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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Project Server 2010 SP1 Download available!

Microsoft Project Server 2010 SP1 is now available to download.

Microsoft Project Server 2010 Service Pack 1 (SP1) provides the latest updates for Project Server 2010. 
This service pack includes two main categories of fixes:
  • Previously unreleased fixes that were made specifically for this service pack. In addition to general product fixes, these fixes include improvements in stability, performance, and in security.
  • All the public updates that were released through June 2011, and all the cumulative updates that were released through April 2011.
You can go download this workbook to browse the complete list of fixes this SP1 provides to Project Server. Just for reminder that the webcast covers the details of the SP1 is on 6th July, those interested to attend can register here.

happy downloading and patching, and do share you comments regarding the release and experience.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gartner rating for MS EPM

Some more good news for the enterprises seeking to have the best Project Portfolio management solution to help the business processes.  Microsoft EPM received the highest rating possible in the recently released Gartner Project and Portfolio Applications MarketScope.

The MarketScope is an evaluation of a marketplace at and for a specific time period. It depicts Gartner's analysis of how certain vendors measure against criteria for that marketplace, as defined by Gartner. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in the MarketScope, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest rating. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This MarketScope graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research note and should be evaluated in the context of the entire report

You can visit gartner Marketscope Project and Portfolio Management  site for more details.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Project Server 2010 Collaboration - Sync of excel data with List (both directions)

One of the 'great' advantages of having Enterprise Project Management solution in-place is to have effective ways of information sharing between the Project team members. Being developed on top of the sharepoint architecture, it already inherits all the sharepoint features and options to leverage Project team members to help them collaborate in better ways.

Often i came across to the clients ultimate wish out of the solution is to have impressive/color-ful/state-of-the-art reporting to please the higher-ups. And what bothers me more is the kool after-thought response of the users related to the adaptability planning of the solution. Because a Project Management solution is a cultural change, at least I think like this, and the project to roll-out such cultural change can never be a success unless the adaptability plan would be ready upfront.

I usually present Enterprise Project Management Solution to my clients/users/customers divided as 4 pillars. And one of the most overlooked pillar, in my experience, is the Collaboration part of the solution.

I will touch the Collaboration part a little in this post, since its a huge domain to cover, in terms of features the product offers, the usability etc. etc. I have always been a vocal supporter of the use of excel sheet, for various stuff, in parallel while managing Projects. My focus in this post would be on how effectively the whole office suite can work together to enhance the project teams information sharing effort. And to be more precise about the post topic, I would explain how to create and sycn excel spreadsheet with SharePoint site in both ways, i.e. from spreadsheet to SharePoint list and from SharePoint list to excel spreadsheet.

In excel 2010 the capability to synchronize spreadsheet with sharepoint list is not available, yes unfortunately this is the fact of life :),  so we have to go little over the top to cover this deficiency of the excel 2010.
  • Download and install: Excel 2007 add-in: Synchronizing tables with Sharepoint lists.

  • Create or open excel spreadsheet, make sure if you open a saved file it must be .xls
  • Create an excel table

  • from the ribbon menu, select Design tab, and click Publish and allow sync

  • enter the sharepoint site name

  • click publish, and the table will be published on the sharepoint list with all the data you have just feed-in.

I can hear some WOWs .... :), but this is not it. you can also change the data of the same list and sync it back with your spreadsheet.
  • change some data in the list, eg. insert few more rows

  • go back to the spreadsheet, rite click on the table, select table option and click on synchronize with SharePoint.

and there you go, your data is synchronized in both directions. 

Office suite together with Project Server can help enterprise to execute the business smoothly and effectively. There could be many scenarios where the above solution can help the Project team save time and effort.

Happy synchronizing, and as usual you value-able feedback is always welcome.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Project Server 2010 - Another great SP1 feature

June is here and so is the Project Server 2010 SP1 release date :)

Just want to share with you another one of the great feature you can look for in SP, and that is to 'Automatically Publish the updates' to the projects. SP1 can let you set the option of publishing the updates to the projects automatically if the update qualifies to one of your rules. In past, I have developed a custom utility for one of my client who need to bulk publish the changes to the project so that the PM do not follow this step as part of the updates to the project. And i can see this option now as of a great use to such requirements, for more details you can see the Christophe's blog about this.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Project Server 2010 - I like it and Tags & Notes

I came across this query from one of my customer, and i think its a good share since i cannot see much about this in case of Project Server. As we all are already aware that Project Server 2010 is build on top of Sharepoint 2010, and in sharepoint 2010 some improved and enhanced user colloboration features were introduced. 'I Like it' and 'Tags and Notes' are to name a few, they can provide you facebook etc. sort of social communication capabilities while staying in the sharepoint portal. Since it appears in Project Server Project Web App that is users home page automatically as part of the sharepoint feature, it would not be very unlikely that your users wants it to be removed from the PWA.

The question was: How can we remove this from the PWA?

The solution is to deactivate the feature from the farm and it will disappear from the PWA page. Open Central Administration, go to the System settings and click Manage Farm Features

Scroll the page and look for the feature: Social Tags and Note Board Ribbon Controls and deactivate the feature.

And this will remove the feature from your PWA page.

Keep checking the blog as i might write about the use of the these features in details in my next post. Also If this helps you, please feel more than welcome to share or leave your coments on the page.