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Creating or Viewing Views in Data Analysis can cause Analysis Services to become unresponsive

posted April 23rd, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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At a previous client, I encountered an issue where, when creating or viewing certain views in Data Analysis, the Analysis Services service would spike in processor/memory utilization and become unresponsive.

I have recently discovered that this is a known issue in environments that have an interaction between Office Web Components and SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services with Service Pack 2 (which means Project Server).

Although I’m not 100% sure, I believe the KB that covers this issue is KB936251. The symptoms seem to fit.

At any rate, I have been told that the resolution was included way back in SQL Server 2005 Cumulative Update 2. I recommend that you install the current CU, which is CU7, due to the number of fixes it contains. UPDATE: I’ve recieved information that CU6 is a better choice due to some issues introduced by CU7. I’ve posted a followup article here.




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Create a Custom Timer Job to Enforce Changes to PWA Permission Levels

posted April 14th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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In our previous article, we discussed Permission Levels for Project Web Access sites. We talked about how they were too liberal for most organizations and how to change them.

Unfortunately for us, the fact of the matter is that any changes you make to the default permission levels (in PWA or in a PWS) are not permanent, since the two Membership Synchronization processes overwrite them.

The PSI Methods for these two processes (QueueSynchronizeMembershipForWssSite and SynchronizeMembershipForPwaAppRootSite) can be found in the WssInterop service, which resides at http://ServerName/ProjectServerInstanceName/_vti_bin/psi/WssInterop.asmx. As previously discussed, both of them will delete and recreate the permission levels (or roles, depending which part of what document/interface/article/SDK you read) whenever triggered either by you or by Project Server.




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Forums or Comments?

posted April 14th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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I’ve recieved several emails asking why I am asking you, the reader, to use the EPMFAQ Blog Post Forum to discuss my posts rather than simply using the built in comments.

Quite simply, I don’t like the native WordPress comments engine. They lengthen the page load time, are difficult to search, and can be difficult to follow. I think that the Forums offer a much cleaner and more structured experience. Basically, I want to make it easier for readers to discuss posts with each other and with the author. However, I would like to get a group opinion. Therefore, I have posted a new poll asking your opinion. It is available for your vote in the sidebar of this page.

If the poll shows support for using native comments, I will rethink my stance. Please vote!




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Fixed Duration Tasks in Project 2007

posted April 11th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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Earlier today in the EPMFAQ Forums, there was a discussion concerning an issue in Project 2007 whereby the Duration on a Fixed Duration task is set to 0d if the Work on that task either rolled up or was set to 0h.

This is divergent behavior from Project 2003, and one that appears to be causing issues for a rapidly increasing number of users. Many of us within the community have been aware of this issue for quite some time, but there appear to be many people that are unfamiliar with this little conundrum, be they users, administrators, or consultants.

Here’s my response to the question:

The issue you are referring to manifests when the Work for the task is set to 0h, whether by rollup or entry. This results in the task’s Duration being set to 0d. This is true for all Task Types, including Fixed Duration.




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EPM Streamlines Your Activities

posted April 4th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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This is part three of the Understanding the Value of EPM and EPM Consultants series.

One of the best aspects of Project Server is that it does the grunt work of collaboration and data collection for you. As Project Managers, we spend a lot of our time having meetings, preparing for meetings, reviewing and gathering status, and ensuring our plans are in line with expectations. Project Server allows you to handle the legwork for many of these tasks automatically.

Consider a standard status report that a team member fills out. Typically, these reports contain a list of issues, risks, past and future tasks, and a matrix of how their time was spent. The unfortunate downside of this method of communication is that the list of issues, risks, and tasks often becomes complicated and unwieldy on long projects or ones with more than a few people. Some teams choose to work around this by decreasing the detail provided in the report, but doing this obviously decreases the value of this report.



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Adjust the Default Project Web Access Permission Levels

posted April 3rd, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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At many of my clients, I encounter situations where the default Permission Levels created by Project Server for Project Web Access sites cause problems. Typically, everything is going along just fine when suddenly one day PWA has a different theme or the “My Tasks” or “My Timesheets” page is blank and/or throws an error. While on occasion the error is legitimate, usually it is due to an inexperienced user editing the Shared version of the page. If you haven’t encountered this issue yourself, at this point you may be wondering how this is possible… The simple answer is that for many organizations, the default Permission Levels grant too much power to non-Administrative users.

When you provision a new Project Web Access site, Project Server creates four Permission Levels (described in this technet article):

  • Web Administrators (Microsoft Office Project Server)
  • Project Managers (Microsoft Office Project Server)


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