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First look: #projectserver2016 installation first looks

** update 3 **
seems so far that creation of Root PWA sites doesn't work (sync issues in Project Permission mode).  I've written a post recently about this

Also _userviews are back... but only apply to the first Site in any Content DB.  See post 8 June 2016

** update 2 **
user sync issue is still happening on PWA.  not sure why as of yet....

** update **
I encountered a failure in the user synchronisation job in PWA which i think was atributed to creating the PWA HNSC site prior to creating the web app root site. whoops 
** end **

Project Server 2016 RTM first looks...........

Once you've installed SQL and SharePoint there are a few surprises for you under the hood of Project Server

Getting going

It is probably worth noting that the Project service is deemed "front end" in the miniroles for SP2016.  This is inline with my latter thinking on SP2013 and a welcome addition.  However i have gone Custom for my limited installation just for flexibility.


to enable PWA functionality you must enable the Project Server licence via powershell (under UAC)
Enable-ProjectServerLicence -key "key string"

Creating your PWA instance
So hear you seem to have two choices.  The approach is to create a site using the template PWA#0 (so you get your menu items) and then enable the Project Web App feature sets.   

1) Create a PWA site as a Site Collection on a pre-created Web App 
2) Create PWA as a HNSC on a pre-created web app

Basically any site can be a PWA (which is interesting and to be explored i think).

I am currently testing HNSC approach as follows:

Firstly create a kerberos auth web application and setup your SPNs

Then create HNSC (where fe1 is the webapp name)

New-spsite "http://pwa" -hostheaderwebapplication "http://fe1" -name "PWA" -Description "Project Web App" -owneralias "Domain\user" -language 1033 -template "PWA#0"

Enable PWA features on the newly created site 

Enable-SPFeature -Identity 697c6b49-3dff-4981-9394-0a62632120ec -url http://pwa
(Note:  This must be done using an admin account with Powershell under UAC or certainly had to for me.  Trying to do this via the Manage Site Collection Features in Site Settings always returned an unexpected error relating to ULS:  Failed to get [Admin] access level connection string because current user is not an administrator on the farm

Set-spprojectpermissionmode -url http://pwa -mode ProjectServer

** update ** I found it a lot easier to use the following command for enabling the PWA features Enable-SPFeature PWASite -Url xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Also, make sure that your root web application site has been created prior to creating your pwa site as there is a risk of failure of the user synchronisation job An unexpected exception occured while processing queue messages of type PSPermissionSynchronizePWASite, Exception: System.ArgumentException: Trying to get name of an SPWeb at the root web app is not allowed.

** END **
some things to consider

1) Firstly the Content Database for the Web App being used will be converted to a ContentDB+PWADB schema when creating the PWA Site.  i guess you could get around this by locking down and creating secondary contentDBs just for PWA data. This is next on my tests as this could be worthwhile when looking at performance separation on DB IO (too early to tell)

2) MS state "it is not supported to directly query the Reporting schema (pjrep) when more than one PWA instance links to the same database.  Therefore the secondary/tertiary DB option may be more interesting

this is where it's got interesting.  basically a wholesale re-engineering job has been done here. On first looks
1) some of the views are gone - anyone used to using MSP_EPMProject_Userview needs to think again!  The list of views is "curious"
** Update:  the userviews are present and correct.  However they only apply to the first SiteID created.  See recent post 08 June 2016 **

2) Multiple PWA instances are separated by SIteID in the database - remember MS doesn't support more than one PWA site in the db and direct querying (assuming odata is not included here)
3) on the IO front, I am not sure what the impact of serious reporting against the DB will potentially have on SharePoint web performance.  It is usable that this is negated via caching of SPSites 

4) good old creaky MSP_EPMAssignmentByDay is still there!  However we now have TimeByDay table also for referenceing Fiscal Periods in the reporting schema which is nice :)

5) due to the change in schema, most direct-query reports will need rewriting!  stick that in your upgrade budget and smoke it

next stop BI and SP Social and Search setup


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#projectserver2013 VIEW FAILURE: The view failed to load. Press OK to reload this view with the default settings. Press cancel to select another view.

** UPDATE ** includes notes relating to secondary bug where Timesheet is created without Administrative tasks.

Does this ring any bells?

This has been bugging me for months, but finally I have a repro for this:

Issue Summary:  When a task is deleted from a plan that is approved into a previous or current timesheet - even when there are no actuals on the task - you can no longer view the timesheet

The following repro has been proven:
- Setup system with Single Entry Mode, with enforced Status Approval before Timesheet Approval
- Create resource as own timesheet manager
- Create new project
- Create two tasks in the same week, starting monday with 5 days duration:  1) Task to assign actuals, 2) Task to delete post submission
- Assign Resource to tasks
- publish project
- as Timesheet User, go to the appropriate timesheet period for the tasks created
- Assign actual work to one task (task 1), leaving task 2 with no actual work
- Submit timesheet
- as Project Status Manager, approve the time on task 1 …

What to do when your application server goes bang

What happens when someone kills your Application Server?
So imagine the scenario:
Three Server Solution - SQL - SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010 Application Server (Central Admin Host) - Wfe/ReportServer
We wake one bleary Monday morning to find that some numpty has killed the application server and the users are baying for blood.
Well surprisingly SharePoint handles this disaster recovery scenario particularly well.  Well.  Better than I thought it would to be honest.
Rough steps:
- quick SQL backup to be safe - Rebuild your application server - reinstall pre-reqs - reinstall SP, PS, SPFSP1, SPS+PSSP1, Cumulative Update and other stuff you usually put on there. - Run your configuration wizard to reattach to the Farm, and select Host CA Site
The last step was what I was VERY wary of.  Would the server simply reattach to the Farm, even when there is no CA server available?  
Bingo your back.... almost.... you are going to get errors a-gogo in your event log as things just aren't quite back…

Reporting from Project Server 2016 - multiple sites and userviews

Just a quickie...
I've been interested in how MS have handled the "multiple PWA sites in a Content DB" thing since I read that this was their new approach.  Most of my reporting is via SSRS so i am reliant (still... in 2016) on DB queries rather than OData feeds (tsk) and this "querying a PWA DB with more than one PWA site in it is unsupported" quote was worrying me.

So it looks like what is happening is this.

When you create the first PWA site in a Content DB it hard-codes the SiteID into the _Userview view design elements.  This means that your first PWA Site is the default.  All the data for subsequent sites are still held in the tables against separate SiteID's but you cannot utilise the OOTB _Userview components (see below)

SELECT        ProjectFields....
FROM            pjrep.MSP_TVF_EpmProject('FF19B767-CA6D-4C4C-B123-C0B5AE5354D6') AS MSP_EpmProject