December 2011 CU Webcast: Questions and Answers

Sorry for the delay in getting this posting out.  Vacation and an unusual amount of snow are a couple of the excuses, and if you missed the webcast then you can view here -

Also if you are thinking of watching this or future TechNet webcasts then I’ll remind you that you will need the Live Meeting client install which can be obtained from here  – but on to the questions – thanks for all of you who attended and for the great questions!:

Q: What is the risk of applying the December Cumulative Update on the server but not on the client? Is it highly recommended to always keep them in sync, or is it acceptable to have some clients that are not patched to the same CU as the server?

A: There is no dependency between the client and server, and although to be fully patched you should update both there is no risk (beyond not having some of the fixes) if you update the client or server independently.  Once you have patched the client it is also worth ensuring no un-patched clients can connect by use of the Server Setting to set the minimum client patch level that can connect (2010 only)

Q:  Ref 30900 – the fix relating to custom calendars - is that custom enterprise calendar, or custom calendar in template, or both?

A:  In this case, it is whether or not the template has the custom calendar associated with it. For example, suppose you have a custom calendar that is the base calendar for some tasks within your project. It is in this case that the PSI method would fail as it attempted to reconcile the calendar.

Q:  The Save Error 9000 is a very generic message. Can you repeat the exact issue for which this fix was designed?

A:  The scenario is this. As you save your project from Project Professional, you see the 9000 error and your project does not get saved. We found about four different conditions where duplicate IDs or objects such as views could appear and it's because of these duplicates that the save process failed. We've added fixes on both the client and server to address these various conditions. As Brian states, there could possibly be other conditions that could lead to this issue and so time will tell.  As mentioned – you don’t need to install both server and client fixes – they are independent – but to get full protection you will.

Q:  In regards to Timesheets in Single Entry Mode, if a timesheet is submitted and accepted with actuals against 3 projects, and later one of those projects is deleted, and then someone deletes that timesheet and attempts to create a replacement timesheet, currently that results in an error. (The timesheet line items from the deleted projects still remain and seem to stop the new timesheet from being created.) Does this CU address this? The issue is that there is an "orphan" timesheet line record.

A:  With the December CU the practice of deleting timesheets should be reviewed within your organization as the behavior changes – but it should not give an error.  When the timesheet is re-created it will re-load the current tasks with any current actual work that has been accepted.  The deleted project will no longer appear.  The specific error mentioned isn’t familiar – so there may still be a risk of it occurring – possibly related to pending actions?

Q:  You spoke about graphical indicators disappearing occasionally after changes have been made to their enterprise field definitions. Are there other graphical indicator problems.... such as enterprise fields showing incorrect indicators after changes made to their field definitions? I experienced some problems in one of my deployments but I believe the issue was a wrong indicator not a missing indicator. The problem seems to have gone away when I created new fields in the production site. Forum postings gave me the impression the December CU would address this. Any comments on the status? Are all of these graphical indicator problems resolved now?

A:  We have certainly addressed a number of issues with graphical indicators – it could be possible to see the wrong indicator if a condition of a formula calculation gives an unexpected result and no indicator (or an existing indicator) meets the resultant condition.  We’d be keen to hear of any reproducible steps that are still giving bad results.

Q:  I know that for Project Server 2007 there was a tool (P12ACTool) that could be run against the environment that would check for standard issues behind the scenes and provide steps for resolving those issues. This was used in my past as a preventative step to keeping the environment up to par. Is there a similar tool for Project Server 2010?

A:  There is a tool that we use for 2010 (P14ACTool).  It is used on support incidents under the direction of a support engineer and not publically available.  I does require some interpretation of the results and can give false positives which is why we like to be involved with the customer using the tool.  We do appreciate that some partners make extensive use of the tool with their customers and are reviewing a version of the tool that we could make more available – watch this space.  We are also investing a lot in diagnostics at Microsoft so expect some new automated packages sent to you from CSS to aid in collection of data.

Q:  What is the status of the fix for the 2010 client issue with "Save and Send" where the data is not actually saved to the Server?

A:  Although I remember hearing about a condition like this I tried some tests after the webcast and I was not able to reproduce or find a bug in our database.  I’d welcome any repro steps so we can address this if it is still an issue.

Q:  We have a couple of different 2010 client machines running the Oct and Dec CU, and the links between tasks are vanishing and then reappearing, resource usage view is jumping around between resources when modifying planned time phased actual work, and indicators in the status line (at the bottom) are vanishing - is this a known issue? (not seen it prior to August client CU for 2010)

A:  We have a hotfix request in for the resource usage view jumping – likely to be fixed in April CU – not familiar with the other issues – repro steps would aid our investigation here – and confirmed this was more a display problem than the links really going away.  Possibly a UI handle problem?

Q:  Should you be able to update Actual Start in the Project Center views in edit mode

A:  This has not been exposed for editing in the web – possibly because of the knock on effect on the task and assignment start dates.

Q:  Are either of you going to be at the Project Conference?

A:  We can now confirm that yes, Adrian and I will be at the Project Conference in Phoenix, along with others from the support team: our Manager Larry Block and escalation colleague Aik Chen.  Also look out for my next blog post asking what you would like us to talk about at the conference.

Q:  This is a general Project Server config question: Is there a way to report time a the high level and not at task level because we just record total time of a project? Meaning entering the time

A:  Reporting in the timesheet is possible at the top level

Q:  Not really project related but I recently downloaded a few of the past webcasts in wma format. But I can't sync any of these to my Zune. Any suggestions?

A:  I tried this by downloading and syncing to my Windows Phone 7 and also this didn’t work.  I’ll see if I can find a way of doing this – I’m sure using Expression Encoder would allow re-encoding in a suitable format. ***Update - gives good instructions for doing this with Windows Movie Maker, Expression Encoder 4 or Windows Media Encoder - just trying it now... ***

Q:  What is the correct way to submit a Design Change Request? Is there a website we can go to directly?

A:  No web site – usually giving feedback through your account team, or to a support engineer will get through to the right people.

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