Microsoft has posted my latest article, Creating an EPM Deployment plan up on the Microsoft Project Server TechNet site under the Project Server 2010 area. The article looks at those elements of a deployment of an Enterprise Project Management system that are much more than the installation and configuration of the tool itself. When you take into account the management intervention, the change management implications and the overall impact on the enterprise, the project becomes more complex. It’s a good starting point for those looking at moving to enterprise collaborative tools for project management and, if the organization already had much of this done, perhaps they can move quickly to the automation aspect of the project.
Posts Tagged ‘Microsoft Project’
It’s finally been announced. The next Microsoft Project Conference will be March 19 to 22 in Phoenix, AZ. Details can be found on the Microsoft Project Conference site at: www.msprojectconference.com. Such conferences include a mix of marketing and technical information of course, but with a couple of thousand people gathering together in one place, it’s a good spot to learn tips and techniques on Project and Project Server from the many users and experts who attend. I’ll almost certainly be there.
This include a number of fixes, so Microsoft strongly recommends that you test this in a test environment based on your production environment before putting this fix live in production.
The article below provides information on how to deploy the Project Server Cumulative Update.
Deploy cumulative updates (Project Server 2007)
Service Pack 2 for both WSS and Office Servers 2007 are required for this Cumulative Update. The KB articles below provide information on how to download and install SP2 if you have not already done so.
Note: The SP2 Requirement is new as of the August 2010 Project and Project Server 2007 Cumulative Updates.
Description of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 SP2 and of Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Language Pack SP2
Description of 2007 Microsoft Office servers Service Pack 2 and of 2007 Microsoft Office servers Language Pack Service Pack 2
The Server 2007 CU is released in two different versions. The first version is in Individual Packages specific to a particular product like WSS and Project Server. These are smaller downloads but they do not include language packs or patches for other products so patches for those products would have to be downloaded and installed separately.
The second version is the Server Rollup Packages. This is a set of two rollup packages which contains all the fixes for WSS, Project Server and MOSS. These packages should be used when MOSS is part of the deployment and/or you have language packs installed. The Server Rollup Packages are much larger (~100MB each) but they will greatly simplify MOSS patch deployment.
You can read about the fixes included in the October CU from the following articles:
- Server Rollup Packages: Description of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (WSS server-package): October 26, 2010 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2412268
- Description of the Office SharePoint Server 2007 Cumulative Update server hotfix package (MOSS server-package): October 26, 2010 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2412267
- Individual Product Packages: Description of the SharePoint Server 2007 hotfix package (sts-x-none.msp): October 26, 2010 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2412258
- Description of the Project Server 2007 hotfix package (Pjsrvapp-x-none.msp; Pjsrvwfe-x-none.msp): October 26, 2010 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2412269
- Description of the Office Project 2007 hotfix package (project-x-none.msp): October 26, 2010 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2412260
- Client Installation: In order to install this hotfix, you will need to have Microsoft Project 2007 SP2 installed on the client.
- Description of Office Project 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) and of Office Project Language Pack 2007 Service Pack 2 (SP2) http://support.microsoft.com/kb/953326
NOTE: Microsoft strongly recommends testing within a NON-Production environment prior to rollout.
Want to try Project Server2010 for free? The best way to do that is to get a free hosted trial. Ah, but where would you find such a fabulous deal? Right here, that’s where. HMS Software, Microsoft and Project Hosts have teamed together so you can enjoy a free trial of Project Server 2010. Just go to the HMS Free Project Server 2010 Trial site to take a look at the latest Project Server!
Heather O’Cull from the Microsoft Project Development team has a great blog post explaining how Project deals with the rate to consume a resource on a task through the Assignment Units field. You’ll see there’s some debate from commenters on whether the change in this functionality is the right move but whether you agree or not, this is a key element of Project’s Calculation engine that it’s important to know about just so you know how it works behind the scenes. For those who do resource calculations in Microsoft Project, I encourage you to take a look. You can find the post at the Project Dev Team Blog.
Well, we told you it was coming and now the release of Microsoft Project and Project Server is just about upon us. On May 1st, Microsoft’s Enterprise clients and its partners will be able to access the official release of Microsoft Project 2010 and Microsoft Project Server 2010. While the official name of the products has dropped the word “Office” (It was quite a mouthful), both products continue to be part of the Microsoft Office family of products and will be released at the same time.
That’s not an accident.
Microsoft has made it quite clear that its strategy is to leverage client’s interest in one product line by tying it to another. The Office group has done this very successfully. You don’t think anymore of just buying Word or just buying Excel. No, you buy one of the bundles of Office and those products are contained within it.
Project and Project Server will continue to have their own licneces and aren’t available as part of any of the Office bubdles for now but there a bunch of other things that have changed.
Say bye-bye to Office Project Portfolio Server
One big change is how Microsoft has rolled some of the most popular Portfolio Selection functionality from Portfolio Server 2007 into Project Server 2010. There will not be a Portfolio Server 2010 product and, while existing users of Portfolio Server 2007 will see updates of that stand-alone product for some time, any new development on Portfolio management will focus on Project Server.
Did you say 32bit? Bite your tongue!
It’s all 64 all the time for server installations now. Installing Project Server will no longer be possible on a 32bit version of Windows Server. The new 64bit architecture makes a lot more memory available to Project Server but may cause some companies to take pause as the consider the costs of hardware.
Project Standard and Project Professional will still work on both 64bit and 32 bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows7.
Gotta love SharePoint
Previous versions of Project Server could be installed with either the free Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) of the licensed Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS). (Don’t you love how many acronyms we use in this industry?) Project Server will require users to have a MOSS license. The system will now longer support just the free WSS. This may be a license cost issue for some users.
So that’s the bad news. What’s the good news?
There’s good news in this release in a couple of areas. First of all, the underlying architecture of Project Server and Project Desktop hasn’t changed since 2007 and that will almost certainly mean the stability of the product at release time will be better than 2007 was.
Rather than rewriting the system’s architecture, there are new features that should be popular including Project Data Pages that allow Project data questionaires to be gathered online and then woven into a workflow, some improvements in the timesheet that will be great for those tring to do a full timesheet week and then update the project progress, some easier dashboarding tools that should allow people with intermediate skills to create great graphical representations of their data and, of course, the aforementioned Portfolio Selection functionality.
On the Desktop look for a distinction between Project Standard and Project Professional that will no doubt result in some kind of push to have people upgrade to the more powerful version.
Project Professional will have a new Timeline View and a new Team Management view which I think will go over well.
The scheduling tool will not default to automatic scheduling and you’ll be able to enter a description rather than a duration iin the duraton column as a sort of placeholder for the data to be entered later. Purists may howl at this. It’s another sign of how Microsoft Project has become so ubiquitous and how the product must now cater much more to non professional project managers.
Expect the Microsoft marketing beast to crank up to a fever pitch in the coming weeks. It’s already been moving forward at a pedestrian speed for months but as the product hits the market, Microsoft will do what it does best as it announces everything new in the Office 2010 family of products.
I was talking last week about the announcement of Project Server 2010. It’s part of a much larger communication of course. The whole release that’s due in the first part of next year will be Office 2010 and that includes a whole pile of products. It’s worthwhile keeping note of that because the new information available in Microsoft Project may well get lost in the noise of what is to come when the Office Marketing machine gets cranked up to full speed as it always does for a big launch.
One of the biggest elements of the Information Worker Division at Microsoft (that’s the part that releases business products like Office) is the next release of SharePoint. SharePoint has become the go-to platform for Microsoft and almost every other part of Microsoft is working on leveraging it.
What does this mean in practical terms? It means that Microsoft Dynamics accounting software will have an interface based in SharePoint. It means that the Browser-based interface of Visual Studio Team Services is based on SharePoint. And, like the last 2 versions, it means that Project Server’s Web Access (PWA) Interface is based on SharePoint. The interface of Project Portfolio Server has now been woven into the PWA interface also and therefore it too now is based on SharePoint.
Project Server is not the most algorithmic product. It’s strength is not based on the incredible resource levelling calculation or it’s the flexibility of its critical path methodology calculations. Project Server’s power is in being a collaborative project management tool. For an organization that says “We’re not interested in collaboration. We just want a heavy project scheduling calculation engine then working with a desktop product may be more appropriate. There are many to choose from. Primavera, Deltek and Planview all have desktop versions that are very powerful. Even Microsoft Project Standard might be more palatable for that kind of requirement.
Project Server, however, is squarely targeting those interested in collaborative project management and SharePoint becomes a big part of that. In fact, when you take the requirements apart, the ability of SharePoint to collaborate may make the addition of Project Server more of an afterthought and don’t think that Microsoft hasn’t thought of that already.
Already when we go to clients who ask “Should we upgrade from Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007 now or should we wait for Project Server 2010 next year?” the answer has little to do with the relative functionality in each version.
“What are your plans for SharePoint?” we ask. If the company has already adopted SharePoint 2007 and has no intent to upgrade straight away next year, then we recommend Project Server 2007. If the company is already committed to SharePoint 2010 or isn’t committed at all to a collaboration platform then we can consider waiting until the new version. There’s plenty to do in the meantime if the plan is to go with 2010. Architectural plans, pilot groups, training and system design can all be worked on now with an intent to roll out at the middle of next year. The key is SharePoint.
Can we be that far away from Microsoft saying “Project Server is just another blade of a SharePoint Server?”
Microsoft has released a new cumluative update for Project 2007 and Project Server 2007. dated August 25, 2009. Information on the key elements is linked below. See Microsoft’s guidance on deploying cumulative updates for more information on how to deploy these updates if they’re applicable to you. The links below include both descriptions and download links so you can see if fixes you require are included in this cumulative update.
- Office 2007 Cumulative Update for August 2009
- Description of the Project 2007 hotfix package (Project.msp): August 25, 2009
- Download of the Project 2007 hotfix package (Project.msp): August 25, 2009
- Description of the Project Server 2007 hotfix package (Pjsrvapp.msp, Pjsrvwfe.msp): August 25, 2009
- Download of the Project Server 2007 hotfix package (Pjsrvapp.msp, Pjsrvwfe.msp): August 25, 2009
- Description of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (Sts.msp): August 25, 2009
- Download of the Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (Sts.msp): August 25, 2009
- Description of the SharePoint Server 2007 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (Coreserver.msp): August 25, 2009
- Download of the SharePoint Server 2007 Cumulative Update Server Hotfix Package (Coreserver.msp): August 25, 2009
For more information on all updates for Project and Project Server 2007, visit our Project Server updates page.
We get requests on a regular basis from clients looking for advice on upgrading from Project Server 2003 to Project Server 2007. There are reasons for and against and the decision isn’t obvious.
That in itself should be surprising. After all, Microsoft ended official support for Microsoft Office Project 2003 and Project Server 2003 a couple of months ago. The product is now 6 years old, they argued and, people should be upgrading. Well, with no technical support from Microsoft, you’d think people would instantly drop Project Server 2003 and get going on Project Server 2007!
Here are a couple of the decision points to make though that has some clients take pause:
- The architecture of Project Server 2007 is completely rewritten. That may mean that links you’ve made to databases, or other aspects of the system have to be rewritten too.
- If you wrote links or applications that touch Project Server through the old PDS API then you’ll need to rewrite them to the new PSI API. If those acronyms don’t mean anything to you then you probably don’t have this concern.
- Project Server 2007 works with SharePoint 2007 so that needs to be migrated too. If you are doing other things with SharePoint 2003 (using an older version of Microsoft CRM or InfoPath for example) then those things might also need to be upgraded. If you’ve done customizations in SharePoint 2003 then those also must be redone or migrated to the new SharePoint.
- Were you using the Project Server 2003 timesheet? The timesheet in Project Server 2007 is very different. There is a two timesheet design in Project Server 2007 that you might or might not like. If you like the 2003 model, then you might have custom programming to do or end up using open-source coding to change some of the timesheet look and feel or end up using a 3rd party timesheet interface like TimeControl.
- Did you do custom reporting or dashboarding with Project Server 2003? That’ll have to be reviewed and almost certainly changed for the new version.
- Like that’s not all daunting enough, we all know that the next version of Microsoft Project Server is around the corner. We should see Project Server 2010 in the first half of next year according to Microsoft.
So, some clients want to wait even without support to see what Project Server 2010 will bring.
Some clients are concerned about waiting longer and say they won’t upgrade to Project Server 2010 until there’s a Service Pack 1.
Some clients want to do the migration to Project Server 2007 as soon as possible to resolve technical challenges and to get access to technical support
And some clients just can’t wait and will go to Project Server 2007 now and Project Server 2010 when it’s available.
If you’re interested in how to do the Project Server Migration, you’ll want to look at Microsoft’s Guide to Migrating to Project Server 2010. It’s available at: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc303388.aspx.