#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:

image

Rollups: image

Gantt Chart: image

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

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

April 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Posted in Administration, Configuration, CU, Fixes, Functionality, Information | Leave a comment
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The Office 2016 April 2017 updates and cumulative updates are now available, please see the links below:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/4016803

Project 2016 April 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3178708

SharePoint Server 2016 / Project Server 2016 April 2017 update: 
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3178721 & https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3178718

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

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/4016803

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

Project Server 2013 April 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3191824

Project 2013 April 2017 update:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/3178713

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

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

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 | 1 Comment
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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.

#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 Add-on, Administration, Configuration, Customisation, Functionality, Information, 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.

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