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

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    SharePoint Products and Technologies customization policy (white paper)

    Must read for anyone that will do SharePoint customizations!

    Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies such as Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 are highly customizable. This makes these products and technologies extremely flexible and adaptable to the needs of the enterprise. However, hosting customizations can be challenging to the IT organization.

    This white paper:

    ¾  Describes processes for managing customization within an enterprise's SharePoint Products and Technologies hosting environment.

    ¾  Describes the types of customization available in a SharePoint Products and Technologies environment.

    ¾  Recommends IT policy toward each type of customization at each of three levels of service.

    ¾  Details service policies that might affect customization planning or implementation.

    Read this paper online at:

    ¾  SharePoint Products and Technologies customization policy (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=92311&clcid=0x409)

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    Just Released: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server – Project Server 2007 Connector

    We are pleased to announce the release of Visual Studio Team Foundation Server – Project Server 2007 Connector which is available at http://www.codeplex.com/pstfsconnector.

    Overview

    The Visual Studio Team Foundation Server - Project Server 2007 Connector is designed to integrate the project management capabilities of TFS with Project Server 2007. It's been developed by the Visual Studio Team System Rangers in response to significant customer demand for a connector solution. Future versions of Team System will have native integration with Project Server, in the meantime this Connector solution is the best way to integrate the two Microsoft products. This solution builds on the previous PS2003 VSTS Connector, published on GotDotNet. This solution is intended to provide guidance, provided as source code that can be used "as is," extended, or modified.

    Background

    Microsoft® Office Project Server 2007 and Microsoft Visual Studio® 2005 Team Foundation Server (TFS) are two powerful applications that are each used in different ways for management of software development projects. Up-to-date project information requires a seamless integration between the development environment and the project management tool.

    Managing projects, resources, and related information for an entire enterprise requires a holistic view and integration of project management data with the software development lifecycle. The Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solution with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 can help organizations effectively manage and coordinate people, projects, and processes. The Microsoft EPM solution provides tools for strong coordination and standardization between projects and project managers, centralized resource management, and high-level reporting on projects and resources. Through familiar tools and ease of integration with a broad range of programs in the Microsoft Office System, the EPM solution promotes broad participation for greater accuracy, accountability, and acceptance.

    Visual Studio Team Foundation Server (TFS) provides a solution for software development teams that integrates designing, developing, testing, and managing a project. TFS integrates with Microsoft Office Project Standard 2007 and Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 for desktop use and allows project managers to plan and manage projects on a local computer. However, because there is no integration with Project Server, the project data for each team is available only in a stand-alone plan. There is no simple way to aggregate project data across multiple projects.

    The Connector synchronizes Project, Resource and Task data between the two systems. Project Managers and Resource Managers continue to work in the EPM environment while the development team works in the development environment, i.e. TFS, and data seamlessly flows between the two systems. Updates to work items in TFS are automatically applied to the corresponding assignments and tasks in Project Server and vice versa. Project Managers have complete control over the inflow of the actuals into the project plan. In addition, resource management functions for all development projects, like managing time and utilization for resources working across multiple projects, team staffing etc. can be performed in Project Server. Lastly, portfolio and program level reports can easily be generated for projects being executed in TFS and managed in Project Server.

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    Have not made your mind about attending the Project Conference? Check out the sessions that will be delivered.

    Do you want to hear about the following subjects?

    ¾  get a glimpse of the next version of EPM: P14

    ¾  customizing EPM to fit your specific business needs

    ¾  administering a SharePoint/EPM farm

    ¾  EPM best practices

    ¾  Portfolio Server (ex UMT) and Project Server integration

    And many more….: http://www.msprojectconference.com/sessions.htm

    Then register today!

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    What every SharePoint and EPM administrator needs to know about Alternate Access Mappings

    Useful links if you need to configure reverse proxy for instance:

    ¾  http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2007/03/06/what-every-sharepoint-administrator-needs-to-know-about-alternate-access-mappings-part-1.aspx  

    ¾  http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2007/03/19/what-every-sharepoint-administrator-needs-to-know-about-alternate-access-mappings-part-2-of-3.aspx  

    ¾  http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/archive/2007/04/18/what-every-sharepoint-administrator-needs-to-know-about-alternate-access-mappings-part-3-of-3.aspx

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Using Multi-Currency in EPM 2007

    EPM 2007 handles multi-currencies at the Project level using the following four options (Tools -> Options -> View -> Currency options):

    ¾  Symbol

    ¾  Decimal digits

    ¾  Placement

    ¾  Currency

    While this works fine at the project level, there is no out of the box mechanism to manage exchange rates between each of the project currencies. For instance if you enter costs in Dollars ($) in Project A, and in Euros (€) in Project B, the data will be added on the server if you have a view that sums the two.

    Therefore if you do work with different currencies it is key to put in place a currency conversion mechanism (in the Reporting database using Events, and potentially Analysis Services 2005 currency conversion functionalities for instance).

    Currency information at the project level is stored in the following tables:

    MSP_PROJECTS table in Published database:

    Column

    Type

    Sample Value

    PROJ_OPT_CURRENCY_SYMBOL

    nvarchar(4)

    PROJ_OPT_CURRENCY_DIGITS

    nvarchar(20)

    2

    PROJ_OPT_CURRENCY_POSITION

    smallint

    3

     

    MSP_EpmProject table in Reporting database:

    Column

    Type

    Sample Value

    ProjectCurrency

    nvarchar(4)

    EUR

    The currency field is based on ISO 4217 (USD, JPY, EUR, and so forth); for a complete list refer to: http://www.id3.org/ISO_4217

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    The new Microsoft Office Interactive Developer Map is NOW AVAILABLE!

    Check this out: http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/office/bb497969.aspx

    An interactive map using Windows Presentation Framework (part of .NET 3.0) “that helps developers visualize the different programs, servers, services, and tools that will help them build solutions. It allows them to drill down to each product and technology and learn about new features, objects, Web services, namespaces, and schemas required to extend Microsoft Office and build custom Office Business Applications (OBAs).”

    Dev Map

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Newly published content for Office Project Server 2007: Week of May 14, 2007

    For your information the following content has been published on TechNet, specifically of interest how to backup and restore a PWA instance from one server to another (from a development environment to a production environment for instance):

    • Administering backup and recovery for Project Server 2007
    • Back up item-level objects by using Project Web Access
    • Back up Project Server 2007 by using built-in tools
    • Back up Project Server 2007 by using Central Administration
    • Managing the Cube Building Service in Project Server 2007
    • Migrate Project Server 2007 by using built-in tools
    •  Migrate Project Server 2007 by using Central Administration
    • Prepare to back up Project Server 2007
    • Restore item-level objects by using Project Web Access
    • Restore Project Server 2007 by using built-in tools 
    • Restore Project Server 2007 by using Central Administration

    And to track newly published content for EPM 2007 you can bookmark this URL.

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Project Server 2007 Help & Support Site

    Looking for troubleshooting articles on Project Server 2007, or information on the latest hotfix package for your EPM deployment?

    Did you know a hotfix was released on April 24th?

    To stay up to date, check the following links:

    • Project Server 2007

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/ph/11388/en-us

    • Project 2007

    http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=ph;en-us;11381

    • Project Portfolio Server 2007

    http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=ph;en-us;12172

    • Most Recent KBs for Project Server 2007 (RSS feed)

    http://support.microsoft.com/common/rss.aspx?rssid=11388&ln=en-us&msid=e3c4b13b6c185f4f99ee00d0ef56797b

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Microsoft Office Project Conference 2007 US & EMEA - Save the date and register Today!

    Microsoft is pleased to announce the 2007 Microsoft Office Project Conferences to be held from October 28-31, 2007 in Seattle, WA USA and December 3-5, 2007 in Madrid, Spain.
    http://www.msprojectconference.com/

  • Christophe Fiessinger's Blog

    Regulatory Compliance using Project Server 2007

    A recurring need today for customers is how EPM can address compliance standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX). EPM 2007 has strong features that can assist companies meeting such standards. Please note that compliance is typically company specific and one should work with consultant that specialize in such area to figure out what can be used out of the box versus what needs to be customized to meet the requirements.

    First I highly recommend reading the following paper published recently: Compliance Features in the 2007 Microsoft Office System

    This white paper describes compliance-related features and extensibility opportunities within the 2007 Microsoft Office system that can assist you to meet the demands of regulatory compliance.

    Beside all the Office and SharePoint features mentioned in the white paper above that can assist you achieving your compliance requirements, EPM’s can help with the following:

    ·         Budget tracking, helps establish a project budget and it can be controlled using EPM security settings, and it won’t be impacted as actual progress is reported using timesheets.

    ·         Reporting can generate financial reports that will address the financial compliance requirements.

    ·         If the customer uses the Timesheet functionalities, there is an option to audit all changes (Server Settings -> Time and Task Management -> Settings and Defaults -> Auditing)

    ·         Using a combination of the Event Model, the Project Server Interface (PSI), and Windows Workflow Foundation a customer could further customize their EPM deployment to address their specific compliance needs. This feature will require programming skills.

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