Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Project Pro 2010: 90 000 000 Cost field issue ?

Hi Guys,

We have come across something very strange if we enter the Amount "90 000 000" in a cost field in Project Pro it rounds it off to "89 999 994,88" !! I find that very strange. As a matter of fact all my tests with amounts between 90 000 000 and 100 000 000 seem to be rounding.

You may ask why that large amounts ? One of our clients are a mining house and the get to that amount in South African rand.

I will log a call with Microsoft and revert once I have feedback. If any of you guys have any ideas please use the "Comment" to give your suggestions.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Windows8 and Project Server 2010: IE incorrect version.


When trying to open my Timesheet using IE 10, which ships with Windows 8, I ran into the issue below. Note that the Landing Page displays correctly but when navigating to the Project Center or Timesheets it gives the error.

In my opinion this is one of "those" ill written errors , because I am ALREADY using a version higher than the minimum IE7 that it requires.

I am sure on future updates it will be fixed though.

Work Around:

With IE open click on the settings icon, then Click on the "F12 Developer Tools". At the top of the Browser window there you will see an option "Browser Mode", it should have defaulted to IE10. Click on the option and select IE9. Some other people stated that IE10 Compatibility have worked for them as well, for me it did not.

You can then close the Developer Window and navigate to your timesheet. Everything should be working now.

A last item I would like to point out is that the compatibility settings as specified above is not saved. So once you close and re-open IE, you will have to set compatibility again

Feel free to leave questions and comments

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Outlook 2013 Preview - Critical Issue

Outlook 2013 - Potential Data Loss Issue 

Microsoft have released a critical update for the downloadable version of Office Professional Plus 2013 Preview.  This update addresses a potential data loss issue in Outlook related to the unintentional deletion of mail, contacts andcalendar items from the Exchange Server.  If you downloaded and installed Office Professional Plus from Connect and are using Outlook, we strongly recommend that you install the update.  Updates can be found at the following locations:
32-bit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=406fc4ba-cdd4-4dfc-a9da-3a31e9db218d
64-bit: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=7938423f-f99e-4130-8d79-000268af72dc

For additional details on the update and issue identified with Outlook, please visit our Knowledge Base article:
NOTE: If you are using Outlook as part of Office365, no action needs to be taken.


Friday, 27 July 2012

Project Server 2013

Project Server 2013: What's New 

Hope you all are still doing well!! As part of my Project and Project Server 2013 series of Updates, this one will focus more on what has changed in the Project Server 2013 environment.

Lets have a look at some of the changes : (Details will be discussed later)

  • Multi-Tenancy Support
  • Database Consolidation (Much discussed topic)
  • The Odata Service
  • Project Server 365 (Cloud Availability)
  • Mobile Access to Project Information, using a Compatible Device (Sorry BBY!)
  • Demand Management Improvements
  • Better Exchange Integration Between SharePoint 2013, Project Server 2013 and Exchange 2013
  • My Tasks - ALL tasks in one location
  • Administrative Settings UI changes .   

Multi-Tenancy Support

This allows a SharePoint Farm and SharePoint Infrastructure to be shared by different BU's or Clients. Typically it could be in a hosted environment where you need to give Multiple client the ability to manage their own environments. For more info Look Here

Database Consolidation

In Project Server 2010 there are 4 Databases:
  • ProjectServer_Archive
  • ProjectServer_Draft
  • ProjectServer_Published
  • ProjectServer_Reporting
One of the most significant changes to the actual architecture, is the consolidation of those 4 Databases into a Single Database. So no more 4.... Only one DB known as the Project Services Database. The 4 DB names are now "Tables and Views" of which only the Reporting table have direct accessing supported. So in that sense, nothing have changed. Read more Here.

Odata Service

A Major change in Project Server 2013  reporting, is the use of the OData service to access the Project Service database. The use of OData enables reporting from a Online Point of View. In Office 365, the ProjectService database for Project Online cannot be accessed directly, so an OData service is available.
For more Info, read Here

Project Server 365 Online

This has been released inline with Microsoft Office 365. This is an Online-Hosted solution, which is Hosted in a Microsoft Data Center. This enables an organisation to Adopt quickly. This also have a "Pay-as-you-Go" Model.
In my opinion this is a relatively good offering for a Small organisation. (At a later stage i will discuss the why i think so)

Users can be added and changed when needed. Some of the benefits include, but are not limited to :

  • IT Pro-Administration : All Operational maintenance and monitoring are handled through MS Project Online Services.
  • Easy Start-up : No Infrastructure costs or Expensive licensing that need to be bought.
  • Security : Monitored and checked for Viruses and Spam, and also redundant backups for when it might bee needed. (Not sure yet if they will be able to help with item level restores)
  • Guaranteed Up-time :  Microsoft offers guaranteed, financially-backed uptimes and phone support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
For more information on Project Online, click here

Mobile Access to Project information

A new addition in Project Server 2013  is support for mobile access to your project Information. A web-based mobile site is now included, which enables team members and project managers to view project status  on a mobile device. You can access and edit relevant project documents and do lightweight editing of project plans from your Windows Phone 7.5 (using the Internet Explorer 9 browser), Apple iPhone, or Android device. For more Information read Here

Demand Management Improvements

In Project Server 2010, workflows can be created and edited in Visual Studio. A major improvement in Project Server 2013  is the ability to use SharePoint Designer and the SharePoint workflow engine to create Project workflows for Demand Management. 

No more costly licences to build a workflow. This might also have an impact on 3rd Party Workflow Engines like Nintex or K2. Now clients will need those 3rd Party Products only when they require more complex and advanced workflow's, as opposed to now, when just about any workflow requires a 3rd Party application. Read here for more information

Integration Improvements with Exchange 2013, SharePoint and Project Server

The Exchange integration feature in Project Server 2013 allows you integrate project task management by using SharePoint Server 2013 with Exchange Server 2013. This allows team members anywhere that have access to Exchange Server to interact with task management data in Outlook or Outlook Web App and even using an Exchange-connected mobile device (by using either Windows Phone 7.5 or Apple IOS v5). More information here.

My Tasks: All tasks in one location

The My Tasks feature allows users to see an aggregation of their SharePoint, Project Server, and Outlook/Exchange tasks in a single location — the My Tasks page in a user's personal site. Instead of navigating to different lists, sites, and site collections to view and edit both SharePoint Server and Project Server tasks, users simply have to go to their My Tasks page to see a single collection of all the things they need to do.

This is done using a new Service called "Work Management Service" that combines all of the users tasks in the My Tasks in a Users site. For more info on this click here

Administrative Settings UI changes

In Project Server 2013 , Administrative controls that are more IT-related were moved from the Project Web App Server Settings page to the SharePoint Central Administration site. The goal is to make the Server Settings page more suitable for PMO Administration and to move settings related to administering the farm to the Central Administration site.

In Central Administration in SharePoint Server 2013, you can find the Manage Project Server Settings page in the General Application Settings section. For further reading click here

In Conclusion

This is a list of some of the changes (There are many more) that i found worthy to mention for now. Note that some of these items might change due to this being based on the Preview Software and not the RTM software, however this is highly unlikely.

If you have questions or comments, please leave a comment below this post.

South African Greetings!!


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Microsoft Project 2013 Technical Preview

So it's almost here!! The Technical Preview is ready for download Here. This is just a quick post on Project 2013, to give everyone and idea of whats coming. In later posts i will go into a bit more detail on some of the new or changed functionality

So the first thing that caught my eye is the new .... wait for it ..... Icons :-) They have changed totally for Office 2013.

Now in my honest opinion it looks nice, but it no longer the "Standard" as we got used to. But i am sure most of us are open for change, right ?

So i went and opened Project 2013 preview and i got the the "Recent" Page. This page will list all you recent items, as well as templates. From here you can also search online for other templates.

A simple touch of the "Esc" button, opens a blank schedule for you to start with. This has not changed an awful lot.... Except that it is very very "White", not only is Project 2013 very "White" but the other Office 2013 packages too.

The Ribbon looks the same have more or less the same items on. There is one major Improvement that I would like to highlight in this post. Microsoft have Upgraded the "Local Reports" quite a lot. The good 'ol Visual reports are still there, but they have added a few new reports.

Lets have a look at one of those reports, the Project Overview Report: 

Now most of these reports can also be edited to some extent. I will look at that in a later topic.

Saving a document works the same as before. File - Save or Save As. Have one or two more options though. If you singed up for SkyDrive you can save the document directly to your SkyDrive making it more accessible from various locations. What you dont see there is a Project Server option - I have not configured one as yet.

In time i will do some more blog posts on Project 2013 and Project Server 2013.If there are any specifics you would like to know, please comment here, maybe, just maybe i might be able to help you :-)


Friday, 20 July 2012

MSP Issue when trying to connect to Server (ActiveCacheUnsupportedProjectVersion)

When trying to connect to the Project Server from Project Professional 2010 a user encounters and error:

The following job Failed to complete:
Job Type : Load
Error ID : 12015(0x2EEF)
Error Description: An Internal Error Occurred.

The key to this issue is the 4th Line in my Screenshot. "ActiveCacheUnsupportedProjectVersion" This simply means that the users Project Professional is not on the Same Version (Be it Service Pack or Cumulative Update) as required by the server.

Administrators can "Version Control" Project Pro clients to must  be a minimum version before they are allowed to connect to the server. If they do not have the correct version, this error is displayed above.

To confirm the minimum version required navigate to "Server Settings - Additional Server Settings - Under the Project Professional Versions" The minimum version will be displayed there.

It normally confuses users as it seems like a serious issue due to the error description in XML code. I'm sure at some Point Microsoft could perhaps update this "Function"   to look less like an error.


Monday, 12 March 2012

Project Server 2010 : Project Center "Unknown Error"


OK, it has been released. Only in the server roll up package though


See below from Brian Smith:

Thanks Bram, Ricardo and others on the thread - the fix has already released, but I had been waiting for the KB which has only just gone live, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2598251 .  The fix is also included in the server roll-up packagehttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/2597152.  It is not however included in the non-roll-up packageshttp://support.microsoft.com/kb/2597932 - and you will need to load the hotfix if you use that CU.  The other non roll up package -http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2597138 has been removed from the download site as the 2598251 fix includes everything that was in the 2597138 CU, plus the fix - so can be used in place of that Project Server only fix.
I am just researching what is happening with the clean-up scripts, as the fix will stop the problem happening, but will not clean up existing situations where the dupplicate data already exists.  I'll respond back here and also be doing a blog post shortly.
Best regards,




It would seem like the "Duplicate" values issue might be caused by either the Oct 2011or Dec 2011 CU, as there has been multiple reports of this issue and it seem to have been confirmed as a bug, the bad thing is there is currently no ETA on the fix. For more information look here.


Recently we have had an issue with our Project Center displaying a "Unknown" error. Not very helpful is it ?

I had a look in the ULS Logs and found this :

Exception occurred in method Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.BusinessLayer.Project.ProjectGetProjectCenterProjectsForGridJson Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.DataAccessLayer.FilterDal+FilterException: Error during filter query execution.   Query:     declare @ResUid UniqueIdentifier; set @ResUid = 6a113512-b8e9-4b00-946b-d5aa0370da33;  declare @PermUid UniqueIdentifier; set @PermUid = a120a079-75bc-4f0f-b376-3fb0ae9ac940;  declare @ViewUid UniqueIdentifier; set @ViewUid = 89cedcbe-a490-41fa-b250-1072b23eef23;  declare @P0 UniqueIdentifier; set @P0 = e2804b03-9932-45dc-b2b3-eaee70255708;  declare @P1 UniqueIdentifier; set @P1 = 05a5da48-bb66-43e2-820e-68c703436b47;  declare @P2 UniqueIdentifier; set @P2 = 1fd4f36a-ff57-4587-9829-6bc20029efff;  declare @P3 UniqueIdentifier; set @P3 = c523981a-928c-4982-a026-335c93e78156;    

I have removed a large part of the error to save some space here, but the answer is in the error above!

So when looking at the error i see a "FilterDal+FilterException: Error during filter query execution". So what i did is navigate to to Server Settings > Manage Views. I then checked which Project Center views have Filters applied by default on the view (Regardless if it is/was the applied view)I then removed the filter from the view(s).

After i removed the views and saved them and re-checked if i could go to Project Center, and suddenly the by now very Infamous "Unknown Error" is no longer there. If i then manually apply the filter to view it works ! I know its no ideal, but it's a work around so that users can browse the Project Center.

At this point in time i cannot say for certain what have caused the issues. But i can only speculate. We have had a corruption of a schedule due to issues with Outline Codes. It would seem (Once again i am speculating) that a "Known" issue is causing the corruption of the custom fields:(http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/nl-BE/projectserver2010general/thread/236336b7-bbcb-4db3-9483-e4dd940aaff5 )

Have a look at the Image below, most of the fields are look-up codes, and note how they are duplicated even they  have not been created as "Multiple Selection" fields, like project Phase, Project Status etc,so somehow those fields got corrupted:

In a nutshell i Think these items might be related. The schedule actually opens and publishes but the issue seem to be on the Web whilst displaying the PDP, and then ultimately corrupting the filter in the Project Center Views. Even deleting the Project did not fix it though, but by know we know, once its broken something it's very difficult figuring out how to fix something that already broken, as apposed to prevent it from happening again.

I will test by deleting the Views and re-creating them again. If i find out more i will update this post. I hope someone might find some value in this.



Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Project Server 2010 Auditing - Fluentpro Audit Lite

How many times have you found the "My project disappeared” complaint from a user? I’m sure quite a few times!!! One of  our clients have exactly that issues, they have multiple vendors and EPM Administrators working in their environment, but no one want to take ownership of their actions if something has happened! In general the "Issue" is that Project Server is unstable etc., but we could never prove it though, because very few items are actually logged within Project Server by default.

After a long wait I have managed to find a utility that enables some sort of logging for user actions within the Project Server Environment. The guys at Fluentpro have developed a lightweight, SharePoint based tool that logs user actions within the Project Server environment. This information is then stored in a simple SharePoint list within the PWA site. 

One of the limitations I have found, and maybe in their paid version (To be released soon) the functionality to log the PWA Site Actions, like the creation of the Project site (Workspace), or the deletion of the Project site. 

But never the less, the utility logs items WITHIN PWA. Items like custom fields (Create / Change /delete), Look-up tables (Create / Change /delete), Project Creation (Within MSP or PWA), But line item edits like task durations, additions, deletions etc., are only logged from PWA. Task related changes from within MSP WILL NOT BE LOGGED. 

It is still a very good product, for Auditing PWA actions!! 

I will have a brief walk-through below of the Product Installation, and how it works.  

Installing and Configuring
  • Download the Environment Verification tool. This tool will check you environment to ensure that Minimum requirements are met and also generate the "Order Key" that is mailed to Fluentpro. (They will then respond with the license key used to install.
  • Download FluentPro Audit Lite . This is the installer for the actual SharePoint Solution. 
  • Run the Environmental Verification tool. Click on run when Security Warning Pop's up. 

  • Click next on the welcome page of the verifier 

  • The next step will perform the farm verification Step 

  • Select the instance on which you would want to install the Auditing Feature on

  • Save the Order Key (To be mailed to license@fluentpro.com) They will then reply with a key.

  • Click next to finish the Process. At this point in time i would suggest you wait for the license key to be mailed to you before you continue, as you will need the key during the next steps. 
  • Run the downloaded  FluentPro Audit Lite  file to start the installation. 
  • Click next on the verification page and then the system will do a Farm config check once again .
  • Installer will then check if Project Server is installed on the Farm.
  • The next step required you to load the License Key that was mailed to you. Click Next
  • Verify the instance the solution should be deployed to.
  • Read and Accept the licence agreement.

  • Once yo accept and click next it will Install, deploy and activate the feature. 
  • The last step is to ensure that the account that is used to run the Microsoft Project Server Events Service (From the Services Console) is a  User that has Administrative permissions in PWA. Failing to do this, the auditing will NOT work.

How to view the Auditing

  • After installing navigate to your PWA homepage. Click on Site Actions, then select view all site content. 
  • If installation was completed successfully there should be a list called FluentPro Audit Lite. Initially this list will be blank.

  • Navigate to Server Settings > Enterprise Custom Fields and Look-up Tables. Create a look-up table with some values, save it, add more values to the look-up ad delete some values from the Look-up.
  • Create a Custom field and save it with the defaults. Delete the custom field.
  • Navigate to Project Center and create a project from there , add some tasks,save and Publish. Then add and modify some tasks and save and Publish again.
  • Lastly navigate to Server Settings > Delete Enterprise Objects. Then delete the project You have created, in the previous step.
  • You can the navigate back to All Site Content and click on the list name and should look something like this :
  • Note how Entity Type and Event type Describe what has happened. To see more detail on an event simply click on the Title of the Event. 
  • The details will give more detailed information on an event. Also note not all events will have a "Friendly Name" But will always have a UID.
This is as far as i have tested the Product and i can say i will definitively use it. I also eagerly await the "Paid" version to see what changes there are, as i understand it will log allot more detail. Also note this if free software and i cannot guarantee that nothing will break. All normal DR procedures to be done.

Once i have further info from the developer i will update it here. 

For an installation Video, Look here: Install Video   
For details on FluentPro and their other products and services click here: FluentPro

Happy Auditing. Feel free to leave suggestions and comments

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Project Server 2010: Using Bullet lists in Resource info notes

Recently i have come across something quite interesting whilst browsing the Project Server Forums. It might seem, that using a bullet list in the Notes Tab of Resource Information Dialog might cause issues when opening a resource for editing in Project Pro.

Dale Howard a MVP, noted this as a possible solution for a support call on this list. It seems like one of the other MVP's have tested this and found it to cause issues.

For the full support call, click here