#ProjectOnline – 1 PWA site collection for all or 1 per department? #O365 #PPM #PMOT #Office365 #MSProjectMarch 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Posted in App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Installation | Leave a comment
Tags: Office 2016, Office365, PPM, Project 2013, Project 2016, Project Online
A question I hear a few times from organisations is “We have a new department or business unit coming on-board with Project Online, do we need a new PWA instance for them or can we use the one we already have?” The answer isn’t normally a straightforward yes or no. This post aims to cover most of the questions you need to ask when considering using the existing PWA site collection or creating a new one for a new department / business unit.
The first thing to consider is the Project Online limitations for the data such as number of projects per PWA site, check out the limits here: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Project-Online-software-boundaries-and-limits-5a09dbce-1e68-4a7b-b099-d5f1b21ba489. Check how many projects you currently have in the PWA site collection and how many more the new business unit expect to add into the PWA site collection – if you are going to be reaching the limits on a PWA site collection then consider a dedicated PWA site collection for the new business unit. The number of PWA site collections in each Office 365 tenant will not be an issue – you can have up to 9,999. Just because you can have lots of PWA site collection doesn’t automatically mean the answer is a new PWA site collection each time!
One PWA site collection will support different PWA configurations for each business unit or department (custom fields , Enterprise Project Types etc.) by making use of the Department functionality to separate those configuration items. So for example, the R&D department only see configuration items relevant to them. So if the new business unit has different custom field / EPT requirements, that shouldn’t be a problem using a single PWA instance.
Whilst talking about configuration items, there are some items that are at the PWA site collection level that can’t be configured / tailored to each business unit or department. These would be some of the Time and Task Management options such as Time Reporting Periods, Timesheet settings and Task settings. Also some settings under the Operational Policies such as Additional Server Settings. If the new business unit has different requirements for time capturing they would need a dedicated PWA instance.
Another important aspect to consider is – will these different business units require access to the same enterprise resources to assign to tasks? Will they need to view the true resource demand / availability for these resources in one place? If this is the case then the easiest option is for the new business unit to use the same PWA site collection.
If there is a requirement to see the data from each business unit together in PWA, for example in a project center view then a single PWA site collection would be required. Similarly, if both business units projects needed to be included in the organisations portfolio strategic analysis for cost and resource requirements, a single PWA site collection will be required.
Reporting is another key factor, if the reports need to show data from all business units / departments then a single PWA instance is easier but it is still possible to generate reports that use data from multiple PWA site collections. With multiple PWA site collections this is something that can be worked around providing there was common metadata between the PWA site collections to enable projects from both PWA site collections to be viewed in the same report.
Then there is the management of the PWA site collection/s. It might be that the organisation has a central PMO function that administers the PWA site collection – adding another PWA site collection will increase their workload.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, here are just a few of the things to consider when deciding on using the existing PWA site collection or a new PWA site collection when a new business unit / department are coming on board.
Tags: Mobile, Office365, PPM, Project 2013, Project 2016, Project Online
Yesterday saw the release of the Office 365 Project Time Reporter mobile app for Apple’s iOS, see the announcement here: https://blogs.office.com/2016/09/20/announcing-the-availability-of-office-365-project-time-reporter/
This post gives a walkthrough on getting started and using the app on your iOS device. Firstly download the app for your iOS device from the Apple store:
Once completed locate the Project Time Reporter app:
On first launch you will be required to enter the Project Online PWA URL:
You will then see the login screen:
Enter your Office 365 credentials and click Sign In and you will see the loading screen briefly whilst the data is loaded:
Once completed you will see the Timesheet for this period:
From here you can enter the actuals as needed. Using the green control menu at the bottom of the app you can scroll between timesheet periods using the previous and next buttons, add a row, save the timesheet, send the timesheet or filter the projects. Using the ellipsis in the top right hand corner you can access other timesheet options such as refresh, go to current period, summary, send progress for all tasks or manage timesheets. The app menu in the top left corner enables you to access the app settings, here you can switch to the tasks view or see the app settings. Below you will see screen shots of some of these features.
Firstly the app menu screen, here you can view Timesheet, Tasks or Settings:
On Settings you can view the PWA URL and username and turn on two options:
I turned on the planned time in my app:
To enter time just click in the box for the day you want to add time to:
You can use the Save button on the green menu at the bottom of the app to save the timesheet or send the timesheet using the send button. If you have many projects on the current timesheet you can using the filter option:
If you want to send progress, click the ellipsis in the top right corner:
Here you will also see other options such as Summary:
On the timesheet view you can add rows using the Add button on the green menu:
We have focused on the Timesheet view here but there is also a Tasks view that is accessible from the app menu > Tasks:
You can change the view by clicking the Current Tasks heading:
You can access the task options to filter and sort the tasks using the ellipsis in the top right hand corner:
Selecting a task will take you to the task details screen:
To edit a task click Edit in the top right hand corner:
Make any changes as needed and click Save or Send.
Download it today and see what you think – it will make the timesheet / task update process so easy when you are on the move!
#ProjectOnline / #ProjectServer #Project site provisioning using #Office365 PnP remote provisioning #SharePoint #PowerShellMay 4, 2016 at 4:20 pm | Posted in .Net, Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Installation | 1 Comment
Tags: Office365, Project Online, Project Server 2013, Project Server 2016, SharePoint 2013, SharePoint 2016, SharePoint Online
For many years now Project Server deployments have used Project Sites or known as Project Workspaces before Project Server 2010. Typically most deployments have custom requirements for the sites so custom site templates were created from a site created using the default Project Site template. The updated custom site template was then linked to the Enterprise Project Type so that new projects created used the new site template. The biggest issue with this approach was that if you wanted to update the site template later on down the line all of the existing project sites would either need manually updating or writing code to traverse through all the existing sites and make the changes. With the new online world in Office 365 there are other things to think about too. If you create a new custom site template based on the default Project Site template then Microsoft roll out a new feature in the base Project Site template – your new project sites wont get that change either. This is where the PnP remote provisioning engine is great. For a while now – at least a year or 2 I think, the best practise is to stick with the default site templates Microsoft provide, so the Project Site template for example. The Enterprise Project Types should use the default Project Site template so each new project gets a site created using the default site template. But what about my custom lists, or columns or views I hear you ask – deploy the custom artefacts once the site is created from the default site template. In this post I will give you a very quick introduction to the Office 355 PnP Remote Provisioning engine which is part of the PnP core component. PnP, known as Patterns and Practices – details can be seen here: http://dev.office.com/patterns-and-practices. This will enable you to deploy your custom site artefacts.
For this example we will look at the PowerShell variant: https://github.com/OfficeDev/PnP-PowerShell but is also available with managed code. To get started with the PowerShell version follow the steps in the GitHub link to get the components installed. I have created a project / project site using the default Project Site template and added a new list called Change Requests that is linked to a Site Collection Content type in my root PWA site collection:
This list has two views:
I have also updated the default Risks list to use custom content type and included one new column:
I have added my new column to the All Items view:
This is the new site template I want to use. Typically this is where you would save as a template but not for this example.
Once the PnP components are installed on your machine, connect to the source project site using this command – update the Url for your site:
Connect-SPOnline –Url <source site URL>
Enter credentials if prompted to do so.
Now use the following command to extract the site:
Get-SPOProvisioningTemplate -Out C:\Temp\PnP\NewTemplate.xml
This process will extract the site definition and create an XML file in the specified location:
At this point the XML should be modified to remove unneeded properties. For example, as this project site is linked to a project already the property bag will contain certain properties referenced to the source site – I don’t want to overwrite these settings on my target sites so I removed the property bag entries highlighted below.
I have also removed properties for configuration I don’t need to update, other lists etc. See an example below, I have only left the two lists I have added / updated:
I don’t cover this here but I used Visual Studio – really one for the devs out there.
Once you are happy with the source XML file you are ready to deploy this to the existing project site/s. In this example I have a test project site created by the default Project Site template that has not been modified:
In PowerShell I now connect to the test target site using the command below – update the Url for your site:
Connect-SPOnline –Url <target site URL>
Then run the following command to apply the changes:
Apply-SPOProvisioningTemplate -Path C:\Temp\PnP\NewTemplate.xml
Once completed the test target site should be updated, in this example, with a new list and updated risk list. Once you are happy with the test target project site you could repeat the process on other project sites. I have found some settings are not set correctly and some do generate errors in PowerShell but there are usually monthly updates the PnP code so always ensure you regularly update the modules using the Update-Module command.
This is a very simple example using PowerShell, in production you might have a full script that has a list of Project Sites you want to update and get the script to update them all etc. Or better still, go down the manage code route and create an event driven SharePoint provider hosted add-in to do it. Either way, fully test this process on test project sites / projects first before any production projects / project sites!
Tags: Office365, Project Online, Project Server 2013
Just a quick post to highlight a new code sample that has been added to the Project Online code samples on GitHub found here: https://github.com/OfficeDev/O365-Project-Online-.Net-Samples
The projTool tool has been created / updated to use CSOM instead of the PSI, Brian Smith has a great walkthrough for getting started with this tool on the link below:
On the GitHub samples you will find other examples for JSOM, CSOM and REST. A great place to start with Project Online development. You will also find some simple code samples / solution starters on the link below for Project Online / Project Server:
Tags: Office365, Project Online, Project Server 2013, Project Server 2016, SharePoint Online
In this post we will look at the recently released Office 365 Project Portfolio Dashboard for Project Online / Project Server 2013 / 2016, see the announcement below:
A directly link the the SharePoint add-in can be found here: https://store.office.com/en-us/WA104380116.aspx
I have loaded this on to one of our demo instances to take a look:
The add-in is accessed from the PWA site contents menu:
Worth noting is that the users will need to be a member of one of the following SharePoint groups for the Portfolio Dashboard to work when in the SharePoint permission mode:
Administrators for Project Web App
Portfolio Managers for Project Web App
Portfolio Viewers for Project Web App
When in the Project permission mode the users will need access to “Access Project Server Reporting Service” permission and be added to one of the SharePoint permission groups above.
When the add-in is first loaded it will load the data and cache it – it will tell you it is doing this. Then in the top right corner it will display the details for when the data in that dashboard was last updated / loaded:
You can then refresh the data as required and it will update to indicate the refresh has started:
Depending on the amount of data this might take some time.
The default dashboard is “This year’s projects”, there are 6 dashboards included by default, these are available in the Dashboard tab on the ribbon:
Each show different data. Each dashboard has different sections or pages, for example on This Year’s Projects I can view Projects:
Some of the tables in the views have multiple views or sheets, for example the Resources shows Work by default but can view Issues, Risks or Availability:
In most pages you can either drill down or click though, for example from the Overview page on the table at the bottom I can click the project name to drill down to more detail for that project:
Clicking the task name will load the schedule PDP in a different tab.Clicking a risk or issue will load the list item in a different tab.
Notice the left navigation updates to show you where you are with more options. For example I can go from the project dashboard view to an Executive view:
I can then go back to the overall dashboard view by using the navigation section.
For each dashboard you can filter the data using the Filter tab:
The options tab will give you the ability to change the settings for the dashboard:
On the Dashboard tab you also have the ability to create your own dashboard using the create button, that will display a new tab on the ribbon:
Firstly give it a name and description.
Then select the projects to include:
Depending on the field type you will get different options to select, for example selecting a date field will give you this:
Then chose the layout for each section and the components on each:
Update each section as required then set any filters you want available:
Once completed click OK and the new dashboard will be available on the Dashboard menu for all users:
Download it today and take a look!
Tags: Project Online
Quick post to highlight that the Project Online CSOM DLL ‘Microsoft.ProjectServer.Client.dll’ is now available via the NuGet package for SharePoint, see the blog post below for details:
Direct link to the package: https://www.nuget.org/packages/Microsoft.SharePointOnline.CSOM
Update multiple #ProjectOnline PWA Instances using c# .Net console app #Office365 #csharpe #PPM #PMOTDecember 23, 2015 at 4:12 pm | Posted in .Net, Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
Tags: .Net, CSOM, Office365, PPM, Project Online, Project Server 2013
Following on from a post I wrote over a month ago regarding checking entities from multiple Project Online PWA instances, this post covers updating multiple Project Online PWA instances. The first post can be found below:
In this post I demonstrate a way in which you can manage configuration across multiple PWA instances, for example you might want to create a new custom field on more than one instance. This is a simple example just to show you the idea. As this is very much an example, I haven’t released any code or solution but you can see the core code further on in the post.
For the purpose of this blog post I created a C# .Net console application. Once you have a new visual studio console app project you will need to add the references to the following DLLs:
I used the v15 SharePoint and Project Server dlls here.
In the program add these dlls:
The first part of the code is to capture the custom field name and description plus the number of PWA instances to update:
It then goes into a loop to create the custom field on the specified PWA site:
The code below is used to secure the password in the console input:
That is it. This example will create a Project level custom field but you could easily update the code to get the user to enter the entity type (task / resource etc.)
To see this in action see below:
Enter the custom field name:
Enter the custom field description:
Enter the number of PWA instances to update:
Enter the first PWA site URL:
Enter the username for an account that has access to create custom fields:
Enter the password for that account:
After pressing enter it will go off and create the custom field on the first PWA instance:
Press any key and it will go back to ask for the 2nd PWA instance:
It will then prompt for the username and password as before. It will keep looping through depending on how many PWA sites needed to be updated.
On one of those PWA instances we can see the field was created:
Nice and easy, saves navigating around multiple PWA site collections for a simple change you might want to roll out across multiple instances.
Tags: Excel, Power Query, PowerBI, PPM, Project 2013, Project Online
This is the second post for the Project Online reporting with Power BI intro I created earlier this week. If you missed it, a link to the post can be found below:
In this post we will look at creating new reports using the Power BI Desktop tool then adding these to Power BI.
Firstly if you haven’t already, download the Power BI Desktop: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/desktop.
Once launched you will see a getting started type page:
Close this and you will see a blank canvas:
The first thing we need to do is get the data, to do this click the Get Data button on the ribbon then OData feed:
In the next window, paste in your Project Online OData feed, in this example I am using:
Click OK and you will see your data:
At this point you can click OK to load the data but I would Edit the data to only select the fields you want. So in this example I will click the Edit button to load the query editor. The Query editor is very similar to the Power Query editor you see in Excel:
I only want certain columns so I will select the columns I want then remove the others. To select the columns just click the first one and hold down the Ctrl key then click the rest:
Or use the Choose Columns button on the ribbon:
Once all selected, click the Remove Columns > Remove Other Columns:
Notice in the Query Settings pane you see the Applied Steps, so you can easily undo a step if required:
That is the project data loaded, now I want to load the task data. In the Query Editor click New Source > OData feed:
Paste in the URL for the Tasks feed:
Click OK to add the new source. I then selected the columns I wanted and named the query:
There is also an advanced editor that I used to filter out the summary tasks by modifying the URL:
The advanced editor can be used to type the code to manipulate the data but use the UI where possible.
Now we have two individual datasets / queries, we need to merge the queries to create the join, click the Merge Queries button:
Chose the columns and table to join then the join type:
Once you are happy with the data click Close & Load > Close & Load:
This will load the dataset to the report, see the fields pane:
Then add your visualisations on, the first one I added is the Treemap:
Then drag the fields to the visualisation settings on the pane, in this example I use Project Name for the group property and % complete in the values property:
Add the other visualisations you need, the example I created looks like this:
I then added another page to visualise some task information:
A very basic report but that gives you the idea how easy it is to create visualisations of your Project Online data using the Power BI Desktop.
The next stage is to add this to Power BI. To do this I can either publish the report using the Publish button or from the Power BI site, upload the file. For this example I clicked the Publish button:
The report will then be available in Power BI. The manual way from the Power BI portal site is to click the Get Data button:
Then chose the type of data, for this example I will use Files:
Then click local file:
Locate the Power BI file (or can be Excel etc. but this was a Power BI file) and add the file:
Once loaded, Power BI will create the dataset, the report and create a dashboard with a link to the report (note, I removed everything from my Power BI portal so that is was clean for the screen shots :))
Clicking the link under the Reports heading will load my report:
Clicking on an element from a visualisation will filter the data in the other visualisations:
The first thing to do is set up the dataset to refresh, to do this click the ellipsis next to the dataset then click Schedule Refresh button on the fly out menu:
Expand Manage Data Sources:
Enter the credentials for both sources, click the Edit Credentials link, select the oAuth2 for the Authentication Method and click Sign in:
Enter the credentials for the Project Online tenant and click sign in. Repeat for the other data source.
Now expand the Schedule Refresh section and turn on the “Keep your data up-to-date”:
Click Apply. The data sources will update Daily now but you can also update it on demand using the Refresh Now option:
When the data is refreshing you will see a spinning icon next to the dataset:
Now lets look at the dashboard. I will create a new Dashboard called “Dashboard Example” using the + button next to the Dashboards heading:
Once created you will see a blank canvas:
Now I can pin visualisations to this dashboard. To start with access the report previous loaded, hover over a visualisation and click the pin icon:
Navigate back to the dashboard and you will see the visualisation:
Repeat this process until you have the dashboard you need, for example:
You can also create new visualisations from the dashboard using the natural language query “Ask a question…” field, start typing a question about the data, for example “show project work” will create a visualisation for the total project work in the dashboard:
This visualisation can then be pined using the pin too. You can also change the default visualisation for the data returned using the visualisation pane, see the example below for a different query:
Once finished, the visualisations can be been seen on the dashboard:
The properties of the tiles can be edited using the pencil icon:
This loads the Tile detail pane:
Clicking on a visualisation that was added from a report will navigate you to that report directly.
You can then share your dashboard out to other people in your organisation using the Share Dashboard option, this loads the following window:
Enter the email addresses and click Share.
This is just touching the surface of what you can do with Power BI, take a look today – it will be your favourite reporting tool!
Tags: Excel, Power Query, PowerBI, PPM, Project 2013, Project Online
Since Power BI 2.0 was released a week or so ago I thought it was time I created a blog post on Power BI and show off some of the cool functionality Power BI has to offer. In this first blog post we will take a look around Power BI and see what it has to offer and include some useful links to help you get started.
So firstly, what is Power BI? In short Power BI is a cloud reporting tool that enables you to create great visualisations for your data. I won’t go into details here as there is plenty of information available – a good place to start is here: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/tour
On my Power BI instance I have created some example reports and a report dashboard already as you can see below:
Displayed above is my example Report Dashboard displaying various visualisations for % complete, Work and Cost.
The first thing you need to do before you can create the dashboards is get the data available in Power BI. You can do this by clicking the Get Data button. This will load the screen below:
In my example I selected the Files option and loaded up a file that contained my data. This could be an Excel file, CSV file, Power BI Desktop file etc. As I wanted to see my Project Online data here I chose a file I had already created earlier using Power BI Desktop that displayed my Project Online data – more on Power BI Desktop in a later post when we look at creating a new report and dashboard.
Once the report file is added you will see it appear under the Datasets heading on the left navigation pane and under the Reports heading:
Clicking on the link under the dataset enables you to create new report:
Clicking the ellipsis allows you to refresh the data or schedule a refresh. This functionality will depend on the data source you use in the file – for Project Online OData, both of these work:
Firstly you will need to click the schedule refresh option, expand Manage Data Sources:
Click Edit Credentials then chose oAuth2 and click sign in then enter the credentials for a user that had access to the OData API.
Clicking on the link under the Reports heading displays the report file I uploaded as a data source (created in Power BI Desktop but could be Excel etc.):
From the report you can add visualisations to the dashboard using the “Pin Visual” pin option. This becomes visible when you hover over a visualisation on the report:
You can create many different data sources, reports and dashboards. From the dashboard you can click a visualisation and it will drill down to the report itself. In this example if I click on my % complete treemap visualisation on the dashboard it will load the source report:
Clicking the treemap:
Loads the source report:
From the dashboard I can also create new visualisations and pin those, to do this I can use the natural language search – use the “Ask a question about the data on the dashboard” field:
For example, I might want to see a count of projects for each project owner, so I start typing “count of projectname by ProjectOwnerName”:
You can see Power BI already started to get the data and create a visualisation that matched the data type. Once I had finished typing my query it gave me this:
You can then change the visualisation using the options on the right hand pane, in this example I switched it to a multi row card:
I can then use the pin to pin the visualisation to my dashboard:
Clicking the pin will give you a notification and add the visualisation to the dashboard:
Now if I look at my dashboard I can see it has added the new visualisation at the bottom:
Next up I will walkthrough creating a new report using Power BI Desktop and load that to Power BI.
In the meantime here are some useful links for Power BI:
Power BI site: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/
Power BI blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/powerbi/
Different approach to #Project team collaboration, what about #Office365 Groups? #ProjectOnline #PPM #PMOJuly 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm | Posted in Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
Tags: Office365, PPM, Project 2013, Project 2016, Project Online
For many types of projects, team collaboration is very important. There are many different options currently to support team collaboration. The default one being the project site in a Microsoft PPM environment. Other options include email distribution groups, shared mailboxes, Yammer etc. The latest option to consider is Office 365 groups, this feature was released towards the end of last year in Office 365. A good intro video on Office 365 groups can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3OLvYXepvE
Groups are managed via the Outlook Web App on your Office 365 tenant, you will see the Groups section below the folders in the left pane:
Clicking the blue + symbol next to the Groups heading or the “Create group” link will load a pane of the right hand side:
Give the group and a description. The Group ID will be generated automatically from the name you enter but can be modified if required.
Then choose the privacy level, typically you would probably only want the project team members or a subset of the project team to have access so in this example it will be set to Private.
I have also enabled the subscribe option so that members receive group conversations and calendar events in their inboxes.
Then click the Create button at the top of the pane and the group will be created:
Next I need to add the members to the group:
For this example I have only added a generic CPS user account, once all the users have been selected click the Add button at the top of the pane and you will see an adding members message:
Your group is then created:
The group name, description and image can easily be edited by clicking the edit icon on the group image or the edit group option on the ellipsis menu.
You can also let people outside of the organisation email the group too – these appear as normal conversations in the group. Once the changes are made click save. In this example I clicked discard then you can view the group / updates to the group.
From here members can easily start new conversations:
Easily reply or like a message:
Members can navigate to the group calendar, notebook or file share:
Easily create meetings in the group calendar and invite the group members:
Each group has a dedicated OneDrive site to share documents:
Keep in mind that if the group is deleted the documents will be lost so key documents probably want to be stored in the project site / document management portal.
You can then add a link on the Project Site to the Office 365 group if needed:
Take a look and see what you think.