Microsoft Project 2010
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September, 2010

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Finding Project Server 2010 documentation

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    Documentation for Project Server 2010 is spread across three websites: TechNet, Office.com, and MSDN. Each of these sites addresses a different audience. TechNet focuses on the IT Pro, Office.com focuses on the end user, and MSDN focuses on the developer audience. In addition to these three sites, blogs are also a great source of information.

    TechNet: Planning, deployment, migration/upgrade, and more

    TechNet provides Project Server 2010 documentation that focuses on the functions performed by administrators. You can find content on planning, deployment, migration/upgrade, operations, and troubleshooting, as well as technical reference material. There are two ways content is surfaced on TechNet: TechCenters and the Library.

    Project Server 2010 TechCenter

    First, let’s look at the Project Server 2010 TechCenter. The TechCenter provides links to content that we’ve identified as most commonly-used, as well as themed Resource Centers with links to content pertaining to a specific topic.

    To browse to the Project Server 2010 TechCenter:

    1. Go to TechNet.
    2. At the bottom of the left navigation list, click More TechCenters.
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    3. Under Server Products, click Project Server 2010. The Project Server 2010 TechCenter is displayed.
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    Information on the Project Server 2010 TechCenter is broken out into separate sections:

    SectionDescription
    News and Highlights This section provides a list of commonly used articles.
    Resource Centers This tab, in the Project Server 2010 Resources section, includes links to separate Resource Center pages. Current Resource Centers focus on Business Intelligence, Demand Management, and Upgrade and Migration.
    Evaluate, Plan,
    Deploy, and Operate
    These tabs, in the Project Server 2010 Resources section, contain links to articles that fall into that phase of Project Server 2010 implementation.
    Latest Content This section provides links to content we’ve recently published to TechNet. You can also keep on top of recent content updates by subscribing to this RSS feed.
    From the Trenches This column, written by Chris Vandersluis of HMS Software, provides deployment planning advice directly from someone who has been deploying enterprise project management solutions to customers in the field for years. Articles from this column are also available as an RSS feed.

    The Project Server 2010 TechCenter also includes many links to other resources, including blogs, forums, downloads, and other websites containing relevant content.

    Project Server 2010 Library

    For an all-up look at Project Server 2010 content on TechNet, use the Library.

    To browse to the Project Server 2010 Library:

    1. Go to TechNet.
    2. Click Library on the tabs going across the top of the page.
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    3. In the left navigation tree, expand Products and Technologies, and then expand Project Server 2010.

    Here, you can browse through all published Project Server 2010 articles on TechNet, broken down into categories. The Newly published content article (as mentioned earlier, also available as an RSS feed) is updated regularly with links to recently-published articles, and is helpful for staying on top of new content on TechNet. Another great resource for learning about new content published to TechNet is the Enterprise Project Management Content Publishing News blog (also available as an RSS feed). This blog helps to surface broader updates to content on TechNet, as well as links to individual articles.

    Providing feedback

    To provide feedback on TechNet articles, first determine which view you are using: Classic, Lightweight, or ScriptFree.

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    If you are using the Classic view, in the bar just above the article, you can use a five-star rating system. When you click to provide a star rating, a box appears where you can type in comments specific to the current article.

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    If you are using the Lightweight view, scroll to the bottom of the article and click Feedback. From there, you can type comments specific to the article you are viewing.

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    If you are using the ScriptFree view, click Feedback in the top-right portion of the article. This takes you to the MSDN, TechNet, and Expression Library Feedback Forum, where you can provide feedback on the script-free version of an article.

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    Office.com: End-user content for Project Web App

    Office.com provides documentation for Project Web App users. You can find content on creating and working with projects, managing portfolios, submitting and approving time and status, reporting on projects, setting up Project Web App, and more.

    To browse to Project Server 2010 content on Office.com:

    1. Go to Office.com.
    2. Click Support on the tabs going across the top of the page.
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    3. In the Current Product Help box on the top right portion of the page, click Project Server.
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      The Project Server Help and How-To page is displayed.
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    Here, you can see links to content in the main graphic at the top of the page, as well as in the lists below the graphic. These lists help to surface some of the more commonly-used topics within the Project Server 2010 content on Office.com.

    For the full Project Server 2010 content set on Office.com, click through the categories listed in the Project Server 2010 box, on the top right portion of the page. Within a category, use the links on the left navigation list to browse through subcategories, or click Show all categories to return to the full list of top-level categories.

    Providing feedback

    To provide feedback on Office.com articles, scroll to the bottom of the article, and then use the buttons to answer “Did this article help you?”

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    Once you’ve clicked the Yes, No, or Not what I was looking for button, you can provide comments specific to the article you’re viewing.

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    MSDN: Project Server 2010 Developer Content

    Developer content for Project Server 2010, including the Project 2010 Software Development Kit (SDK) and the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) Developer Reference, is available on MSDN. You can find API documentation, sample code, and other supporting information. Much like TechNet, there are two ways content is surfaced on MSDN: Developer Centers and the Library. MSDN also has other resources you may find helpful.

    Project 2010 Developer Center

    The quickest way to get to the Project Developer Center is to type msdn.microsoft.com/project.

    To browse to the Project 2010 Developer Center on MSDN:

    1. Go to MSDN.
    2. In the gray box at the bottom of the page, under Core destinations, click Office Developer Center.
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    3. Click Products on the tabs going across the top of the page.
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    4. Under Project, click Project 2010.
      image 
      The Project 2010 Developer Center is displayed.
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    Similar to TechNet, the Project 2010 Developer Center provides links to content that we’ve identified as most commonly-used, as well as links to links to other resources, including blogs, forums, downloads, and other websites containing relevant content. Note that the Project 2010 Developer Center includes information for both Project Server 2010 and the Project 2010 client application. You can subscribe to an RSS feed for newly-published content across all Office applications, and then filter for Project Server.

    Project 2010 Library

    For an all-up look at Project Server 2010 content on MSDN, use the Library.

    To browse to the Project 2010 Library:

    1. Go to MSDN.
    2. Click Library on the tabs going across the top of the page.
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    3. In the left navigation tree, expand Office Development, then expand Microsoft Office 2010, and then expand Project 2010.

    Here, you can browse through the Project 2010 VBA Developer Reference and the SDK Documentation to find the relevant Project Server 2010 content. There is a link on the Project Developer Center home page to download the Project 2010 SDK, which contains documentation, 11 code samples, IntelliSense XML files for Web Services, VBA Help, schema references, and more.

    Other useful MSDN resources

    In addition to the Project 2010 Developer Center and the Project 2010 Library, MSDN has several other resources you may find helpful:

    • MSDN Community Content Wiki. If you are using the Classic view, you can also annotate Project topics in the MSDN Library using the MSDN Community Content Wiki. For example, you could add a tip or remark that you think other developers might find useful. This is different from providing feedback about a topic; you should use MSDN Feedback to report issues. The Project developer documentation team regularly monitors and responds to feedback, and we republish topics based on customer feedback. See “Providing feedback,” below, for more information.
    • MSDN Forums. You can also post a question to the Project 2010 MSDN Forums. There are three Project 2010 forums, including Project Customization and Programming.
    • Context-Sensitive Help and IntelliSense in Visual Studio. If you are using Visual Studio, you can also get context-sensitive Help by pressing F1 in your code. By default, Visual Studio 2010 uses online Help as its primary source. You can change this setting by clicking Help, and then clicking Manage Help Settings. The Welcome Guide of the SDK, which is accessible through the Start Menu shortcut by clicking Start > All Programs > Microsoft SDKs > Project 2010 SDK, includes detailed information about installing and using the updated IntelliSense XML files included in the download. Once the files have been copied to the right directory, you can get tooltips, auto-complete, and API descriptions in the Visual Studio integrated development environment (IDE) as you type and browse through code.

    Providing feedback

    To provide feedback on MSDN articles, first determine which view you are using: Classic, Lightweight, or ScriptFree.

    image

    If you are using the Classic view, in the bar just above the article, you can use a five-star rating system. When you click to provide a star rating, a box appears where you can type in comments specific to the current article.

    image

    If you are using the Lightweight view, scroll to the bottom of the article and click Feedback. From there, you can type comments specific to the article you are viewing.

    image

    If you are using the ScriptFree view, click Feedback in the top-right portion of the article. This takes you to the MSDN, TechNet, and Expression Library Feedback Forum, where you can provide feedback on the script-free version of an article.

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    Blogs: A great source for all kinds of information

    There are many, many blogs out there with Project Server, or enterprise project management, as a focus. Here are just a few Microsoft blogs worth checking out:

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Add miscellaneous costs to tasks using cost resources

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    Cost resources provide an easy way of applying miscellaneous or multiple costs to a task, like airfare and dining— in addition to the more commonly applied costs like people’s salaries or per-use costs, such as consultant fees.

    Cost resources don’t depend upon the amount of work done on tasks. Nor do they depend on any calendars used in the project, as do work resource salaries, or rate costs for material resources, such as computer time and rental machinery.

    Let’s look at this a little more closely since cost resources are created differently than the other costs, and they are applied differently as well.

    First, off to the Resource Sheet to create a few cost resources. In Project 2010, click the View tab, and then click click Resource Sheet.

                   image

                  In Project 2007, click the View menu, and then click Resource sheet.

    1. Add a couple cost resources, like Airfare and Dining. In the Type column for each cost resource, click Cost. In the example below, two cost resources have been added below a few people resources and material resources.

       image

      Notice that the cost columns for the cost resources become unavailable for editing. This is because the actual cost value of the cost resource isn’t set in this view, as the other costs are. The cost value for cost resources are set as you assign or apply this cost resource to a task using the Assign Resources dialog box.  Let’s look at this now.
    2. Go back to the Gantt Chart (I assume you know how to get there).
    3. Select the task that you want to apply a cost resource to, and then click Assign Resources.
      You can open the Assign Resource dialog box in a number of ways: 
        image On the Resource tab, click Assign Resources.
        image  Right click on the task, and click Assign Resources.
        image  Double click a task to bring up the Task Information dialog box, and then click the Resources Tab.
        image  For Project 2007, click Assign Resources on on the Standard toolbar.
    4. Select the cost resource that you entered into the Resource Sheet, and then in the Cost column, enter the value for this cost resource as applied to the selected task. After you type a cost value, click Assign to assign the value of the cost resource to the task. Notice when you do this that the cost resource and its value appear with the other resource names on the Gantt bar (and, No, you can’t remove the cost resource name and value from appearing with the other resource names).

       image

      Note   You can keep the dialog box open as you continue assigning cost resources to other tasks. Just click the new task behind the dialog box.

    Keep one important thing in mind as you use cost resources: You can reuse the same cost resource. That is, If two tasks require two different plane trips and thus two different airfares, simply use one value for the cost resource as applied to one task, and a different value for the same cost resource as applied to the other task. Make sense? If not, leave a comment, and I’ll try to clear up any confusion.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Tips and Tricks: Change the month the fiscal year starts on

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    I get this question a lot: How do I change the month that the fiscal year starts on? First, to make sure you’re reading a blog entry that pertains to you, let me define a fiscal year. The fiscal year is the year-long period, at the end of which an organization’s accounts are completed and financial statements are prepared for stakeholders and for tax purposes.

    Compare this to the calendar year, which is the  more familiar time between January and December (though an organization’s fiscal year can correspond to the calendar year). In other words, calendar years appear on walls in homes and offices, often printed with pictures of cats, family members, flowers, art, and other interesting things. Fiscal calendars do not.

    Here’s how to set the start of the fiscal year.

    1. On the File tab, click Options.

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      If you’re using Project 2007, click Options on the Tools menu.
    2. On the Project Options dialog, click Schedule, and then find the fiscal year drop-down list.

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      For Project 2007, on the Options dialog box, click the Calendar tab.

    Now you’re all ready to do some serious accounting.

    Note    Your organization may have already set the start of the fiscal year for all projects, if you’re using Project Professional. If this is the case, you may not be able to change this setting if the project is published to Project Server. You can check with your Project Server administrator to find out for sure.

    One more thing. If you’re new to Project 2010 and need some help finding your favorite features on the new ribbon, take a look at the Project 2007 to Project 2010 interactive mapping guide. It’ll help get you started.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Visual Reports – Where Did My Field Go?

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    One of the more common questions I get around Visual Reports is “I selected a field (% complete, duration, some text custom field, etc.) to add to my report and it doesn’t show up in Excel – why isn’t it there?”. The field probably is there, it just is in a different spot.

    Visual Reports are built off a data structure called a cube. Cubes have 3 kinds of data types – dimensions, measures, and properties.

     Dimensions are anything you can pivot the data on –ex. tasks, resources, time dimensions, any custom field with a lookup table.

    Measures are anything the rollup can be calculated on –  ex. work, cost, actual work.

    Properties are everything else, they are just associated with tasks or resources and provide supporting information – ex. % complete, duration, text fields. Percent complete is a good example of a property since it is a number so it seems like it could be rolled up but unfortunately two 50% complete tasks do not equal a 100% complete summary.

    If you can’t find your field, it is probably a property. To add those to a pivotTable in Excel you can’t go through the PivotTable field list that you are used to. You have to first add the resources or task dimension to the report. Then right-click a resource/task, select “Show Properties in Report”, and select your field.

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    That will give you this:

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    So to recap:

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    Note that you have to be using Excel 2007 or later to display properties. For more information on Visual Reports, check out this help article.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Live Chat Announcement - Want to learn more about Office 2010 and Windows?

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    Would you like to learn more about the cool new features in Office 2010 and Windows 7 and what has changed since previous versions? Do you use Microsoft Office but would like to learn tips and tricks to be more productive at home, school or at work? Perhaps you are a new user who has questions on how to get started with Windows 7 or using the Office ribbon? Or would like to learn how to protect your computer from malware and viruses. Or perhaps you are just stuck and need answers.

    The Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) are here to help! The MVPs are the same people you see in the technical community as authors, trainers, user groups leaders and answerers in the Microsoft forums. For the first time ever we have brought these experts together as a collective group to answer your questions live. MVPs will be on hand to take questions about Microsoft Office 2010 or Office 2007 products such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access, Project, OneNote and more. As well as the Windows 7 and earlier versions such as Windows Vista. In addition to Microsoft Office, the chat will cover Windows related topics such as upgrading, setup and installation, securing your PC, Internet Explorer, personalizing your computer desktop or having fun with Windows Live Essentials to share photos, make movies and more. All levels of experience are welcome from beginners and students to intermediate power users.

    Please join us for this informative Q&A style chat and bring on your basic and your tough questions! Project MVPs Andrew Lavinsky and Tim Runcie will be participating.

    When:  Thursday, Oct 14th between 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM PDT!

    To learn more and add a reminder to your calendar please visit our Communities site or Microsoft TechNet

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