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Friday, March 20, 2015

#Microsoft Ignite #Project Sessions #ProjectServer #SharePoint

This year's most talked about event is Microsoft Ignite 2015.

Unlike previous times, when Microsoft used to host separate conferences to showcase different technologies during different times of the year. This time Microsoft will be hosting an inaugural, unified Microsoft commercial technology conference the week of May 4, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.

This can give attendees an opportunity to explore broader range of learning opportunities across all of Microsoft’s technologies, including actionable best practices from industry experts.

Being someone with Project and Project Server passionate/specialist/learner/consultant etc. etc. I have extracted Project related topics from that huge sessions catalog which Microsoft is updating every day with new content. 

There would be 8 sessions focusing on Project Server, Project Online and Project by some known industry experts. To all the PPM relevant audiences out there, this is something you can look for from MS Ignite 2015.

1. Microsoft's Vision and Roadmap for Work, Project, and Portfolio Management 

Session focus on sharing Microsoft vision for work, project, and portfolio management and provide insights into our future product investments.
Target Audience: C-level

2. Microsoft Project Pro for Office 365: An Overview

Session to showcase features available in Microsoft Project so you can impress your boss, deliver your projects on-time and under-budget, and be the envy of all your co-workers.

Target Audience: IT Generalist

3. IT Project and Portfolio Management in the Cloud

Jean Donati, Krishna Mamidipaka and Mike McLean

This session will highlight end-to-end Project Portfolio Management using Project Online and Project Pro for Office 365.

Target Audience: C-Level, IT Generalist

4. Developer to Developer: Meeting Custom Needs with Microsoft Project

Aesha Shah, Dan MacDonald and Eli Sheldon

Session about the App Marketplace, CSOM API, remote event receivers, and a little bit about workflow. Making the transition to Project Online may be easier than you realize.

Target Audience: Developers, Technical Consultants

5. Real World Reports: Business Intelligence in Microsoft Project Online and Project Server 2013

Allan Rocha, Andrew Lavinsky and Mike McLean

Session focus on BI capabilities of Project online and on-prem versions to demonstrate how you can create real-time reports and dashboards using tools such as Microsoft Excel 2013, Excel Services, Microsoft PowerPivot, Power View, and OData.

Person like me would definitely be looking forward to attend this session. Another point to consider about this session is its presenters, Allan and Andrew, both are known names within PPM industry and have track record of presenting some awesome sessions in past.

Target Audience: Developers, Technical Consultants

6. How to Deploy Microsoft Project: Online and Server

Allan Rocha, Andrew Lavinsky and Mike McLean

This sessions will take you step-by-step through the deployment process.

Good opportunity to learn/re-visit about recommended practices of deploying solution, especially if it’s a large scale deployment.

Target Audience: Implementers, Technical Consultants/Specialists

7. Supporting Microsoft Project Online and Project Server: Tips and Tricks

Brian Smith

Learn the tips and tricks for successful troubleshooting of issues both in Project Online and Project Server. Some of the tools described will be applicable to Online and on-premises customers, such as client side logging and web debugging – and also some specific on-premises tools to help understand ULS logs and database issues. A glimpse of how Microsoft supports the cloud is also included.

Listen directly from Microsoft support public facing, well known within PPM community, Brian Smith. A must attended session for technical experts and support experts.

Target Audience: Implementers, Technical Consultants/Specialists

8. Microsoft Project Online Customization: Best Practices

Brian Smith

This session covers best practices that MS have learned in the past two year of running the service. It discusses how to customize Project Online for better performance.

Target Audience: IT Decision makers

To know about all the sessions, click here: Microsoft Ignite sessions

It would definitely be an awesome learning platform, providing the fact that Microsoft is also planning to showcase SharePoint 2016. You can learn about few SharePoint 2016 related sessions here: Top 3 sessions to learn more about SharePoint Server 2016 at Microsoft Ignite

Good luck to all those who are attending.

Until next time.

I am Back.

Its been a while that i was away.

Those who were wondering, if any, about my whereabouts. Its my pleasure to announce that i am alive and rocking :)

Last year had been a massive year for me, both at personal and professional fronts.
Became a father for 2nd time, and relocated to a different place. It all became a little too overwhelming during past few months, more than i have anticipated, but its all settling down well now.

So its about time to get back to business. Time to pen down more stuff. Time to reconnect.

Lets rock & roll.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Project Server 2013 More Symptoms to Lost Resource Issue #PS2013 #LostResources #ProjectServer

In relation to a famous Lost Resources issue in Project Server 2013, i would like to share few more symptoms that can help you to identify this issue and apply the relative fix. Also the purpose is to feed search engines with more relevant data to help us lead to right direction.

By the way if anyone has already applied April 2014 CU, or planning to apply, then note that the fix for this issue is available as part of this April 2014 CU. But the fix will not solve any existing affected projects, and you need to follow Brian's advise mentioned in his blog (URL available below) to fix it.

Also more details and immediate fix, in case you are not planning to apply CU, is available here at Brian Smith's blog: Blog and Fix

Following are my findings related to the same issue:

Error on Project Page in PWA:

The general error statement on PWA page is not so helpful :)

Queue Error:

You will find project stuck in queue with percentage completed less than 100%, and error details would be:

  • Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.BusinessLayer.Queue.Message:
    • ProjectPublishFailure (23000). Details: id='23000' name='ProjectPublishFailure' uid='187759d1-663f-e411-8b70-0050569b2beb' projectuid='1201772f-00b0-e311-baa9-782bcba8cb82' messagetype='Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.BusinessLayer.QueueMsg.PublishProjectMessage' messageID='16' stage='' blocking='Block'

Using JOB ID mentioned, searching ULS Log will help you find below details:

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

#ProjectServer2013 RollUp Formula field Calculation Issue #PS2013 #ProjectServer

OK this post is actually about sharing an issue i came across lately, with the hope to get a fix through any of the coming CUs. And the hope is high, with the recent news of getting scheduled CU more frequently now :)

Out of lot of improvements we are enjoying with Project Server 2013, one of them is having a scheduling capabilities built within  PWA, and now PWA schedule webpart do all the formula processing as well without open/publish the same project from Ms Project. Unlike its predecessor, where any formula field requires MS Project push to get populated, and hence we had dependency to Ms Project even in the presence of web client and it was nightmare sometimes to explain to end user that why they need to buy more Ms Projects licenses to cope up with web based client limitations.

But recently i found that 'Task level number type roll up formula field, if copied to Project level number type formula field - doesnt work' :(

Now let me try to illustrate above through an example to make it more clearer:
And before i start, note that my server is patched with SP1 (re-released) + Jul 2014 CU.

1. Create a task level number type field, lets name it: %Weight
2. Create a task level number type formula field, with roll up Sum calculation for summary rows:

           Lets name it:  %WeightedProgress = ([% Complete] * [%Weight]) / 100

Here %complete is a default field, and %Weight is the one we have created at step-1 and will be manually updated by users.

3. Create a project level number type formula field:

          Lets Name it %ProjectProgress =  %WeightedProgress

As you can see, i am only copying data of task level formula field to project level field in order to show the data in project center.

Using PWA web scheduler:

1. I have entered %Weight for following 2 tasks, %Weighted Progress is 0 for each task because %Complete is 0, and hence at project level roll up value is also 0.

2. Update %Complete of first task with 50%, and %Weighted Progress will be calculated using formula and became 10 at task level and Project roll up level. Publish project.

 3. Open Project Center and observe % Weighted Progress, its showing 0 which was the task roll up at project level before we have made any changes.

4. Open project, and update %Complete of 2nd task with 50% and that will change %Weighted Progress value to 25. Publish project.

5. Open Project Center, and observe %Weighted Progress, its showing 10 which was the task roll up at project level before we have made change to 2nd task.

By now you may have learnt that its following a unique pattern while updating project level custom field. That its showing you previous value at project center level once you publish your project, although at Project level it updates at the same time.

So the first time when at Project level it was 0, in Project Center it was appearing blank.
Second time when at Project level it was 10, in Project Center it was appearing 0.
Third time when at Project level it was 25, in Project Center it was appearing 10.

Lets update our project plan one more time to assure our conclusion.

6. Open project, and update %Complete of Task A with 100% and that will change %Weighted Progress value to 35. Publish project.

7. Open Project Center, and observe %Weighted Progress, its showing 25 which was the task roll up at project level before we have made change to Task A.

So Fourth time when at Project level it was 35, in Project Center it was appearing 25.

I hope an issue is clear, now a workaround to this is to open/publish using Ms Project and everything will work like a charm, just like old times (Project Server 2010).

Though its not workable in my current scenario because not all the end user have Ms Project on their PCs.

With the hope that we get fix to this issue soon :), see ya next time.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#ProjectServer and #SharePoint 2013 SP1 re-released #ps2013 #sp2013 #office2013

There is lot of noise over the web related to Service Pack 1 of MS Office 2013 products, it was released with much of an applaud then deactivated due to issue and then re-released with lot of clarifications :) because in between deactivation and re-release of SP1, April 2014 CU for Project Server and SharePoint 2013 was also released.

So let me kill all this unnecessary noise with the final announcement that Service Pack 1 is now available to download, and all the clarifications in a nut shell is that Just apply this SP1 to your environment even if you have applied the previously released SP, and also feel free to apply this SP1 if you have April 2014 CU in place.  don't forget to  run the configuration wizard in the end :)

Also do not forget that unlike old times, this SP1 is not a roll up package, which mean you should install SharePoint 2013 SP1 + Project Server 2013 SP1 and then run the configuration wizard in the end.

Download links for updated SP1:

For details please see Brian Smith post, you can find details of almost all the queries in your mind on his blog post.

Also see Stefan Bogner's post for details related to Service Pack 1 release announcement and clarifications.

As always try any patches in your test environment prior to apply to production.

Happy patching :D

Thursday, April 10, 2014

#Project, #ProjectServer and #SharePoint Server 2013/2010 April 2014 CU available #ps2013 #sp2013

This is to announce that April 2014 CU of Project, Project Server and SharePoint Server 2013/2010 is out now. The important point to note that April 2014 CU of Project Server 2013 includes the fixes of SP1 as well. Since SP1 is deactivated until further announcement from Microsoft, Apr 2014 CU can do the job for now.

Also Project Server 2013 CU is not a roll-up package, which means it doesn't includes SharePoint server fixes.

Test the CU in your test environment first prior to apply to production.

Project Server 2013 individual Apr 2014 CU:
Project 2013 Apr 2014 CU:
SharePoint Server 2013 Apr 2014 CU:

Project Server 2010 individual Apr 2014 CU:
Project 2010 Apr 2014 CU:

For more details please see:

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

#SharePoint Product Configuration Wizard Error: Unable to create a Service Connection Point in AD #SP2010 #PS2010

While updating one of my Project Server 2010 environment with language pack, the configuration wizard has thrown following error in the end at step 9:

An exception of type Microsoft.SharePoint.PostSetupConfiguration.PostSetupConfig
urationTaskException was thrown.  Additional exception information: The upgrade
command is invalid or a failure has been encountered.
Failed to upgrade SharePoint Products.

ULS logs digging helped me found a substantial clue and reminded me that i did come across to similar issue long time back as well. The issue is related to configuration to track any SharePoint production installation to farm of your organization, and tracking requires container in AD with appropriate user permissions to allow installation. If the account does not have permission to write to this container, the following warning will appear in the log file for the SharePoint Products Configuration Wizard and Wizard will fail at the last step:

Failed to add the service connection point for this farm
Unable to create a Service Connection Point in the current Active Directory domain. Verify that the SharePoint container exists in the current domain and that you have rights to write to it.”
To resolve this follow these steps:
  1. On the domain controller, click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click ADSI Edit, or use a remote administration tool to connect to ADSI Edit from another computer.
  2. On the Action menu, click Connect to, and connect to the domain that you want to use.
  3. In the console tree, expand the connection, expand the domain name, and then click CN=System.
  4. In the details pane, right-click in the white area, click New, and then click Object.
  5. In the Create Object dialog box, in the Select a class box, click container and then click Next.
  6. In the Value box, type Microsoft SharePoint Products as the container name, and then click Next.
  7. Click Finish.
    The container is created.
  8. Right click the container (CN=Microsoft SharePoint Products), and then click Properties.
  9. On the Security tab, click Add.
  10. In the Select Users, Computers, Service Accounts, or Groups box, add the users that you want to write to this container, and then click OK.
    Note that if a user who cannot write to this container installs SharePoint Server 2010, no new entry will be created. Consider giving all Authenticated Users the permission so that you can track all the objects.
  11. In the Group or user names box, select the names that you previously added, and then under the Permissions box, clickAdvanced.
  12. In the Permission entries box, select the names that you previously added, and then click Edit.
  13. In the Permission Entry for Microsoft SharePoint Products dialog box, in the Permissions box, select the Allow check box forCreate serviceConnectionPoint objects, and then click OK.
Now re-run the wizard and hopefully this time it will go through successfully.
The whole process, with powershell comands as well, can be found here:
Happy updating SharePoint farm :)

Friday, April 4, 2014

#ProjectServer and #SharePoint 2013 #SP1 download deactviated

Update: Service Pack 1 is re-released now, find details in this post

This is to spread the word that due to recently discovered issue, Microsoft Project Server and SharePoint Server 2013 SP1 have been temporarily unavailable for downloading.

“We have recently uncovered an issue with this Service Pack 1 package that may prevent customers who have Service Pack 1 from deploying future public or cumulative updates. As a precautionary measure, we have deactivated the download page until a new package is published.”

Download pages for Project Server and SharePoint are also updated with above reason.

For more details, check Brian Smith post:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

#SharePoint 2013 SP1 on the way ... #SP2013 #Office2013

Thought of spreading this thrilling announcement recently published that SP1 for 2013 product is on its way and expecting to be released early next year.

Service Pack 1 (SP1) for the 2013 set of products including Office, SharePoint and Exchange.  SP1 will deliver performance enhancements, feature updates and improve compatibility with Windows 8.1. 

This will be applicable to both on-premises and online versions, and more details are expecting soon. Also i am trying finding any news related to Project Server, if SP1 is applicable to Project Server 2013 as well, and will update through my blog once i find something.

Update: 2nd March 2014
Service Pack 1 is released, and you can find the details here in this Blog Post.

Say hello to #Project and #ProjectServer 2013 Service Pack 1 #sp2013 #ps2013 #office2013

A quick note to spread the news that Service Pack 1 for SharePoint/Project Server 2013 and other 2013 office products is out now.

For Project Server 2013, you can download from below:

For Project 2013 client, 32bit or 64bit, you can download from below:

For SharePoint 2013 server, you can download from below:

Few important things to note here, that unlike previous versions, this time SP1 is not a roll-up version. Which means that Project Server SP1 doesn't include SharePoint side of update, and vice verse.

Also another important point, is that as part of lost resource fix if you have updated the required sproc, then you may need to update them again as SP1 will re-write those sprocs during installation/setup.

Also read the Project Client versioning details in Brians's post (same link as above).

And in the end as always, try all the updates in test environment prior to apply to production.

Happy patching.