#Office365 #ProjectfortheWeb Project Request process using #MicrosoftForms #CDS and #PowerAutomate #ProjectManagement #PPM #MSProject #PowerPlatform

November 11, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Workflow | Leave a comment
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A couple of weeks back I posted how to create a project request process for Office 365 Project Online using Microsoft Forms, Microsoft Flow, now known as Power Automate, and SharePoint, for those that missed that post, it can be found here: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/10/23/office365-projectonline-project-request-process-using-microsoftforms-and-microsoftflow-projectmanagement-ppm-msproject-sharepoint-powerplatform/. Since the official release of the new Microsoft Project application, known as Project for the Web, I’ve built a similar example that uses Microsoft Forms, Power Automate and the Power Platform Common Data Service (CDS). For those of you that haven’t seen my posts on the new Project for the Web service, here is a link: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/tag/project-for-the-web/.

The components required for this project request process are Microsoft Forms, Power Automate, the CDS and Project for the Web. Firstly for the entry point to initiate the project request – I’ve used a simple Form as seen below but this could also just as easily have been a Power App.

Form

As with the Project Online example, we could ask whatever details we need to support the project request process but this is just a simple example. The department question is key for this example as that is used to control who approves this project request. I’ve only got two options here to keep it simple but you will see later on in the post how / where to add to this. The next component is the CDS Entity. I’ve created this new Project Requests entity in the default org:

ProjRequestEntity

I’ve filtered the fields above to show the custom fields I’ve created in this new Project Requests entity. These are summarised below:

  • Project Name – used to store the Project Name from the request form
  • Description – used to store the Project Description from the request form
  • Project Department – used to store the project department from the request form
  • Project Justification – used to store the project justification from the request form
  • Reviewed By – used to store the Flow Approval reviewer
  • Review Status – used to store Flow Approval status
  • Reviewer Comments – used to store the Flow Approval reviewer comments
  • Project Requested By – used to store the email address of the user who completed the request form
  • Project ID – used to store the Project ID from Project for the Web for project that gets created by the Flow
  • Project ID Linked – links to the project in the Project entity for project that gets created by the Flow

To support this process, I’ve also added the “Project Department” field to the Project entity as an option set – add the option values as required.

ProjEntity

Options:

OptionSet

The next component is the Power Automate Flow, this is used to automate the process from receiving the project request form response, sending out the approval and creating / updating the CDS entities accordingly. The Power Automate Flow can be seen below with one of the switch cases expanded:

Flow

The Flow is covered in more detail below. The final component required is Project for the Web.

This Flow is triggered when a new form response is submitted to the Project Request form. The first action is to initialize a Project Manager variable that is set later on. It then uses an Apply to each loop with a list of the response notifications passed in from the trigger. The first step inside the Apply to each action is the Get response details Form action with the form response ID passed in.

Flow1

The next action inside the loop is the Get user profile action, here we pass in the Project Request responders email address then the Flow uses the List records CDS action to query the Users entity, a filter is added as we pass in the users ID from the Office 365 Get user profile action. Here it is assumed that the user who completed the Form response is a user in the CDS Users entity. We then set the Project Manager variable inside a 2nd Apply to each loop. Whilst our List records example will only return one result, the List records action could return multiple results so Flow automatically adds the Apply to each. The input for the Apply to each 2 action is the output from the List records actions. The value used to set the ProjectManager variable is in this example is “items(‘Apply_to_each_2’)?[‘systemuserid’] but just pick “User” from the List records dynamic content:

Flow2

The Flow then uses a Switch action to have different paths based on the department value, the “Which department is the project for?” form answer is used to switch on:

Flow3

The Flow then has different cases in the Switch action, one for each of the possible values for the “Which department is the project for?” question. I’ve just got 2 cases in this example but this is where you would expand this for more departments:

Flow4

Expanding one of the cases to see the details and I will point out the differences between each case:

Flow5

As you can see, the first action is a Flow Approval that is set to “Approve/Reject – First to respond”. I’ve set the Title to be “Marketing Project Request”, update this for other departments as need. I’ve assigned this to the admin account but this where you would assign it to the user who approves the marketing projects. In the details section I’ve added the Project Request form responses for the “Get responses details” action to give the reviewer the details needed. The Condition check action is used to check the approval outcome. Then for requests that were approved the Flow uses another loop. The loop is required as the default Approval action can have more than one response in some cases but in this case it will only have one. Inside the loop there are 3 CDS actions:

Flow6

Firstly to create a new record in the Project Request entity by passing in the form response value and the approval details:

Flow7

The second CDS action in this loop is to create the project in the Project entity, here the Calendar Id is required but this is set by the service, here I just put a 1 in there as a value is required in the action, the Name is passed in from the Form value. The Contracting Unit is the Organizational Unit ID found in the Organizational Unit entity, Project Manager is set with the Project Manager variable. The Work hour template is set to the correct Work Template ID found in the Work template entity. The final field set in this example is the Project Department value, here we set Marketing but set this based on the correct Project Department:

Flow8

The final CDS action in the loop is to update the original Project Request record in the CDS with the newly created Project identifier Project record:

Flow9

If the project is rejected, in this example a record is created in the Project Request entity only but typically you would also send an email etc. to notify the requester. This action is similar to the first action in the approved side but the Review Status is set to Rejected:

Flow10

That’s it, a very simple Power Automate, Microsoft Forms and Power Platform CDS project request process for Project for the Web. I will post a short video on my YouTube channel demoing this in action later this week along with a video for the Project Online version too: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_b_pa1ADKlUqIpLK9AmR1g?sub_confirmation=1

Welcome to the new Project – getting started Part 2 #MSProject #PPM #Office365 #PowerPlatform #ProjectMangement #ModernWorkManagement #CDS #PMOT #PMO

October 30, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Posted in Administration, App, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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Following on from yesterday’s blog post: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/10/29/welcome-to-the-new-project-getting-started-part-1-msproject-ppm-office365-powerplatform-projectmangement-modernworkmanagement-cds-pmot-pmo/ walking through the new Project, here is part 2. In the post we will look at the backend to the new Project and look at two Power BI report packs I released yesterday. Links were in the part 1 but for completeness here they are again:

Power BI report for Project:  https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Power-BI-Report-Pack-4506f183

Power BI report to combine Project and Project Online data (1 PWA instance): https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/and-Online-Power-BI-Report-d1fbca1b

Project is built on the Power Platform’s Common Data Service for Apps (CDS), the data is stored in Entities in the CDS – the same as Roadmap – lots of links about Roadmap here: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/03/01/project-roadmap-cds-app-overview-ppm-projectmanagement-msproject-projectonline-office365-powerplatfom-dynamics365/ Let’s take a look at the solutions deployed for Project, to do this I’ve accessed the Dynamics 365 Admin Center from the Office 365 Admin centers which loads this:

D365Admin

Project is deployed to the default organisation, on this tenant I only have 1 organisation – click the Open arrow on the Default org. This loads the PowerApps interface, from here click the Settings cog > Advanced Settings:

PApps

This takes you to the Dynamics 365 Settings:

D356Admin

Click the Settings > Solutions:

D365Settings

This then loads the solutions deployed to this instance:

D365Solutions

You can also see the solutions from the familiar PowerApps interface:

PAppsSolutions

Sticking with the Dynamics 365 Admin interface for the moment, let’s have a quick look at the msdyn_ProjectServiceCore solution:

ProjectSolInfo

We can then view the components that form this solution, I wont go into them all but here are a few. Looking at the Entities we can see the Entities used in this solution, here I’ve drilled down to the fields in the Project entity:

ProjEntity

I will go into more details on the fields via the PowerApps interface. Looking at the Model-driven Apps we can see Project:

ModelApp

Now lets switch to the PowerApps interface (make.powerapps.com) and view some of the entity fields. Click Data > Entities from the left navigation menu:

PAppsEntities

Change the view from Default to Managed in the top right corner and scroll down to Project:

ProjectEntity

Click Project to view the Project entity details:

ProjEntityDetails

Here we can see the fields, relationships, rules, views etc. We can also view the current data stored in that entity:

PEntityData

The current main entities used by Project are:

  • Bookable Resource
  • Project
  • Project Bucket
  • Project Task
  • Project Task Dependency
  • Project Team Member
  • Resource Assignment
  • User

There are others such as Replay Log Section, Work template etc. but those above are where the core data is stored that you see in the UI. Some of these entities are new for Project but some have just been extended or updated to add new components, for example, adding new views or fields to existing entities to support Project. More on the entities later on when we explore the Power BI report pack I created as that is a good way to visualise the data model and the relationships between the entities. Let’s click Apps from the left navigation menu, select Project and click edit:

ModelDrivenProject

This then loads the app designer displaying the new Project app – this is what you see when you are in the Dynamics interface that we looked at yesterday. This shows the components that make up the model-driven Project app – more on this in future blogs posts.

Now lets go back to looking at the entities / data model for Project, for this I will use the Power BI template I published yesterday https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Power-BI-Report-Pack-4506f183 Once downloaded and opened in Power BI desktop you will need to provide the CDSUrl for the parameter. There are several ways to get the correct URL for your default CDS instance. Your Office 365 Administrator can access the PowerApps Admin Center, click Environments, click the default environment which loads this:

CDSEnvDetails

Then click See all:

CDSURL

Copy the Environment URL. Or you can get it from the browser when accessing project.microsoft.com. When accessing that page, open the browser dev tools and access the Network tab then reload the page, look for GetModProdCdsEndpoint then click the Response tab and find the cdsUrl property value:

CDSURLDEVTOOLS

Once you have the correct CDS URL, enter that into the CDSUrl parameter input – minus the trailing slash:

CDSURLPowerBI

Click Load and sign in when prompted. To access all data, the account used here will need Read access at the business unit level to the Project CDS entities used plus the other default roles a normal user is assigned to. If the user account doesn’t have the correct access the connections will fail. You could create a new “project report access” role in the Dynamics 365 instance where Project is deployed if needed. To do that, access the Dynamics 365 admin center from the Office 365 Admin center using the Global Admin account. Open the default Dynamics 365 instance (this is where Project is deployed to) then click the Settings Cog > Advanced Settings. Then click Settings > Security > Security Roles > New. Give the new role Read access at the business unit level to the 8 entities used in the report:

    • Bookable Resource
    • Project
    • Project Bucket
    • Project Task
    • Project Task Dependency
    • Project Team Member
    • Resource Assignment
    • User

Then access the user account that will be used for the report from the Dynamics Security admin in the Users page then assigned the new role to this account using the Manage Roles option. Other roles and role assignments are as per the default settings. I covered this for the Roadmap report pack I released at the start of the year: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/01/30/project-roadmap-powerbi-report-pack-ppm-projectmanagement-msproject-projectonline-office365-powerplatform-dynamics365/ – for Project the role needs access to different entities. Once the data has loaded in the Power BI report, click on the Model button on the left navigation menu to view the data model:

DataModel

Click the Manage Relationships button to view the relationship table:

RelationshipTable

Here you can see how the different entities / tables are related.

I also published a report yesterday that combines the Project (CDS) data with the Project Online data (1 PWA instance) https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/and-Online-Power-BI-Report-d1fbca1b This report uses the slightly less CDS entities:

  • Bookable Resource
  • Project
  • Project Task
  • Resource Assignment
  • User

It also uses the following tables in the Project Reporting API:

  • Assignments
  • Projects
  • Resources
  • Tasks

This reporting combines the following tables:

  • Assignments and Resource Assignments
  • Projects and Project
  • Project Task and Tasks
  • Resources and Bookable Resource
  • Resources (Filtered to users) and Users

I will create separate blogs post dedicated to these Power BI Reports in the next week or two but download them and see what you think, hopefully they either give you want you need for reporting or help you build the reports you do need.

Look out for more blog posts and videos on Project in the future!

Welcome to the new Project – getting started Part 1 #MSProject #PPM #Office365 #PowerPlatform #ProjectMangement #ModernWorkManagement #CDS #PMOT #PMO

October 29, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Posted in App, Functionality, Information | 1 Comment
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As you might have seen, the new Project started rolling out a week just over a week ago but the official release is today, here is the blog post from Microsoft: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/blog/2019/10/29/new-microsoft-project-rolls-out-worldwide/ If you didn’t see the earlier Microsoft blog post announcement about the start of the rollout it can be found here: https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/Project-Blog/The-new-Project-is-rolling-out/ba-p/909721 In the blog post there are a few links that are worth spending time reading both as Project partner and a Microsoft Project user.

In this blog post we will take a look at the new Project.

How do I access the new Project?

Once the new Project has reached your tenant, creating new projects is via the Project Home, the same place new Roadmaps are created: https://project.microsoft.com/

ProjHome

You can also access this via the Dynamics interface as seen later on in this post.

Clicking the + New blank project button will launch the page:

BlankProj

Building the project schedule

Straightaway you you can start creating tasks on the grid. The first thing to do is give the project a name – click the “Untitled project” and the project name panel will launch:

ProjName

Here you can give your project a name, change the project owner and project start date if required. Click the “Add new task” row and you can enter the the first task:

ProjTask

Enter the tasks as required:

ProjTasks

Hover over the task and you you will see an i icon and an ellipsis, clicking the ellipsis launches the task callout with actions for the task – you can also right click on the task to see the task callout:

TaskCallout

Clicking the i icon or the Open details on the task callout launches the task details panel:

TaskDetails

Build the schedule as needed, here is my simple example:

Tasks

At this point there are no dates associated with the tasks. I will now add some durations as this will add start and finish dates to the tasks:

TaskDurations

TaskDate

So we now have some tasks, durations and dates, what about the other information like task links, % complete etc.? These columns can be added by clicking the + Add column button:

Column

Add in the columns required – notice that Successor and Predecessor have been renamed. Here I have added in the columns I want:

ColumnsAdded

Columns can be reordered by dragging the column to the required position, column widths can also be adjusted as needed too. The columns added here and the ordering is persistent for this project for all users who have access to it. Let’s add some task links. There are several way to do this, from the Task Details panel using the Add dependency button:

AddDepButton

Click it and you can select a task:

AddTaskDep

Now the Task Details panel updates to the show the linked task with the finish date of the linked and a label to show the task is “Driving”, Task1 in this case is driving Task2:

TaskDepDetails

The Grid has also updated to show the task IDs for the task links in the Dependents (after) and Depends on (before) columns:

GridUpdateDeps

You can also create task links by directly clicking in the Dependents or Depends on cells and select the task/s from the list:

DepColsCreateDeps

Or type the task ID or task name in the cell:

CreateDepsByTyping

The other way I want to show you is the slickest way by far, click the Timeline button next to the project name. This loads the interactive Gantt chart:

Gantt

As you hover over a task bar on the Gantt you see controls appear:

GanttHover

Here I can drag the end of one task to the start of another to create the task link:

DraggingDep

The Gantt will then update to move the tasks as required:

TaskLinked

I have now created my simple project task schedule:

TasksSchedule

Assigning Resources

Who used to get fed up having to build the team to be able to assign an enterprise resource? Well not anymore! Hover over the Assign to cell next to the task and click the + person icon:

AddResource

This launches the control to add a resource:

AddResourceControl

Now simply start typing the name of the resource to search the tenant directory and click the resource to add them:

ResSearch

Clicking the user will launch a modal pop up:

Groups

As you can see from the pop up, I firstly need to connect my new project to an Office 365 Group. I can either create a new Office 365 Group or link to an existing one. For this project I will create a new Office 365 Group. Clicking the proposed group name loads the Office 365 Group menu – update as required:

GroupDetails

Then click Create and assign to assign the resource. When adding other resources to the project, you will see another modal pop up:

AddMemberPopup

This is just to warn you that the user will be added to the group and have access to the project data, groups files and Microsoft Teams etc. – more on this in the Project Access Model. One point to note, you can no longer assign anyone to a summary task:

SummaryTaskRes

This was bad practice anyway but it’s great Project now prevents this!

You might also want to plan and manage your plan in an Kanban type task board, this is covered using the Board view, this is accessed by clicking the Board button next to the Project Name:

BoardView

There are different view options available on the menu here:

BoardViewOptions

The default view is the “Group by Progress” view which has 3 fixed columns for Not Started, In Progress and Completed – more on this view when we cover task progress. Switching to the Bucket view, new buckets can be added:

BucketView

Click the “Add Bucket” button to create a new bucket. Task cards can then be dragged into the new bucket/s:

BucketTasksMoved

Switching to Group by Finish Date and you see the Task group in Next Week and Future:

BoardFinDate

Just note, if you drag a task from the Next Week column into the Future column, this will update the task’s and any linked dependent task’s Finish dates to the future. Notice on all of the Board views, Summary Tasks are filtered out.

Project / Task Progress

There are several ways to progress a task in Project. Starting with the Grid view, you can click in the % complete cell and type:

TaskProgress

Click out of the cell and you will see the progress:

TaskProgress1

You can open the Task Details panel and type the progress in the % Complete input:

TaskDetailProgress

In the Board view using the “Group by Progress” view, you can drag a task card to “In Progress” and this will update the task % complete to 50% or drag a task card to the Completed and this will update the task % complete to 100%:

TaskBoardProgressUpdate

You can also click the empty circles you see next to the Task names on all views, when you hover over these you see a tick appear inside:

Tick

Clicking the empty circle marks the task as complete, the same feature that exists in Microsoft To-Do:

Ticked

Project Saving and Editing

The project auto saves so no need to worry about saving and the concept of publishing no longer exists – how cool is that! Need to undo / redo something, just use Ctrl + z to undo and Ctrl + y to redo.

The new Project also supports co-authoring so multiple users can edit the project at the same time!

Project Access Model

The security for the new Project is built on the Office 365 Groups model – just like Project Roadmap. When you assign a user to a task, they are added to the Office 365 Group. All users in that Office 365 Group have edit access to the project. You can check group access very easily via the Group Members button in the top right corner:

GroupMembers

It is a very simple access model, you either can access and edit the project by being in the Office 365 Group or not access to the project at all.

Access via Dynamics 365

As mentioned at the start of this post, you can create new projects via the Project Home but also via the Dynamics interface. Access the Dynamics home https://home.dynamics.com and click the Project app, this will load the Project app:

D365Project

From here you can create new projects or edit / view existing projects, see below my test project opened in the Dynamics interface:

Summary View:

D365Summary

Tasks View:

D365TaskView

I can edit the project directly here or for a better experience, click the “Open in Project” button to edit in the full page experience this post has covered. I will cover more of the Dynamics interface in future posts.

Extensibility Options

As the new Project is built on the Power Platform Common Data Service for Apps (CDS), you have the power of the Power Platform to extend / build on top of Project using PowerApps, Flow and Power BI. I will have many posts in the future for extending / adding features for the new Project, maybe even one or two later this week / early next!

Reporting

All of the data is stored in entities in the CDS so reporting is very simple from tools like Power BI. I do have a Power BI report pack for the new Project, this can be downloaded here: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Power-BI-Report-Pack-4506f183 In part 2 of this getting started series I will cover the Power BI Report pack. Here are some screenshots of the reports:

Report1

Report2

Report3

You can also add Projects from the new Project (I wonder how long I will keep calling it that!) into Roadmap.

I have also created a Power BI report pack that displays both Project (CDS) and Project Online data in the same reports to help with the transition where you might be using both applications side by side, this can be downloaded here: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/and-Online-Power-BI-Report-d1fbca1b The reports look very similar the the Project reports above.

Summary

Well the wait is finally over, the new Project is here, go give it a try! This post covers most of the end user features, in part 2 I will cover the backend. Project Online will still be a part of the Microsoft PPM offering so I will still continue to include blog posts / videos for Project Online. I have also published an intro video here: https://youtu.be/4OeegM8ScMk

#Office365 #ProjectOnline Project Request process using #MicrosoftForms and #MicrosoftFlow #ProjectManagement #PPM #MSProject #SharePoint #PowerPlatform

October 23, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Workflow | 1 Comment
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Following on from my last post where I created an example Microsoft Flow to create a project in Office 365 Project Online using the correct Enterprise Project Type, I’ve extended this to show how to build a project request process using Microsoft Forms, Flow Approvals, SharePoint and Project Online. If you missed the last post, here it is https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/creating-new-projects-based-on-epts-in-office365-projectonline-using-microsoftflow-ppm-powerplatform-rest-msproject-projectmanagement/

For this project request process there are a few components required, the Form and the SharePoint list then the Flow to bring it together. The form is used to capture the project requests but this could as easily have been a PowerApp. My simple form can be seen below:

Form

We could ask any questions we want on the form but the key part for this project request example is the department question as this is used for two purposes. The first, to get the project approvals from the correct person in that department and secondly to create the approved projects using the correct Enterprise Project Type (EPT) in Project Online. The next component is a SharePoint list to store the requests and approval responses. I created this in the Project Online Project Web App (PWA) site collection but again, this list could exist in any SharePoint Online site collection or we could have even created an entity in the Power Platform CDS to store the data. The simple list can be seen below:

List

The columns I have on this list are detailed below:

  • Title – used to store the Project Name from the request form
  • Project Description – used to store the Project Description from the request form
  • Project EPT – used to store the project department from the request form
  • Justification – used to store the project justification from the request form
  • Reviewed By – used to store the Flow Approval reviewer
  • Review Status – used to store Flow Approval status
  • Reviewer Comments – used to store the Flow Approval reviewer comments
  • Project Requested By – used to store the email address of the user who completed the request form
  • Project ID – used to store the Project ID from Project Online for projects that get created by the Flow

The next component is the Microsoft Flow, this is used to capture the Form responses once they are submitted, start the approvals, create the SharePoint list item on the Project Request List then if approved, create the project and update the list item. If rejected the Flow sends a rejected email to the project requester.The Flow can be seen below with one of the switch cases expanded:

Flow

I will cover the Flow in detail next but the final component required is Project Online. In my Project Online instance I have 3 EPTs, one for Marketing, one for R&D and the default Enterprise Project.

So back to the Flow, the Flow is triggered when a new form response is submitted to the Project Request form, it then uses an Apply to each loop with a list of the response notifications passed in from the trigger. The first step inside the Apply to each action is the Get response details Form action with the form response ID passed in. The Flow then uses a Switch action to have different paths based on the department value, the “Which department is the project for?” answer is used to switch on:

Flow1

The Flow then has different cases in the Switch action, one for each of the possible values for the “Which department is the project for?” question:

Flow2

Now we will expand one of the cases to see the details and I will point out the differences between each case:

Flow3

The first action in the case is a Flow Approval using the “Start and wait for an approval” action. This approval type is set to “Approve/Reject – First to response”. As this is the Marketing case, the approval title is “Marketing Project Request” and it is assigned to the user who approves new Marketing projects. I have just used my account for demo purposes! The title and approver it is assigned to could be different per department. Then in the details section we just pass in values from the “Get response details” action so that the approver knows what they are approving. Then there is a Condition action to check the outcome of the approval action, this just uses the Outcome output from the approval action. Then for approvals that were approved the Flow uses another Apply to each loop this time passing in the Approval action responses – we only have one approver but the Approvals action can have more than one response so it needs the loop. Then inside the approved loop the Flow uses the SharePoint create item action to create the list item on the Project Request List, then it uses the SharePoint HTTP action to create the project in Project Online then finally a SharePoint Update item action to update the list item with the newly created project ID. The overview can be seen below with details for these actions next:

Flow4

Create item action has the Form answers and the approval reviewer and reviewers comments passed in to create the list item:

Flow5

The SharePoint HTTP action posts to ProjectServer/Projects/Add API with the project name and description being passed in from the Form answers, the EnterpriseProjectTypeId is hard coded to the Marketing EPT – this GUID would be different in the other cases so the project is created with the correct EPT:

Flow6

The final action for the approved request is to update the previously created list item on the project request list with the newly created project Id using the SharePoint Update item action. Here we pass in the ID from the previous Create Approved item action, the Title is required so that is set again using the Form answer and the Project ID is set using an expression body(‘create_Marketing_project’)[‘Id’]. The expression will be different for the other cases as it needs the name of the action that is used to create the project.

Flow7

If the project request is rejected, the Flow creates the item on the list the same way is does if approved but the Review Status field is set to “Rejected” then the Flow sends an email to the user who requested the project:

Flow8

That’s it – really simple! Next I’ll show the approvals email for a requested project, this can be seen below:

Email

I will then approve this with some comments:

Email2

Once submitted, the email updates to show its approved:

Email2

In this example, the item is then created on the list, the project created and the list item updated with the project GUID. I will create a video in the next week or two to demo this.

A nice simple low / no code solution for building a project request process for Project Online using Microsoft Forms, SharePoint Online and Microsoft Flow, watch out for the video on my YouTube channel soon: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_b_pa1ADKlUqIpLK9AmR1g?sub_confirmation=1

Creating new Projects based on EPTs in #Office365 #ProjectOnline using #MicrosoftFlow #PPM #PowerPlatform #REST #MSProject #ProjectManagement

September 27, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Workflow | 1 Comment
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When creating projects in Office 365 Project Online you can create projects based on different types known as Enterprise Project Types, here is a link on setting these up: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/getting-started-with-projectonline-part-5-ps2013-office365-project-ppm-sharepointonline-pm/ Creating a project via PWA enables you to select the correct EPT for your type of project. When creating a project programmatically you can also set the correct EPT. The default “Creates new project” Project Online Microsoft Flow action does not provide the ability to set the Enterprise Project Type, it will just use the default type. The action can be seen below:

Flow1

The easy solution is to use the SharePoint HTTP action to use the Project Online CSOM REST API as seen below in this example:

Flow2

This example is very much hard coded and manual when setting the EPT value, project names etc. In a real world example these would be set from the source application requesting to create a project, but the process is the same. So assuming the source application had set the variable to Marketing as seen below, the switch action would then check the value in the variable:

Flow3

In the switch action you would have switch cases for each EPT you have / want to use. In my test PWA instance I have 3 EPTs I wanted to use – Enterprise Project, Marketing and R&D:

PWA

I have set the Switch action to have 3 cases, 2 to match the the EPT values for Marketing and RD then the 3rd as a catch all that uses the default Enterprise Project EPT.

In this example case the variable value is Marketing so the Switch action would then use the CreateMarketingProject action seen below – this is the SharePoint HTTP action:

Flow4

Here we call the _api/ProjectServer/Project/Add project API with a POST request and pass JSON in the body that details how to create the project as seen below:

Flow5

The key parameter value here for the EPT is the EnterpriseProjectTypeId, in this case this is the GUID for the Marketing EPT as seen below:

PWA2

The EnterpriseProjectTypeId GUIDs are different in the other cases within the Switch action so that the projects are created using the correct EPT. Without passing in the EnterpriseProjectTypeId, the project would create using the default EPT. A simple solution for creating the correct project type in Project Online using the Power Platform application Microsoft Flow.

#ProjectOnline – how to check if a project is checked out using #MicrosoftFlow #Office365 #PPM #MSProject #PowerPlatform #ProjectManagement

September 25, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Workflow | Leave a comment
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When programmatically working with projects in Office 365 Project Online, if you wish to edit a project, you will only be able to do this if the project is not already checked out. Below is a simple example using Microsoft Flow to check if the projects are checked out:

Flow

The Flow is detailed below. Firstly the Flow will query the ProjectServer API which is the CSOM REST API using a SharePoint HTTP action:

Flow1

This queries the Projects endpoint and includes the IsCheckedOut property. NOTE: Use an account for the SharePoint connection that has full edit access to all project in the PWA site collection as the ProjectServer API is security trimmed.

Then the Flow uses an Apply to each loop, the dataset returned from the previous action is used which is body(‘CheckIfProjectsCheckedOut’)[‘value’]. Then a condition action is used, this is where the Flow will check if the project is checked out. The value passed into the check is the IsCheckedOut property using items(‘Apply_to_each_project’)[‘IsCheckedOut’], here we check if this is false:

Flow2

Now at this point you would continue with your project update if this check was true (project is not checked out) and not proceed with the update if this check was false (project is checked out). For the purpose of this example Flow, I just send an email but in a real world example, this is where your actions would go to update the projects, log which projects could not be updated etc.

Flow3

A simple solution to help build more robust Flows for Project Online.

#ProjectOnline and adaptive cards in #MicrosoftTeams using #MicrosoftFlow to chase users for overdue timesheets #PPM #ProjectManagement #MSProject #PowerPlatform #Office365

August 28, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting, Workflow | 1 Comment
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Another example use case for adaptive cards in Microsoft Teams to add additional Office 365 Project Online integration. In this example this solution will post a card in Teams for users who have timesheets in progress that are overdue. My previous example posted to Project Owners: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/08/24/projectonline-and-adaptive-cards-in-microsoftteams-using-microsoftflow-for-project-owner-actions-ppm-projectmanagement-msproject-office365-powerplatform/

This example posts to the timesheet owners who have timesheets overdue. To avoid posting to all users in Project Online, this example filters the users based on an enterprise resource custom flag field called “Timesheet Required”. The resources that need to submit timesheets have this new field set to “Yes”.

Like previous posts, I used https://adaptivecards.io/designer/ to design the card.

The Microsoft Flow can be seen below:

Flow

The Flow is triggered on a schedule then uses the Current time action to get the current time. Then a SharePoint HTTP action is used to query the ProjectData API to get a list of resources in Project Online who are required to complete timesheets:

Flow1

Next an Apply to each action is used as the previous action could return more than one resource, the output from the previous action is used for the input. Inside the Apply to each action, a SharePoint HTTP action is used to query the ProjectData API for each resource from the GetUsersForTimesheets action. In the Uri query, two variables are passed in, the resource name items(‘Apply_to_each’)[‘ResourceName’] and the current time:

Flow2

Then a condition check is used to check if there is at least one timesheet for that resource using the expression length(body(‘GetAllUsersInProgressOverdueTimesheets’)[‘value’]) :

Flow3

If there is at least one timesheet for that resource the Flow then posts a card to that resource in Microsoft Teams. This is posted to the timesheet owner using the expression items(‘Apply_to_each’)[‘ResourceEmailAddress’]. There are some dynamic values passed into the JSON too for the ResourceName items(‘Apply_to_each’)[‘ResourceName’] and count of timesheets length(body(‘GetAllUsersInProgressOverdueTimesheets’)[‘value’]):

Flow4

The card is posted to the users Flow chat as seen below:

Teams

The user will then be able to click the button to access the timesheet summary page in Project Online and update the timesheets as needed.

Another simple low / no code option for integrating Office 365 Project Online and Microsoft Teams using Microsoft Flow.

#ProjectOnline and adaptive cards in #MicrosoftTeams using #MicrosoftFlow for Project Owner actions #PPM #ProjectManagement #MSProject #Office365 #PowerPlatform

August 24, 2019 at 9:26 am | Posted in Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting, Workflow | 1 Comment
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In my previous blog post I created an example of how a combination of Microsoft Teams, Adaptive Cards and Microsoft Flow can be used for project escalations by posting a card into a Microsoft Team for the PMO. In this post I’ve got a slightly different example that posts a card to a Project Owner to escalate to the project owner to action. For those that didn’t see my previous post, here is the link: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/08/18/projectonline-and-adaptive-cards-in-microsoftteams-using-microsoftflow-for-project-escalations-ppm-projectmanagement-msproject-office365/

This example will post to the project owner when the project hasn’t been updated for the given period of time but the logic could easily be updated to another type of check. This has similar logic to the Flow I published last month: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/projectonline-custom-email-notifications-using-msflow-microsoftflow-ppm-pmot-msproject-exchange-office365-powerplatform-planner-part-3/ 

Like in the previous adaptive card post, I used https://adaptivecards.io/designer/ to design this simple card, this time it’s slightly simpler for this example:

Card1

There are a few more actions in the Flow compared to the previous adaptive card example as this runs on a schedule and we need to perform an extra call to get the Project Owners email address. Here is the Flow overview:

FlowSummary

The trigger is based on a schedule, in this example it is running weekly as this example checks which projects have not be published in that time. Then the Flow uses the Get past time action to get the date in the past, for this example it’s 5 days ago. These steps can be seen below:

FlowActions1

The next action is a SharePoint HTTP action to query the ProjectData API in Project Online to get all projects that have not been published in 5 days using the get past time value and also where the projects are not 100 completed:

FlowActions2

The logic can be changed by updating the OData query in the Uri property if you wanted to get projects based on other criteria. Next the Flow uses an apply to each action as the previous action could return more than one project, the output from the previous action is used for the input:

FlowActions3

Within the apply to each action the Flow then uses another SharePoint HTTP action to query the ProjectServer API (note: not ProjectData so the account used in the connections will need access to all projects + the reporting OData API) to get the Project Owner details for the current project by passing in the ProjectId using the expression items(‘Apply_to_each’)[‘ProjectId’]:

FlowActions4

Now the Flow has all the data to post the adaptive card to the project owner using the JSON payload as seen in the action below. This is posted to the project owner using the expression body(‘GetProjectOwnerDetails’)[‘Email’]. There are some dynamic values passed into the JSON too for the ProjectName items(‘Apply_to_each’)[‘ProjectName’] and the ProjectId items(‘Apply_to_each’)[‘ProjectId’]:

FlowAction5

We also set the advanced options on this action to alert the user in Teams:

FlowAction6

When the Flow runs this will post to the project owner in Microsoft Teams, on my test Project Online instance I’m the owner for all the test projects so this posted to my Teams client. The alerts are displayed as seen below:

FlowTeamsAlerts

Cards are posted to the project owners Flow chat too as seen below for the projects I own that need updating:

FlowTeamsCards

The owner can then easily click the access project button to go and update the project/s as required.

Another simple low / no code option for integrating Office 365 Project Online and Microsoft Teams using Microsoft Flow.

#ProjectOnline and adaptive cards in #MicrosoftTeams using #MicrosoftFlow for Project escalations #PPM #ProjectManagement #MSProject #Office365

August 18, 2019 at 7:58 am | Posted in Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting, Workflow | 1 Comment
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As Microsoft Teams is the place to be currently I thought I would blog another option for integrating Office 365 Project Online data in Teams. My previous Teams post example was to create a Team and channel for a Project as seen here: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/create-a-microsoftteam-for-a-projectonline-project-using-microsoftflow-office365-microsoftgraph-ppm-workmanagement-powerplatform-azuread-collaboration-automation-part1/ & here: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/06/13/create-a-microsoftteam-for-a-projectonline-project-using-microsoftflow-office365-microsoftgraph-ppm-workmanagement-powerplatform-azuread-collaboration-automation-part2/ This time we will look at adaptive cards in Teams.

Adaptive cards are not new so I wont go into detail here but if you have not used adaptive cards before, start here: https://adaptivecards.io/. There are two handy Microsoft Flow Teams actions for adaptive cards:

FlowActions

Using Microsoft Flow, I’ve built a simple Flow that posts a card in the specified channel if the published project matches the criteria, in this example I’m posting a card for projects that have a red RAG status field. I designed the card using the adaptive card designer:

CardDesigner

The Flow is very simple as seen below:

Flow1

This Flow is triggered when a project is published – this is a full project publish from either Project Online Desktop or the schedule PDP. The Flow then uses the SharePoint HTTP action to query the ProjectData API:

Flow1

Update the Uri as needed for your PWA configuration / fields you might want to use. Here we also pass in the project ID for the published project.

Next is a condition action to check for a value specific, in this example we are checking if the RAGPMStatus field has a value of “Slipped and cannot mitigate [Red]”:

Flow2

If this is true, the Flow posts the card to the channel, if it’s false the Flow ends:

Flow3

I’m posting to my example PMO Team in the Project Escalations channel. Once the Team and Channel are set, then the JSON is entered. The JSON defines the card:

Flow4

As mentioned earlier on, I used the card designer to easily build my card with the correct JSON, I then copied this into the Flow action Message field then updated the content that needed to be dynamic such as the Project Name, Owner, RAG PM Status, Project description and action URLs. This is done using the expression option such as: body(‘QueryProjectStatusRAG’)[‘fieldName’]. Once a card is created, this is the output in Teams as you can see below for my two demo projects:

Teams1

Your cards will look different based on how you design them, they will probably look a lot better too! On this card I have a background image, an image on the card, some project details then a button to access the project and another button to access the project site.

Another simple example of Microsoft Teams integration for Project Online!

#ProjectOnline custom #email notifications using #MSFlow #MicrosoftFlow #PPM #PMOT #MSProject #Exchange #Office365 #PowerPlatform #Planner Part 3

July 31, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting, Workflow | 1 Comment
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It’s been a while since I published the last post in this mini series due to getting carried away with other Microsoft Flow goodness for Project Online. The previous post in this custom email notification series can be found below:

https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/projectonline-custom-email-notifications-using-msflow-microsoftflow-ppm-pmot-msproject-exchange-office365-powerplatform-part-2/

In the final part of this email notification series we send an email with a list of projects that have not been published in the defined period, in this example it’s set to 5 days. The Flow also creates a task in Microsoft Planner for the user to chase the project owners to update their project plans. The Flow summary can be seen below:

FlowSummary

The trigger is based on a schedule, in this example it is running weekly. Then the Flow uses the Get past time action to get the date in the past, in this example 5 days ago. A compose action is then used to get todays date in the required format. These steps can be seen below:

Flow1

The Flow then use the SharePoint HTTP action to query the ProjectData API to get the list of Projects where the last published date is on or before the past time date, in this case 5 days ago. The logic here would be changed for your requirements, for example you would also filter out projects that were completed / closed. The next action is a Create HTML table action, here we just pass in the results from the HTTP action as seen in the tooltip displayed in the screenshot below:

Flow2

The final 2 actions in this Flow create the Planner task and then send the email. We pass in some variables to create the Planner task, in this example we use the output from the Today action to use todays date in the Title and used to set the due date. The task gets assigned to me in this example so I would put my PMO hat on, this would be assigned to someone in the organisation who would be checking project plan quality etc. Then the Flow sends an email, typically this could go to an individual, likely the same person the Planner task is assigned to, or it could go to a multiple people or a group / distribution list etc. In the body on the email the output from the create HTML table action is used and also the task Id for the new planner task:

Flow3

When this Flow runs, this results in a new Planner task being created in the selected Planner plan:

PlannerTask

Then the email is sent out:

Email

As you can see, the email contains a table of test projects from my test Project Online instance that have not been published in the last 5 days and also a link to the task I have assigned in Planner.

Look out for more Microsoft Flow / PowerApps examples for Project Online in the future. For previous examples I have done, this links includes most: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/tag/power-platform/

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