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OLAP Cube Error – Cannot process the Project custom field

June 27, 2013 1 comment

Just a quick note to let you know about an error I came across today.

In Project Server 2010, I had a field called “Objective”. This was associated with a lookup table of the same name, which was single-value select. This field was added to the Project OLAP cube, which built successfully. So far so good!

I then changed the field type to multi-select, and left the cube to build overnight. Came back the next day to a failed OLAP build. The exact error I got in the queue was this:

  • CBS message processor failed:
  • CBSMetadataProcessingFailure (17005) – InitCustomFieldDimensions cannot process the Project custom field ‘Objective’. Details: id=’17005′ name=’CBSMetadataProcessingFailure’ uid=’c69b0459-5d1f-4d78-a410-f56cd32eca97′ QueueMessageBody=’Setting UID=00007829-4392-48b3-b533-5a5a4797e3c9 ASServerName=<SQLServer> ASDBName=OLAPCube ASExtraNetAddress= RangeChoice=0 PastNum=1 PastUnit=0 NextNum=1 NextUnit=0 FromDate=10/30/2012 00:00:00 ToDate=10/30/2012 00:00:00 HighPriority=True’ Error=’InitCustomFieldDimensions cannot process the Project custom field ‘Objective”.

Hmmm…OK, must be the change I made to the field. I need this field to be multi-value, but I don’t necessarily need it in the cube for reporting. So, I went to remove the field from the cube but it wasn’t listed. Weird. I thought re-saving the OLAP configuration and re-building it would just flush out the field since it was no longer listed in the cube configuration. I got the same error in the queue again.

The only fix I found for this was to re-create the OLAP cube with all of the same settings as previously, minus the “Objective” field, which I couldn’t add anyway as multi-value fields aren’t available to add to the cube.

Hope this helps you out if you come across this error in the future.

Lester

Edit: it seems that this was a known issue back in 2011, which hasn’t yet been fixed. More info on Brian Smith’s blog here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/brismith/archive/2011/02/04/project-server-2010-take-care-changing-custom-fields-to-allow-multiple-values.aspx

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Hiding tasks from the Gantt Chart

January 21, 2013 1 comment

Have you ever wanted to hide tasks from the Gantt Chart? The following technique is useful for tidying up a schedule – for example, if you want to show only pertinent Gantt information for a presentation, or take a screenshot of a plan for a client that contains some internal tasks.

To hide individual bars in the Gantt display, simply insert the “Hide Bar” field and set it to “Yes” for the requisite tasks:

image

After hiding:

image

You’ll notice that all incoming dependencies for the hidden bar are also hidden, so take care when looking at your predecessor/successor logic!

Lester

Showing/hiding items from the Gantt Chart

January 10, 2013 1 comment

A useful little nugget about Microsoft Project that came in handy the other day is showing or hiding items from your Gantt chart. It’s as simple as this:

In Microsoft Project right-click in the Gantt Chart and select “Gridlines”:

image

To show, for example the Current Date on your Gantt, select “Current Date” and change the line type from blank to any other line style. Change the colour if required, then click “OK”.

My example here is showing the Status Date as a red line, and the Current Date as a blue line:

image

Updating resource rates

Due to possible differences in calendars between EPM (Enterprise Calendars) and Microsoft Project (local project settings), resource rate changes using an effective from date may not be applied from the beginning of the working day. At one client in particular, where all resources in the Enterprise Resource Pool received an updated (increased) rate from the first of the financial year, this caused project financial information to be out by a couple of hundred to a few thousand pounds. Given that this particular client uses timesheet and therefore project actual work and cost figures to update their financial system for client billing, this is quite a big problem.
This article describes how to set the effective from time for the resource rate in order to ensure that it is applied from the beginning of the working day.

Setting Project Options
Open Microsoft Project and click on File > Options. Under the General tab, change the Date format to include the time, as below, and then click OK.

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Updating resources
For resources that require a rate change, navigate to Resource Center in PWA. Select the resources for which the rates should be updated and click Open:

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This will open the selected resources in Microsoft Project. To update the resource rate, double click on the resource and click on the Costs tab. The Effective Date will contain the time as well as the date. Ensure that the time is set to the same as the Enterprise Calendar for the start of the day.

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Repeat for all resources as required. When complete, save the changes to enterprise resources (File > Save) and close  Microsoft Project.
If required, change the date display setting back to show only the date by repeating the steps above.

Project Server – "An unknown error has occurred"

April 17, 2012 3 comments

I recently had an issue at a client where the Project Center was failing to load and returning “An unknown error has occurred” on the page. We have seen this behaviour before and it’s usually some corrupt Project data that causes it, but I’ve never had the time to get to the bottom of the problem. Fortunately, today I had a bit more free time to investigate.

This particular issue is caused by custom fields that are linked single value (read: not multi-select) lookup tables erroneously getting multiple values assigned to them. How this occurs is as-yet unclear, but it appears to be symptomatic only in the published database – the draft and reporting databases are unaffected.

So, what’s the fix?

There are a couple of things that can be done, depending on your level of access and technical capability. Firstly, we need to identify the plans that are causing the issue. The fastest way of doing this is with a little piece of SQL code (change <Published_DB_name> to your actual Project Server published database name):

USE <Published_DB_name>
SELECT
(SELECT proj.PROJ_NAME FROM dbo.MSP_PROJECTS proj WHERE pcf.PROJ_UID = proj.PROJ_UID) as ProjectName
,(SELECT pcfv.[MD_PROP_NAME] FROM [dbo].[MSP_CUSTOM_FIELDS] pcfv WHERE pcfv.[MD_PROP_UID] = pcf.MD_PROP_UID) as CustomFieldName
,count(*)
FROM [dbo].[MSP_PROJ_CUSTOM_FIELD_VALUES] pcf
GROUP BY PROJ_UID, MD_PROP_UID
HAVING COUNT(*) > 1
ORBER BY ProjectName, CustomFieldName

(credit to Jan @ Piet Remen’s blog for the above query – http://pietremen.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/project-centre-unknown-error-has.html)

This will return a list of projects, custom fields and the number of times that the custom field has been populated. If any project appears as an output of this script, you can view view the issue by taking a look at the Project Information through PWA. Affected custom fields will appear comma separated – e.g. Project Priority: Low, Low, Low, Low – where they should only appear as a single value.

The fix is quite a simple one – republish the project. This pushes the values from the draft database back to the published database and overwrites the broken custom field values. Check in PWA > Project Information, or re-run the above query to check that the plan is now fixed in the published database. I have seen a couple of instances where this did not fix the problem, and we had to delete the published version of the plan, and re-publish from the draft version.

It is still unclear how long the project will remain “fixed”, we have had a couple of plans reproduce the issue after being republished.

Microsoft have identified the issue, and released a fix, which can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2598251

This KB is also included in the roll-up package (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2597152) though it’s not documented.

These KB’s will prevent the issue occurring in the future, but will not fix existing problems – be sure to follow the above steps to ensure that the plans are fixed. As always – be sure you have database backups before applying updates!

#ProjectServer 2010 / 2007 high-level Audit Export via #PowerShell #MSProject #PS2010 #EPM

March 9, 2012 1 comment

Quite often there is a request for audit information from Project Server but unfortunately there is nothing available out of the box. This post covers a very high-level solution to this using the Project Server PSI and PowerShell.

Most actions in Project Server are processed via the Project Server queue, one simple way to get high-level audit information is to extract the queue information. The following PowerShell script uses the ReadAllJobStatusSimple method from the Queue System web service to export yesterdays processed jobs into a txt file with yesterday date appended to the filename:

$Today = Get-Date
$Yesterday = $Today.AddDays(-1).ToString("yyyy-MM-d")
$Filename = "C:\PSAuditExport\QueueExport-"
$filetype = ".txt"
$svcPSProxy = New-WebServiceProxy -uri "http://vm353/pwa/_vti_bin/PSI/QueueSystem.asmx?wsdl&quot; -useDefaultCredential
$svcPSProxy.ReadAllJobStatusSimple("$Yesterday 00:00:01", "$Yesterday 23:59:59", "200", "0", "QueueCompletedTime" ,"Ascending").Status | Export-CSV $Filename$Yesterday$filetype -Delimiter "|"

For the full post please see:

http://pwmather.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/projectserver-2010-2007-high-level-audit-export-via-powershell-msproject-ps2010-epm/

Project Server 2010 Database Maintenance Plans #EPM #PS2010 #ProjectServer

June 30, 2011 Leave a comment

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:

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc973097.aspx

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