#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.

#ProjectServer and #SharePoint 2013 / 2016 March 2017 Cumulative Update #PS2013 #SP2013 #PS2016 #SP2016 #MSProject

March 15, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Fixes, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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The Office 2016 March 2017 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/4013886

Project 2016 March 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3178669

SharePoint Server 2016 / Project Server 2016 March 2017 update: 
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3178675 & https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3178672

The Office 2013 March 2017 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/4013886

Project Server 2013 March 2017 CU Server Roll up package:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3172462

Project Server 2013 March 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3178625

Project 2013 March 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3178650

Also worth noting, if you haven’t done so already, install Service Pack 1 http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2880556 first if installing the March 2017 CU on 2013.

As always, fully test these updates on a replica test environment before deploying to production.

#ProjectServer and #SharePoint 2013 / 2016 February 2017 Cumulative Update #PS2013 #SP2013 #PS2016 #SP2016 #MSProject

February 26, 2017 at 8:55 am | Posted in Administration, CU, Fixes, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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The Office 2016 February 2017 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/4010765

Project 2016 February 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141514

SharePoint Server 2016 / Project Server 2016 February 2017 update: 
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141515 & https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141517

The Office 2013 February 2017 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/4010765

Project Server 2013 February 2017 CU Server Roll up package:
***No Server rollup package this month – install other SharePoint 2013 patch as required***

Project Server 2013 February 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141525

Project 2013 February 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141499

Also worth noting, if you haven’t done so already, install Service Pack 1 http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2880556 first if installing the February 2017 CU.

For more details see: https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/projectsupport/2017/02/24/project-and-project-server-february-2017-updates-released/

As always, fully test these updates on a replica test environment before deploying to production.

#ProjectServer 2016 environment migration / rollover steps #PowerShell #PS2016 #MSProject #SP2016

January 19, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Functionality, Information, Installation | Leave a comment
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This blog post will detail the PowerShell commands required to carry out an environment rollover / migration using Windows PowerShell where possible. The steps below use the database approach to rollover the Production environment to the Test / Development environment.

As a prerequisite I would recommend taking full backups of the Test / Dev farm to enable the environment to be rolled back if required. Use your usual farm backup procedures.

Test / Dev environment Prep

Firstly connect to the Test / Dev Application server and launch the SharePoint 2016 Management shell.

Type the following:

Remove-SPSite -Identity ‘<TEST/DEV PWA Site URL>’

You can check in Central admin in the Project Server Service Application to check that the PWA site has been removed.

Using the SharePoint 2016 Management Shell, remove the existing content database from the web application that hosted the PWA site collection that was removed in the previous step.

Type the following:

Dismount-SPContentDatabase ‘<Content database name>’

Test / Dev environment SQL Prep

Take a backup of the PWA Content database from the Production environment and copy this over to the Test / Dev SQL server and restore the database. The database required is:

  • Content database that contains the Production PWA site and Project Sites

Make a note of the database name used when this database is restored as it will be required later.

Test / Dev environment configuration

Using the SharePoint Management Shell, mount the restored content database to the web application that will host the PWA site collection.

Type the following:

Mount-SPContentDatabase ‘<content database name restored in previous step>’ -DatabaseServer ‘<Test / DEV SQL Server>’ –WebApplication <web application URL>

Post Provisioning

The Project Server Cube settings will need to be updated – update the SQL AS server / cube name.

Any Excel based reports in PWA will need to be updated to use the ODC files / connection strings from the Test / Dev environment as they will currently point to the Production ODC files / connection strings. This is done by opening the Excel reports in Excel, changing the ODC file / connection strings then saving the file back to the library.

All projects will need to be republished on the test / dev instance so that the project site features such as the issues and risks sync works as expected. There are other ways to fix that but republishing the projects is the easiest / safest option from what i have found.

#ProjectServer and #SharePoint 2013 / 2016 January 2017 Cumulative Update #PS2013 #SP2013 #PS2016 #SP2016 #MSProject

January 12, 2017 at 7:42 pm | Posted in Administration, CU, Fixes, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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The Office 2016 January 2017 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3214449

Project 2016 January 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141459

SharePoint Server 2016 / Project Server 2016 January 201 update: 
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141487 & https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141486

The Office 2013 January 2017 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3214449

Project Server 2013 January 2017 CU Server Roll up package:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141480

Project Server 2013 January 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141484

Project 2013 January 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3141470

Also worth noting, if you haven’t done so already, install Service Pack 1 http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2880556 first if installing the January 2017 CU.

As always, fully test these updates on a replica test environment before deploying to production.

#ProjectServer and #SharePoint 2013 / 2016 December 2016 Cumulative Update #PS2013 #SP2013 #PS2016 #SP2016 #MSProject

December 15, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Posted in Administration, CU, Fixes, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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The Office 2016 December 2016 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3208595

Project 2016 December 2016 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3127994

SharePoint Server 2016 / Project Server 2016 December 2016 update: 
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3128017 & https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3128014

The Office 2013 December 2016 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3208595

Project Server 2013 December 2016 CU Server Roll up package:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3128003

Project Server 2013 December 2016 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3128009

Project 2013 December 2016 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/3127978

Also worth noting, if you haven’t done so already, install Service Pack 1 http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2880556 first if installing the December 2016 CU.

As always, fully test these updates on a replica test environment before deploying to production.

Security trim Project data in #ProjectOnline #PowerBI #Excel #PowerQuery reports part 2 #PPM #Odata #REST #BI

December 12, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Posted in Administration, Functionality, Add-on, Customisation, Information, Configuration, Reporting | 1 Comment
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Further to my last post on an example method to security trim the Project data in a Power BI report for Microsoft’s Project Online PPM tool, another option is to merge the datasets / tables. If you didn’t see the first post, a link can be found below:

https://pwmather.wordpress.com/2016/12/09/security-trim-project-data-in-projectonline-powerbi-reports-ppm-odata-rest-bi/

For this post, I have the same two ODATA / REST queries used, the ODATA one for the Milestones (/_api/ProjectData/Tasks()?$Filter=TaskIsMilestone eq true) which is not security trimmed and the REST one for the Projects (/_api/ProjectServer/Projects) which is security trimmed. With both of these datasets loaded into the Power BI Query Editor, select the Milestone dataset and click Merge from the Home ribbon tab and set the following:

image

This is merging my two tables based on ProjectId from the Milestone dataset and Id from the Projects dataset using a Left Outer join. You can see from that screen shot that I don’t actually have access to the Agile Product Development project in PWA as it is not returned in the list of projects in the REST dataset. Clicking OK will show a NewColumn:

image

Click expand and select Name:

image

That returns nulls for the project names you do not have access to:

image

These rows should be filtered out, click the Name column heading dropdown and de-select null:

image

Click OK and the Milestone dataset table will match the list of projects you have access to in PWA – the rows with nulls in the Name column will be removed from the table. I then renamed the Milestones – ODATA dataset to Filtered Milestones:

image

Click Close & Apply then the load a couple of visualisations on to the report and you can see that now the data is security trimmed as part of the query and not in the report:

image

In this simple example there is no need for the report level filter to remove the nulls at the report level like there was in the previous post. The same applies as with the previous post, if your users know Power BI  / Power Query they can easily undo all of this and access all the data but this might be an option to explore.

Security trim Project data in #ProjectOnline #PowerBI reports #PPM #Odata #REST #BI

December 9, 2016 at 1:29 pm | Posted in Add-on, Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, Reporting | 5 Comments
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The reporting API for Microsoft’s PPM solution – Project Online doesn’t filter the data based on the access model in PWA. For some organisations this can be problematic. In this blog post I show a simple report example to filter only projects and project milestones that I have access to in PWA.

In this example I have a very simple Power BI Report that is only using ODATA (_api/ProjectData), the Projects resource path to populate the Projects slicer / filter and the Tasks resource path to populate the Milestones for the selected Project:

image

I have access to a long list of projects (see the scroll bar on the slicer). Using the Audit Tracking project as an example, I can currently see this project in PWA as shown below:

image

I will change the access model so I get access denied to this project:

image

I only see these 6 projects projects in an unfiltered Project Center view:

image

Yet if I refresh my Power BI report I still see the full list as expected (the ODATA reporting API is not data security trimmed, you either access all data or none). One option is to use the REST (_api/ProjectServer) to filter the datasets that use the ODATA API as the source. The REST API is security trimmed to only show the data you have access to based on the access model in PWA. For example, I will get the list of Projects from REST to populate the Projects slicer / filter in Power BI, this only shows the projects I have access to in PWA. I have added a new data source to my simple Power BI report for the REST API:

image

The join is then set up on Id from the Projects REST dataset to the ProjectId in the Milestones OData dataset:

image

I now switch my slicer / filter to use the Projects – REST dataset

image

As you can see the list of projects matches what I see in the Project Center but there is a also a blank option there. The blank value is for rows it can’t join with on the Milestone ODATA dataset, these are the projects I no longer have permission to access in PWA! To resolve this, select the page and add a report level filter like below where Name is not blank:

image

This report filter will not show any blank values for the Name field on any visualisation in the report:

image

The blank value is now removed. My data is now security trimmed to match what I have access to in PWA! Obviously if you know what you are doing you can just undo all of this and see all data but for some it might be a workable solution! You can do the same with Resources too.

#ProjectOnline new #OData resource path for Resource Demand #Reporting #BI #O365 #PPM

November 22, 2016 at 9:35 am | Posted in Administration, Configuration, Functionality, Information, Reporting | Leave a comment
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This post covers a new resource path in the OData endpoint for Microsoft’s PPM tool Project Online to give you the data you need for true resource demand for project assignments and resource engagement assignments. Before resource engagements were introduced, you could have assignments in the project plans or in the resource plans. For reporting, the data was available in the Assignments and the AssignmentTimephasedDataSet resource path feeds, normal project assignments data would be in the AssignmentWork field and resource plan work was in the AssignmentResourcePlanWork field. There was also an AssignmentCombinedWork in the AssignmentTimephasedDataSet feed that displayed the correct resource demand for the resource when you used both resource plans and project plans. The AssignmentCombinedWork field would take into account for the project resource utilisation calculation options. With the introduction of resource engagements there wasn’t a single field that gave you this same resource demand data – until now!

If you regularly view the Project OData service root URL (_api/ProjectData) you might have noticed a new feed, ResourceDemandTimephasedDataSet. This feed has the following properties:

image

The ResourcePlanUtilizationType type will display either a 0, 1 or 2. This is the property to indicate the project resource utilisation calculation options for the project. The enumeration for these values is below:

  • o = Project Plan
  • 1 = Resource Engagements
  • 2 = Project Plan Until

The ResourcePlanUtilizationDate property will only contain a date when the “Project Plan Until” resource utilisation calculation option is set.

This new ResourceDemandTimephasedDataSet feed will show the true resource demand for the project resource utilisation calculation option when using both project assignments and resource engagements. Some scenarios below show when data would and wouldn’t be included in this new feed:

Scenario 1: Project plan has resource assignments and resource engagements. The “Calculate Resource Utilization from:” option is set to Project Plan. In this scenario only the project assignments will be included in the ResourceDemandTimephasedDataSet feed.

Scenario 2: Project plan has resource assignments and resource engagements. The “Calculate Resource Utilization from:” option is set to Resource Engagements. In this scenario only the resource engagement assignments will be included in the ResourceDemandTimephasedDataSet feed.

Scenario 3: Project plan has resource assignments and resource engagements. The project assignments start from the 20th November to the 10th December 2016. The Resource engagements start from the 25th November to the 20th December 2016. The “Calculate Resource Utilization from:” option is set to Project Plan until with a date set to 1st December 2016. In this scenario only the project assignments will be included from the 20th November 2016 up to and including the 1st December 2016 and only resource engagement assignments from the 2nd December to 20th December 2016  will be included in the ResourceDemandTimephasedDataSet feed.

Example data can be seen below:

image

That makes things far easier for reporting resource demand, without this new feed you had to use the AssignmentTimephasedDataSet feed and the EngagementsTimephasedDataSet feed and join the datasets.

#ProjectServer and #SharePoint 2013 / 2016 November 2016 Cumulative Update #PS2013 #SP2013 #PS2016 #SP2016 #MSProject

November 8, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Posted in Administration, CU, Fixes, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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The Office 2016 November 2016 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3200802

Project 2016 November 2016 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3127960

SharePoint Server 2016 / Project Server 2016 November 2016 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3127940 & https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3127942 & https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2910950

The Office 2013 November 2016 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3200802

Project Server 2013 November 2016 CU Server Roll up package:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3127931

Project Server 2013 November 2016 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3127937

Project 2013 November 2016 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3127959

Also worth noting, if you haven’t done so already, install Service Pack 1 http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2880556 first if installing the November 2016 CU.

As always, fully test these updates on a replica test environment before deploying to production.

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