Christophe Fiessinger's Blog Updates on Microsoft's Enterprise Social Networking (ESN) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) offerings
(updated on 5/14, SP2 webcast recording and deck are here)
We are happy to announce that Service Pack 2 (SP2) for Office Project 2007 and Office Project Server 2007 has been released to the Microsoft Download Center. It includes all the fixes prior to SP2 (including the February 2009 Cumulative Update), and also several enhancements to Project Standard and Professional, Project Server, SharePoint Server 2007 and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.
Before you install this service pack there are some very important things to understand. In this mail I'll try to provide you with the resources you need to be successful in your updates. It is essential that you understand the appropriate links, and thoroughly read the guidance and test out the patch in a separate environment prior to a production rollout.
I also encourage everyone to attend the Project 2007 Service Pack 2 Overview webcast scheduled for April 29 at 8 am Pacific Time, and April 30 at 5 pm Pacific Time (webcast details are posted on EPMConnect). Adrian Jenkins and myself will cover the following topics during the webcast: SP2 Overview, April Cumulative Update Overview, Deployment Best Practices, Next Steps, Questions and Answers.
Service Pack 2 (SP2) Description
Service Pack 2 (SP2) Download Center Page
WSS Language Pack (x86)
Service Pack 2 (SP2) Deployment Resources
Service Pack 2 (SP2) Related Technical Resources
Once your farm has been properly updated the new SP2 product version will be: 22.214.171.12422.1000 (database) and 126.96.36.19925.1000 (dll).
Getting Ready for Project Server 2010
As part of the SP2 release we announced the following requirements for the next release of SharePoint and Project Server: Windows Server 2008 and 64 bit. We will be publishing guidance on how to upgrade your existing Project Server 2007 farm to Windows Server 2008 64 bit in the coming weeks on TechNet. Expect full system requirements for Project Server 2010 at a latter date.
Please note we will release a Service Pack 2 for Project Portfolio Server 2007 within the next two months, I will send an email once it has been released.
I’m thrilled to announce the release of the following two white papers which provide step by step guidance on surfacing key Project Portfolio Management data into insightful reports and dashboards:
For additional information on Microsoft Project Server 2010 business intelligence & reporting please check out Business Intelligence in Project Server 2010.
Microsoft Project Server 2010 Reporting with Excel Services, 71 pages
Table Of Content
The purpose of this document is to provide enough detail to be able to create and deploy reports which will support the deployment of Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution. Microsoft EPM Solution relies on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 or 2008 R2, Microsoft Project Server 2010 and Microsoft Project Professional 2010. Although each individual component of the solution is well documented on TechNet and MSDN (for the Business Intelligence), little documentation exists, as of today, which describes a step-by-step approach to building reports specific to Project Server 2010 data with Excel and Excel Services.
This document is not intended to provide an in-depth description of all the features available in Excel 2007 or 2010 and Excel Services 2010 when building a report but rather provide the building blocks required to ‘be up and running’ quickly.
Creating Dashboards for Microsoft Project Server 2010, 115 pages
The purpose of this document is to provide sufficient detail to fully design and implement Business Intelligence Dashboards that will support an Enterprise Project Management Solution (EPM), which consists primarily of SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010. It also includes detailed steps on how to replicate reports and dashboards included in the Project Server 2010 demonstration and evaluation pack available on the Microsoft Download Center. The purpose is to help you easily create reports and dashboards for your environment with similar characteristics.
The target audience for this document is the business owner and report developers who are looking for a quick way to develop Dashboards that will support an Enterprise Project Management Solution for their organization.
I just came accross this great tool VhdResizer that will achieve the following:
VhdResize will resize Microsoft's VHD files and will also convert between Fixed and Dynamic file types. This is a sector by sector copy operation from one size/type to the other and the source file remains unaltered.
With the recent release of Microsoft Project Server 2010 (PS) last May and its rapid adoption by customers, a recurring question I have seen and been asked is how can I integrate Project Server 2010 with application X? Where application X can be a combination of the following:
Import financial information, and WBS
The following Microsoft Project Server data type/entities are typically synched:
And there are more I have seen or heard but basically they revolve around the above application types. So how do I interface PS with these other mission critical applications (also referred to as Line Of Business Integration or LOBI) within my organization? This is obviously a very broad topic and this blog post is by no means exhaustive but let me try to get you started in answering this question.
Well as you can guess IT DEPENDS! The biggest challenge and the most complex part of such integration is clearly defining the scenario, documenting what data will be transferred between the two systems, what’s the “master” and what’s the “slave”, exception handling (if an update is rejected what happens for instance? If a task is deleted what happens? etc.)
The second phase is implementing the bridge and for that as mentioned in this recent post: Microsoft Project Server 2010 Integration with SAP you have two options: either use an existing partner solution that is publically available (search here for instance: http://www.microsoft.com/project/en/us/partners.aspx or BING it) or you can build your own connector and in that case look at the Microsoft Project 2010 Software Development Kit.
Points to consider when integrating PS with LOB (by no mean exhaustive):
What’s the specific use case?
Interface scalability and performance – was on a recent call with a partner who realized their interface to another system did not took too long to process updates…
What PS data entities (Project, Task, Resource, Lookup Table) needs to be updated and transferred? How is the custom data mapping defined?
Interface logging and monitoring - would expect any solution whether its of the shelve or custom made to provide visibility of data updates so that it can be easily monitored and maintained
What are the additional Custom Fields required in PS to enable the transfer?
Prepping for my TechEd presentations in less than two weeks (Microsoft Project Presence at Tech.Ed North America 2010), I worked on a presentation to demo how easy it is to upgrade from Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 to Microsoft Project Server 2010 (come to Rolly and I’s session entitled Deploying and Upgrading to Microsoft Project Server 2010. I used the five sample databases (yes five: one SharePoint content, and four PWA instance databases) that we built for our core EPM 2007 demo virtual machine (VM) (about 550MB of bak files). I backed up all five dbs from my 2007 farm/demo VM and created an ISO with the five databases and two magic scripts (one to restore the dbs in T-SQL and one PowerShell script to upgrade the databases (basically two commands: Mount-SPContentDatabase and New-SPProjectWebInstance), ready to mount to my new 2010 demo VM.
And guess what… on my demo laptop (yes with 8GB RAM, 4 cores, and dual SSD), I had the Project Server 2010 and SharePoint Server 2010 demo virtual machine up and running; in 10min my PWA 2007 instance got upgraded to 2010!!! Yes you heard me, barely enough time for a coffee. Want a live demo come to New Orleans and see it yourself!
More seriously used the RESTORE DATABASE T-SQL command which took 30s; then ran the following two PowerShell commands (content db upgrade took about 2min, and rest to upgrade Project Server 2007 four dbs and provision PWA):
Mount-SPContentDatabase -Name Litware_Content -WebApplication Project New-SPProjectWebInstance -Url http://project.contoso.com/litware -AdminAccount "CONTOSO\Administrator" -PrimaryDbserver "DEMO2010A" -PublishedDbname "Litware_Published" -ArchiveDbname "Litware_Archive" -DraftDbname "Litware_Draft" -ReportingDbserver "DEMO2010A" -ReportingDbname "Litware_Reporting"
Mount-SPContentDatabase -Name Litware_Content -WebApplication Project
New-SPProjectWebInstance -Url http://project.contoso.com/litware -AdminAccount "CONTOSO\Administrator" -PrimaryDbserver "DEMO2010A" -PublishedDbname "Litware_Published" -ArchiveDbname "Litware_Archive" -DraftDbname "Litware_Draft" -ReportingDbserver "DEMO2010A" -ReportingDbname "Litware_Reporting"
As usual a lot more detailed information on TechNet to conduct an upgrade or migration: Upgrade and Migration for Project Server 2010 (this article in particular: Database-attach full upgrade to Project Server 2010). Yes there is a lot more process/training/customization etc… to upgrade to 2010 but at least on the data front its super easy!
See the upgrade site below (notice the dashboard quick links from the EPM 2007 PPM demo VM). Happy upgrade!
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:
And voila! It’s that easy in 2010!
I have seen a few questions recently in the Microsoft Project Server Forum and other in other social platform about the integration of Microsoft Project Server 2010 and Dynamics CRM 2011, and since I delivered a session on this topic at an event a few months ago, I wanted to share my thoughts on the subject. Before I go any further I think it’s important to understand the Microsoft Dynamics CRM offering, hence I recommend you look at our official CRM product portal for a basic understanding of our offering: http://crm.dynamics.com/en-us/home At a high level Microsoft Dynamics CRM offers the three solutions:
The goal of the session I co-delivered with a CRM consultant was to investigate integration scenarios between the two line of business applications (CRM & PPM) and showcase integration options between the two extensible platform. We introduced and demonstrated the following two scenario during that session:
Due to not only the rich extensibility of both products but also to the ease programming of both, even a marketing person like myself (!) with the help of a CRM trained consultant we were able to built these demos in a few days (including a CRM workflow creating a Project Server project using a standard PSI call). For more information on the extensibility of each please refer to the Developer centers on MSDN:
If you do not have programming experience on MSFT CRM or Project Server I highly recommend you engage Microsoft certified CRM & PPM partners or Microsoft Consulting Services to help your with the technical aspect of the integration. The two scenarios/use cases presented above are by no means exhaustive and more can achieve between Microsoft CRM and PPM offerings. In summary integrating Microsoft Project Server and Dynamics CRM offers a strong line of business application and integration is possible today using custom code thanks to their respective rich extensibility. Happy integration projects and see you next month at Microsoft Project Conference 2012 in Phoenix!
Following this post (New SQL Reporting Services Sample Reports for Project Server), please find below the list of Excel Services (samples attached) reports included in the newly released demo VPC.
If you want to learn more about Excel Services (requires SharePoint Server) two new great books have been published on the subject:
FYI I have just completed the install of Project Server 2007 + Service Pack 1 (and Office Server 2007 + SP1 as well) using Windows Server 2008 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) from MSDN.
I used this two great posts from Bill Baer to complete the install:
Two screen captures to prove it (check bottom right corner :)
Expect more posts in the future about the advantages of running PS 2007 on W2K8 (IIS7, hypervisor-based virtualization ...).
In the meantime for more information about Windows Server 2008, please check the official Microsoft site here: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2008/default.mspx
Last week we released Microsoft Dynamics AX 2009, and with it comes an out of the box integration with Project Server 2007.
Both products address a common scenario: Line Of Business Integration (LOBI) between an ERP system and Project Server; in this case no need for custom code (check out the LOBI session code sample Brian Smith and I did at TechEd Developer last week in Orlando)!