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Infrastructure Update Caveats for Cost Resources

posted July 16th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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While reviewing the white paper that describes the recent Project 2007 Infrastructure Update in detail, I came upon some interesting information at the end of the document.

Before I start, I first want to thank and congratulate Microsoft on a job well done with the quality and quantity of documentation they’ve provided for this update. Compared to the sometimes-cryptic KB Articles that typically accompany hotfixes and updates, the Infrastructure Update’s documentation is outstanding.

That being said, I do have some concerns relating to the changes in Cost Resources, which are a new way in Project 2007 of accounting for costs associated with a project. Cost Resources are typically used to account for non-work costs such as travel expenses. The Infrastructure Update makes some significant changes to the way that Cost Resources function, and while I am a big fan of the idea of Cost Resources, I cannot help but be concerned by some of the caveats I’ve quoted below:




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Advice when Posting to the Project Server Support Newsgroups

posted July 16th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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Gary Chefetz has made an interesting post over at ProjectServerHelp on how to write a great post when you look for help in the Microsoft communities newsgroups. He makes several interesting points:

  • Always include version information
  • If possible, always include specific error information (preferably a stack trace or direct copy from the event/ULS log
  • Include information about any troubleshooting performed to-date
  • Do not assume that similar error messages equate to similar problems, since software tends to use “catch-all” errors for many problems.

As someone who frequently answers questions in the newsgroups, I think that these are all very important. They cover some of the biggest timewasters in the newsgroups (for both users and experts alike). When posting, try to follow his advice — doing so should help cut down on the time-to-resolution for users seeking assistance in the newsgroups.

You can check out his post here.




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Project and Project Server 2007 Infrastructure Update

posted July 16th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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For those of you that haven’t heard yet, yesterday morning Microsoft released the long-awaited Infrastructure Update for WSS, the Office Servers (including Project Server), and Project 2007.

You can read an overview of updates here, and read detailed information in this white paper.

This update promises significant performance and stability improvements to the entire line of Office Servers, WSS, and the Project Client. If you haven’t already (or have only read the overview), I strongly recommend you read the white paper. It contains 30 pages of information about the update, and contains a lot of important information (including user scenarios to avoid).

From the overview:

Project Server

  • Timesheets and My Tasks stability and usability improvements
  • Queue Management user interface improvements
  • Logging Tracing improvements
  • Project Server performance improvements
  • Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007 migration fixes



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Retrieve the Guid of a Custom Field Using its Name

posted May 7th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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Within the Project Object Model, the Application object has a method, FieldNameToFieldConstant(), that returns a PjField constant for use by the various SetField() and GetField() methods throughout the object model. More information on the SetField Method (and other associated methods) can be found here.

Unfortunately, when using the PSI, there’s no quick way to lookup the Guid for a field. This can be a problem, since the various CustomFieldsRow objects (Task, Resource, Assignment, and Project) do not include the name of the custom field, only the UID (for an example, look at the ProjectCustomFieldsRow entity in the Project 2007 SDK).

Retrieving custom field information in the PSI is accomplished by using the CustomFields web service. The code below is a class that implements a method to retrieve the Guid of a custom field using the field’s name and entity type. I had to chop the code up a lot because of space constraints, so I apologize for the excessive line breaks. This code assumes that you’ve set up a Web Reference to the CustomFields web service named WebSvcCustomFields.




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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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Project Server 2007 Post-SP1 Hotfixes

posted February 24th, 2008 by Stephen Sanderlin
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Chris Fiessinger recently posted a list of links to the post-SP1 hotfixes here.

For your benefit, I’ve copied them here:

These hotfixes take advantage of Microsoft’s new Hotfix Request offering… Each KB article for a hotfix has a link whereby you can submit an email request for the hotfix. Microsoft will respond with links to the hotfix. This should save you from having to call PSS every time you need a hotfix. However, if you choose to use these hotfixes, please remember that they have not been fully tested and you may experience some unexpected behavior.

Popularity: 18%



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