Microsoft Project 2010
The official blog of the Microsoft Office product development group. Learn how to manage your work effectively

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    What happened to the URL at the bottom of my alerts?


    They're gone?  Yes, it's true.  They've been removed in the 2007 release from all alerts and reminders. 

    Why?  We had several reports where providing this link to the end user to navigate to PWA was creating problems.  The base issue was which url is correct for a given user?

    For example, you have a system with both intranet/extranet access or are using a mixed authentication methods (windows, forms, etc.).   For each access or authentication method, you would use different urls for access. 

    Add the additional example of one user forwarding an alert to another user, who uses a different url for access.  As you can see, the potential for a messy situation was high.

    So, we removed putting the URL by default for those customers who had these situations.

    For customers who do not have a mixed environment, you have a painless way to put the PWA url back on the bottom of the alerts. 

    To add the link to the bottom of the alert, as Project Server administrator, navigate to Settings, Alerts and Reminders.  You will see the screen below.  A link to PWA can be added within the email footer.  When the alert is mailed, it will be treated as a hyperlink.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Managing Cross Project Dependencies with Deliverables


    Deliverables is a new feature that shipped in Project Professional 2007. Deliverables provides the ability to publish key dates to a SharePoint site and for others to consume these keys dates within their project plan. This feature helps you to manage cross project dependencies. A project manager can define deliverables within their project plan using Project Professional and have the dates automatically published to a Deliverable SharePoint list within the Project’s workspace. This allows other project manager to take dependencies on the published deliverables within their own Project Plans. When there is a change with a deliverable, such as a change in the finish date, all the project managers who have taken a dependency on the deliverable get informed of the change with the deliverable when they open their project plan. Deliverables provide a way to loosely tie projects together.

    This diagram illustrates deliverables at a high level:

    When a project manager creates a deliverable or a dependency on a deliverable they have the option to link it to a task. When a deliverable or dependency is linked to a task, it shows an icon beside the task name and displays bars on the Gantt chart. It is important to note that the dates of the task are not tightly coupled with the dates of the deliverable. This is to allow the project manager to work with his/her schedule without altering the dates of the deliverable. It is by design that the project manager needs to explicitly update the deliverable dates. The below screen shot is a project plan with deliverables and dependencies:

    So know that you have an idea what Deliverables are, let’s work through an example. The example that I like to use is the release schedule of large software development project, such as Microsoft Office, which has several beta releases before the actual shipment of the product. The overall schedule is managed in a single project plan, but there are many teams, such as Project, Excel, etc, that adheres to the overall schedule, but requires their own detailed schedule that is specific to them. An Office schedule that is just an example that I made up and has no meaning what so ever, may look like this:

    Product teams are very interested in the Beta 1, Beta 2 and RTM dates and they want to be able to easily keep track of these dates. In order for this to happen, the project manager for the Office schedule must create deliverables for these tasks. Before the PM creates deliverables, they are going have to publish the project to Project Server and create a workspace for the project. To do this:

    1. Click File à Publish…
    2. On the “Publish Project” dialog make sure the “Create a workspace for this project is selected”:

    3. Click Publish

    Once the project is published and the workspace is created for the project, the PM ready to create deliverables. To create a deliverable the PM will have to follow these steps:

    1. Click on Collaborate à Manage Deliverables:

    2. Click on Add Deliverable:

    3. First, Select the task you want to link to the Deliverable, then click on “Link to selected task” and click done:

      Note: The PM can change the start and finish dates for the deliverables without affecting the dates for the tasks. The deliverable name and dates are loosely coupled with the task name and dates. This allows the PM to publish different names and dates from what is in their project plan giving them greater control.

    The PM for the Office schedule would repeat these steps for each deliverable they want to create. Once they have completed creating the deliverables for Beta 2 and RTM the schedule should look like this:

    As you can see from the schedule, there are red bars on the Gantt chart that represent each deliverable. There are also informational icons beside each task indicating that there is a deliverable linked to the task. Now that the PM has created these deliverables, other PMs can view these deliverables from the workspace for the project:

    Since the deliverables are published to a SharePoint list, there are many built in benefits. Users can easily setup alerts, create RSS feeds, add additional columns, etc. It is important to note that if you change a deliverable from the SharePoint List, it will give the PM the option to sync the change next time they open their project in Project Professional.

    PMs can also now consume these deliverables as dependences from within their own project plans. Going back to our example, the Excel team will want to take dependencies on the Beta 1, Beta 2 and RTM deliverables from the Office schedule. This time I am only going to create a very simple project plan with three tasks that represent the Excel team’s project plan. To create a dependency on a deliverable, the PM does not have to publish the project or create a workspace. They only have to do the following steps:

    1. Click Collaborate à “Manage Dependencies on Deliverables”:

    2. Click “Add new dependency”:

    3. Select "Office Schedule" from the Drop Down
    4. Select the task to link the dependency to, click on the deliverable, check the “Link to selected task” and click done:

    Now a dependency has been created that has been linked to Task A and is dependent on the Beta 1 deliverable from the Office Schedule. These steps will have to be performed for each deliverable, which in this example is Beta 1, Beta 2 and RTM. If you have a large number of deliverables to create from already existing tasks, I suggest you read my programmability post on deliverables:

    You will notice that the dependency dates and the task dates are not aligned. The dependency dates are also loosely coupled with the task dates. This is shown in the below image of the Excel project where the yellow Gantt bars show the dependency dates are much further out then the task dates shown by the blue Gantt bar:

    Now that we have two projects, one with published deliverables and the other with dependencies on the published deliverables, let’s work through an example where one of the deliverables change. Within the Office schedule there is a deliverable, Beta 1, which has a finish date of March 20th 2007. To change the finish date to March 30th 2007:

    1. Click Collaborate à “Manage Deliverables"
    2. Select the “Beta 1” Deliverable
    3. Click “Edit Deliverable”:

    4. Change the finish date to 3/30/2007 and click Done

    Now go to the Excel team Project to see how this change has affected the dependency:

    1. Click Collaborate à “Manage Dependencies on Deliverable”:

      The red exclamation mark indicates to the PM that the deliverable has change. If you hold your mouse over the dependency the follow information windows will pop up showing in red what has changed:

    2. Click on the drop down arrow and click “Accept Change from Server"

    Note that the dependency date is now 3/30/2007 and is back in sync with the Beta 1 deliverable.

    Hopefully that gives you an idea on how deliverables feature works. This feature truly provides a flexible way to loosely couple projects together that are not affected by the scheduling engine. I have only given a short overview on how to get started with deliverables. Once you start to play around with them, I am sure you will find great uses for the feature.

    Chris Boyd


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project Search Page


    Previously, you received an OPML file to help you read all of the great content being created by our community.  Probably, soon after, you wished you had a way to search for posts related to a specific topic. 

    Now you can.  With the help of our's search macro functionality, I created the following custom search engine.

    It will search across all of the Project Community web sites for a given topic.  To learn more about search macros, visit



    Technorati tags: , tags: ,

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Resource Plans Explained.... I Hope :-)


    Hi, It has been a long time since my last post. Sorry for the long delay and I will try to fix this with more frequent post in the future. OK so let’s get to the topic of the day: “Resource Plans, what are they and how should you use them”.

    Resource Plans were developed in response to a number of customer requests for a way to estimate corporate resource capacity when some projects are in full execution and others are still in the proposal or planning phase. Therefore, we focused on the part of a project lifecycle where the project is still just an idea or opportunity but not yet established as a project. Yes, resource plans can be used during the execution phase as well but let’s first talk about the pre-project phase.

    To “create” a resource plan, all you need to do is add a resource to the list after clicking on the Resource Plan button on any Project page.

    Above is a sample resource plan. These resources are linked to a project via the plan but no assignments are made within the project. Simple to create and easy to use or at least I hope you see it that way. As you can see, we are using weekly granularity of assignments in the sample. The granularity can be set from days to years depending upon your own preferences. This enables the resource manager to plan how a resource would be used if the project gets the approval to begin work. This plan uses work resources but any resource type can be assigned. With this resource plan I am demonstrating is how you can mix named resources with generic resources on the same plan.

    How does this integrate with Project Professional? Well, simply stated it doesn’t. As I said earlier, these assignments are not within the project or better said they are outside of the project. The only association is through the resource plan itself. Let me guess, you want integrate the planned assignments here with other firm assignments for these same resource on other projects. Well good, capacity planning would be nothing without integration to overall resource availability. But before I dive into this topic, I think we need to see the resource plan settings pane.

    All clear? I didn’t think so but without the image it may be too hard to grasp the options representing resource availability on the plan. In the feature we call this utilization calculation but don’t let that confuse you, utilization is just the consumption of availability… right? So what options do we allow? To begin with we default to using the resource plan assignments as if they were real project assignments. This means that the hours booked to the resource plan will deduct from the availability of the resource. The second option is to use the assignments made within the project and to ignore the plan assignments, which is like turning off the resource plan assignments. And the final option is to pull the assignment data from project task assignments up through a certain date after which we will pull the resource plan assignment data.

    These options align with three use cases:

    1. The resource plan greatly simplifies the assigning of resources and no task level assignments are needed. (frequent customer request)

    2.Resource plans are used to estimate resource usage but not to actually commit resource usage; that is left to project task assignments.

    Technorati tags:

    3. So in the beginning, the resource plan will account for 100% of the resource commitments on the project. Then when Phase 1 begins and task level assignments are made, and then resource availability will be consumed by the project tasks until the end date of phase 1. And the resource plan will only account for the assignments in Phase 2 and beyond. This represents a rolling project plan.

    OK, the last thing to explain is the setting of Work Units. Resource plans offers a new level of resource time allocation, called the FTE. To begin with though, we use the familiar Hours, Days, etc. However; these are all directly associated to minutes which is a very accurate time element. Since one of the overriding design tenets for Resource Plans was to support early planning where estimating is the normal practice. We now offer a new way to specify resource allocations and that is FTE or Full Time Equivalents. FTE is a simplification where the resource manager specifies the amount of time an average full time employee would spend and they do not need to think about how many hours are in a month or year.

    Well that’s about it for today. You are probably nearing information overload if not already fully there. Therefore, I am intentionally leaving the FTE definition out of this posting. Next time I will discuss the FTE definition as this can be a full posting in itself.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    “Microsoft Best Practices Analyzer for Microsoft® Windows® SharePoint® Services 3.0 and the 2007 Microsoft® Office System” has Shipped!


    The Microsoft Best Practices Analyzer for Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 and the 2007 Microsoft Office System Best Practices Analyzer programmatically collects settings and values from data repositories such as MS SQL, registry, metabase and performance monitor. Once collected, a set of comprehensive ‘best practice’ rules are applied to the topology.

    This is a command line utility that administrators can run to get a detailed report of recommended changes that can be made to their environments to achieve greater performance, scalability and uptime. The below picture shows a snap shot of my staged server after running it:


    BPA Report


    One thing that you will notice is that it does indeed cover Project Server. There are a number of best practices that are specific to Project. For example, if there has been a failure with the cubes or if there are failed queue jobs the Best Practice Analyzer will warn you of these failures.


    It is important to note that this tool is a read only. It will not make any changes to your environment. You should give it a try.


    You can get a copy here:


    Chris Boyd


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Can I get access to your team site?


    After discussing this situation with Eric Zenz, I found out we made a change in the 2007 release that makes it easier to manage who has access to your project's team site.

    In 2003, you had to be on a project's team and assigned to a task to get access to a project's team site.  So, everyone wound up with a "Give Access" task on the project plan.  This task, though, gave everyone on this task read/write access.  To give someone read access, you had to set up these people manually.  If the company had this SharePoint administration permission locked down, the PM had to ask the application administrator to add these "read only" people to the team site.  Now multiply this request times 600 team sites and it can get to be quite a bit of maintenance.

    In 2007, we made some improvements in this regard.  Resources are automatically granted read access to the project's team site when they are added to a project's team via TeamBuilder.  When a resource is assigned to a task on the plan, they automatically get contributor read/write access.  This makes it easier for the Project Manager to provide wider access to the team site without having to learn WSS security administration or make life interesting for the application administrator. 


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Busy, Busy, Busy


    In case you've noticed, which you probably have, posts have been slow as of late.  As we wrapped up Office 2007 work back at the end of October, we've been working hard on the Project 14 planning and rolling out a new service internally.

    So, why does this matter to you?  These latest activities all involve us using our own product.  We are our own users at the moment.

    Project Portfolio Server

    We are using our very own Project Portfolio Server 2007 to plan the Project 14 release.  Portfolio Server is being used to help us determine the business drivers that are important and how important are they relative to each other.  We then model which features will contribute the most to our business drivers.  It's our first opportunity as a team to use the tool for real work and for us to go through the whole optimization process. 

    Pradeep, one of our Senior PMs, is shepherding the process.  My hope is to convince him to write about it extensively in an upcoming post.  Also, expect to hear more about our experiences when Project Conference rolls around.  If you want to hear, leave a comment below.

    Project Server

    The other activity is that we are rolling out a hosted instance of Project Server 2007 internally.  This way, any team that wants to use Project Server doesn't have to set up their own hardware and software.  The challenge is that we don't have a "corporate" way to manage efforts or project related data.  So, each team wants something different.  I'm sure you are familiar with this situation.

    For those of you who have done this for yourselves or for others, we are going through what you normally go through.  We are experiencing first hand, security model design, login and desktop configuration issues, AD Sync set up and learning about the various and sundry ways that people use Project.  All of this, will provide input and impetus to improve the product further.

    As interesting experiences and observations come up, I'll discuss them.  We are currently on boarding our first two groups so the real fun is about to begin!  Same rule applies, if you want to hear more, leave a comment.



  • Microsoft Project 2010

    So many blogs, so little time...


    There's so much being published on Project related blogs, its hard to keep up with it all.  So, attached is an OPML file which contains the RSS feeds for the a number of Project related blogs. 

    This file can be imported into and read using Outlook 2007 if you follow the instructions here:

    If you don't have Outlook 2007, you can also use Microsoft's as a free web based RSS reader.  Once you log in using your Windows Live ID, you can click Add Stuff, Advanced options, then use the Import OPML function to create the listings.  Once the listings are there, you can drag them down on the page for viewing.


    UPDATE:  In order to see the attachments for blog posts, you have to click on the post header to get to the details page.  Then, the attachment is visible at the bottom of the post.  My apologies for the confusion.


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Material Resource Usage Illustrated


    Dr. Ed Hanna, one of our most senior field people for EPM recently posted a great example of using material resources using Project Server.  So, I'm taking Ed's e-mail and converting into this post.  I hope you find this very useful.

    Here's an example of how you might use Project to track the pouring of the concrete for one section of a dam.

    First, create a Resource Sheet entry for the concrete.  Click the image below for more detail.

    The dam footing work we are tracking will contain 20,000 cu. meters of concrete and will be poured over a ten workday period.  The Gantt Chart task to pour this footing looks as follows.

    Next, the Resource Usage view shows the planned usage of concrete at 2,000 cu. meters per day. Note: there is no Actual Work as the task has not yet begun.

    Once progress begins, the Resource Usage view can be used to report actual usage.  In this case, only 1,000 cu. meters of concrete poured on day #1.  Consequently, work is off to a slow start.

    Here’s the full Resource Usage view showing 3,000 cu. meters of additional concrete poured on day #2.  On the left you can see totals.  For example, you can see that 20,000 cu. meters of concrete is scheduled to be poured (i.e. Work) and so far 4,000 cu. meters have been poured (i.e. Actual Work). The graph in the lower portion of the display shows Cumulative Scheduled Work (i.e. the cumulative amount of concrete scheduled to be poured).

    The display can also be changed to track the cost of the concrete. The graph in the lower portion of the display shows Cumulative Scheduled Cost (i.e. the cumulative cost of concrete scheduled to be poured).

    I hope this is helpful.  By the way, Hoover Dam contains 3.33M cu. meters of concrete. 


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    SQL Server Reporting Services Report Pack for Project Server 2007


    This post contains a zip file attachment which is the SQL Server Reporting Services(SSRS) 2005 report pack for Project Server 2007. 

    This attachment contains 9 items total: 

    1. One overview document describing the setup for each report as well as any new custom fields/lookup tables that are required to make these reports function. 
    2. Seven PDFs which are sample output for each report
    3. One zip file of the Visual Studio project with report source code. 

    This VS project file can be used within the SSRS Business Intelligence Development Studio to deploy and modify these reports to your own needs.

    The Project Server 2007 Report Pack provides usable reports for some common requests and illustrates some of the new functionality in Microsoft Office Project Server 2007.  The Report Pack also provides report developers with sample queries for correctly retrieving data from the Project Server Reporting database.

    The Report Pack includes the following seven reports:

    1. Cost Center Availability
    2. Project Give and Get
    3. Project Portfolio Trend
    4. Project Proposals Listing
    5. Project Review
    6. Timesheet Audit
    7. Work versus Effort Audit

    All of these reports use a shared data source, which makes it easy to direct these reports to your own instance of Project Server.  I hope you find these reports useful.  If you have questions, please post as a comment to this post.


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Talk Amongst Yourselves


    I've been getting a lot of email lately with some great questions.  Rather than attempting to answer individually, I thought it best to give you a forum to ask these questions.

    So, to facilitate knowledge sharing, please post your questions as a comment to this post.  Assuming it is information we can discuss publicly, we'll give you answers.  Also, we can all benefit from the knowledge gained in this dialog.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Publishing – Made Simple


    “What happened to my publishing options?” is one of the frequently asked questions from sharp-eyed project managers who have just upgraded from Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007. The answer is complex enough to deserve this blog entry.

    My design needed to deliver in two areas:

    - Simplicity, our research showed that very few customers understood the nuances of each publish option, especially when combined with the even more hidden Tools/Customize/Published Fields options

    - Scalability, our larger customers were hitting bottlenecks because of the serialized nature of project publish.


    To address the simplicity I decided to strip project publish to its bare bones, changing from the two dialogs below:

    To the single option, placed next to the Save command:

    It doesn’t get much simpler than that - this should make the publish option much less of a dice throw for most of our customers – however “power publishers” will be asking for more functionality, you should read on to the Power Publishing section for more information.


    History Lesson: Project Server 2003 used a background service called “Views Notification” that was responsible for moving data from the Project client sql tables to the Project Server and Views sql tables in the database. This process was serialized on a single project and the whole process was single threaded, using a single cpu (although later service packs allowed it to be run on multiple servers), as you might expect publishing rapidly became a bottleneck on larger systems. It also had other issues in terms of manageability, capacity planning and availability but more on that in other blog entries.

    The new server architecture has radically changed how publishing works. Publish requests are placed on the Project Queue and are handled by a queue processor that:

    • Is multithreaded and multi-server and serializes per project rather than across all projects
    • Pulls data from the Draft database into the Published database through the MSP_*_WORKING_VIEW sql views
    • Invokes the corresponding Report Publish that handles the transformation of the data into a report friendly format into the reporting database
    • Optimizes (“folds”) multiple publish requests against the same project into a single request

    Even with all the additional work done by publishing (such as moving all custom fields, and serializing data from our internal binary formats) internal tests have shown sustained publishing rates of around 1,400 projects per hour for non-trivial projects on a farm infrastructure.

    And the Project Server 2007 queue infrastructure allows for much improved capacity planning and remote management as it exposes performance counters that the Windows System Monitor (fancy name for perfmon) and MOM can catch and track.

    Power Publishing

    The Project Server 2003 dialogs reflected the relative underlying complexity of the publishing process - much of that complexity was driven by the need to cope with the shared schema (now split across distinct databases) and the need to avoid the performance hit of a full publish. The server now publishes all changed information each time you request a publish operation.

    Changes are tracked using revision counters on our primary entities and their children (for instance Projects own {tasks, assignments, specific custom field values, calendars and local resources} – these counters increment each time the project is saved, deleted rows are tracked in our _SHADOW tables.

    The two main operations a power publisher wants to control are:

    • When a team member sees a specific task assignment (aka “Phasing”)
    • Who approves task progress (especially when the primary project manager is on vacation)

    Both these actions are now controlled through the task sheet where the settings are now visible and editable (Yay!).

    If you add the “Status Manager” and “Publish” fields to the sheet (as seen above) you can control the publishing process. Note that both these fields can be set as a group by filtering then using the mouse to drag the value down to more cells.

    Firstly – use the Publish Yes/No flag to control whether a task assignment is placed in the Statusing (“My Work”) system – this flag can be toggled at any time & the project republished to make it active. This empowers you to publish a project a phase at a time, allowing you to avoid bombarding your team members with future assignments.

    I made the flag at the task level because statusing is all about gauging progress against the whole task - assignment progressing is best managed in the Timesheet sub-system where work can be approved by resource managers rather than the project manager.

    In the reporting database the flag is actually stored on the assignment:


    There isn't a sinister reason for this, it just reflects the order in which we did the development work against a changing schema.

    Note that if you toggle Yes-->No then the assignment disappears from the Team Members My Work (any approved work doesn't get lost though!) so use this power carefully! Also be aware that if the line is already in a timesheet it won't be pulled back.

    Secondly - the Status Manager field has some strange rules (that echo those of project Server 2003) - it can be set to another pre-existing Status Manager on a task in the current project or the current user (ie the person with the project checked out and open) - this allows the value to be set even when the project is off line, and ensures that the Status Manager hhas (at least had) the ability to edit the project so that status data from team members can be applied once approved.

    So if you are going on vacation you'd ask your deputy to open the project, filter on an appropriate time window and set themselves as the status manager for the tasks that will be active while you are out. On your return you can easily find those tasks and reset them back.

    Phew! If you have any questions about other "mysteries of publishing", then please reply to this posting and I'll do a followup.



  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Please Send Us Error Reports


    Send Error Report message

    Before I came to Microsoft, I always cancelled the "Send error reporting to Microsoft".  I didn't know what was being captured or how it was being used.  Brief feelings of being spied upon would come over me.  So, my choice was always to cancel.

    Now that I work for Microsoft, I wanted to pass on the two major points I have learned about error reporting.

    First, it's very important information.  Whenever a Microsoft Office application encounters an error, the Watson error reporting application captures what was happening with the PC at the time of the error and what error was encountered.  It will then prompt you to send this information to Microsoft. 

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send this data to us.  Basically, we capture the program call stack data for debugging purposes and the error description.  The data sent to us allows us to analyze which errors are occurring, how often and why. 

    Errors follow the Pareto principle where a small number of issues create most of the errors.  We use the frequency and severity as one of the inputs in deciding what goes into future service packs and product versions.  This data was instrumental in selecting fixes for the Project 2003 service packs.

    Secondly, we are not spying on you.  We do not capture personally identifiable information in this process.  So, you won't start getting marketing material as a result of submitting this information. 

    I recently watched a user get an error, saw Watson do it's job and then saw the user cancel the send process.  I asked why they cancelled it and basically, they didn't want to take the time to submit the info.  I also asked how often had they seen the issue and they said enough to notice. 

    As a result, we both lose as the user will continue to experience the problem and we will continue to not know about it.

    Sending in the data is the easiest way to make sure your issue is reported.  In the end, we will all benefit from a better product. 


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Monday Mail Bag


    Here's a couple of emails that were received that may be of interest to others. 

    WSS to MOSS Migration

    We received a query regarding how to upgrade from Windows SharePoint Server 2.0 to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server(MOSS).  As you should install MOSS prior to installing Project Server, you'll want to first upgrade your existing WSS content to MOSS.

    I asked around and I was pointed to this article:  There's a section on migrating from WSS 2.0 to MOSS. 

    How Do I Get Analysis Services 2005 Working with Project Server 2007

    The configuration can be found here:  Yes, it is the same steps as you had to do for Project Server 2003.  These steps are specific to the SQL Server version.  Please make sure you follow each step carefully.

    Then, for each client machine that will be using or creating Portfolio Analyzer views, have the Analysis Services 2005 (9.0) OLE DB Provider installed.

    UPDATE:  Brian Smith of fame pointed out there were two missing points to this section.

    First, the account owning the SharePoint Timer Service is what is used to build the cube.  Therefore, that account will need access to the Reporting Database. 

    The second point is for those workstations creating and accessing Portfolio Analyzer views.  If they are using Internet Explorer 7, the setting to allow cross domain data access is disabled by default for Trusted Sites.  So, you will need to change this setting when you add the server to the trusted sites section.


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Backup and Restore Project Server 2007


    This post comes to us courtesy of Mark Shea of our Office Assistance area.


    This post will guide you through the Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 backup and restore process by using the the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.

    Set up a file share

    If you do not already have a remote file share to store the backup files, you must set one up before backing up your environment.

    Set up a remote file share

    1. (Recommended) Make sure SQL 'Setup server account' is using a domain account; see SQL Server books online on how to do it.
    2. Verify that the remote file share can be accessed from both the SQL Server computer and the computer that is hosting Central Administration.
    3. On the remote file server, create a directory and share it out. Be sure to give it access permissions for the account you will be using to backup and restore.
    4. On the Share Permissions tab of file share properties, grant the accounts listed below, Change and Read rights.
    5. On the Security tab of the file share Properties, grant the accounts listed below all the rights except Full Control.

    Create required accounts

    Accounts needed:

    • SQL server account (if “Local system” is the SQL service account, you must grant permission to the SQL server computer.).
    • Login account (required to do backup and restore using the command prompt).
    • The Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 front-end server account, such as <domain>\<server name>$ (required to do backup and restore using the user interface).
    • The central administrator pool account (required to do backup and restore using the user interface).
    • The Timer service account (requested by UI).

    Note The central administrator pool and the Timer service use the same user account.

    Note If you receive any errors during the backup or restore process, you must delete the failed “Backup/Restore” timer job before you can run the next backup or restore process. The URL for the Timer service jobs is:


    Note You do not have to delete the Timer service job if you did the Project Server 2007 backup or restore by using the stsadm.exe command-line tool.

    Note The server farm should be taken offline prior to backup.

    Back up your environment

    To back up your Project Server 2007 installation, do the following:

    1. Navigate to Central Administration; the URL looks like http://<server_name>:port/default.aspx.
    2. Click Operations on the top navigation bar.

    3. In the Backup and Restore section of the Operations page, click Perform a Backup.

    4. On the Select Component to Backup page, choose the components you want to back up, such as Farm or an individual site. You can select any one component and all components under it.

    5. When you have selected all the components you want to back up, click Start Backup Process.

      On the Start Backup page, under Backup File Location, enter the UNC path to the backup folder.

    6. Click OK
    7. You can view the backup job status on the backup status page, by clicking Refresh. The page will also refresh every 30 seconds automatically. Backup and Restore is a Timer service job, so it may take few seconds for the backup to start

    8. If you receive any errors, you can find more information by looking in spbackup.log at the UNC path you specified above

    Restoring a Project Server 2007 deployment

    This section guides you through the Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 restoration process using Central Administration. It describes how to restore over the original server farm. This document does not describe a migration of Project Server 2007 data.

    Restore to the original farm
    1. Navigate to Central Administration; the URL looks like http://<server_name>:port/default.aspx.

    2. Operations on the top navigation bar.
    3. In the Backup and Restore section of the Operations page, click Restore from backup.

    4. On the Restore from Backup: Step 1: Select Backup File page, under Backup File Location, enter the UNC path to the backup folder.

    5. On the Restore from Backup: Step 2: Select Backup Package to Restore page, choose the target backup package and click Start Restore Process.

    6. On the Restore from Backup: Step 3: Select Component to Restore page, choose the restore level (Farm, Service, Database or SSP) and click Start Restore Process.

    7. On the Restore from Backup: Step 4: Select Restore Options page, select Overwrite (Create new is the default value) and click OK in the pop-up dialog.

    8. Under New Names, enter the user name and password for the Web applications listed on the page.

    9. Click OK.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Suggested Security Reading


    I've been meeting with Phil Smail, fellow program manager and resident Project Server security guru, on laying out the Project Server security configuration for a Project Server 2007 instance within Microsoft. 

    I was fairly familiar with the Project 2003 Security functionality so I knew basically what I wanted.  However, it quickly became apparent to me that are several new and changed security functions in the new release.  So, off to MSDN for a little light reading.

    The following security article, which was written by Phil, provides a nice overview of the 2007 functionality.  If you are looking to upgrade to or implement Project Server 2007, you might want to take a look at this article also.


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Resource Management



    My name is Dave Ducolon and I am a Program Manager for Microsoft Office Project/Project Server.  It is my pleasure to write about and to discuss Resource Management and other related topics for the 2007 release. 

    Resource Management is at its best a hard job.  And at the core is Capacity Management and Planning.  As most of you know, the trouble is that while people or “work resources” are not a commodity such as bricks or lumber, neither are they fixed assets (ones with unlimited capacity).  And if that doesn’t make Resource Management difficult enough, work resources can be augmented with external resources such as consultants or subcontractors.  We on the Project team at Microsoft not only understand this challenge we experience it the same as anybody else that does project based work.

    In 2007 we have taken significant steps to help mitigate the inherant difficulties of managing resources whether they are People, Material or even costs.  Today I will give you an overview of how we see the Project 2007 system being used to accomplish this.  This is a brief, yes very brief overview of some of the Resource Management features that will help you manage your resources end-to-end.  In later posts, I will dive deeper into features.

    To begin with, it is best to model organizational capacity and then to work on tactical level assignments.  Generic resources, a legacy feature, are ideal to represent your organizational capacity as it pertains to resource capabilities.  Then as work gets approved you can allocate these generic resources to a new 2007 feature in Project Server 2007 called Resource Plans. 

    Resource Plans allow you to manage resource needs for a project without requiring any task level detail.  Then as the project and work become better defined you will be able to convert these Generic Resource Plan assignments into Resource Plan assignments for real employees.  At which time you will undoubtedly need to view availability and verify that individuals do not get over scheduled.

    Resource Leveling, a legacy feature, can be used to automate the task of managing allocations of work to individuals or you may want to make use of the Resource Availability graph, a legacy feature, in Project Server.  Regardless of which method you choose, you will undoubtedly move on into the execution phase. 

    For this phase Project Server 2007 delivers functionality that allows customers to separate the effort spent on a project and its tasks from the actual work performed.  Effort is normally what team members think of when they are reporting their progress on a task.  It is not uncommon to hear people say “I am 60% complete and should finish by Friday”.  This does not mean that they will use every available minute between the statement and Friday to complete the work and it also does not mean that they spent exactly 60% of the scheduled work for that task.  Instead it means they have spent 60% of the effort they feel is needed on the task and that the other 40% should be able to be accomplished by Friday.  Team Member Task tracking in Project Server has been able to capture that information since we first released Project Server back in 2000.  In 2007 we have delivered a separate timesheet that allows team members to report their actual hours worked whether that be on a Project or on a specific Task. 

    It is through use of these features that you will be able to more accurately plan, estimate, track and manage your resources time and thereby improve your ability to manage resources.  In my next Post, I will present and review the Resoruce Plan feature.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Programming Update


    I wanted to let the regular readers of this blog about a change in blog stewardship. 

    Lidiane has relocated to Boston from Redmond for personal reasons and has joined another Microsoft team there.  We wish her well and thank her for her great work on Project 2007 and the Project blog.  As a result, she has passed on the blog coordination role to me.

    My name is Treb Gatte and I'm also a Program Manager on the Project Server team.  I've been with Microsoft a little over a year and have been a Project Server user since Project Server 2002 Beta.

    One of our goals is to increase the number and regularity of posts such that you receive a steady diet of updates and new information.  If there's a topic you would like to us to address, please add your request as a comment to this post.  I can't guarantee that every submitted topic will be addressed.  However, we can't improve our targeting unless we know what you, the reader, needs.  Please spread the word about our effort.

    I feel it's very important that we inform you of some ground rules going forward. 

    I wanted to address linking expectations from the Project blog, before I receive a request to link to someone’s site.  You can use this as a general guideline for the Project Blog and the Programmability blog as our team does both.

    You will note, as a service to our readers, we provide a list of Project Community Blogs.  These sites were placed here as a result of web searches and not as a result of linking requests.  These are blogs or sites which have created content that is freely shared with the Project Community.  Most of these sites are either created by Microsoft employees or by our Project MVPs.  A great deal of these authors also participate on the UseNet in performing community support for the Project forums there.  Consequently, they are viewed as a valuable community resource.

    If you have a Project related site and you wish to have us link to you, make it easy for us to find you.  You will need to have freely available content that would be of interest to the Project community.  You should also practice generally acceptable blogging practices of tagging such that your site will appear in a Technorati or other Blog related search engine.  Finding you is worth one hundred requests to link to you. 

    If you are selling something in addition to the content, please note our link will be to the free content.  Otherwise, we could be seen as endorsing your product/service/etc. which we simply can't do.  As this process is subjective, we will be very conservative in our linking.  If there's any doubts on our part, our default response will be to not link.

    As I'm now receiving all of the incoming email and trackbacks, I have a simple request.  If you have a comment or question, please post it as a comment to an existing post.  Many of the emails that I'm receiving are on topics for which I either can't answer or shouldn't answer.  If you post your question as a comment, you can draw upon the wealth of Project community that visits the site for a more timely answer.

    Again, thank you for your readership!  Stay tuned as there's much more content to come.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Reporting Database Documentation Published


    If you are interested in writing reports over the Project Server 2007 reporting database, Jim Corbin has published some documentation on the database.  You can find it here:

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project 2007 SDK - RTM Version Now Available


    This announcement just arrived in my inbox.


    The official Project 2007 SDK has been released to the web!    You can either download and install it locally or you can access it via the web.  The Project Developer Portal has also been updated to reflect new content.


    What’s New?

    The RTM SDK includes 72 topics. There are updates of topics from the previous beta release, plus the following new topics:

    ·         How to: Calculate Resource Availability in OLAP Cubes

    ·         Walkthrough: Creating and Using Custom Project Server Permissions

    ·         Using Security Methods in the PSI 

    ·         How to: Write a Simple Impersonation Application 


    The PSI reference has been updated with new code samples for methods in the Project, Resource, Statusing, and Timesheet Web services, among other changes.


    To Download the SDK

    Go to this link: .

    The pj12ProjectSDK.exe download includes:

    ·         pjSDK2007.chm (conceptual topics and managed code reference)

    ·         pj12ReportingDB.chm (Reporting database schema reference)

    ·         OLAPCubeSchemas.xls lists the dimensions, measures, and properties of the Project Server OLAP cubes

    ·         SDK code samples, including the updated Project Tool source and executable.

    To Access the SDK Online

    To access the Project 2007 SDK in MSDN online library, go to this link:

    Project Developer Portal  

    Project Developer Portal in the Office Developer Center on MSDN includes links to the Project 2007 SDK,  Project 2007 blogs, as well as the Project 2003 SDK. Following are the other main pages in the Project Developer Center:

    ·         What’s New for Developers in Project 2007 includes links to MSDN Webcasts.

    ·         Project Community includes an RSS feed for the Project 2007 Team Blog, and other Project blogs and sites.


    To find related content and SDKs, please check out the Office Developer Centers and the SharePoint Developer Center, which have links to the SharePoint SDKs and downloads on MSDN.  Then check out the Project Programmability blog to see how this knowledge can be put into action.



  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project Programmability Blog!


    As we are on the verge of releasing Microsoft Office Project 2007 we want to help our customer and partner community by providing a forum for learning how to develop applications that communicate with both Project Server and Project Client.

    There are three of us manning the Project Programmability blog, Patrick Conlan, Phil Smail and myself Chris Boyd. We are all Program Managers on the Project Team. The plan is to post samples that are requested and cool things we want to try out. So if you need some sample code or explanations on how to develop with the upcoming release of Project, drop by the Project Programmability blog and post a comment!

    Chris Boyd


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Project Server - Outlook Integration


    The Program Manager in Outlook (Melissa) and one of our Program Managers here in Project (Jon) collaborated on a post explaining the integration between Project Server and Outlook in this release. These posts go into nice detail about how you can manage your tasks directly from Outlook. This is an especially important feature for team members, whom most likely don't have access to Project Professional. The post is broken down into 2 parts:

    Hope this will help you understand the integration between the 2 applications.

  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Beta 2 Technical Refresh Download Links


    Get the lastest versions of Project 2007 below: 

    Project 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh


    Project Server 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh


    All other Office 2007 downloads:
  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Beta 2 Technical Refresh - Web Cast Recording


    Recording of the Beta2 TR installation webcast is available! 

    To view it, go to:, enter the following details:

    Your name:  <Your name>

    Recording ID:  2Q2N7P

    Recording Key:  rg+SJG5DX


    Sometimes the playback does not start immediately or stops mid-way – please try the steps above again, it may be a transient problem.


  • Microsoft Project 2010

    Installing Project Server 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh


    [I am updating this post with more specific information - including webcast tomorrow]


    How to install Project Server 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh (Beta 2 TR) ?


    Important:  Read this message carefully and completely before you apply the Beta 2 TR Update/Patch


    The Beta 2 Technical Refresh release is an incremental revision to Beta 2 – it is applied as an “Update” or a “Patch” on top of a Beta 2 installation.  So, there is no “full installation” of Project Server 2007 Beta 2 TR.  To install Beta 2 TR, you need to first install Project Server 2007 Beta 2 and then install the Beta 2 TR Update/Patch. If you already have a Beta 2 installation, you can just install the Beta 2 TR Update/Patch.  There are 3 main installation scenarios:


    1. A new installation of Project Server 2007 Beta 2 TR:  This is for new users who do not have a previous Beta installation of Project Server 2007. This involves the following general steps:
      1. Install the Beta 2 version of Project Server 2007.
      2. Install the Windows SharePoint Services 2007 Beta 2 TR Update/Patch.
      3. Install the Project Server 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh Update/Patch.


    1. Upgrading from Project Server 2007 Beta 2 without  data upgrade: This is for customers who were in the early stages of Beta 2 evaluation.  They may have created some sample projects and timesheet entries, but data in Beta 2 is not important enough to carry over to Beta 2 Technical Refresh.  This involves the following general steps:
      1. Install the Windows SharePoint Services 2007 Beta 2 TR Update/Patch.
      2. Install the Project Server Beta 2 Technical Refresh Update/Patch. 


    1. Upgrading from Project Server 2007 Beta 2 with data upgrade:  This is for customers who may have created a lot of data on Project Server 2007 Beta 2 for a pilot or a proof of concept. This involves the following general steps:
      1. Backup data from the Project Server 2007 Beta 2 installation (this is not just a database backup, it is a set of manual steps. Detailed instructions provided in the documentation).
      2. Install the Windows SharePoint Services 2007 Beta 2 TR Update/Patch.
      3. Install the Project Server Beta 2 Technical Refresh Update/Patch. 
      4. Restore data on to the Project Server 2007 Beta 2 TR installation.


    Important things to note:

    1. Once you install the update/patch, it cannot be rolled back.
    2. If you plan to install the Project Beta 2 Technical Refresh update/patch onto a Beta 2 Server containing provisioned Project Web Access site(s), you need to delete those sites before the update/patch is applied.  
    3. Project Server 2007 Beta 2 and Project Server 2007 Beta 2 TR cannot exist on the same computer. This is not supported.
    4. Installing Office Project Server 2007 Beta 2 TR and Office SharePoint Server 2007 Beta 2 TR on the same computer is not supported. If you have Office Project Server 2007 Beta 2 and Office SharePoint Server 2007 Beta 2 on the same computer, and if you plan on upgrading and using the same computer, you will need to uninstall both and then install either Office Project Server 2007 Beta 2 TR or Office SharePoint Server 2007 Beta 2 TR.


    Data Upgrade:

    “Data upgrade” from Project Server 2007 Beta 2  to Beta 2 TR is a manual process.  Detailed step-by-step instructions, sample code, macros are available in the detailed documentation to help make your data upgrade a success.  Read the documentation carefully before you attempt the data upgrade.


    Detailed Documentation:

    Detailed step-by-step deployment instructions can be found at:   (content would be available around Beta 2 TR general availability). Meanwhile, ask your Microsoft contact to get a draft copy of the detailed instructions.




    When ?

    Sep 13th, Wednesday, 9 AM to 10 AM PST (Pacific Standard Time)

    Meeting Title

    How to install Project Server 2007 Beta 2 Technical Refresh

    Webcast link If you cannot click the meeting link above, or it does not work, please do the following:

         Browse to:

         Type your name

         Type the Meeting ID as: PublicWebcast

         Type the Password as: 736410

    Audio information

    1-866-500-6738 or 203-480-8000. Participant code: 852710#

    Who will present ?

    Microsoft Project Group members from Redmond, USA.

    Main objective

    To give an overview of how to install Project Server 2007 Beta2 TR and answer any questions you may have.

    Can I attend ?

    Yes. This is a Public Webcast – anyone can attend.


    You can also start reading more from the Office Project Server 2007 Deployment Guide.

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