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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Switch to #ProjectServer #Permission mode from #SharePoint permission mode

Challenging part while using new version of any product is to find new location of features/options within new version, if they are no longer available on the same spot as of their former version.

This post will help you to find key feature of Project Server 2013, Security Settings in Project Server 2013, that used to be under server settings of Project Server 2010.

With the introduction to new security mode in Project Server 2013, i.e. :SharePoint Permission mode, your new PWA by default will provision with SharePoint permission mode and hence you will find Security section missing from PWA server settings page.

Advantages, and what is enabled and what is not, while staying with SharePoint security mode are detailed here:

Out of the above article, and with R&D i have done so far, the major features you were not be able to use in SharePoint security mode are as follows:
  • Unable to edit default permission of groups
  • RBS
  • categories
  • Delegation
As you are aware that permissions in PS 2010 and PS 2007 was the combination of security groups, categories and RBS. SharePoint security mode helps get rid of this complexity and provide single forum for system admins, i.e. SharePoint groups, to configure permission for PWA as well. 

SharePoint Permission Mode creates SharePoint groups that directly correspond to the default security groups found in Project Permission Mode. These default security groups include the following:
  • Administrator
  • Portfolio Managers
  • Portfolio Viewers
  • Project Managers
  • Resource Managers
  • Team Leads
  • Team Members

I have modified the quick launch in above screen shot to show you all the relevant groups, however you can click on Groups link on the top to access to full list of groups. 

Using of SharePoint security could be beneficial for naive organizations or to those who are willing to run project management business without creating data access layers based on user role defined through RBS. There could be several more reasons of using PWA in SharePoint security mode as well.

The recommended way of adding user to group is still the Active Directory synchronization, available through server settings.

In order to switch the permission mode back to Project mode, use the following windows powershell cmdlet:
Set-SPProjectPermissionMode [-Url] <Uri> [-Mode] <SharePoint | ProjectServer | UninitializedSharePoint | UninitializedProjectServer> [[-AdministratorAccount] <String>] [-AssignmentCollection <SPAssignmentCollection>]

For detail of above cmdlet, see this technet article::

Once the prompt will be back after execution, refresh the PWA server settings page to see the Security group available to be used.

Note that Switching security modes deletes all permissions configuration information for the specified Project Web App instance and reverts to the default settings for the specified mode. You need to be carefully planning this well in advance that which security mode you have to configure.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sign-in as different user on #SharePoint Server 2013 or #ProjectServer 2013

While browsing/using your new SharePoint Server 2013 web site, one of the evident feature missing you will come across, apart from the other UI changes, is when you trying to log-in as a different user by clicking on top rite corner of the page and found NOTHING :)

I have seen on few blog posts that it could be the case with preview version, and in RTM we mite get it back. but i am using RTM now and its the same as of preview version. Your other clue at this stage could be that it might needs to be enabled from some setting options, but for your information that is not true either :)

After a little googling i have found that this feature has been removed on purpose by Microsoft from SharePoint server 2013. Although this is pretty much a frequent option to be used by developer/consultants while testing solution, however following are the few reasons explained by Microsoft due to which it has been removed:

  • Caching Problems
  • Documents opened in external applications are saved with an unexpected user account
  • Page content shows information from the previous user due to cached information
  • Session variables contain information from previous user as the cookies are not cleared

As an end user perspective, i agree that its a good move to avoid issues by removing this option since end user do not often requires to switch between log-in user. But as an IT pro, i don't think i can live without it :) and you can follow the below steps to bring the option back for you:

  • Locate and then open the following file in a text editor:  C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\15\TEMPLATE\CONTROLTEMPLATES\welcome.ascx

  • Open the file in Notepad and add the following lines to the file: also see the screen shot for this modification.
<SharePoint:MenuItemTemplate runat="server" ID="ID_LoginAsDifferentUser" 
Sequence="100"  UseShortId="true" /> 

  • As a final step, refresh the page and the option will apparently start appearing for you to be used.

One of the other alternative is to start Internet Explorer as Run as Different User and login to SharePoint site:

Note: I came across this while evaluating Project Server 2013 PWA site, however it applies to any SharePoint site and not limited to PWA only because its all SharePoint :)  Also as i have mentioned that this option is removed intentionally, so try this on your testing environments prior to apply on production.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

#ProjectServer and #SharePoint server 2010/2013/2007 April 2013 #CU released

Microsoft has announced the release of the April 2013 Cumulative Update (CU) for Project, Project Server and SharePoint for 2007, 2010 and 2013.

You can find the details of the updates here:

Note that March 2013 Public update of Project Server 2013 was set as baseline requirement for all the future updates of Project Server 2013, however there was an issue with running the SharePoint Configuration Wizard after applying March 2013 update on a server with Project Server 2013 installed and this is fixed by applying the April CU – so a good practice would be to load the March PU, then the April CU and then run the configuration wizard. 

Detail of March 2013 update issue can be seen here:

Also note that there is a slight delay in Project Server 2013 roll out package, the package includes SharePoint server fixes as well since Project Server 2013 is based on SharePoint platform and Microsoft recommends to apply the update package on your environment. 

Due to the issue with the March PU and running the Configuration Wizard, you could consider loading the individual Project Server patch which does not include the SharePoint updates if you need to get the configuration of the March PU completed.  If you haven’t yet loaded the March PU then I would suggest waiting for the roll-up package for the April CU.

And as usual, always try the patches to test servers prior to apply to productions environment.