Project Server, Office SharePoint Server and Workflow


Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 builds on top of Windows Workflow Foundation to enable workflow to be used on list items and documents.  So you can create your own business logic to work with the content in WSS to create your own applications.  Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) takes this to the next level and has some out of the box workflows built in that you can associate with your lists.  If Project Server is installed with MOSS then a new feature of Project Server 2007 becomes available – an automated workflow approval process for proposals.

This feature makes use of the new server side light weight projects, and there is a certain type – called a proposal.  The idea is that this proposal is a set of steps you need to follow to get a project accepted, and when you create the proposal it will also create a WSS Task in a list that has a workflow associated with it.  This task will be assigned to a user in the Proposal Reviewers security group within Project Server.  There is a special custom field associated with proposals called the state field.  Initially this is set to proposed – but it gets changed automatically based on the approval status of the WSS task – if the reviewer says it is OK and accepts it, then the state field gets changed to Approved.  This is a very simple example of how workflow can be used on the platform – your imagination can fill in the other extensions to this to make it work for your organizations.

As I mentioned – MOSS comes with some pre-defined approvals – but this doesn’t stop you adding your own approvals to WSS lists even if you don’t have MOSS.  The easiest approach (which also works in MOSS) is to go to any list or library, then under Settings, Document Library Settings you will find Workflow Settings.  You can configure simple workflows against the list from there.  Using SharePoint Designer you can create quite complex workflows against WSS lists.  One thing to point out here is that you will not be able to connect to a Project Server 2007 PWA site using SharePoint Designer as it is blocked due to the risk of you breaking some of our functionality.  However you can connect to the Project Workspaces (often referred to as PWS sites) that you create for individual projects.  If SharePoint Designer doesn’t do enough for you then you can also create workflows using Visual Studio 2005.  These can obviously be much more complex and if you wanted to integrate deeply with Project Server through events and the PSI then this is the tool for you.  Once you create workflows through Visual Studio you can then consume these either through SharePoint Designer or even have them appear in the workflows available through the workflow settings of the libraries.

So if this has sparked your interest in workflow the next places to go are:-

Windows Workflow Foundation – http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms735967.aspx

Workflow Development for Windows SharePoint Services – http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms414613.aspx

Visual Studio 2005 extensions for .NET Framework 3.0 (Windows Workflow Foundation) – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=5D61409E-1FA3-48CF-8023-E8F38E709BA6&displaylang=en 

and the general SharePoint blog also is a great place for all information on the MOSS platform – http://blogs.msdn.com/sharepoint/

If you are considering MOSS then there are plenty of other benefits on top of Project Server.  One would be search – to enable all those Project Workspaces to be easily mined for information.  Another would be Excel Services which enables you to load, calculate, and display Excel workbooks on Office SharePoint Server 2007.  I know one of my colleagues is preparing a post on the use of Excel Services with Project Server to visualize data so I will not steal his thunder – but instead suggest you subscribe to Christophe’s blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie to make sure you do not miss it.

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Comments (79)

  1. Ben Howard says:

    Hi Brian,  thanks for the posting.  Would I need to set up a workflow for each PWS site then, or if I created a WSS template with workflow associated with the template lists and then used this as the provisioning template, the workflow settings would be part of the new PWS site.  Thinking about approvers for document artifacts etc…

  2. BriSmith says:

    Excellent question Ben.  Sometimes the only way to find out is to try it!  And it works!  One gotcha with creating new workspace templates in 2007 is that they MUST be created from sites that are NOT already linked to a project – so create a new site collection based on the Microsoft Office Project Workspace from WSS Central Administration, Application Management, Create Site Collection.  If you dont; do this then provisioning always thinks the site is already in use – as it has some links to the original project it was created for (bug).

    Next I opened the site from SharePoint Designer and added a new workflow to the Project Documents folder.  I made a simple workflow that checked the title for keywords and if it contain “Issue” then create a new issue with the same title – likewise if it contained “Risk” create a new risk.  I saved this complete with content (not sure if this is really necessary to get the workflow).  Then did the usual save from the template gallery to stp file (called newpws.stp) then stsadm -o addtemplate -filename newpws.stp – title “New PWS Template” to get it back in.  IISRESET and then provisioned a new site – and the workflow still worked.  I’m not sure how much more complicated you get get with the dynamic fields and still keep the logic in the new site – but I think everything should be fine.

  3. Thanh DO says:

    Hi everyone,

    I’m looking for how to install Project server 2007 with Microsoft Sharepoint portal 2007 standard edition in a single box.

    What is the sequence to install & how can I make working?

    Many thanks in advance

  4. BriSmith says:

    Hi Thanh,

    I assume by "Microsoft Sharepoint portal 2007" you mean Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS)which includes the portal capabilities previously in SharePoint Portal Server.  We are working on this documentation currently and it should be ready and posted in January. For a single server installation it is reasonably straightforward – you can install MOSS then stop before running the SharePoint Configuration Wizard.  Then install Project Server 2007 and continue to run the Configuration Wizard. Once this is complete then follow the MOSS and/or Project Server instructions which are available at the TechCenters on TechNet to further configure the system – such as adding the required web applications and the Shared Services Provider.  If you already have MOSS installed then just installing Project Server and running the wizard will work.  If you already have Project Server installed then it is a little more complicated and I would suggest waiting for the "official" documentation.

  5. Ben Howard says:

    Thanks Brian.  Just so that I’m 100% clear on the relationship between PS2007, WSS and MOSS.

    MOSS is only needed in order to create the workflows (assuming I don’t use VS).  These workflows can then be installed in the WSS site collection and utilised against lists etc. So in theory I could create some workflows in an external (non customer) environment and then deploy them in a customer environment.

    Additionally an existing workflow is shipped with PS2007 that interacts with Proposals.  Question, how do you define which workflow is used against the proposals, assuming you have ticked to say the state field is governed by external workflow?  Even though I have this ticked, I don’t appear to be getting any workflow tasks in the PWS page?  

    Thanks for your help!

  6. BriSmith says:

    Good questions Ben – it does get confusing what comes with what product.

    WSS supports workflow and you can use SharePoint Designer 2007 (SD) or Visual Studio 2005 (VS) to create these workflows.

    MOSS comes with several different workflows out of the box that can be applied to lists just using the web UI – so you don’t need SD or VS – but can use them if you need more complexity than the web UI allows.

    Project Server 2007, if installed with MOSS, does have a pre-built workflow for server side proposals.  There are a couple of steps to get these working and I think our PS/MOSS instructions are not going to hit the public sites until January.

    1. We need to add a “special” account to Project Server and give it “Log On” and “Change Project State” global permissions. Let’s call this account “PorposalSpecialAccount” and you can use an account, e.g. domainuser.

    2. Modify the D:InetpubwwwrootwssVirtualDirectories80web.config file and add the following node exactly as typed here under the <configuration> node:

    <appSettings>

      <add key="ProposalSpecialAccount" value="domainuser" />

    </appSettings>

    You also need to add a user to the Proposal Reviewers security group – who will be the recipient of the workflow tasks.

    I haven’t seen any customization details for this state workflow yet – and think in its first iteration it is a good example of what can be done but customers may well end up building their own if this doesn’t suite there needs.  Expect some SDK content on this – but not just yet. Likely this will involve some VS code that makes use of the PSI and possibly server side events and ties in to the workflow foundation.  This could then become a component that could be consumed in SharePoint Designer.

  7. Ben Howard says:

    Thanks Brian.  I’ll keep a look out for the code and samples.

  8. Kiran says:

    Hi All,

      Thanks for your information. Here i am facing a typical problem with Office SharePoint Designer.

    I tried to create a workflow  on a library and want to validate the Name of the document for certain keywords like WSS,SPS etc., when it got created.

    So in the workflow i added a condition If Name contatins keywords(wss,sps) then send mail to xxx@yyy.com as action else send mail to xxx@yyy.com as "no keyword found" in the subject line.

    Whenever i upload a document with wss as its name the workflow is completing and i am recieving a mail as "no keyword found" as subject line.

    After doing some research i removed the ",sps" from the keywords and to my surprise it starts working.

    but i want to add sps too in the keywords to be validated. I found the problem is with the separator between wss and sps i.e ‘,’ I tried various combinations like #,; etc., but none of them seems to be working.

    So guys, please help me in this regard. Its a simple problem but it is taking a hell lot of time.

    thanks for you all in advance

    regards

    kiran

  9. BriSmith says:

    Hi Kiran,

    Probably better posted to a specific SharePoint Designer blog – but one workaround is to add another condition with an “or” and just add each extra keywords.  I’m not sure if there is any delimiter for keywords in this context.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  10. Steve Padgett says:

    Great info, Brian.  I presume from this that I cannot place a workflow on any of the documents within project server (specifically, I’d like a workflow on the Project Task within PWA)?  I can only place workflow on the items in the SPS sites asssociated with the PWA projects.  I’d like to be able to route certain types of tasks when they are created a triage person within my organization.

  11. BriSmith says:

    You are right Steve – the tasks within projects are not actually WSS list items so you couldn’t apply a workflow to them.  You could build something with Visual Studio using the Windows Workflow Foundation, PSI interface to the project data, and the Project Server server side events – but this would not be a trivial task.

    Take a look at the new list type in WSS of Project Tasks.  This is a very lightweight project management list complete with a Gantt view.  It is very simplistic but can be imported as a real server side project and then upgraded to a full project.  You should be able to apply workflow to the initial tasks in WSS for your triage purposes – before using these as the basis for a "real" project.

  12. Pen says:

    Brian. Can you provide insight to Timesheet Approval Chains? They seem possibly related to the workflow engine but I have yet to find anything on them.

  13. BriSmith says:

    Hi Pen, great question!  We have various places where we have "workflow" but not all use the Windows Workflow Foundation.

    The timesheet approvals aren’t driven by the WSS workflow engine, but like the task approvals are driven by Project.  Each user has a Timesheet Manager configured as part of their setup so the chain follows the line of command as driven by this setting.

    Brian

  14. Pen says:

    Brian,

    I tried to create and test Timesheet Approval Chain. 0) Using the RTM VPC I assigned Rowe Todd as Timesheet Manager for Woods John and Osborn Stu as Timesheet Manager for Rowe Todd. 1) Logged in as Woods John and submitted timesheet to Rowe Todd. 2) As Rowe Todd reviewed and approved (accepted?) Woods timesheet. Sure enough Osborn Stu appears as the next approver. OK so far. 3) Logged in as Osborn but "Oh No!" no timesheet forwarded from Rowe. 4) Back checked by logging on as Woods. Ah ha, timesheet has been approved (not accepted).

    Did entire thing a second time to make sure I hadn’t sent someting in the wrong direction. Is there a configuration selection I should turn on somewhere?  Thanks

    Pen

  15. BriSmith says:

    Hi Pen,

    I don’t have the RTM VPC up and running in front of me but I assume that Rowe Todd has permissions to approve timesheets – so it goes no further.  If he didn’t have this permission then the status would have changed to "acceptable" and the next person in the chain would have seen the sheet for approval.  Take a look at the Help in PWA – click the Project Server Help and How-to and there are several sections on time tracking.

    Brian.

  16. JCano says:

    Hi Brian:

    Thanks for all information, I’d like to know if there’s any way to unblock the PWA site for Sharepoint designer edition.

    Is there any way to create the project proposal workflow not having MOSS?

    And there’s any way to edit the PWA site design?

    Best regards

    Javier

  17. BriSmith says:

    Hi Javier,

    Editing of the PWA site with SharePoint Designer is not supported as it can break some of the core Project Server functionality – so it is blocked at the point of provisioning by use of a "DisableWebDesignFeatures" flag.

    The project proposal workflow cannot be configured without MOSS although using the PSI and events and Visual Studio 2005 with the Workflow extensions for WinWF you could add your own workflows. I don’t have any samples for this.

    You can use the UI facilities for changing PWA design – such as the Site Actions, Edit Page or Site Settings themes, add new Top Bars, or editing of the menus in PWA, Server Settings, Look and Feel, Quick Launch.

    I hope this helps.

  18. sebastien.pouliot@hotmail.com says:

    Hi,

      i have a question.  How i can create a timesheet workflow approval for a ressource with 2 step: one for accepted and one for approved?

    Best Reagrds

  19. BriSmith says:

    Hi Sebastien,

    You can do this fairly easily out of the box.  Each resource has a timesheet manager – so the timesheet goes by default to the timesheet manager.  If the next level does not have approval permission – but just review – then it will go to their timesheet manager for approval.  It is not too flexible if you want a certain manager to be able to approve some timesheets but not others – and if you needed this flexibility you would need to do some manual work and create your own UI and make use of the PSI to present and approve the timesheet information.

    I hope this helps.

    Brian.

  20. sebastien.pouliot@hotmail.com says:

    Hi,

      Do you think is possible to overlap the timesheet workflow with one made from Visual Studio and Windows Workflow Foundation or the only solution is create my own UI and make use of the PSI?

    Thanks for your help!!!

  21. BriSmith says:

    You should be able to make use of some of the workflow that happens automatically and potentially the Workflow Foundation – but it would need work in Visual Studio to make this happen.  The timesheet information is not held in a SharePoint list – so the WinWF could not act on it directly through any built in workflows.

  22. rrupert says:

    -in reference to the post from Brian above on getting it to work in an evironment with MOSS 2007, I am not seeing the security group “Proposal Reviewers”

    -in fact, I cannot find any reference to the steps required to get the MOSS provided pre-built workflow working, can you help Brian now that more time has passed and there may be more doc elsewhere

    CUT

    1. We need to add a “special” account to Project Server and give it “Log On” and “Change Project State” global permissions. Let’s call this account “PorposalSpecialAccount” and you can use an account, e.g. domainuser.

    2. Modify the D:InetpubwwwrootwssVirtualDirectories80web.config file and add the following node exactly as typed here under the <configuration> node:

    <appSettings>

     <add key=”ProposalSpecialAccount” value=”domainuser” />

    </appSettings>

    You also need to add a user to the Proposal Reviewers security group – who will be the recipient of the workflow tasks.

  23. BriSmith says:

    Hi,

    Perhaps I have confused with the term "Security Group".  You should find this group within Project Web Access under Server Settings, Manage Groups.

    I don’t think the current documentation has moved on much yet – but I know there are some updates in the pipeline.  The steps above should get you working – provided Project Server was installed after Office SharePoint Server.  If not then workflow will only be available in PWA sites provisioned after Office SharePoint server was installed.

    Brian.

  24. By default Project Server 2007 gets deployed on top of WSS V3. I’ve listed below reasons why one should

  25. sebastien.pouliot@hotmail.com says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for your good answer!  I have solve my Timesheet Workflows with your help.

    In Project Server 2007, for exemple at the end of a week, if possible to print a status report of all timesheet in a cie?

  26. BriSmith says:

    Hi Sebastien,

    I’m not aware of a standard report – but I am sure you could configure something looking at the reporting database.  http://blogs.msdn.com/project/archive/2007/01/30/sql-server-reporting-services-report-pack-for-project-server-2007.aspx is a great blog on the reporting services report pack – which does include a timesheet audit report which may be a good starting point.

    Best regards,

    Brian

  27. sebastien.pouliot@hotmail.com says:

    Very thanks for your help!!!  You are a gentleman!!!!

  28. Ben says:

    Hi Brian,

    Re-visiting this again… Just trying to get a(nother) definitive answer.  Can you verify my current understanding?  

    1.  Workflow (per se) is enabled by Windows Workflow Foundation, and I can write and create workflows within WSS3.0 using SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio.  

    2.  To get the Proposals workflow running out of the box, MOSS is required as it ships with the Project Proposal Workflow.

    What would happen if I wanted to create my own Proposals workflow, replacing the current Project Proposal Workflow that ships with MOSS.  Firstly, is this possible, and secondly, do I need MOSS as part of the MPS2007 infrastructure in order to do this (ie is MOSS a requirement for Proposal workflow?)

    Secondly, assuming I wanted to modify (rather than replace) the existing Project Proposal Workflow, can I do this with SharePoint Designer or will I need Visual Studio.

    As usual, thanks…

  29. BriSmith says:

    Great questions Ben.  You rightly say thyat workflow is part of WSS so you can add workflow easily to the WSS components of Project Server 2007 such as risks, issues and document libraries (or even deliverables) by use of SharePoint Designer or Visual Studio.

    The Proposals Workflow actually uses a specific workflow that ships with MOSS (one of the extras you get with MOSS – not specifically a project proposals workflow but just on of the approvals workflows) so you don’t get this just with Project Server.

    If you wanted to create your own proposals workflow this would certainly be possible – and you wouldn;t need MOSS, but you would need Visual Studio.  The "proposal" is not a SharePoint list so you would need some way of tying it in to the workflow infrastructure.  You could use Project Server events to make this happen – and probably use the OnCreate event to push am item into a list – and then use workflow on this list.  When you want to approve you would need to update the Status of the proposal so either you would need to build this into your workflow – or use an event on WSS to trigger this update.

    So either way you need to do plenty with Visual Studio. A fair bit of effort but you would at least have more control over the workflow than the "sample" one we have for proposals.

    I can’t think how you would modify the Proposals workflow as we don’t ship the source – but you could add other workflows to the lists we are using to control the workflow – so you could potential extend rather than modify.  Likewise you could add other server side events on the Project side to extend.

    I hope this helps.

  30. Ben says:

    Thanks Brian, another 18 months of effort should see me sorted ;)

  31. BuzzyPM says:

    Brian – do you know where there anything documented on the out of the box workflow of the My Tasks and My Timesheets functionality for MS Project Server 2007?  I am looking for some type of swim lane work flow diagram…

  32. BriSmith says:

    A project plan should help :).

  33. Brian says:

    Can you recommend a good third party web part or other plug in for

    Sharepoint 2007 (MOSS) that can be used for timesheets and time tracking? We

    currently use Project Server 2003 for time tracking overall we are

    disappointed with how clunky it is. Unfortunately Project Server 2007 seems

    even more clunky.

    We would like to be able to track time against tasks and compare it to

    budgeted hours like you can in Microsoft Project. We also use it for

    invoicing.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  34. BriSmith says:

    Hi Brian,

    I’d have to say Project Server 2007 would be my only recommendation (and not just because I work for Microsoft :)).  I’d also love to hear your feedback on what you think is clunky.  Also the PSI could allow you to create your own mechanism for time capture if some of our functionality doesn’t suit you.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  35. Brian says:

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for your response. We have been using Project Server 2003 for several years. We like being able to update a project with the actual hours worked. This allows us to track our projects against budgeted time (obviously). However, we are also using it for invoicing our clients (we bill by the hour). Our employees find it clunky now to submit timesheets and track their hours (we have many projects running at the same time and the list of tasks to book time to is huge). However, it is only a single step to enter your time and submit to your manager.

    It appears that the new version of project server creates a multiple step process for timesheets. First you create your timesheet, then you enter your time in your timesheet then you have to import your timesheet into the task update area and submit that.

    We like the updating from a project manager perspective – it seems to be a lot quicker than before but from the employee perspective it is clunky. Also our business doesn’t have resource managers to approve timesheets, it is all done by the project managers on a project by project basis (this is why I think we need to do the import).

    We have devoted a lot of time and energy into project server 2003 and use a lot of the functionality including the cube and have fairly sophisticated excel sheets pulling information via pivot tables for daily reporting of billable hours. As I mentioned we also use it for our invoicing. So I am not in a hurry to abandon it but would like to figure it out.

    I’m not sure what you mean by PSI but I would like to explore that further.

    Thanks,

    Brian

  36. BriSmith says:

    Hi Brian,

    I can understand you feelings if you have the same approver for both – 2007 does add an extra step.  This was done based on feedback for customers where status updates and time worked were not necessarily the same – and had different approvers.  I’ll pass this feedback on.

    The PSI is the Project Server Interface – an API that allows you to program against Project Server.  The SDK gives more details – http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=2672f6f9-7028-4b30-99a2-18cb1eed1abe&displaylang=en.  There may be third parties that have solutions that work with Project Server and overcome some of the difficulties you are facing – perhaps if any read this they could reply…

  37. bhushanhukeri says:

    Hi Brian:

    I have gone thru lots of your posts and have been helpful. I have a few queries for you:

    1. I need to change the base template of Team to Publishing template for a exisiting PWA how can i do that?

    2. I need to change the title My Timesheets on my browser which appears when i click on the My Timesheet link.

    3. How do I identify closed engagements?

    4. What is Engagement Locking?

    Can you please throw some light on these?

  38. BriSmith says:

    Hi Bhushanhukeri,

    1.  The project workspace is not actually just a Team site – it has inbuilt logic to understand the project it belongs to. So it is not possible to use the default publishing template. You could however start with a blank Project Workspace template and then configure to resemble the publishing template and use that.  See the SDK article at http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms503640.aspx for more information.

    2. You can edit the link name (Server Settings, Quick Launch) but this will not change the title on the page.  I don’t think there is a way to do this.

    3 and 4 – I am not sure I understand what you mean by closed engagements or engagement locking?

  39. Shreenivas says:

    Hi Brian,

    I am working on project server 2007. I am looking at automating proposal to project. So I would require the workflow functionality that is present with the proposal. Now I have few questions

    1. I have installed WSS hence am I able to see the workflow in Issues & Risks section?

    2. To enable the default workflow in proposal section do I need to install MOSS on my server.

    Thanks in advance.

    ~Shreenivas

  40. BriSmith says:

    Hi Shreenivas,

    Yes, to get the proposals workflow you need to have MOSS installed.  Also it will only be evident in PWA instances provisioned after MOSS is installed.

    You are right that even wothout MOSS you do get the WSS workflow available on lists, such as issues and risks – but also deliverables – which could make for some interesting workflow scenarios.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  41. Joan says:

    Hi Brian

    Can I control changes made to certain fields or tasks within plans in project server by using workflow. How would this work, I have MOSS.

    Thanks

    J

  42. Alan says:

    Hi,

    I’m trying to use ADFS with Project Server Web Access. I’ve configured ADFS for a SharePoint site and extended that site as a PWA site. ADFS works a treat with the SharePoint site and is impressive. However, I can’t get PWA to accept the credentials from ADFS i.e. each time I get to the PWA site I get an ‘access denied’ message.

    My question is simple ;-) does PWA work with ADFS or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Regards  

  43. Tyler Brown says:

    Brain –

    My organization requires a portfolio manager to approval all tasks that the project manager has approved before the tasks update the project plan.  Is there a way to set up this chain or is the PM (or project owner) the only person who can approve project tasks?

    Desired Scenario example – Joe is a team member; he sends his task updates for a project to Kelly via Project Web Access.  Kelly, who is the project owner (and therefore PM as far as project in is concerned) approves the tasks via PWA.  Kelly then wants to send the tasks she approved to Kurt (who is the Overall PM (or Portfolio Manager)) so he can approve them via PWA, and update the project plan.

    Not sure if that is possible but I would appreciate your input.  Thanks!

    Tyler Brown

    Functional Administrator – Project Server 2007

  44. BriSmith says:

    Hi Tyler,

    This isn’t possible out of the box.  It could be done using server side events but would require quite a bit of work – cancelling the initial approval and then resetting the approver so that it goes to the next level.  A slightly easier approach might be to send alerts (again through server side events) so that the final approver would be notified of a change which they could then review and take the appropriate action.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  45. nabeelmahmood says:

    Is there anyway I can configure MS Project 2007 to send approval request to multiple project manager? If the resource is working on different projects for different project manager, He needs to fill the timesheet with number of tasks; some task can have different project manager. To approve the time sheet is possible to set the approval process based on the project?

  46. BriSmith says:

    Hi,

    This isn’t possible out for the box for timesheets, but the task update process would send the updates to the status managers of the different tasks – who would normally be the project managers for the projects.  The idea of the timesheet is to account for the persons overall time – which could be targeted at a resource manager; whereas the task update is aimed at the project manager.  You could write code and use the event handler to add other behavior but it would take a reasonable amount of effort to achieve.

    Brian.

  47. alokeda says:

    I have a similar architecture. I am having trouble in achieving the redundancy in project server role. I have two web server which are serving WFE and Query role, two server for project server role and one dedicated index server. whenever one project server is down, project web access does not respond. i have started the service in differet server as below:

    In both Web server: WSS web application, query

    In both Project server: Project application server (stopped WSS web application)

    In Index server: Search service (stopped WSS web application).

    Can you please tell me why the project application server does not respond if one of them is down?

    Thanks,

    Aloke

  48. BriSmith says:

    Hi Aloke, this is a common mis-conception. There is no redundancy in Office Server. It offers load balancing but no fault tolerance. In many cases with plain WSS sites with a single server down you would have a 50/50 chance of it working.  With Project server when you hit a page there are many other background calls to web services etc. – so you need all of these to work to see the page – which is very unlikely.  If the server goes down it needs to be removed from the farm until it is back up again.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  49. alokeda says:

    Thanks Brian.

    I am wondering why microsoft tells(http://technet2.microsoft.com/Office/en-us/library/9ccfb27f-ecba-4b7d-b9a0-88fac71478a31033.mspx?mfr=true) that Query, Excel Calculation Services, Office Project Server 2007   Roles can be redundant.

    I am really upset as I learned from your posting that the office server does not provide redundancy.

    Aloke

  50. BriSmith says:

    Hi Aloke,

    I understand your concern.  The article does also talk about using external load balancing software/hardware (rather than just any inherent load balancing that Office Sharepoint Server would do).  This could give an increased level of redundancy by detecting server failures and then not sending work to them.  But the product itself does not have the ability to stop making requests against servers that have temporarily stopped responding.  Please use the feedback option on that page to register your concerns – I will also look internally at getting that article reviewed and clarified.

    Brian.

  51. Jochen Ruhland says:

    Hi,

    I’m trying to adjust the look of PWA to accomodate corporate design standards (specific colors etc.). When I google the net about sharepoint and themes it says "Sharepoint Designer". When I use designer to connect to PWA ist says "forbidden". What is the proper way to add a custom theme to the list of themes displayed at Site Settings/Site theme?

  52. BriSmith says:

    Hi Jochen,

    Can you get to http://servername with SharePoint Designer?  I know the /pwa sites will all be blocked, but you can get to the root site, and also any Project Workspace sites.  You can also edit the spthemes.xml to add custom themes.  http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa979310.aspx may help.  The SharePoint blogs may be of more help on this too.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  53. Claudia says:

    Hi,

    I designed a workflow for "Risks" with the Sharepoint designer which sets a field to a calculated field. I added the template in the usual way and created a project which has the new workspace containing the workflow. When I enter a risk in the PWA, the workflow is triggered and everything is fine. However, when I open the Project client and enter a risk to the project, the workflow is not triggered! When I edit this risk afterwards via the PWA, the workflow is triggered again.

    I would really appreciate your help.

    Best regards

    Claudia

  54. BriSmith says:

    Hi Claudia,

    I tried a simple repro of this just using a workflow built directly on a risk list in an existing site. If the risk had the word "New" in the title it would create a task.  This is working for me both in PWA and if entered through the Collaborate, Risks menu.  Perhaps you could try this simple test, and let me know how it goes, and also give me more detailed steps on the kind of workflow you have built with details of the field and calculation you are doing.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  55. Claudia says:

    Hi Brian,

    I think the problem is SP1. I uploaded the template to a VM without SP1 and everything works just fine, but on the one with SP1 nothing happens. I designed a workflow like you but that didn’t work either. Then I read somewhere that workflows which are designed with Sharepoint Designer are not portable, only the ones designed with Visual Studio. So I created a workflow direct in the project workspace but still the same result.

    But I created my template on a server with MOSS and now wanted to upload it on a server with WSS 3.0 and got the error: template is invalid or cannot be found. I did some research and figured that it won’t work anyway, so I will create a new template on the server with WSS 3.0 and then I will check out the workflows again ;-)

    So hopefully it will work then.

    Thanks for your help.

    Claudia

  56. BriSmith says:

    I think you are on the right track Claudia, but all my testing was with SP1 and I saw no problem.  Thanks for the update.

    Brian.

  57. A Majid says:

    Hi!

    sir i am gona start my final master degree project on office work flow i.e document tracking system for my University.i have no awared informations and ideas about this concept.can you please provide me by some preferable informations site address where i can reach for the necssary helpfull materials.

    i shall be thankful.

    Majid

    majedyam@yahoo.ca

  58. Nali says:

    Hello Brian,

    We’ve been using ProjectServer 2007 for several months. We did not have Workflow feature visible, so we installed MOSS. Does anything have to be explicitly switched on to see the workflow features in the Proposal area?

    Thanks…Nali

  59. BriSmith says:

    Hi Nali,

    When you load MOSS after Project Server then by default you will only get the workflow feature on new PWA instances provisioned after MOSS was installed.  To get it working on existing sites you should follow the section at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc197594.aspx titled Deployment requirements for the Project Server 2007 Proposals feature.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  60. Aqueel says:

    Hi Brian,

    We are certfied partner of Microsoft having EPM2007 demo image which we use for the demo presentations at the client side.

    I have a small question regarding proposal workflow. whenever we create a proposal and save it, we get a new column called WORKFLOW STATUS containing a link to the respective proposal       ->  “click here to view workflow status and workflow activities ” .

    Is it configured using VS or SD (or)  is it out of the box with MOSS ? because, i installed MOSS and PS in my server and when i save my new proposal am not able to view  WORKFLOW status column.

    Can you please enlight this. would appreciate for the quick response.

    Thanks,

    Aqueel

  61. BriSmith says:

    Hi Aqueel,

    This is out of the box functionality – but assumes MOSS is already installed before PWA is provisioned to start working without extra configuration.  If you have MOSS + PS and now create a new PWA site you should get this functionality.  If you need to configure on existing PWA sites then a support call may be needed.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  62. Aqueel says:

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks a lot for the quick reply.

    As per your suggession i installed MOSS + PS by following the exact procedures shown in "http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc197677(TechNet.10).aspx " Deploying office sharepoint server and office project server in a new environment with no event errors( Application,System). Its a single server installation but unfortunately i dont know what am missing, am not able see automated proposal workflow functionality. whenever i create a new proposal am not able to see a workflow status column as well its not getting added in proposal proxy list. i checked the ProjectServer_Published database in the table MSP_WEB_Admin, the columns WADMIN_PROPOSAL_LIST_UID and WADMIN_IS_PROPOSAL_DLC_INSTALLED . Every thing is set as required. Can you please guide me in this regard.

    Am i missing any important point not stated in the procedure of installation. do i need to check or uncheck any option ? how can i verify or troubleshoot ?

    Do i need to make any changes in Web.config file ?

    well these extra settings are documented in microsoft website.

    Currently we have a good requirement for this workflow functionality and i need to achieve it ASAP.

    Will be greatfull for your early precious help.

    Thanks .

    Regards,

    Aqueel

  63. Jonathan says:

    Hi, I have a problem with the timesheet approval in PS2007 SP1. When I try to use multiple approvers, the first approver is the only approver. The timesheet doesn’t go to the next approver, and in the status field it says "Approved" instead of "Accepted" (or "Acceptable"). Someone told me that without SP1 it worked fine. Could you please tell me if that’s true. Thank you very much.

  64. tony says:

    Hi, i am having a problem with sharepoint, i cannot create a projet workspace template, i have read some book and they all say the same thing, to select Microsoft Office Project Workspace template but this option is not available, i can select team sites, blogs, blank site etc but for some reason Microsoft Office Project Workspace template is not available, how can i fix that problem, do i need to reinstall sharepoint

  65. BriSmith says:

    Hi Tony,

    You do not mention version but it sounds like the Project template is not installed. For 2003 the wsswiz command deals with this.  Has this been run?  It seems like an incomplete Project Server installation rather than any need to re-install SharePoint.

    Check on TechNet for your version and re-read the full nstallation instructions.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  66. kalpsri says:

    Hi Brismith,

                  We are using Project server 2007 with wss 3.0 and I my requirement is I need to take approvals from my stakeholders before a project becomes operational. I found that we need to create a custom workflow for this. Can you pls suggest me the approch to tackle this

    Thanks

    Kalpsri

  67. Aqueel says:

    Hi Brian,

    Nice to see you back, hope you are recovering now after the accident. Best wishes for you.

    If you dont mind can i have the reply asked by me on June 19.

    Thanks and regards,

    Aqueel.

  68. BriSmith says:

    Hi Kalpsri,

    The CodePlex sample Christophe mentions in his blog – http://blogs.msdn.com/chrisfie/archive/2008/02/12/custom-project-initiation-solution-starter-on-codeplex.aspx may be a good place to start. Also the Workflow Resource Center on MSDN is a good place to look – http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/office/bb421687.aspx.

    For a good compilation of other SharePoint workflow resources take a look at http://blogs.msdn.com/socaldevgal/archive/2007/07/06/does-your-sharepoint-workflow-look-like-this.aspx

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  69. BriSmith says:

    Hi Aqueel,

    From what you describe I cannot see any reason this would not show the proposal workflows – I can’t think of any missing steps.  I think you should open a support incident to dig deeper with one of our engineers.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  70. kalpsri says:

    Hi Brismith

    Thanks for you reply and one more help needed.

    I have created a custom sequential workflow library in visual studio 2005 which has a form with approve/reject buttons.Can u pls let me how to add this workflow to sharepoint .

    and also how to attach this windows form in the mails.I need this form to be attched to the approvers mail list so that they can click the approve/reject buttons.

    Thanks

    Kalpsri

  71. shee says:

    Hi Brismith,

              I have created a custom workflow in visual studio 2005 and deployed in wss 3.0 and now it is visible in my pwa (project server 2007).

    I need to call this workflow in the on saved event handler of Proposals and activities in project server 2007.

    Can you pls guide me how to call a workflow in event handler.

    Regards

    shee

  72. BriSmith says:

    Hi Shee,

    Probably the easiest way, depending on the nature of your workflow is to use the event handler to post an item to a list, and then have your custom workflow associated with that list.  I don’t have an exact example – but the article at http://blogs.msdn.com/brismith/archive/2007/06/22/creating-issues-and-linking-to-tasks-better-than-task-notes.aspx puts an item in a list, and if the list had an associated workflow this would get initiated.

    Hope this helps.

    Best regards,

    Brian

  73. Aria1844 says:

    I wanted to know if there is anyway shape or form to connect a MOSS site using the Project Workspace Template and link the Issues and Risks back to the Project file in Project Server 2007. We have so many team sites and projects that we thought it would be best if we simply created a sub site using the Project WS Template and attempt to link back to the Project Server. I should mention that we have 2 SSP one for MOSS and one for Project Server so that one doesnt hose the other if either one completely crashes etc.

    Any suggestions is truly appreciated. Not afraid to CODE!!

  74. Murph says:

    Can you run Project server 2003 on top of MOSS 2007?

  75. BriSmith says:

    Hi Murph – no it isn’t possible to run Project Server 2003 on top of MOSS 2007.  However, Project Server 2003 uses WSS 2.0 for optional features so if you don’t want to use documents, risks and issues it may be able to co-exist with MOSS – but not a supported scenario.

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  76. iqbalkmk says:

    Hai Brian…

    I want to know how to Create the Approval point between stages for a Proposal in a project server 2010 workflow .

  77. Adeel says:

    Hi Brian,

    We are a software house and using Microsoft Project Server 2007. Till day before yesterday everything was working perfect but now all timesheet managers are facing following error "Next approver cannot be either owner or previous approver". I have tried to find alot of internet but haven't found any solution.

    Thanks.

  78. BriSmith says:

    Hi Adeel,

    I wasn't familiar with this issue – but with a bit of research it appears to be a  bug.  There is a workaround:

    · Open PWA

    · Server Settings -> Manage Categories -> My Resources

    · Select "All current and future resources in Project Server database" in Projects

    · Uncheck "They are descendants of the User via RBS" in Resources.

    I hope this helps.  

    Best regards,

    Brian.

  79. Patrick says:

    Hi Brian,

    You had mention before Project Server 2007 can use workflow in lists without install MOSS2007.  I see a default one "Three-state" template available.  Is this correct?  I was trying to add a new workflow in list.  

    Steps:

    Site Settings > Site libraries and Lists > Customize "Issues" > Workflow settings

    then fill out the name and accept all defaults, after I click OK at the last page of workflow creation, I get the error HRESULT: 0x80004004 (E_Abort).  

    Does the workflow require any special set up in PWA or special setting on DB side in order to make the default workflow works?