Archive for January, 2006

Activate AD GUID for Windows Authenticated Resources in PS2003

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

AD Sync plays a vital part in Project Server 2003 environment. It allows you keep the user account updated with any changes. With the click of a button, users get updated in the Project Groups. With another click of a button they get updated in the Enterprise Resource Pool. The core of AD-Sync process is AD GUID. Each Project Account created using AD has an AD GUID.

One can create user accounts in PWA &/or in Project Professional. Such accounts will not have AD GUID associated. Put differently, accounts created by means other than AD in Project Server 2003 don’t get updated during AD-Sync. The primary reason being, that those accounts will not have an associated AD GUID in the Project Resources tables. Check my earlier article on Active Directory Integration in MS Project Server 2003.

In my environment, the old Project Administrator initially created account using Project Professional & PWA. Later we switched to AD-Sync. Up till now we had a situation where those account were not getting updated during AD-Sync due to missing GUID. Some of those users left company, some got promoted & needed Project Manager or Executive role rather than of Team Member, for some their name were missing post-fix which we used to put for external users and for some email address was missing in the Project Server. Due to number of such users it was laborious work to update these accounts manually.

I got it resolved recently after some work. Those of you who have such accounts with missing AD GUID which were not created in AD & want to switch all their Project Accounts to get updated during AD-Sync, here is my trick.

There are few things you have to make sure. Since your resources don’t have AD GUID, AD-Sync won’t update their account information.

Follow steps below to enable AD GUID for resources

(Try this for one resource in development & then do it for all resources in production)

1. Find the resource name which was created within Project 2003.(not with AD). Make sure that resource have ‘Clear User AD GUID:’ greyed out in ‘Modify user’ in PWA > Admin > Users.

2. Make sure you have the correct Windows User account information in ‘Modify User’ screen.

3. I assume that you have configured AD Group for each Project Server Group in PWA > Admin > Modify Users and Groups > Group. I also assume you have configured Enterprise Resource pool AD group in PWA > Server Configuration.

4. Go to AD Management Console from Project Server or AD Server (Contact your AD admin for help). Locate the user & go to ‘Member of’ tab in User Properties. If the user was created with Team Member role in Project, make sure to assign him similar AD Group. Plus assign him one extra AD group for Project. Say in this example Resource Manager. (This extra AD Group membership will do magic here :). Don’t worry we’ll remove this macho in later steps.)

5. In PWA > Admin > Manage users and groups > Group, under ‘Active Directory: Set the options for AD synchronization’ click ‘Update Now’ to sync with AD. Refresh the page after some time till you see a message in that section which displays the time when AD groups were last synchronized.

6. Now in PWA if you go to that user’s Modify Properties, you’ll see that ‘Clear User AD GUID:’ option is now active. (little success)

7. User AD GUID information is stored in two tables.

MSP_Web_Resources

MSP_Resources

Run this query against Project server database. (Contact your DBA for help here)

–Query1:

select Res_name, WRes_NT_Account, WRes_Email, WRes_AD_GUID from MSP_Web_Resources where Res_Name like ‘resource_name%’

select Res_name, Res_AD_GUID from MSP_Resources where Res_Name like ‘resource_name%’

— replace resource_name% with actual Resource name.

8. Result for MSP_Resources might show multiple entries for that user. Only one entry will show AD GUID after step 5 above.

Run the following query to update remaining records with the AD GUID. (Contact your DBA for help here)

–Query2:

update MSP_Resources

set Res_AD_GUID = ‘{GUID}’

where Res_Name = ‘resource_name

–Replace GUID in {GUID} with actual GUID number you will see in the records.

–Replace resource_name with actual resource name you are trying to update.

9. Run Query1 in step 7 above to verify that all records in MSP_Resources has been updated with AD GUID.

10. In AD Management console, remove the extra AD group account membership for that resource which you added in Step4 above.

11. In PWA > Admin > Manage users and Groups > Group, sync the AD group again. This will remove the extra group from user’s membership.

12. In PWA > Admin > Server configuration, click the ‘Update Now’ button to sync the Enterprise Resource Pool with corresponding AD group. After this step email address was updated for accounts from which it was missing earlier.

13. In PWA Modify User properties, make sure all information has been properly updated.

During the above procedure, make sure you check Application logs in Event Viewer for messages / errors. To set detailed logging into Event View, you can use Set Tracing utility from Project Server 2003 Resource Kit. Check my earlier post to see how you can use it.

(I don’t guarantee any issue which may arise from changes mentioned in this article. Test this process first in development. Send your suggestions if you feel something can be improvise this process.)

Improve performance of SQL2000 server if the server has case-insensitive collation and hosting a PS2003 db

Monday, January 30th, 2006

Check this article on Microsoft site which improves performance of SQL server hosting Project database

Improve performance of SQL2000 server if the server has case-insensitive collation and is hosting a Project Server 2003 database

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906687

Project Conference 2006 Day3

Friday, January 20th, 2006

Third & last day of Project Conference. The headline of today’s session was Steve Balmer‘s keynote presentation on Project12 & Visio12.



His
presentation showed MS’s confidence on these upcoming products.


The rest of the day was filled with some good sessions. While leaving for the day I met
Kevin Watson.

At the end of 3rd day I felt the event should’ve been for a week :). It was truly an awesome experience for me to attend any Microsoft event after a long time. Hopefully will be there in future events.

ProjectConference2006 Day2

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

Day 2 of Project Conference 2006 brought more excitment. It started with a breakfast presentation of Project Hosts. They offer hosted solution for MS Project Server.

The keynote session from Gene Kranz (former NASA Director) was simply amazing. He told his experience of Apollo 13 mission Control.

The session was presented in a way that I felt like I’m watching a movie or I’m part of that mission. His session ended with elevated applause just like it started with standing ovation.



Later sessions on upcoming Project Server 12 & WSS3 were educative. New version of Project Server 12 will rock. A lot of new features have been added which were missing in PS 2003.

During the day I had momentarily discussion with Rod Gill & few others.

KB Articles of Dec05 Jan06

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

A few number of knowledge base articles have been had been released in Dec05 & in Jan 06 which effect MS Project client &/or server. Check these articles below.

Project Server 2003

The values for actual work and remaining work in Project Server 2003 do not match the values for actual work and remaining work in Project Professional 2003

Error message when you try to connect to Project Server 2003 or Project Server 2002 from Project Professional 2003 or Project Professional 2002: “Unexpected server response” or “Microsoft Project cannot access the Microsoft Project Server”

Error message when you try to build an OLAP cube in Project Server 2003: “This key is already associated with an element of this collection”

You receive “Cannot obtain WSS item tp_ID” error message when you try to connect to a workspace in Project Server 2003

You cannot access a custom menu with Microsoft Project Web Access

The WSSWiz.exe file stops responding when you start Project Server 2003


Project Professional / Standard 2003
Description of the Office 2003 post-Service Pack 2 hotfix package: December 2, 2005 (Inserting Excel sheet or Polygon image may cause this issue)

Description of the Office 2003 post-Service Pack 2 hotfix package: December 6, 2005 (Few situations which can cause this issue)

Description of the Microsoft Office 2003 post-Service Pack 2 hotfix package: December 8, 2005 (Opening data access page in browser may cause this issue)

Description of the Office 2003 post-Service Pack 2 hotfix package: December 19, 2005 (VB Macro issue)

ProjectConference2006 Day1

Wednesday, January 18th, 2006

The day one started with an excellent keynote session from Mark Angiulo (GM, Project Business Unit Microsoft).

The session from Keshav (from Microsoft) updated us on the new features in Project 12. It was an informative session.

 

Later I met few people I used to know off in MS Newsgroups notably Gary & Dale from MS Project Experts.

 

The Partner Pavilion was filled with partner booths who were giving information on their products & services on MS Project.

This day was great. I hope coming days will be even better.

I went to Seattle Aquarium on one of the day during my trip. It was good to see the sea life there.

Far or near to MS Project

Monday, January 16th, 2006

Vacation, in dictionary means “Leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure”.

 

I took some vacation time. You might think that I’ll be away from my MS Project Server mindset and will not be doing anything on MS Project. The truth is yes I’m far from my MS Project working environment. Yet I’m still near to MS Project (a little workaholic). I’m here in beautiful Seattle WA for MS Project Conference. I’m really excited to attend this conference.

 

Today I went to Seattle Aquarium. (Check the video). I know aquarium or video doesn’t have anything to do with MS Project. My blog is also taking little vacation from MS Project J. But will be back on the topic soon.

Usage Analysis of WSS Site

Thursday, January 12th, 2006

Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) has an option which allows you to view the usage reports of WSS site.

Im my Project Server 2003 (PS2003) environment, I integrated my Public Document Site (WSS site) with my PWA interface. After some time I wanted to find out how many users are using wss site, which area is popular among my users etc.

There is a simple way to configure the usage analysis of site in WSS. Check these links for details.

After configurations, wait for the Processing Time to occur. Once done you will be able to see the site usage reports. For all details check those two articles.

 

Active Directory Integration in MS Project Server 2003

Tuesday, January 10th, 2006

With Project Server 2003, you can use Active Directory (AD) as your enterprise resource repository. There are many benefits of using AD instead of using Project authenticated accounts in Project Server 2003 environments.

· As people join & leave your organization, just updating their status in AD updates them in Enterprise Resource List

· You can use AD groups to sync with Project Server 2003 groups to automatically assign permissions to users according to their role

· You can automate the new resource additions in Project server 2003

· You can use Sharepoint Services features with single sign-on

Check the following links to get some overview on AD integration in MS Project Server 2003 environment.

Explore Active Directory integration with Microsoft Office Project Server 2003

Configuring Active Directory Synchronization

Don’t miss this webcast “Active Directory synchronization behavior and troubleshooting in Project Server – Level 300”
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/906738

Active Synchronization Issues in MS Project
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/887025

You can search for other events & webcasts on Office Project Server 2003 at this link.
http://www.microsoft.com/events/AdvSearch.mspx

 

Using simple URL to access PWA

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2006

When you try to access Project Web Access (PWA) in Project 2003 environment you have to type http://servername/Projectserver every time. Which is sometimes difficult for users. Imagine if your server name is long.

Here I’m with a simple way to ease this complex URL. (you see I’m simplifying things as I’ve mentioned on my homepage 😛 )

For Project Web Access you can do things easier for your folks. This method doesn’t require DNS additions.

You can follow this:

1. Create an index.html page with simple html like the following. Make sure to remove first & last line of HTML. Place it in your PWA root folder.

<!–
<html>
<head>
<title>PWA Redirector Page</title>
</head>
<body>
PWA Redirector!
</body>
</html>
<–>

2. In IIS right click your Project Server website in left panel > Properties > Documents. Add index.html in that list & make it a first entry in that list.

3. Now right click index.html in right panel > Properties. On the File tab select ‘A redirection to a URL’ radio option. Type your actual PWA URL like http://servername/projectserver & click OK

4. Now you can just type http://Servername in IE & it will automatically redirects you to http://ServerName/projectserver.

If you have difficult or long servername, then you can ask DNS admin to create an alias in DNS say ‘project’ for your MS Project server. So when you type http://project it will redirects you using above method to http://ServerName/projectserver page

I’d recommend use the default http://servername/projectserver URL in Project Professional 2003 account setup. The URL has to be the same in Project Professional 2003 & PWA, else you’ll get errors while accepting your project plan updates.