#ProjectOnline #Project Site settings / location #SharePoint #PPM #O365 #MSProject

June 14, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Posted in Administration, Functionality, Customisation, Information, Configuration | 1 Comment
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Again, another post that is a bit later than I would normally post about changes but I’m still trying to play catch up at work and home after my vacation, I feel like I need another holiday already! Anyway, further to the announcement the other month regarding the change to support 30,000 project and 30,000 project sites in Microsoft’s Office 365 PPM tool Project Online, the final part of that change is here.

Before we jump in to the detail, a bit of history to show how the Project Product group have done a great job and massively improved the Project Online projects / project sites limit since Project Online was first released.  In the early days Project Online had a limit of 2,000 projects and 2,000 project sites. I think in the first release, both the projects and project sites were both restricted to 2,000 due to the SharePoint Online limit of 2,000 sub sites per site collection, the sub site limit is still a limit today in SharePoint Online. Details here for SharePoint Online limits: https://support.office.com/en-ie/article/SharePoint-Online-limits-and-quotas-8f34ff47-b749-408b-abc0-b605e1f6d498. The 2,000 project limit was then raised to 5,000 projects but the project site limit was still limited to 2,000 which meant that 3,000 of your 5,000 projects couldn’t have a project site. Today in Project Online you can have 30,000 projects and each of those projects can have a project site* I have put an asterisk here as there are some configuration / site collection requirements to support this as detailed in this blog post. To have 30,000 project sites you would need 15 Enterprise Project Types (EPTs) and 15 SharePoint site collections including the actual PWA site collection. This is how the Project Product group have worked around the SharePoint Online sub site limitation. Let’s look at how this is set up in PWA.

For the purpose of this blog post I have just two EPTs in my PWA site collection, the default Enterprise Project and one called Product Development. Firstly I will create a new SharePoint Online site collection via the SharePoint Admin Center in Office 365 called ProductDevSites to host the project sites in my new EPT. From the SharePoint Admin Center click New > Private Site Collection and complete the form


Click OK. That might take 10 to 15 minutes to provision. Once completed open the PWA site collection and navigate to the PWA Settings page:


Nothing different here… Clicking on the following settings will show some differences:

  • Connected SharePoint Sites
  • Manage User Sync Settings
  • Enterprise Project Type

Connected SharePoint Sites:


Notice the Settings button is now missing from the menu bar. The settings button here used to allow you to control if / when project sites where created. This has moved to the Enterprise Project Type page.

Manage User Sync Settings:


Notice there are two checkboxes missing from the Sync options. Here you could also set the Project Site Sync and the Project Site Sync for SharePoint task list projects. The setting to sync users has moved to the EPT page.

Enterprise Project Type:


Notice the three new sections here, Site Creation – this was on the Connected SharePoint Sites page, Site Creation Location – this a new setting and Synchronization – this contains the sync settings. Changing the Site Creation setting to either Automatically create or Allow users to choose will enable the Site Creation Location setting. This defaults to the current PWA site collection URL, for this EPT I will leave that as the location and enable the user permission sync:


One thing to note here regarding the synchronization options, both the user sync and the task list sync only work for project sites inside the Project Web App site collection. Save the EPT then open the other EPT/s. In this example I will edit the Product Development EPT and enable site creation but rather than creating sites in the PWA site collection I have selected to create these in the ProductDevSites site collection:


I could still create the Product Development project sites and other EPT’s project sites in the Project Web App site collection (PWA2 in this example) if I knew I would never exceed the 2,000 sub site limit. Notice I haven’t enabled the site sync as this would be redundant here as the site creation location is not the Project Web App site collection. Before we create some projects for each EPT, worth noting is that you might not see the same options as displayed on the EPT’s above, you might just see the following:


No Site Creation Location and the Sync User Permissions checkbox is disabled, this will be because your Project Web App site collection will be in the SharePoint permission mode so will be limited to up to 2,000 sub sites and the user permission sync to the project sites is not possible.

Creating a project for each EPT and publishing those projects will create the project sites. As you can see below, the project sites are in different site collections based on the EPT settings:


So now you can have 30,000 projects and 30,000 project sites!

Brian Smith posted about this change to other day too: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/projectsupport/2017/06/12/project-online-what-happened-to-my-site-creation-settings/

Update for script to report across #ProjectOnline Project Sites for #SharePoint list data #PPM #JavaScript #Office365 #REST #OData

June 3, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Posted in Configuration, Customisation, Fixes, Functionality, Information, Reporting | Leave a comment
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I have made a quick change to the example solution starter script to fix a common encoding issue with the EPT names. For example, if your EPT name is “R & D”, the original example solution starter script wouldn’t handle this when querying the Project OData API. It would pass in R & D when querying the OData API but the OData API call fails as it should use R %26 D. I have updated the solution starter code to handle this and encode the EPT name before querying the Project OData API. The solution starter code can be downloaded here:


If you didn’t seen the original post or solution start script before, see the post below:


This script is still a solution starter and should be updated for production use to include the correct data you want, improve error handling, support the REST API pagination, split out HTML, CSS and JavaScript etc.

Want to report across #ProjectOnline Project Sites for #SharePoint list data? #PPM #JavaScript #Office365 #REST #OData

May 5, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting | 5 Comments
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For those of you that are familiar with Project Server or Project Online, only the default lists and default columns from those lists are synchronised to the database reporting schema. So Project API’s like the OData API (_api/ProjectData) only have data for Risks / Issues and the default columns etc. I have published an example solution starter script that will allow data from any list on the project site to be used.

This is a supporting blog post for the JavaScript solution starter I have published to the Microsoft Gallery, it can be downloaded here:


This solution starter should be updated before production use to include the correct data you want, improve error handling, support the REST API pagination etc. This example uses the Issues list and some example default columns from the Issues list but it can easily be updated to use a custom list on the Project Sites.

There are comments in the script to help update the script for your target Project Site list and columns. Once the script is updated, upload it to a library on the target PWA site. Create a new page on the PWA site to host the JavaScript file. Then add a content editor web part on the new page and reference the JavaScript file, for example:


Once added it will look like this (this in on one of my MOD demo tenants):


The select menu will contain a list of EPTs:


Changing the selection to another EPT will load a SharePoint modal pop up whilst the data loads:


If an EPT is selected that doesn’t contain any list items the following will be displayed:


There is example conditional formatting on the table:


The list item title is a clickable hyper link that will open the list item in a new window:


Fully test this on a non-production PWA instance before using in Production, the script is provided As Is with no warranties etc. Try it out and let me know what you think.

#ProjectOnline Project Center updates #O365 #PPM #PMOT #MSProject

April 20, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Performance | Leave a comment
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Further to the announcement the other week regarding great improvements coming to Microsoft’s Office 365 PPM tool Project Online : https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/awesome-update-for-projectonline-create-and-manage-up-to-30000-projects-ppm-o365-pmot-msproject/

You may have noticed that on your Project Online PWA instance you now have two new checkbox options on the Project Center Projects ribbon to improve page load times if needed:


Rollups: image

Gantt Chart: image

A small change but one that will help improve page load times for users.

#ProjectOnline issue with #PowerBI and the #OData URL with [] now fixed #PPM #BI #PMOT

April 11, 2017 at 11:59 am | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Fixes, Functionality, Information, Reporting | Leave a comment
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Just a quick post to highlight that the issue with setting the credentials for a Project Online OData connection that contained the [] for localisation is now fixed in the Power BI Service. If your OData URL contained the [] to specify the OData localisation you couldn’t set the credentials in the Power BI Service for the data refresh, you would see the error below.

For the details on the error see a previous post of mine, see the Note halfway down the post: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2017/02/10/projectonline-ppm-powerbi-report-pack-publish-bi-reporting-powerquery-dax-office365/

It’s good to finally have this issue fixed in Power BI. The Project Online Power BI report pack I created will now refresh / work as expected in the Power BI Service: https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2017/01/03/projectonline-ppm-powerbi-report-pack-bi-reporting-powerquery-dax-office365/

Awesome update for #ProjectOnline – create and manage up to 30000 projects #PPM #O365 #PMOT #MSProject

April 3, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Functionality, Information | 2 Comments
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A new announcement on the Office blog today detailed some changes to Microsoft Office 365 PPM tool, Project Online. It will be possible to create and manager up to 30,000 projects. This is a great news as the 5,000 limit was an issue for some organisations. What is also coming is the ability to have a project site for each project, the limit previously was 2,000 project sites. This is achieved by setting the site collection to host the project sites per EPT as the limit per site collection is 2,000 sites. Be aware though, with the new solution the user sync and task list sync is only supported for Project Sites that exist in the same site collection as the PWA site.

There are also some new options in the project center to improve the performance for page load times when you have lots of projects by turning off the data roll up and Gantt charts.

For details see the blog post here: https://blogs.office.com/2017/04/03/create-and-manage-up-to-30000-projects-in-project-online/

The Project Online software boundaries and limits article has been updated: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Project-Online-software-boundaries-and-limits-5a09dbce-1e68-4a7b-b099-d5f1b21ba489

The article on tuning Project Online performance has also been updated with the new options: https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/Tune-Project-Online-performance-12ba0ebd-c616-42e5-b9b6-cad570e8409c

#ProjectOnline – 1 PWA site collection for all or 1 per department? #O365 #PPM #PMOT #Office365 #MSProject

March 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Posted in App, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Installation | Leave a comment
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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.

#ProjectOnline #PowerBI Currency Conversion Project Cost Report Part 2 #PPM #BI #Office365 #PowerQuery

March 9, 2017 at 5:32 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting | Leave a comment
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Following on from my first post on currency conversion found below:


This post walks through a different option for working with multiple currencies. This post will create a similar report as seen below:


This report enables the project cost to be calculated based on project currency and rate for the year. In this example I have two projects that should be reporting costs in Euros,the PWA site is set up using Pounds (GBP) as are the resources that are used on those projects. So for those two projects in PWA the projects display a EUR symbol but there is no conversion to calculate the Euro rate from the GBP resource rates used.

In the steps below we walkthrough how to set up this example. Firstly in the Power BI Desktop client add the Projects OData feed:

  • Click Get Data > OData Feed and add the Odata URL for your PWA site: <PWASite>/_api/ProjectData/Projects and click OK
  • Click Edit to launch the Power BI Query Editor then click Choose Columns and uncheck Select All to deselect all the columns then select at least ProjectId, ProjectName, ProjectCurrency and ProjectType and click OK
  • Click the dropdown menu on the ProjectType column and uncheck 7.
  • Change the table from Query1 to Projects

The Projects table is now completed.

Now we need to create a currency table, still within the Query Editor see these steps:

  • Click Enter Data and create 4 columns, Currency, Master, Date and Rate then enter the data as required and click OK, for the purpose of the blog post here is the data I entered:
  • image
  • On my PWA instance, GBP is the default currency used for this demo / blog post so this is set to 1.00 then I have a example currencies / rates for Euros. The project data in my PWA instance ranges from 2016 to 2018 so I need rates to cover those years
  • Click Add Column > Custom and enter the name “Year” with the formula of  Column Date.Year([Date]) and click OK
  • Right click on Master column and change the type to True / False
  • Change the table name to CurrencyData

The currency table is now completed.

Now we need to get the Task Timephased data, still within the Query Editor opened from creating the currency table table, see these steps:

  • New Source > OData Feed and add the OData URL for your PWA site: <PWASite>/_api/ProjectData/TaskTimephasedDataSet and click OK then OK again
  • Click Choose Columns and uncheck Select All to deselect all the columns then select at least ProjectId, TaskCost, TaskIsProjectSummary and TimeByDay and click OK
  • Change the table from Query2 to TaskData
  • Click the dropdown menu on the TaskCost column, if it states “List may be incomplete” click load more and then uncheck 0. In the advanced editor check the filter is ([TaskCost] <> 0)
  • Click the dropdown menu on the TaskIsProjectSummary column and uncheck false
  • Click Add Column > Custom Column and enter the name “Year” with the formula of Date.Year([TimeByDay]) and click OK
  • Click Merge Queries > Merge Queries, in the Merge window select Projects then select ProjectId in the TaskData table and ProjectId in Projects table:
  • image
  • Click OK
  • In the New Column column heading, click the Expand button, select just ProjectCurrency and uncheck the use original column name option:
  • image
  • Click OK
  • Click Merge Queries > Merge Queries, in the Merge window select CurrencyData then  hold the Ctrl key down and click Year and then ProjectCurrency in the TaskData table and then Year and then Currency in the CurrencyData table like below:
  • image
  • Click OK
  • In the New Column column heading, click the Expand button, select just Rate and uncheck the use original column name option:
  • image
  • Click OK
  • Click Add Custom > Custom Column and enter the name “TaskCost_Converted” with the formula of [TaskCost] * [Rate] and click OK
  • Right Click the column heading for TaskCost_Converted column and click Change Type > Decimal Number:
  • image 

The TaskData table is now complete. Click Close & Apply > Close & Apply. Check the table relationships are correct, it should just be Projects linked to TaskData using ProjectId.

Now design the report as required. For the purpose of this blog post I created one table with the following fields:


Ensure TaskCost and TaskCost_Converted fields are set to Sum and all other fields on the table are set to Don’t summarize. If you need to work with multiple currencies in reports, try this out and extend it for your specific needs.

#ProjectOnline #PPM #PowerBI Report Pack Publish #BI #Reporting #PowerQuery #DAX #Office365

February 10, 2017 at 8:33 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting | 1 Comment
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Following on from my recent Project Online Power BI report pack post / release, this post looks at publishing the Report pack to the Power BI service, creating an example Dashboard and then finally creating an organisational content pack. For those of you that missed the previous post, please find a link below:


Open up the report pack in Power BI Desktop as seen below:


Click the Publish button on the Home ribbon or Click File > Publish > Publish to Power BI:


Sign in to Power BI if prompted to do so. If you have more than workspace in the Power BI Service it will prompt you to select the destination. Select the destination “My Workspace” as required and click Select, you will then see the following:


Once completed you will see:


Click Got it to close the window. Open up the browser and navigate to https://app.powerbi.com. You will then see the published report under the Reports heading in My Workspace and also the report dataset under the Datasets heading. Click the report name under the reports heading and the published report will load:


You can then schedule a refresh of the data. Click the ellipsis next to the report under the Datasets heading:


Click Schedule Refresh. You will then see that you need to enter the credentials used for each OData endpoint used in the reports:


Click Edit credentials and select OAuth2 on the window that opens:


Click Sign In then enter the credentials / select the account as required. Repeat this for all of the OData connections.

**********NOTE: There is currently an issue with updating the credentials in Power BI when the Project Online OData URL contains [], you will probably receive the following message “Failed to update data source credentials.”


I’m not sure when this will be resolved. Alternatively, if your PWA site default language is English you could update all of the report queries to remove the /[en-US] from the OData URL. To do this, click Edit Queries > Edit Queries to open the Query Editor. Select a query from the Queries menu on the left then click Advanced Editor. This will open the Advanced Editor window. In Source remove /[en-US] from the OData URL and click Done. Repeat this for all queries that contain the PWA OData URL, once completed click Close & Apply > Close & Apply. Then follow the steps to publish the report to the Power BI service. **********

Once the credentials are all updated and correct, expand Schedule Refresh and enable this as required:


Click Apply.

Now click the report name under the Reports heading. From here you can pin visualizations on to a dashboard. See an example below:


Click the pin in the top right corner of the visualization then click New Dashboard and give the dashboard a name:


Click Pin.

Repeat this for other visualizations on other pages in the report as required but on the Pin to dashboard menu select Existing dashboard and select the dashboard you just created:


Once you have added all the visualizations you want, click on the new dashboard from the Dashboards heading:


Now you could create the organisational content pack to make this report and dashboard available to others in the organisation. This does require the Power BI Pro license.

Click the Settings Cog in the top right corner:


Click Create content pack:


Complete the form as required and upload an image if needed then select your dashboard – this will automatically include the correct report and dataset. Once completed, click Publish. You will then see a success message in the top right corner:


Other users with a Power BI Pro license will then be able to consume the content pack once logged into their Power BI workspace by clicking Get Data > My Organization > Get:


Click Get it now. It will then add the content pack to their workspace.

Before creating the content pack it would be best to wait until the data source credentials issue is resolved in the Power BI service so that the data in the content pack will update on the schedule. Or alternatively, if your PWA site default language is English, remove the /[en-US] from each dataset query as described in this post.

#ProjectOnline #PPM #PowerBI Report Pack #BI #Reporting #PowerQuery #DAX #Office365

January 3, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting | 5 Comments
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Over the holiday period I started to build a Power BI Report Pack for Microsoft’s Office 365 PPM tool Project Online. I have made this publically available to download using the link below:


This Report Pack currently consists of 5 reports but will be extended in the near future with additional reports and / or changes to existing reports. In this release there are 5 reports, these can be seen below:

Portfolio Report:


Issues Report:


Risks Report:


Project Report:


Resource Demand Report:


These reports only use default intrinsic fields so it should work for all Project Online deployments.

Once downloaded, the report pack data sources will need to be updated to point to your target Project Online PWA instance. To do this you will need the Power BI desktop tool which is a free download here: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/desktop/

Open the downloaded PWMatherProjectOnlinePowerBIReportPack.pbix file in Power BI Desktop and follow the steps below to point the data sources to your Project Online PWA instance:

  • Home > Edit Queries > Edit Parameters
  • On the “Enter Parameters” window update the PWAURLParameter value with the correct PWA URL and click OK.
  • Click Apply Changes on the yellow status bar . You might be prompted to sign in if you haven’t before, if so, see the details below
  • If prompt with the authentication options. Select Organizational account then click Sign In.
  • Enter credentials for an account that has access to the OData Reporting API on the target PWA instance
  • Then click Connect
  • A Privacy levels window may appear, select Organisational then click Save.
  • The Apply Query Changes window will appear as the data is refreshed.
  • Once the refresh window disappears the reports will update to show the data from the target PWA instance. Click the Project Report tab and change the project filter from Project 1 to a project from your PWA instance. Save the file.

This file can either be emailed around to colleagues with details on how to update the credentials to their own or what would be better is to publish the report to your Power BI workspace can create an organisational content pack that others can add to their Power BI workspace. If the Power BI organisational content pack is the chosen option, you might want to create a Dashboard first.

In a follow up blog post to this one, I will touch on creating a dashboard once the report is published to my Power BI workspace then create an organisation content pack.

Enjoy, I hope you like it Smile

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