Category Archives: Project Server 2010

Report vs Dataset Caching in SharePoint

In one of my previous posts I mentioned two techniques for improving the performance of reports hosted in SharePoint … Dataset caching and Report caching, but how do you decide you which one to apply?

Report Caching when enabled will stored a copy of the data required to run the report (this is not to be confused with snapshotting of reports where a complete rendered copy of the report stored). The cached data is only accessible to the report that cached it and can have specific refresh and expiration configuration settings that suit the requirements of the report. This is particularly appropriate for reports that contain information that is periodic in nature (e.g. daily/weekly/monthly status reports) but the information isn’t referenced in other reports. It should be noted that if data shown in a cached report changes this will not be updated in the report until the cache is and as a result you may find any other reports that reference that data directly will show different, more current, results

Shared Dataset Caching enables the storage of the data on a per dataset basis. The cached data is accessible to any report that depends on the Shared Dataset and all reports gain the performance advantage from the cached data. This is particularly appropriate where the rate of change of the various data sources is understood and can be taken into account when configuring the caching of the various shared datasets you have available. Configuring each Shared Dataset’s cache properties to take into account the churn rate on the source data will enable you ensure that the data stored is maintained at optimum freshness whilst still delivering the improved performance benefit to your reports of not having to query all the way back to the SQL Server for the data.

If you are combining both approaches, which is technically feasible, careful consideration should be given to when the cache at each point is expired/refreshed, how often the source data is expected to change and what the requirements of the consumers of the reports are regarding the currency of results displayed in reports, for example do they require the figures correct as of 12pm each day or the most up-to-date figures possible?


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Filed under Business Intelligence, General SharePoint Development, Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint 2013

Second Shot at passing your Certification Exams on offer again!

You may not be aware of it but Microsoft are again offereing their ‘second shot free’ deal for Microsoft certification exams. Here’s how it works:

  1. Order a Second Shot Voucher at:
  2. Schedule you initial certifcation exam using the voucher at:
  3. Take your exam
  4. If you don’t pass the exam at first, simply register for free to retake the exam using the same voucher number.

The Second Shot deal is available for the regular-priced individual Microsoft technical exams with a prefix of 070 or 071, and for the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) certification exams administered through Prometric.

The Second Shot offer is available until May 31, 2014.

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November 1, 2013 · 10:47 am

SharePoint and Project Server 2010 Service Pack 2 available

Good news! Microsoft recently announced the release of SP2 for SharePoint 2010 and Project Server 2010. Even better news is that the information from Microsoft regarding the Project Server service pack has been updated to indicate that it has the SharePoint service pack incorporated so no need to install 2 service packs independantly. One pack to fix them all as it were :-)Here is a link to the info on Project Server SP2 on the Technet blog


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Filed under Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010

Error Publishing a new workflow for a Project Site under Project Server.

I’m still not sure why the underlying problem occurred but after work on developing a project specific document review workflow and trying to publish it from SharePoint Designer 2010 we received the following error

“SharePoint Designer encountered an error generating the task form. Server was unable to process request. –> Activation could not be completed because the InfoPath Forms Services support feature is not present”   i.e.

After investigating further similar posts indicated that it had something to do with features that hadn’t been activated. I was sure all the relevant features were activated but to be on the safe side I checked that it wasn’t directly permission related by opening SharePoint Designer on the project site and attempting the Publish the workflow with the farm admin account. No joy, same error. Next I checked the Central Admin config and confirmed that all available features were enabled at the Web Application level and that nothing had happened to the InfoPath Forms Application Service. I then checked and confirmed the 2 relevant features (SharePoint Server Standard Site Collection Features, SharePoint Server Enterprise Site Collection Features) were enabled at the Site Collection level. I then verified that the equivalent Site level features were enabled.

So far all good so there was no standard environmental reason for the failure of the publish of workflow to fail.

One post I found, whilst not directly related to SharePoint Designer publishing process, suggested restarting the InfoPath Forms Services support feature, not generally visible but responsible for providing the plumbing for supporting publishing InfoPath Forms.

Disable-SPFeature "IPFSSiteFeatures" -URL "http://yoursitecollectionURL" 
Enable-SPFeature "IPFSSiteFeatures" -URL "http://yoursitecollectionURL" 

Once I had run the cmdlets to stop and then start IPFSSiteFeatures for the PWA site collection I was then able to successfully complete a publish step for the workflow in SharePoint Designer.

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Filed under Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010

Project Server Error after provisioning PWA

I have just been through the process of provisioning a Project Server 2010  instance on a new server and hit a problem I’ve never encountered in all the install/configs I’ve performed in the last couple of years.

When I tried to create the Project Web App Service Application within Central Administration and received an error indicating that the Project Application Service was not started. After starting this I returned to the Service Applications page and created the Project Web App Service Application. Next I went to the Manage Project Web App Sites page on the newly created service application and  created a Project Web App site. After the provisioning had completed with no apparent problems I attempted to browse to the newly created Project Web App site but received and error when trying to hit both the default.aspx page and the projects.aspx page.  When I looked up the correlation id for the fault in the logs I found the following:

xmnv    Medium      Name=Request (GET:    05054a32-48f2-41bf-b7b6-897654d81ea7
05/09/2012 09:59:23.04     w3wp.exe (0x243C)                           0x1D20    SharePoint Foundation             Logging Correlation Data         

xmnv    Medium      Site=/ProjectServer    05054a32-48f2-41bf-b7b6-897654d81ea7
05/09/2012 09:59:23.04     w3wp.exe (0x243C)                           0x1D20    SharePoint Foundation             Monitoring                       

b4ly    High        Leaving Monitored Scope (PostResolveRequestCacheHandler). Execution Time=30.8825981867184    05054a32-48f2-41bf-b7b6-897654d81ea7
05/09/2012 09:59:23.04     w3wp.exe (0x243C)                           0x1D20    SharePoint Foundation             Runtime                          

tkau    Unexpected    System.InvalidOperationException: Could not get the application proxy object    at Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.Administration.RoutingContext.InternalGetProxy(Guid siteUid)     at Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.Administration.RoutingContext.InternalGetRoutingContext(String address, String& endpointUri, Guid siteUid)     at Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.Administration.RoutingContext.GetRoutingContext(String address, String& endpointUri, Guid siteUid)     at Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.AuthenticationHelper.AuthenticateUserByName(String userName, Guid siteId)     at Microsoft.Office.Project.PWA.PJContext.AuthenticateUserForPWA(Boolean needToValidateUser, String username, Guid siteId)     at Microsoft.Office.Project.PWA.PJContext.AuthenticateUserForPWA(Boolean newCookie)     at Micro…    05054a32-48f2-41bf-b7b6-897654d81ea7
05/09/2012 09:59:23.04*    w3wp.exe (0x243C)                           0x1D20    SharePoint Foundation             Runtime                          

The key indicator of what was causing the problem was the text  “System.InvalidOperationException: Could not get the application proxy object”. A bit more investigation turned up what seemed like the same problem mentioned on a TechNet post along with a potential solution. The problem is that for some reason the application service proxy wasn’t created when the Project Web App Service Application was created. I confirmed this by looking on the Service applications list and whilst the Project Server PSI Service Application existed the Project Server PSI Service Proxy didn’t. This problem was probably related to the fact that the Project Application Service was not started when I attempted to create the new service application.

The solution to the problem was to go to the Manage Project Web App Sites page and delete the newly created Project Web App site. Once this was gone I then deleted the Project Web App Service Application. Next I started the creation and provisioning process from scratch and this time confirmed that the Project Server PSI Service Proxy was created along with the Project Server PSI Service Application. After creating the Project Web App site I was able to access new PWA with no issues.

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Filed under Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010

Notes on SharePoint Alerts

Recently I have been working with a business user who believed ‘Immediate’ Alerts were not functioning correctly on a list he was maintaining and he was not being notified of some occurrences.  An investigation has not found a repeatable problem nor any information in logs that might point toward an error occurring for his particular list and email notifications were being sent correctly. The end result was a lack of understanding of how Alerts function in SharePoint 2010.

Being a business user I wouldn’t necessarily expect him to have a technical understanding of Alert functionality but it is worth letting your end users know some of the basics such as:

  • If multiple changes are made to a document before the alert mail is generated, SharePoint alert will only send the latest change that was made. This is to prevent spamming with too many alerts or too many changes in a digest when people hit “save” again and again.
  • The currently ‘immediate’ alerting cycle in SharePoint 2010 is 5 minutes by default. It can be changed to be more or less if required by this would need to be weighed against additional overhead for more immediacy or longer notification cycles. 5 minutes seems a good balance.

  • Once you choose “yes” for “Require documents to be checked out before they can be edited” and then upload a new document, you will only get the “change” alert about “checked out” information as this change happens after the item is created. This is apparently by-design behaviour.

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Filed under General SharePoint Development, Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010

Alert Me function not available

Recently I was working on a project to upgrade a SharePoint 2007 environment to 2010 as as part of this was working on verifying the upgrade process on a test server. When we first upgraded the content databases the Alert Me functionality was visible in the UI and working. I knew this because users started to receive notifications from the test environment. To reduce confusion the SMTP server was removed from the SharePoint configuration. This obviously stopped email being sent from the server but it turns out that SharePoint 2010 is actually smart enought to realise that it can no longer send email notifications and as a result the Alert Me functionality disappears from the UI as well.  Add an SMTP server back into the farm and Alert Me functionality appears again.

SharePoint 2007 didn’t do this and I don’t recall reading or hearing anywhere that 2010 included this enhancement but it does. Nice as long as you realise it and don’t spend a whole lot of time trying to work out why Alert Me functionality is no longer available because your upgrade testers have lodged it as a defect 🙂


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Filed under Microsoft Office Sharepoint Server 2007, Project Server 2007, Project Server 2010, SharePoint 2010