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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Project Server 2010 - SP1 Features in detail

In continuation to my Project Server 2010 SP1 announcement blog, i have just discovered in detail about few of the 'great' fixes the SP1 will bring based on the huge requests of the users. And they are:
  1. Time-phased support for manually scheduled tasks
  2. Improvements to project scheduling in Project Web App

Time-phased support for manually scheduled tasks:
Microsoft introduced the manual scheduling or user-controlled scheduling in Project 2010, which is a collection of features designed to give you more control over how tasks are scheduled. This gives you more control over your schedule but one of the areas you didn’t have control was editing timephased data for them. With Project 2010 SP1 you can now edit timephased data for manually scheduled tasks on the Project Client and Project Server. For more details, see this.

Improvements to project scheduling in Project Web App:
With introduction to the ability to create/edit Project schedule through Project Web App. One of the limitations though was that the only way to edit projects that contained Fixed Work or Effort Driven tasks was to use Project Professional 2010. Project Web App only allow you to edit or create project with Fixed Unit tasks. With Project 2010 SP1 you can now edit project plans containing Fixed Work tasks and Effort Driven tasks in Project Web App. For more details about this new fix, click this.

I am sure most of us, Project Server Consultants, were eagerly needed the above fixes as often it was hard to convince the users about limitations of scheduling through Project Web App. 

Until the next post, happy Projecting ... :)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Project Server 2010 SP1 Release date

Microsoft revealed this week that it is on track to ship the first service pack for Office 2010 by the end of June. Office 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) will be made available for the Office productivity suites, the Office Web Apps, and SharePoint 2010, and will provide functional changes as well as bug fixes, Microsoft says. And with this release, Microsoft will also be officially supporting Google's Chrome browser in the Office Web Apps.

SP1 releases for both Office client suites and SharePoint server products will be made available. All language versions of SP1 will release simultaneously. Initially, Service Pack 1 will be offered as a manual download from the Download Center and from Microsoft Update, and no sooner than 90 days after release, will be made available as an Automatic Update.

  • Outlook fixes an issue where “Snooze Time” would not reset between appointments.
  • The default behavior for PowerPoint "Use Presenter View" option changed to display the slide show on the secondary monitor. 
  • Integrated community content in the Access Application Part Gallery. 
  • Better alignment between Project Server and SharePoint Server browser support.
  • Improved backup / restore functionality for SharePoint Server
  • The Word Web Application extends printing support to “Edit Mode.”
  • Project Professional now synchronizes scheduled tasks with SharePoint task lists.
  • Internet Explorer 9 “Native” support for Office Web Applications and SharePoint
  • Office Web Applications Support for Chrome 
  • Inserting Charts into Excel Workbooks using Excel Web Application 
  • Support for searching PPSX files in Search Server 
  • Visio Fixes scaling issues and arrowhead rendering errors with SVG export
  • Proofing Tools improve spelling suggestions in Canadian English, French, Swedish and European Portuguese.  
  • Outlook Web Application Attachment Preview (with Exchange Online only) 
  • Office client suites using “Add Remove Programs” Control Panel.

Look forward to SP1..

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Project Server - Working offline with the Project

Quite often i have seen post on Project Forums regarding working on Projects in offline mode. The good news is that Project Server does allow users to take the Project offline and work, and when connected back to the server can synchronize the changes back to the server. But there are certain steps needs to be followed to accomplish this to avoid corruption of project data OR to end up with different versions of project files on the server.

First, you'll have to take a project "offline." In this process the project is stored in the cache on the computer you're using to take it offline. To take the project schedule offline:
  • File - Info - Manage Accounts - Work Offline
  •  File - Close
  • Specify "Save" the file; "Keep project checked out"; and click OK
  •  Close and exit Project Professional.
Now, to open and work on Project offline:

  • Open Project Professional and connect in offline mode.
  • Click "Work Offline."

In case you want to verify that you really are working on the Project offline, you can always check the 'connected' indicator at the left bottom of the Ms Project. A globe with the red mark reflects that the Ms Project is open in the offline mode, and the globe without the red mark appears while connected with the server.

Once connected in a offline mode, you can open the Project schedule from the cache. To open the Project file from the cache:
  • Click File | Open.
  • Click on the project schedule to open.
  • Click Open.
You can now update the project in the offline mode. The reason, we have checked-out the project and then disconnected from the server, is to prevent the change in the project schedule at the same time from a different user. After you've made your changes, save and close the project schedule:
  • File - Save.
  • File - Close
While doing this, you must aware about this important step that: Don't check in the Project schedule. Just close Project Professional.
To bring an offline project back online and synchronize with the server: 
  • Open Project Professional and connect to Project Server
  • Make sure that the lower right corner indicates that you're connected to the server:
  • File - Open.
  • Select the project plan and click Open (do not double click the Retrieve Projects from the server)
You can now verify, from the status bar, that Ms Project is connected with the server and your offline Project schedule changes are automatically synchronized with the server.

Save the Project schedule to the server, and Publish (if required). And there you go, you have updated the Project schedule offline and synchronized it back to the server successfully.

Please drop a line if you find it useful, and happy scheduling.