I’ve been trying for a while to find a way to successfully change the master page (default.master) used in Project Web Access (PWA). The number of times I’ve attempted it using different techniques I always end up with the same result, PWA breaks and I have to revert to the old version or in extreme cases I had to reset the site definition to recover.
After following up with a friend who works for a well known Project Server consulting company who then followed it up with a contact at Microsoft it seems the official response is that there is no safe way to change the master page in PWA. It is possible to ‘unlock’ the PWA site so that you can work on it with SharePoint Designer but the recommend against doing this. The reason the lock was implemented is that PWA implements session handling slightly different than SharePoint and changing or modifying the master page inevitably causes problems with this.
I still find it hard to believe there is no way we can make simple cosmetic changes to the master page so I’ll keep trying (very carefully) but I guess if enough people raise this as an issue with Microsoft they might release a work around that enables us to make cosmetic changes to the master page without beaking PWA.
21st May 2008 – Just an update to this one that supports what I had . I just found a blog post by Brian Smith, from Microsoft, regarding this. The post was only made on the 1st of May 2008… Brian Smith – Which master pages can you edit in Project Server 2007?