Following the release of Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) last week, and following a session I attended on the benefits of SP1 in Hyper-V I wanted to try it out on the base SharePoint Server and Project Server 2010 demo virtual machine you all have access to (http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=9728417 ). Basically the two two features with SP1 are Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX (yes there are plenty of content on TechNet, see this for instance for more information Hyper-V Dynamic Memory Configuration Guidehttp://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff817651(WS.10).aspx )

    Dynamic Memory (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/hyperv-overview.aspx)

    New in Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, Dynamic Memory enables customers to better utilize the memory resources of Hyper-V hosts by balancing how memory is distributed between running virtual machines. Memory can be dynamically reallocated between different virtual machines in response to the changing workloads of these machines. Dynamic Memory thus enables more efficient use of memory while maintaining consistent workload performance and scalability. Implementing Dynamic Memory means that higher levels of server consolidation can be achieved with minimal impact on performance. Dynamic Memory also means larger numbers of virtual desktops per Hyper-V host for VDI scenarios. The net result for both scenarios is more efficient use of expensive server hardware resources, which can translate into easier management and lower costs. Historically, different methods have been used to deploy operating systems and applications to physical and virtual computers. For virtual computers, the .vhd file format has become a de facto standard for deploying and interchanging preconfigured operating systems and applications. Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2 supports two important updates concerning .vhd files.

    What is Microsoft RemoteFX? (http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/en/us/rds-remotefx.aspx)

    Microsoft RemoteFX introduces a new set of end user experience enhancements to remote desktop computing in Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1 that enable a rich, local-like desktop environment over the network. With RemoteFX, connected knowledge and task workers can experience their workspace in full fidelity, improving end user productivity, while their applications and data are kept highly secure and centrally managed in the data center.

    By leveraging the power of advanced codecs and virtualized graphics resources on the data center host, RemoteFX adds support for any application, including 3D, and rich media to a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) environment. RemoteFX also adds broad USB peripheral support for virtual desktops. In doing so, RemoteFX complements and extends the user experience enhancements of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) in Windows Server 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Services.

    So how do you enable Dynamic Memory on a demo VM? It’s actually very very easy:

    • Apply Service Pack 1 to your host Windows Server 2008 R2 demo machine, a laptop in my case
    • Apply SP1 to the VM
    • Upgrade the VM’s integration service to SP1
    • You will now have new options within the settings of your VM as show below:

    Memory weight will be key when you have multiple VM (like a dedicated Exchange VM along side another VM with SharePoint for instance).

    Voila happy fine tuning your virtualization rigs!

    Hyper-V Dynamic Memory

    Good to see the VM wants a lot more memory than I have (8GB laptop):

    Hyper-V Dynamic Memory

    PS: RemoteFX is a different story, might be another post…

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