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Sunday, 23 October 2011

EPM/SharePoint 2010 – Aug 2011 CU, latest downloads

There has been some changes to the Aug CU packages as result of changes to SPF. Even though the article dates show Oct, these are NOT the Oct updates.

The version has been incremented to 14.0.6109.5005

After the upgrade, use the following PowerShell command to display the Farm version;

Get-SPFarm | Select -ExpandProperty BuildVersion

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SharePoint 2010 Foundation

Article ID: 2553050 - Last Review: October 17, 2011 - Revision: 2.0

Description of the SharePoint Foundation 2010 cumulative update package (SharePoint Foundation server-package): October 13, 2011

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Hotfix Download Available

View and request hotfix downloads

More info <http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2553050>

SharePoint 2010 Server

Article ID: 2553048 - Last Review: October 17, 2011 - Revision: 2.0

Description of the SharePoint Server 2010 cumulative update package (SharePoint server-package): October 13, 2011

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Hotfix Download Available

View and request hotfix downloads

More info <http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2553048>

Project Server 2010

Article ID: 2553049 - Last Review: October 17, 2011 - Revision: 2.0

Description of the Project Server 2010 cumulative update package (Project server-package): October 13, 2011

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Hotfix Download Available

View and request hotfix downloads

More info <http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2553049>

Project 2010

Article ID: 2584056 - Last Review: September 1, 2011 - Revision: 1.0

Description of the Project 2010 hotfix package (project-x-none.msp): August 30, 2011

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Hotfix Download Available

View and request hotfix downloads

More info <http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2584056>

Pointing upKnown issue 1
After you install this hotfix, you must restart the User Profile Synchronization Service for profile synchronization to work correctly.
Workaround
To work around this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Visit Central Administration.
  2. Click Manage Services on the System Settings section.
  3. Find User Profile Synchronization Service in the list of services and then click Stop if its status is Started. Click Start and provide the credentials to start the User Profile Synchronization Service as soon as its status is Stopped.

Light bulbNote

This is build 14.0.6109.5005 of the cumulative update package.
I would recommend that you test hotfixes before you deploy them in a production environment. Take necessary backups before attempting to upgrade.

Because the builds are cumulative, each new release contains all the hotfixes and security updates that were included with the previous update package releases.

High fiveHow to Deploy Aug 2010 CU Updates?

Earlier there were different camps recommending different approaches.  SharePoint folks recommend applying SPF and then SPS updates. If in doubt, I would suggest a blended/safe approach;

  • First of all, ensure your system is at SP1 level
  • Then apply (SharePoint Foundation 2010 Aug CU) + (SharePoint Server 2010 Aug CU) + (Project Server 2010 Aug CU)

Obviously, you don't need to deploy SharePoint Server or Project Server updates if you are running only SharePoint Foundation 2010.

Observe the best practice of updating the binaries first (on all web/app servers, one at a time) and then upgrade by running the SharePoint Config Wizard (on all web/app servers, one at a time starting with the one hosting the Central Administration). Some of you have asked for some detailed steps and this will follow next week.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Project Map: Your road map to project management

Here is a great article from Microsoft online help….

Applies to: Microsoft Excel 2010, Project 2010, Project Server 2010

Project roadmap image

The Project Map can help you accomplish your project goals by teaching you how to work with the standards and practices of project management methodology as you use Project 2010.

The Project Map follows the phases of the project life cycle:

  • Initiate your project.
  • Plan your project with tasks, budgets and resources.
  • Track and monitor your project.
  • Close your project.

Click the links to go to “project management goals,” which provide you with detailed information on how to accomplish that goal.

Step 1: Initiate a project

The initiation phase of a project plan helps you prepare for creating a schedule in Microsoft Project. Activities that occur at this time include:

  • Preparing a charter that outlines the scope of your project at a high level.
  • Understanding who your stakeholders are.
  • Getting familiar with the communication and scheduling tools you’ll need to manage your project.

GOAL DESCRIPTION

Introduction to project management
Learn the basics of project management to get the most out of Microsoft Project and complete your project successfully.

Microsoft Project basics
New to Microsoft Project? Learn the basics of the program and how to get started using it for simple project management tasks.

Get to know Project 2010
Project 2010 has powerful new scheduling features, a timeline view, and the team planner, as well as the new ribbon interface.

Initiate a project
The best projects exhibit good planning before the schedule is created. Learn what happens before the schedule happens, such as stakeholder needs, project expectation setting, company constraints and portfolio, and charter drafting.

Step 2: Plan and build a schedule

After a project has been approved and initiated, it’s time to put it together using scheduling software. Activities that occur at this time include:

  • Adding tasks to a schedule.
  • Creating relationships between tasks using outlining and task linking.
  • Assigning people and other resources to tasks.

GOAL DESCRIPTION

Set up a project
Once you've finished your initial planning, use Project 2010 to create and set up your project plan.

Add tasks
Most projects begin with a list of the tasks that need to be completed. Once you create or import your task list, you can then define the relationships between them.

View your project
Project managers, stakeholders, and team members need different types of project information. Project 2010 provides many customizable ways to view the critical elements of your project.

Manage resources
Resources are typically people assigned to tasks in your project plan. They can also include anything that is used to complete a project, such as equipment and materials.

Manage risks
The best way to prevent risks to future projects is to learn from the risks that came up in past projects.

Step 3: Track and monitor your project

Once your project is underway, you need to know what’s happening in order to keep it on-track. Activities that occur at this time include:

  • Understand which views in Project help you discover problems in your schedule.
  • Take corrective action on problem tasks that are affecting the project end date.
  • Communicate problems and possible solutions to your team and stakeholders.

GOAL DESCRIPTION

Track progress
Though Project makes tracking easy, there are several steps to take before you can begin tracking your progress.

Manage project costs
Going over budget often causes projects to fail. Project 2010 can help you add and manage resources to make certain your project ends on time and in good shape.

Work with multiple projects
Use Project 2010 collaboration features to communicate across and manage multiple projects.

Communicate project information
Project 2010 can sync a task list to a list on a SharePoint site. Or you can import a SharePoint list into Project. This helps communication and collaboration in organizations that do not use.

Create and print reports
Project allows you to create visual and textual reports in Excel or Visio to help you analyze and present project information to stakeholders.

Manage risks
Identify potential trouble spots by anticipating risks and responding to risk events, and report project progress to stakeholders and team members.

Use Project Server to manage your project
Discover how Microsoft Project Server can be used to track and manage tasks and assignments throughout your organization.

View your project
Project managers, stakeholders, and team members need different types and depths of project information. Project 2010 provides many customizable ways to view the critical elements of your project.

Step 4: Close your project

All projects come to an end, but this doesn’t mean that your work is finished. If you don’t record the successes and challenges of the project, you’re doomed to repeat the problems in the next project. Activities that occur at this time include:

  • Reporting your project successes and challenges to team and stakeholders.
  • Archiving your project so that it can be used to help ensure the success of future projects.

GOAL DESCRIPTION

Close your project
Not all work on a project ends when the project ends. Archiving a project is also important, especially if you want others in your organization to copy the successes you had.

Capture and archive project information with SharePoint
Project 2010 can sync a project task list to a list on a SharePoint Server 2010 or SharePoint Foundation 2010 site. Or you can import a SharePoint list into. This is an important option for collaboration, especially if your organization does not use Project Server.

Create project reports
When a project has completed, then it’s time to put a stamp on it by creating reports to show everyone the success of the project. .

View your project
Project managers, stakeholders, and resources need different types and depths of project information. Project 2010 provides many customizable ways to view the critical elements of your project.

The Project Map: Your road map to project management - Project - Office.com

Thursday, 13 October 2011

What You Need to Know about Project Server 2010 Service Pack 1, Part 1:

The release of Service Pack 1 for Project Server 2010 and Microsoft SharePoint marks a major milestone in the product development lifecycle. All fixes prior to the June 2011 Cumulative Update (CU) are included in SP1. In addition, there are some key enhancements included in SP1 that users will appreciate, from new browser support to site storage metrics. In this article I cover seven of the most interesting and useful updates.

Read more: http://tinyurl.com/6ah4fob

In my next article, I'll lay out a basic plan for you to follow in implementing Service Pack 1.

SP1 WebNLearn! Sign up to join PJ Mistry for an MPUG WebNLearn session on Nov 29, 2011 that explores what you need to understand about the contents and implementation of Service Pack 1!

Project 2010 – strange scheduling behaviour to be aware?

While working on a master program I modified a sub-project. Chose to save the changes etc. I then opened the sub-project and noticed that the schedule was not at all what I had seen or saved in the master project.

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Checked everything, and all looked ok. The Tasks were set to ‘Auto-schedule’ and Calculation was set to ON.

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Then, simply hit F9 to force the calculation and Voila!! things changed. image

So, something to be wary about. If the scheduling seems odd, go for the F9 key. Obviously, there is a hidden baguette/issue in Project 2010.

BTW, the version is SP1 + June 2011 CU.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

EPM/SharePoint 2010 – How to display farm version?

use the following PowerShell command to display the Farm version.

Get-SPFarm | Select -ExpandProperty BuildVersion

If you have deployed Service Pack1, then your result should looks like this.

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If you have deployed June 2010 CU, then your result should looks like this.

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Hope this helps.

Microsoft EPM 2007/2010 - Don’t Trash the Cache!

Here is a good reminder and advice from Brian Smith (Microsoft Product Team) which I think every should be aware of….

By Brian Smith - MSFT

I was going to use the title asking ‘why are people still deleting the cache?’ until my colleague Corrie came up with this much better one!  Rather than asking why you are still doing it – I am telling you not to!

I know there is a lot of history behind this one, and for those of you that used Project Server 2007 in its early days there were some challenges such as the ‘check-in pending’ saga that got people in to the habit of deleting the project cache.  We fixed the problem, then we fixed it again (and again) and you should not generally be seeing any issues with leaving your cache alone to do its job.  However, many customers I talk to are routinely deleting the project from the local cache before they open it and then again after they close it! Why!?!  Its job is an important one – it saves you having to pull that data from the server again – which will reduce network traffic, the hit on both the web services and the database, which means they can be getting on and doing useful stuff.

I’ll also address a miss-conception here that I have heard from a number of customers – the choice of where to load the project from – cache or server?  You don’t have a choice – Project will load it from the cache if it is there, and then load any incremental pieces it needs from the server, to get you the current version of that plan.  In the screen shot below:

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the line actually reads ‘Retrieve the list of all projects from Project Server’.  It does not also read – ‘…and open any I might choose after clicking this link from the server and ignore the local cache’.  You don’t get the choice and you don’t need to choose.

I’m sure many of you will not have read this far before clicking the comments option to tell me of all the problems you are having.(and I’m sure some of you are still having problems).  First check that you have the latest cumulative updates and service packs.  If you are still really having issues unless you delete the local cached copy then we certainly need to hear about it so we can fix the problem rather than have you waste your time and system resources doing things that you should not need to do.

I will admit that there can be times when as support engineers we will ask you to remove your local cache to troubleshoot specific scenarios.  The cache itself also has intelligence that allows it to decide that it may have some bad stuff – and it will get a new clean copy of data from the server (symptom of this will be several files in the cache directory with 1,2,3 etc. at the end).  There have also been a few bugs we have worked on recently which ONLY surface when the user has cleared their cache!

So please, if you have been deleting your cache as a matter of routine, then either stop – or speak to your PMO or IT people and ask why they have you do this – and if we need to fix something else then we can take a look.

View this post online.