How to check the SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010 service pack / patch level #PS2010 #ProjectServer #SharePoint #SP2010
This article will show how to check the farm version for SharePoint Foundation 2010, SharePoint Server 2010 and Project Server 2010.
The farm patch level can be check in the Central Administration site, click “Upgrade and Migration” then “Check Product and Patch Installation Status”
The patch level of all farm components will be detailed here, as you can see below, Project Server is listed at the bottom:
The farm configuration database version can also be checked on the “Manage Servers in this farm” page:
You can also check the SQL databases directly just running the query below:
Or if you want to see everything:
Select * from versions
This query can be executed against most of the SharePoint 2010 databases and all of the Project Server 2010 PWA databases. Worth noting is that not all SharePoint databases have a versions table, also not all of the versions tables get updated with every update, it usually depends if there is a schema update.
When installing Project Server 2010 it is always best practice to use an alias name for the SQL server as this makes life easier should you want to move SQL servers at a later date. This raises the question, SQL alias (using SQL cliconfg utility – pic below) or a network DNS Alias name (CNAME or HOST Record).
Pic1: SQL Server Client Network Utility (cliconfg)
For Project Server 2007 I would have said there weren’t really any advantages for one method over the other but for Project Server 2010 it’s different. For Project Server 2010 I would always recommend using a network DNS Alias, the reason being is to do with creating Excel Services reports.
When a user either creates a new or edits an existing report in Excel, their Excel client will connect directly to the data source (either Reporting database, custom database or OLAP cube). The ODC file will contain the connection details, SQL server name (alias name if Project Server was installed with an Alias for SQL), and database or cube name. If you installed Project Server 2010 with a SQL Alias on the Application Server, the user’s client machine will not know anything about the SQL Alias name unless you set up the same SQL Alias on all users machines who will create Excel Reports. This is because SQL Alias are only local to the machine that is it created on. Using a network DNS Alias to alias the SQL server will remove this issue.
Scheduled jobs such as the daily scheduled backup in project server not running but work when you run them manually? I have seen this at many clients and the resolution is usually simple.
All of the scheduled jobs in Project Server 2007 / 2010 run from a SharePoint Timer Job, if you look in Central Administration at the timer job definitions you will see your project server jobs. These include:
- Project Server Cube Admin Job
- Resource Capacity Job
- Scheduled Backup Job (one for each item)
These jobs are created in Central Administration when you set up the scheduled jobs in PWA. If you find that some of the scheduled jobs no longer run automatically, editing the time of the job will usually resolve the issue. So for example, if your daily Project backup that scheduled to run at 02:00 is not working automatically, try editing the time of the job to 03:00 and check the following day to confirm it has worked. To confirm it has run you can check the queue history and add in the “Success” job completion state. You can always set the job to run again at 02:00 for the following night and that should still work. You would need to repeat this for all of the scheduled jobs that were not running automatically.
Just a quick post to mention that Microsoft have now released documentation on the recommended SQL server database maintenance plans for Project Server 2010. SQL Server database plans are very important in keeping Project Server performing reliably and smoothly. Please see the link below for more information:
Getting synch errors in the Project Queue relating the Reporting WSS sync? Link to task functionality not working? Risks and issues not showing in the reminders web part on the PWA home page? If you have any of these issues then it is quite likely that you have either edited or deleted some of the default fields from the Project Site’s Risks or Issues lists. The Risks, Issues, Deliverables lists are integral to Project Server so the best advise is to leave the default fields alone and create new fields to meet your requirements. It is possible to hide the default fields if required.
One question I see quite a lot of the time is “How can we fix this issue once we have deleted or edited a default field from the Project Site?” The answer is simple but would mean data loss if you want to fix the issue on a Project Site that already had list items on the default Issues, Risks and Deliverables lists. If the issue exists in the current custom Project Site template then this can be resolved easily without any data loss. For both scenarios please see the steps below.
To fix the issue if it exists in your latest custom Project Site template, navigate to PWA and click Site Actions > New Site, select the latest custom template, add a name and URL and click create. Navigate to your new site and delete the default Risks, Issues and Deliverables lists by going to the list settings for each list / library and clicking “Delete this list”.
Click Site Actions > Site Settings > Manage Site Features, scroll down to the “Project Sites Collaboration lists”
Click “Deactivate” and click ok the the warning. Once complete the page will reload the site features, this time click “Activate” next to Project Sites Collaboration Lists.
Running through these steps will recreate the default Risks, Issues and Deliverables lists with all of the correct default fields, any custom fields or changes made to default fields will not be re-applied. Now create any custom fields / views needed on the Risks or Issues list but remember do not touch the default fields or views. Once the template is complete save the site as a template and set as the default site template in Project Server following the usual process. This would have fixed the issues mention above for new Project Sites that are created from the new custom template but the issues will still exist on current project sites.
To fix the issues on current project sites would mean that some data loss will occur. Any list items on the default Risk, Deliverables or Issues list will be lost and not recreated. To fix the issues on existing sites the same process applies as outline above but rather than creating a new site you will need to navigate to the Project site in question then delete the default Risks, Deliverables and Issues lists (remembering that the list items will be lost). If the list items are required, export the lists to Excel first, then you have a copy that can be used to create the items again manually once the lists are recreated. Once the default Risks, Deliverables and Issues lists have been deleted, click Site Actions > Site Settings > Manage Site Features. Deactivate the “Project Sites Collaboration Lists” feature then activate. As mentioned earlier this will recreate the default Risks, Deliverables and Issues lists with all of the default fields. This process will need to be repeated on all Project Sites where you want to resolve the issue and where you are happy to lose the existing Risks, Deliverables and Issues.
I would recommend that this process is carried out on test environment prior to production so that you are happy with steps outlined above.
I would just like to share my findings with the behaviour of the Project Server 2010 grids. I was recently investigating an issue raised on one of the Project Server forums and thought I would blog the issue and workaround in case anyone comes across this in future. The issue is that the header rows don’t load correctly if you zoom your Internet Explorer window below 99%. Each grid behaves differently, the Project Centre grid will add an extra header row on the left hand side of the grid as shown below so that the Gantt row no longer aligns with the correct Project detail rows:
On the Tasks page, an extra row is added on both sides of the divider, but the rows are not level as seen below, Process Status and Mon 13/06 are positioned mid rows:
The Resource Centre also adds an extra header row as seen below:
This behaviour can be resolved by increasing the Internet Explorer zoom level to 99% or higher.
Hopefully that will help resolve this annoyance for anyone that has come across this issue
Calculated Column Formula: Probability and impact analysis for risks #SharePoint #SP2010 #ProjectServer #PS2010 #EPM #MSProject #in
Many project managers like to do risk analysis in terms of probability and impact, ultimately creating a heat map when data is rolled up at the project or programme level.
Further information about the methodology can be found here: http://www.expertprogrammanagement.com/2010/06/project-risk-management/
To aid in the creation of these roll up dashboards, we need to evaluate each risk as it is entered (and updated) and assess the probability of the risk occurring against the impact it has against the project (normally in terms of Cost, Resource or Time).
The following chart details this analysis:
NB: Numeric values have been assigned for the formulas listed below
To implement this in SharePoint (either standalone or as an extension to the standard Risks list in Project Server) we need to translate what the Project Manager / Team Members would like to state in words regarding probability & impact into a numeric value for sorting and analysis.
The following Choice columns are added to the Risk form.
User Interface Columns:
|Probability of Risk||Choice||Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Very High|
|Impact of Risk||Choice||Very Low, Low, Medium, High, Very High|
Once we have the UI version of Probability and Impact, we need to use some hidden / calculated columns to convert these values in to numbers.
Once we have these values we then multiply them together:
Probability x Impact = Expected Outcome Value
|Risk Probability Value||Calculated Column||=IF([Probability of Risk]=”Very Low”,0.1,IF([Probability of Risk]=”Low”,0.3,IF([Probability of Risk]=”Medium”,0.5,IF([Probability of Risk]=”High”,0.7,IF([Probability of Risk]=”Very High”,0.9,0)))))|
|Risk Impact Value||Calculated Column||=IF([Impact of Risk]=”Very Low”,0.05,IF([Impact of Risk]=”Low”,0.1,IF([Impact of Risk]=”Medium”,0.2,IF([Impact of Risk]=”High”,0.4,IF([Impact of Risk]=”Very High”,0.8,0)))))|
|Expected Value Result||Calculated Column||=[Risk Probability Value]*[Risk Impact Value]|
Now that we have our Expected Outcome as a number, we can convert this back to a value the end user will understand, report and dashboard from.
|RAG||Calculated Column||=IF([Expected Value Result]<0.05,”Green”,IF([Expected Value Result]>0.14,”Red”,”Amber”))|
For each risk in the list we will now have a RAG value.
Further customisations I end up doing in clients include adding a RAG indicator column showing a graphical representation of the risk using jQuery.
|RAG Indicator||Calculated Column||=”<div class=’convertToHTML’><img src=’/pwa/customisation/images/RAG” & [RAG] & “Sml.gif’ alt=”‘ & [RAG] & ‘” title=”‘ & [RAG] & ‘”></div>”|
The above formula expects three images:
Images in the formula are stored in a document library called:
with a folder inside called:
Run the following jQuery function on the page with the list view on to convert the RAG Indicator calculated column string into rendered html:
Job Title: Pre-sales Consultant
Location: Marlow, England
Salary: £45000 per annum Car Allowance
Please send CV’s to Victoria Kyle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
About Corporate Project Solutions (http://www.cps.co.uk)
Corporate Project Solutions partners with organisations to bring demonstrable improvements to their project and business performance through the provision of Portfolio, Programme and Project Management consultancy, the delivery of tailored training, the supply of talented resources and the implementation of the appropriate, class-leading Microsoft EPM and SharePoint technologies.
As a full-service consultancy and one of the UK’s leading implementation specialists, CPS can provide organisations with a complete end-to-end solution delivered on time and on budget.
With over fourteen years’ experience and a client list of more than 700 of the world’s most successful companies, CPS manages all projects in-line with Best Practice methodologies to deliver consistent and repeatable results.
CPS is an APMG Accredited Consulting Organisation.
Presales Technical Consultant
Applies technical/solution knowledge to qualify opportunities and identify requirements
Develops solutions that meet customer requirements, ensure seamless deployment, and advance the sale.
Leverages technical sales experience and information resources to educate sales teams, peers, and customers.
Education and experience
- Typically 5-8 years pre-sales and technical selling experience
- Technical and or solution experience in vertical industry
Knowledge and Skills Required
Demonstrates a solid knowledge of CPS’ breadth of solutions
- SharePoint 2007 / 2010
The ideal candidate will demonstrate deep technical capabilities in assigned area of specialisation and an awareness in competitive solutions knowledge. They will understand data business components and how IT is used to address business needs.
- Demonstrates current understanding of technical innovations & trends and their impact on solving customer business problems.
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Has demonstrated hands-on level skills with SharePoint technologies.
Understands and applies basic financial and accounting concepts as well as capital investment concepts and applies them appropriately in positioning.
- Applies understanding of the customer’s value chain and business requirements when designing and proposing solutions:
- Communicates the value of the solution in terms of financial return and impact on customer business goals (future)
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- Gathers and assesses customer needs both business and technical
- Identifies related needs (lead generation opportunity expansion)
- Identifies site specific parameter and constraints that impact the solution
- Identifies required project steps
- Identifies likely problems areas that require attention
- Identifies probable competition and product roll-out data/ training needs.
- Architects an appropriate technical solution to meet the customers’ requirements
- Investigates and optimizes a solution to meet the requirements of an opportunity
- Adapts solution design to new requirements
- Establishes the validity of a solution and its components
- Identifies the growth path and scalability options of a solution and includes these in design activities
- Creates the appropriate test plan as required
- Anticipates some of the potential challenges for the proposed project plan
- Assesses likely competitive threats
- Assists with requests for expertise from peers
- Maintains excellent communications with customer management
- Represents CPS as technical expert with customers; shares knowledge in area of expertise
- Advances opportunities through the use of effective consultative selling techniques (future)
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- Partners effectively with others in the account to ensure problem resolution and customer satisfaction
- Communicates and articulates the details of their component roles in a proposed customer solution
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- Contributes to the presales direction
- Has a high level understanding of the CPS product roadmaps