MSDN Webcast: PSI Review, Demos and Q&A

Hi All,

Thank you for attending my PSI review MSDN webcasts, I really enjoyed delivering them.  I think if I deliver again it’ll need to be three webcasts, I barely finished part A, and left out three web services in part B.  Below is some of the Q&A I’ve gotten.

Question Answer

Create a custom timesheet import UI. So create timesheet from data in Excel for example (each row as a new timesheet maybe?)

This is totally possible through the timesheet and statusing web services. The biggest challenge will be keeping your external line items names in sync with internal ones you define in Project Server.
Right now the rates table, you can only put 5 rates in there. Explore ways to put more than 5 rates per resource. Your right that there are only 5 rate available. There are a couple possibilities, all involving custom fields. You would save your extra rate information in a custom field. Then by some event triggering (either client or server side) you could move the appropriate cost information into the table. It’s not the best solution, but could be the start of a workaround for you.

I want to work on top of various projects that have a certain CustomField value. Going into every project’s dataset takes waaaay too long. Is there a better way to do this with PSI?

There really is no shortcut.  My best advice is to write some helper methods that get you to the values you want.

Is it ok to use VB for all this stuff or is it much better to use C#?

VB.Net is just as good for this as C#.  Actually any .NET language will work great.  I “cut my teeth” in C.  So my natural progression was from C to C++ to C#.

I am trying to sync the values in a Look up table with an external SQL table so the two stay in sync. What is the best way to do this? the table is a customer table from the accounting system

Going from the accounting system to Project Server should be easy with all the PSI calls available to update the business entities (Project, Resource, etc.).  Going from Project Server to the accounting system is more challenging.  The event system in Project Server will only tell you an entity changed, not the specifics of what changed.  So you’ll need to detect the change and then go into the entity to check for changes.

What types of programming tasks are going to take existing GUIDs, and what tasks will require us to generate our own GUID? Queueing? Object Creation? It would seem like Project Server would want to own the GUID, for sync’ing and stuff, right?

Calls that create new entities will have you create a new Guid, for instance QueueCreateProject.  The most common thing you’ll create a new Guid for is the JobUid that’ll you’ll pass to queue enabled calls.

I don’t mean to oversimplify, but if we have an admin backup scheduled daily, isn’t that what you are referring to as the ‘archive’ (although with code you can have more control rather than an all or nothing).

Archiving is moving entities to the archive database so they are no longer taken into account in the operational system.  BUT… they are available to restore when you need.  It’s way more complicate than that, you should look at the books online to get a good handle on the archive process.

Do you have any customers that are automatically tweaking the queue configuration settings in a production environment?

None that I know of.

For AD Credentials, I use the NetworkCredentials class, which class do I use for the Forms logins? I don’t use it, just curious…. It blocks my outbound webservices connection, I can’t seem to authenticate properly, any tips?

Use the LoginForms web service and pass the username and password via that.


Comments (2)

  1. Yes it’s true I’ve been cheating on my blog and (it’s too embarrassing to say)… posting to another blog.