Introduction: Power BI and BrightWork

In the past, if you wanted to pull data from databases and/or enterprise software, you needed to reach out to your database administrator, software architect, or 3rd party provider. Perhaps only they have the skills to provide you with an extract of the raw information. Very often, (and with a lot of hair-pulling!), this data would be manipulated, in Microsoft Excel for example, to provide the necessary reports needed. If you were lucky, perhaps you could reuse the formatted Excel sheets and formulas, or worse case, you had to go through the whole ordeal the following week. Very often, it is a live snapshot of data that you wanted to see or report upon; not stale information by the time you logged the ticket, received the information and finally, manipulated the reports. For business today, it’s all about live and real-time reports and dashboards to stay competitive. BrightWork offers incredible reporting capabilities across SharePoint site collections giving you visibility, clarity, and control of your projects. You may want to incorporate some of that information into business dashboards; combine projects data with operational data in real time from various sources e.g. project data from SharePoint, vendor costs from SAP, accounts from QuickBooks, and…

Calculated Number Metric – Explained

As a BrightWork customer, you use our Project Metrics list all the time, whether it’s by directly accessing the list, or through the various reports that display its data. But you may not have given much thought to the underlying configuration of metrics. Let’s get acquainted with the settings of a calculated number metric using an “Overdue Items” metric, different sections at a time.   Source Calculated Number Metric Breakdown: Title: The caption of the calculated number metric that is presented to end users when they visit the Project Metrics list. Description: Describes the metric – can be altered by you if you make changes to the metric. Metric ID: This is the title of the metric that is stored behind the scenes and is referenced by reports. If this is changed in the slightest, it will break this metric aspect of the reporting unless associated updates to the report definition file (XML) have been made as well. Active: If this is checked the metric’s current value will be displayed in the Project Metric list views and in any report web parts the metric is present in.     Metric Sources: Category: Used to organize this metric in the right…

Create a SharePoint Report Hyperlink

Recently a customer wanted to link to a particular Dashboard using BrightWork Reporter instead of the default of the Project Home Page. In their case, they wanted to point to the Project Status Dashboard at a Project Office level from a roll-up view of the Current Status Report. This blog outlines the steps required to create a SharePoint report hyperlink to a particular dashboard within your site collection. It’s recommended that you have some experience with using BrightWork Reporter to carry out these steps. By default, BrightWork Reporter can link to 3 items in a Project Site, namely: The Project Site itself The List that contains the data The List Item itself (Task, Issue, Risk, etc.)   To link to a different Dashboard in a Project Site, we will need to create a SharePoint Designer Workflow. The workflow is then triggered on the Project Status Reports list. If you don't have SharePoint Designer installed, you can download if for free from Microsoft. Create SharePoint Report Hyperlink Navigate to the Project Status Reports list in your Template Create a Single Line of Text column called PageLink. Set the Default Value to the relative Page you want to link to in the BrightWork…

Learn to use CAML Query: Part 1

Collaborative Application Markup Language (CAML) may be used in BrightWork to reports and metrics. CAML language that can be used to query a list or report to bring back more precise information that list filters may not be able to do too easily. In part 1, we take a look at CAML Syntax, and CAML joins.     CAML Syntax When using CAML in BrightWork, the syntax used is similar to the following: <Where>                  .......... Query </Where> The Order By and Group By attributes are not used. These attributes are managed with BrightWork Reporter instead. In the following example, this query is pulling in a list where all items in the  “Predecessors” column are null. <Where> <IsNull> <FieldRef Name='Predecessors' /> </IsNull> </Where> CAML Joins There are 2 ways to perform a logical CAML join. These can be nested together to perform complex queries. AND Join Where 2 or more statements must be true to return a value e.g. Return the values where the Status is (4) Deferred, and the Priority is (1) High <Where> <And> <Eq> <FieldRef Name='Status' /> <Value Type='Choice'>(4) Deferred</Value> </Eq> <Eq> <FieldRef Name='Priority' /> <Value Type='Choice'>(1) High</Value> </Eq> </And> </Where> OR Join This where one or the…

Use Expression Formulas in BrightWork Reporting

BrightWork Reporter provides a robust reporting tool to build many types of reports in the BrightWork solution.  There is a feature in the report definition that allows you to extend the reporting content by using mathematical expression formulas in the report column.  New report columns can be created to process data from other columns and return additional data values to the reports. An example of an expression column already in the report definitions is Finish Date.  This allows the report to return a finish date to the report regardless of whether it is the Actual Finish, Planned Finish, Current Finish, or Due Date. Rules for Expression Formulas There are two rules that you need to adhere to when using expressions in report columns. First, the columns that you use in the expression must be higher in the column order in the report definition. Second, expression formulas use the names of the report columns, not the list column names. Rule 1: The column order is managed in the report definition editor.  Ensure that the columns you intend to use in the expression are higher in the column order.  This can be check in the Report Definition Editor by selecting “Change the order…

Restore Deleted Tasks on your SharePoint site

If you are using the Task list to manage your projects, you may run into an occasion whereby you may need to restore deleted tasks that were removed in error. Perhaps you have versioning in place; it may not be too obvious how to return these deleted items.  The recycle bin in the site settings does not show individual entries or restore items removed in error. Restore Deleted Tasks There is a hidden user recycle bin that is hiding behind the scenes. To access the recycle bin, enter: /_layouts/15/AdminRecycleBin.aspx ahead of your site name e.g.   http://my.brightworkdemo.com/sites/CmCarthy/TestProject/_layouts/15/AdminRecycleBin.aspx     Click on the items that you want to restore, then click on restore selection. The items will now appear back on the project task list, in the same place as before.    

Simple SPColor Creator: SharePoint Color Palette Tool

I don’t know about you, but I used to find it painful when I needed to create custom themes or spcolor files when running deployments for our BrightWork customers. I would spend ages looking at HTML versions of colors, using colors pickers, testing what works and did not, and so on. Needless to say, I was soon going cross-eyed! I knew I needed a simple spcolor creator tool to do the job. Microsoft has a relatively unknown tool – SharePoint Color Palette Tool. To install, just download and run the .msi file. SharePoint Color Palette Tool creates the spcolor file, defines the accents, layout, and shows warning and errors for UI. It’s also very easy to use. Create an SPColor file with SharePoint Color Palette Tool SharePoint Color Palette Tool opens with the common SharePoint theme.   To set your organisations or preferred color, click on the color button i.e. the blue box   This will open a dialog box where you can change the color. There is also a little color picker available. It took me a few attempts until I copped that you need to keep your finger pressed on the mouse as you hover around the screen. Or if you…

Custom Promoted Link Icons for Dashboards

You can brighten up your Project Dashboards by adding your own custom Promoted Link icons to the Promoted Links web part, replacing the default icons. These will provide Project Team Members with a more intuitive user interface and assist with their Project Management Success. This blog will step you through the process of applying the images to your Project Templates and update existing project with the links.   Insert Custom Promoted Link Icons If you don’t have your own, you can download the attached archive and extract it locally to use on your as your own custom promoted link icons. Create a folder in the Site Assets library on the root of your Site Collection/ Copy in all the Icons. Using ‘drag and drop’ is the easiest method to get all the icons uploaded in one go. Navigate to your Project Template, in the case I am updating the Project Standard Template Click the web part title “Get started with your project”, this will link you to the Promoted Tiles list. We will be updated the “Background Image Location” column in the list. Edit each item individually to update the link to the image.Copy and paste the link to each…

Key Performance Metrics for Project Office Reporting

BrightWork can define Key Performance Metrics for your Projects that help determine how well you are managing the plan.  Key Performance Metrics at the Project Office level can look at trends across all the projects to measure whether the Project Management Process is in control and meeting your established group standards. This article will explore how to best leverage metrics at the Project Office reporting level.  Basic Project Metrics BrightWork comes with pre-configured metrics at the project level that keep track of Schedule tracking to plan (Time), Cost tracking to budget (Cost), Quality tracking (Quality), Overdue Tasks, and Risk Exposure, to name a few. The basic Key Performance Metrics at the Project level are: Time – Is the project on schedule Cost – Is the project on budget % variance to budget Quality – The number of open issues. Are project Issues being managed Risk – Is the Risk level for the project acceptable for the desired outcome. Other metrics to consider are: Overdue Items – What percentage of open items are overdue Late Issues – Number of late issues Open tasks – Number of open tasks Project Office Metrics Performance Measures that make sense at the Project Office level are…

Learn to Configure the Create Project Wizard

    BrightWork provides its own method for creating new sites that differs from native SharePoint. Using the BrightWork Create Project wizard, with a series of clicks you can easily create new BrightWork sites in five easy steps: Choose the desired template from which to base your new site, e.g., Project Lite, Project Standard, or Work Tracker template, or choose a different project site to copy. If necessary, determine which content from the template or another project you want to include. Enter a site title, description, URL, and Project Manager name. Specify navigation options. Specify permission options. Confirm all your chosen settings.   Create Project Wizard If this is a little too rich with choice, with a small amount of configuration this can all be simplified. Navigate to the “Projects Area” site. You may see a link to this in the Top Link Bar. However, it may be named or located elsewhere. If unsure, verify with your BrightWork architect. Click on the “Site Actions” gear and then “Site Settings“ Click on “BrightWork Settings” towards the bottom right of the page. Click on  “Configure Create Project Settings” and click on “Customize”. On the customization page, you can choose to knock off one or two…

    BrightWork and SharePoint Permissions Overview

    BrightWork and SharePoint permissions may seem daunting for most people. Understandably, for some sensitive projects, non-team members and stakeholders need to be restricted from viewing the project information. It makes sense to implement controls for these team members. However, it is recommended not to get too granular as this can cause headaches in the long run. I have prepared a table to help with understanding the different BrightWork and SharePoint permissions group and what users are permitted to do. These groups should not be altered or changed but serve as a baseline if you wish to create BrightWork and SharePoint permission levels for your BrightWork site collection. The reason is that BrightWork and SharePoint permissions are inherited so making a change in one place will propagate across the entire site collection. For specific BrightWork features e.g. Design Sync, Schedule Email, etc. our help contains a useful article that explains the permissions that users need throughout BrightWork site collections and sites. As a best practice, I recommend documenting any sites where you implement BrightWork or SharePoint permissions. It’s easy to forget what permissions and where sites custom permission groups were set up. Not to mention if you need to perform any security audits.   BrightWork and SharePoint Permissions  

    Inter-Project Dependencies on SharePoint

    We often get asked at BrightWork if we can handle inter-project dependencies in our templates. There is one template that can do a form of inter-project dependencies, and that is the Project and Work Tracker template. I’ve outlined the steps below to help describe the process to allow for inter-project dependencies. Enable Task Scheduling In the Projects and Work Tracker Task List, enable the Task Scheduling Feature How to activate the task scheduler in BrightWork Ensure that you tick the option to “Check to upgrade this task list to support scheduling” when enabling the feature.   The list will update to include some new columns like Duration, Start Date, Finish Date and Predecessors to be enabled and visible in the list.     Note: You may want to update all task list views to include the “Project”, “Duration”, and “Predecessor” columns.   Add Duration The BrightWork schedule requires the “Duration” column to be populated to calculate the task finish dates. The “Duration” column is based on days and will accept 0.5 and 0.25 values. Add Start Dates The schedule is also required to have tasks with a “Start Date” assigned. Add any Predecessors The “Predecessor” column can be used to drive any inter-project dependencies. Any tasks that need to be…

    Reconnect SharePoint Task List with Microsoft Project

    On occasion, those technical gremlins can kick off and when you open your project task list in Microsoft Project, it is not showing the information as expected. It may be just a simple task of having to reconnect SharePoint Task List with Microsoft Project. Bare in mind, there are a few different gremlins that can crop up! When troubleshooting the BrightWork Task List to Microsoft Project, the first place I check is to see that the right SharePoint Task List is speaking to the right Microsoft Project file. If using BrightWork, you must ensure that you are using the Project Structured template if you wish to do the sync. And as always, create a backup or test beforehand! Use Internet Explorer when troubleshooting SharePoint. Other browsers may not behave in the same manner i.e. Chrome may download the file rather than open it via the Browser or from the server location. Reconnect the SharePoint Task List with Microsoft Project Professional Check Site Assets Browse to “Site Contents” Check if the “Site Assets” app exists Verify that the “BrightWork – Project Structured Sync” file exists Copy the server URL of the file e.g. http://2013.brightworkdemo.com/sites/CMcCarthy/Project17/SiteAssets/BrightWork%20-%20Project%20Structured%20Sync.mpp Paste to a location where you can copy it several…

    Download the Print Dashboards Web Part for BrightWork

    Many Project Managers would like a fast and convenient way to print a hard copy of a Project Dashboard. The link further down is a download to a custom web part to help print dashboards. The web part can also be useful to create a PDF so it can be emailed to other Project stakeholders. Here are instructions on deploying a Web Part for achieving this. Instructions for Installing Download and unzip the Web Part (.dwp) file to your local computer Navigate to the Dashboard that you want to use the web part. Click the Page Ribbon and click Edit Page In the Top Row Zone, click “Add a Web Part” Click “Upload a Web Part” Browse to where you stored the .dwp file Click “Upload” When the web part is uploaded, add it to the Top Row Zone When done, click “Stop Editing” When you click the button, it should open your browser print controls

    Locate the Internal Name of a Column

    If you want to add a column to the BrightWork Report Definition File, you need to know what the internal column name is and this is not the common name that you see in the form. Here are three ways that you can locate what the internal name of a column is without going into SharePoint Designer. Properties Browse to the list or library in BrightWork For a list, click on List \ List Settings For a library, click on Library \ Library Settings Under the “Columns” section, right-click on the column that you want to find the internal name and select  “Properties”. On the “Address (URL)”, if you scroll to the end of the name, you will see the Field= and then the internal name – in this example the internal name is FinishDateActual Address Bar Browse to the list or library in BrightWork For a list, click on List \ List Settings; For a library, click on Library \ Library Settings Click on the name of the Column under the Columns section Up in the address bar, scroll to the end. You will see Field= and then the internal column name. In this example, the internal name is Status Column Visibility Settings…

    Save a BrightWork Template as a Windows Solution Package

    Perhaps you have a created a SharePoint Site and now wish to store this SharePoint Site template locally as a back-up, or to transfer from one environment to another. For BrightWork Site Templates created in SharePoint, there are a few extra steps which I’ve outlined at the end that need you need to include as part of the downloadables. A SharePoint solution package or Windows Solution Package (.wsp) is a compressed file that holds the site information.  The steps below outline how to download a BrightWork Site or Template using Windows Solution Packages and not entire site collections or project offices. Site collections or project office exports would need to be done individually on a site by site basis or be using additional tools. Create a Windows Solution Package Browse to the site that you wish to create a  Windows Solution Package for Go to Site Settings   Under Site Actions, click on Save site as template   Enter the details of the Windows Solution Package. Include the site content as well to pull over any pre-configured information contained within the BrightWork template. Click OK.   After a few moments, a new screen should appear that the operation has completed successfully.   Download the Windows…

    Reuse SharePoint Lists and Libraries

    It is possible to share lists and libraries in SharePoint one template to another. To reuse SharePoint Lists and Libraries is very helpful if you want to evolve your project management process to a project site. Perhaps you are using our the BrightWork Project Standard (middle-of-the-road project management) template to manage your projects without the need for MS Project Professional on your desktop. Then you see the Change Request list that lives in the Project Structured template (which does require Microsoft Project) and think “I’ll have that”! Here are the steps to reuse and share lists and libraries in SharePoint and add an extra piece of the process to your project management using the Change Request list as an example.   Create a List Template In the Project Structured template, click on “Change Requests” on the quick launch. Or navigate to whichever list you would like to reuse. Click on “List” and “List Settings”. Under the “Permissions and Management” section, select “Save List as a Template”. Fill in the details for the template. I also like to pop in the date in the description when I want to do some housekeeping in the future. Tip! If you would like to include the content in…

    Use SharePoint Promoted Links to Display Project KPI’s

    If you are managing projects from a vanilla SharePoint site, or perhaps you are using one of our free project management templates, you may wish to have your KPI’s front and centre on your project site. You could Use SharePoint Promoted Links to display Project KPI’s through some simple steps. For this example, I am going to add a RAG on my project homepage on a SharePoint Online site. This solution will work on a SharePoint 2013 or 2016 on-premise solution too – all using SharePoint Promoted Links!. 1. Upload Images I have created some images to use for the SharePoint Promoted Links that you can download from here. If you go with your images, I would recommend the same naming convention for the process outlined in this blog to work. I also suggest uploading the images if possible to a central location e.g. the top of the site collection, so you don’t have to repeat the upload on a site per site basis. However, if you don’t have access, that’s no problem! For the site where you wish to add the images: Browse to Site Contents Create a new document library Name the library “KPI Image Repository” Upload the images to the “KPI…

    Quick Edit on a List Displays an Error when Saving

    While we aim for our migrations from one version of SharePoint to the next to be as seamless as possible, on occasion, there can be the odd hiccup. Some customers encounter the issue whereby the quick edit on a list is not saving correctly, even though all columns appear to be visible or not marked as mandatory.   Situation After migrating from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013, some lists will no longer allow the Quick Edit feature to save the end users makes changes to the list. An error message will appear “You need to fix some problems before we can save your changes”, but there are no causes for the errors evident. Cause Some fields that are hidden may be marked as required.   Quick Edit – Fix Browse to the list that is causing the issue. Click on “List Settings” in the ribbon Go to “General Settings\Column visibility settings (BrightWork)“ Untick the box “Hide from Forms and Views”. If you know the column that is causing the error, then you only need to mark that one. Otherwise, all will need to be unticked. Note the columns that you have changed as you’ll need to revert these back. The column(s)…

    Sync SharePoint Task List to Microsoft Project FAQs

    When working with our customers, many are interested in using the Sync SharePoint tasks list feature available within SharePoint. However, there are few points to note when looking to implement the SharePoint – Project sync that I always like to emphasise. Version When looking to do the sync, it needs to be Microsoft Project Pro and match (or higher) than the SharePoint version you are running. You can find your MS Project version by launching Microsoft Project and viewing the “Account” information. Assigning Tasks The “Assigned To” in SharePoint and “Resource Name” must be a type ‘Person or Group’. Otherwise, the sync won’t work. I have seen a few occurrences where the if you enter a name into the “Resource Name” field in Microsoft Project and AD can not find it as a Person or Group, it will display the following error message: “This is either because the tasks list is in read-only mode, or because this task has a column that requires a unique value”. For this reason, I recommend using SharePoint to populate the resources assigned to a task in the task list for the first time. Browser It is best to use Internet Explorer when using sync…

    Microsoft Project sync issues: December 2016 and January 2017 KBs

    Recently, we have identified that two recent KBs (December 2016 –KB3127978 and January 2017 –KB3141470) released by Microsoft for Microsoft Project 2013 have caused synchronization issues. Essentially, what occurs during task synchronization is either Microsoft Project will hang and become unresponsive or the end user will receive an error message that the SharePoint site is in read-only mode or that you have insufficient privileges. The issue was initially reported to us by a handful customers and we have found that, in testing, rolling back these two KBs corrects the issue. Until Microsoft introduces a fix for the above, we recommend that any customer who is experiencing this issue to uninstall both KB3127978 and KB3141470 from ‘Programs and Features – View Installed Updates in your Windows Control Panel. We hope this is helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions or need further assistance by contacting BrightWork Support.

    Which version of SharePoint 2013 is right for you?

    Having multiple versions of SharePoint 2013 available to you can be an overwhelming obstacle in terms of deciding which one is best. You’ve Foundation, Standard and Enterprise available to you. Depending on how vast of site deployments you are looking to roll out, below is a feature comparison chart to help you decide which is best for you. Developer features Foundation  Sandard Enterprise Access Services No No Yes App Catalog (SharePoint) No Yes Yes App Deployment: Autohosted Apps No No No App Deployment: Cloud-Hosted Apps No Yes Yes App Deployment: SharePoint-Hosted Apps No Yes Yes App Management Services No Yes Yes BCS: Alerts for External Lists No Yes Yes BCS: App Scoped External Content Types (ECTs) No Yes Yes BCS: Business Data Webparts No Yes Yes BCS: External List Yes Yes Yes BCS: OData connector No Yes Yes BCS: Profile Pages No Yes Yes BCS: Rich Client Integration No No Yes BCS: Secure Store Service Yes Yes Yes BCS: Tenant-level external data log No No Yes Browser-based customizations Yes Yes Yes Client Object Model (OM) Yes Yes Yes Client-side rendering (CSR) Yes Yes Yes Custom Site Definitions No Yes Yes Custom Site Provisioning No No Yes Developer Site No No…

    Removing a Windows Update

    Sometimes a Windows update can interrupt normal use of their products like the Sync with SharePoint feature in Office   Press Win + X and select Programs and Features from the task bar menu Click View Installed Updates Scroll through the updates until you find the application you wish to remove the update from Under the application name, find the offending update by referencing the KB number Right click the update and select Uninstall You may be required to restart your machine  

    An exception of type System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException was thrown.

    Symptoms: When trying to run a PSConfig or the SharePoint Configuration Wizard the following error occurs: An exception of type System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException was thrown. Cause: This error can occur if you are using a port other than the default port to connect to the SQL database server. Resolution: You will need to set up an alias connection to the SHarePoint server. You can read the details of this issue and its resolution here.

    Using OneNote with BrightWork

    Symptoms: When creating a Project site from a template with a OneNote notebook in a document library, the OneNote does not copy over. Cause: OneNote is a collaborative document. SharePoint features such as Versioning or requiring Check Out are causing issues with creating the OneNote document. Resolution: In the Library Settings -> Versioning settings, turn off Versioning, requiring Content Approval and requiring the file to be checked out. If you require these features for other documents in a Document Library, create a new single purpose Document Library to store the OneNote files.

    Bug found in November 2014 CU affecting list views

    Issues Behaviour When viewing lists with a (linked to item with edit menu) item, the view will show a TypeError:Unable to get property ‘replace’ of undefined or null reference error. Cause This issue only occurs if you are running the November 2014 CU (Build Number 15.0.4667.1000). Resolution You can resolve this issue by updating your SharePoint farm to a later CU. If you need a more immediate fix you can remove the (linked to item with edit menu) from the view. In most cases you can replace this with a (linked to item) column with the same data.   You can read more about this issue here.

    Finding your SharePoint Build Number and CU level

    As well as fixes, new SharePoint updates can often break things or make things work unexpectedly. Because of this, it is important to be able to determine what updates are installed on your server. The following steps will let you know how to do this. Through Central Admin: Open Central Admin Click Systems Settings Click Manage servers in this farm Beside Configuration database version you will see the build number Make note of the build number Open the following page Cross reference the build number with the CU level Through PowerShell: Open the SharePoint Management Shell Enter the following cmdlet (Get-SPFarm).BuildVersion Make note of the build number Open the following page Cross reference the build number with the CU level

    Should I upgrade BrightWork 15.3 Preview to BrightWork 15.3 Full Release?

    Customers running BrightWork 15.3 Preview version can upgrade to the full release of BrightWork 15.3 if you deem it worthwhile. To help you decide if it is worthwhile for you or not, we have listed the main changes applied to the full release below. NOTE that there is no need to run the ‘psconfig’ step of the upgrade if you already have the preview kit installed. UPDATE: November 3rd 2015 BrightWork now recommends upgrading to the full release to address an issue using the new Edit Manual Metrics dialog. In releases prior to the release made available on November 2nd the ‘Apply Metric Value to’ field is not being reset to blank when using the Edit Manual Metrics when it should be. Important changes applied to the full release of BrightWork 15.3: The out of the box report called “Current Project Status Report” does not map the “Current Finish” date column from the new Project Status Report list correctly To fix it is recommended that you upgrade to the full release of BrightWork 15.3 To workaround the issue you can manually update the report in the Gallery folder in the BrightWork Reporter library Other changes applied to the full release…

    Adding Project Sync to a task list outside of Project Structured

    Sometimes you may want to use Microsoft Project Professional with a template other than the Structured Template. This can be done, by following the steps below. Open the site or template you want to add task sync to Click on Task Update In the SharePoint ribbon, click List -> List Settings Create a single line of text column called MilestoneSync Click on MilestoneSync and rename it to Milestone (Sync) Click on the Milestone column and select Delete Create a new Milestone column with the following details Column Name:   Milestone Column Type:     Calculated Column Column Calculation:  =IF([Milestone (Sync)]=”Yes”,TRUE,FALSE) Return: Yes/No Obtain a copy of the .mpp file (note: you must be running BrightWork 15.3) If you have not done so already since installing or upgrading, create a Project Structured site. On the Structured Template site, navigate to Site Contents ->Site Assets Download a copy of the BrightWork – Project Structured Sync item. Upload the .mpp file to the Site Assets folder on the Standard site or template you wish to add Project Sync to On the Standard site, navigate to Site Contents ->Site Assets From the ribbon, select Files -> Upload Document Click Browse and find the .mpp you just downloaded to the site. Open…

    Common BrightWork Install Issues

    PowerShell Command stuck on Initializing Issue: PowerShell command keeps repeating the Initializing… prompt for longer than 4 minutes Probably Cause: Timer Job has stopped on one or more server Fix: Leave the shell window running On each server: Press the Windows key + R Type services.msc Find the SharePoint Timer job, right click and select Start, if the option is available PSConfig Issues There are several issues that might come up in the PSConfig. Most of these are unrelated to BrightWork and relate to pending issues on your SharePoint Server. In most cases you can continue with the install. Here are some issues you could encounter.  Issue: After the PSConfig, my SharePoint sites are down. Probable Cause: The IIS services are down. Fix: Open the Command Prompt as an administrator Type IISRESET Once the IISRESET is complete try accessing the sites again Issue: The sites are still down after the IISRESET Probable Cause: The IIS sites or application pools are down Fix: Open the IIS Manager Expand the server in the left pane Expand Sites For each site: In the left pane, click on the site In the right pane, click Start or Restart Click Application Pools For each SharePoint…

    Error Opening Tasks List from ribbon option in Project 2013 using Windows 7/8

    Some of our customers have begun to experience the following error(below) when attempting to  open a project tasks list (171) in SharePoint 2013 from the ribbon tool bar option “Open with Project”. If the client machine your using to access the site is using Windows 7 and IE 11, your sure to set this issue. This is not a problem specific to BrightWork or BrightWork site collections. You will find when you test that this can be reproduced in an OOTB team site and tasks list. It a known Microsoft bug and a solution is currently being worked by their product teams. Interestingly it also affected Office365 and Microsoft found a solution there. There are two known workarounds that can be used until Microsoft come up with a permanent solution. Error “This operation requires that Microsoft Project Professional 2013 is installed.”         Workaround 1. – Run IE in IE 9 or lower compatibility mode The compatibility mode setting gets reset when Internet Explorer is closed and you will have to go through the below steps each time IE is re-launched. Here are the steps on how to do that: In IE10: In Internet Explorer press the Alt key, which will…

    MS Project 2013 Error: Sorry, we were unable to open your project!

    While attempting to open a BrightWork Structured template tasks list(171) in SharePoint 2013 with Ms Project Professional 2013 using the ribbon option, “Open in Project”, you may receive the following error message. Sorry, we were unable to open your project. Please try again. If this happens again, contact your administrator. Cause BrightWork tasks lists are linked to a custom mpp file(Project file), and these files contain a built in macro(code). The above error is a security warning that recognises the file contains a macro and prevents you from opening it until you tell your browser to trust the source site. This can be hard to troubleshoot as non BrightWork tasks list will operate normally as their mmp files do not contain a macro. Following the below steps will help you resolve this issue quickly. Resolution – Make your site trusted Adding your site to the Internet Explorer Trusted Sites will stop these error messages and allows you to maintain the same username and password over multiple sessions if you so wish. To add your site to the Internet Explorer Trusted Sites list: Open Internet Explorer and navigate to your BrightWork site collection home page. Click Alt on your keyboard. Click Tools | Internet options. Click the Security tab,…

    How to save a list as a list template

    Navigate and enter the list you want to save as a template. Click on List on the ribbon and then List Settings. Under Permissions and Management in the centre column of settings, find and click Save list as Template. Note: that not all lists types are exportable. Give the template a File and Template name that will easily identify it. Choose include content if appropriate and finally click ok. You will see an Operation Successful screen, now click on the List Template Gallery link. Note: The list template gallery lives on the root of your site collection within site settings. If your objective is to export the list to a different machine or share it with someone else, you can easily download the list from the gallery by clicking on the list title. A download popup will appear, save to an appropriate location on your local machine. Note: the import process is the opposite operation. Once you upload your template to the list library it will be available as an APP / List in any site in the site collection.

    Bug found in March/April 2015 CU affecting Quick Edit task list views.

    Today we have identified a bug affecting the use of the Quick Edit (Datasheet) view. If the following is true, the user will no longer be able to save their changes and have the potential of losing the data from their last attempted edit: 1. If the March 2015 CU is installed on SharePoint 2013 environment. 2. If a tasks list(tested using 171 list type) contains more then 30 items before editing. 3. If the user is attempting to add or edit more then one line item(task) in one editing session. Issues Behaviour If I were to add three tasks items one after another, items 30 – 32(32 being the 32nd item in the list), we see two interesting pieces of behaviour. Firstly the progress wheel on the left of the task you just edited(item32) just spins continually never to complete. Secondly, the “Complete” column changes from a check box to a “No”. I feel this is a good lead to investigate the root cause. This is because its the first change in behaviour we see as we pass from item 31 down to item 32. See Screenshot. The only workaround we found is to only edit one line item…

    Adding a custom list to the Projects and Work Tracker

    The Projects and Work Tracker allows you to track multiple projects from a single Project site. The template comes with a task list and an issues list. You may want to add another list to the site. Please see the steps below to see how this is achieved. Steps: Create your custom List Click List -> List Settings Add a lookup column Name it bwProjectItemID (This will be changed later) Select Projects in the Get Information from: dropdown Check the Enforce relationship behavior box Click OK Click on the column in the list of columns Change the name of the column to Project Now you need to add the list to the report page In the SharePoint Ribbon, click Page -> Edit Page Click Add a Web Part Select you custom list Click Add  

    Issue: Cannot edit or update some nodes in the Quick Launch

    Symptoms: When trying to update a Quick Launch link on a BrightWork site the URL is greyed out and cannot be updated. When trying to edit a Quick Launch Link on a BrightWork site with Javascript you get an error. In both cases it is impossible to edit the elements of the Quick Launch. Cause: Greyed out entries can be caused after the migration of a site from one server to another. Javascript cannot be entered into Quick Launch items since SharePoint 2013 Resolution: In cases where you cannot edit the Quick Launch through the UI, it is still possible to make changes with PowerShell. There are two methods for doing this. Log on to your SharePoint server and open the SharePoint Management Shell. Use the following PowerShell. Note you do not need to set both the URL and Title if you only plan on changing one item. $web = Get-SPWeb http://www.sharepoint.com/ $qlCurrentNodeName = 'Current Node Name' $qlNewNodeName = 'New Node Name' $qlNewNodeURL = 'New URL or JavaScript Data' $ql = $web.Navigation.QuickLaunch.Children | Where { $_.Title -eq $qlCurrentNodeName } $ql.Title =$qlNewNodeName $ql.URL = $qlNewNodeURL $ql.Update() An alternative method can be used if the above method doesn’t work. This one requires…

    How to provision a BrightWork sub site using the BrightWork API

    Problem Description A BrightWork customer is using the BrightWork API and wishes to create a sub site. The code below outlines the steps to generate a sub site. Please modify this sample code where appropriate. (Note: This is a working sample and has not been tested for a production environment.) Code Overview Generate a helper method (SampleCreateProjectFromTemplateInBrightWorkSiteCollection) and set the values for the new Sub Site. The sequence of steps is broken down into 4 using statements. Create the new Site Bind to the Template Area Bind to the Projects Area web or parent web Bind to the Template web Sample Code /// <summary> /// Standalone helper to create BrightWork subsite (Sample Site B) /// </summary> private void SampleCreateProjectFromTemplateInBrightWorkSiteCollection() { // string siteUrl = "http://sampletestsite/sites/samplesiteA"; string newProjectWebName = "samplesiteB"; string newProjectTitle = "Sample Site B Title"; string newProjectDescription = "Sample Site B Description"; uint newProjectLcid = 1033; bool useParentTopNavigation = true; bool addToParentTopNavigation = true; bool addToParentQuickLaunch = true; string templateUsed = "Lite"; string parentWebServerRelativeUrl = "http://sampletestsite/sites/samplesiteA "; string templateName = "lite"; //Create the SPSite using (SPSite spSite = new SPSite(siteUrl)) { //Bind to the templates area web using (SPWeb templatesAreaWeb = this.BindToTemplatesAreaWeb(spSite)) { //Bind to the projects area web…

    Should I upgrade BrightWork 15.2 Preview to BrightWork 15.2 Full Release?

    Customers running BrightWork 15.2 Preview version are recommended to upgrade to the full release of BrightWork 15.2 especially if you are using the new Project Request Manager features. To help you decide if you need, or want, to upgrade to BrightWork 15.2 Full Release we have listed the main changes applied to the full release below. NOTE that there is no need to run the ‘psconfig’ step of the upgrade if you already have the preview kit installed. Main changes applied to the full release of BrightWork 15.2: Project Request Manager: Configuration Process page, create project columns mappings are no longer copied in a Template Design Sync. Recommendation: Recommended as this could impact on customers using Project Request Manager and Template Design Sync Project Request Manager: Users with minimum permissions can now create a project site. Recommendation: Recommended for any customer that uses permission levels to determine who is allowed to create project sites from a project request Other changes applied to the full release of BrightWork 15.2: Projects and Work Tracker: Now has one ‘Links’ list only. Recommendation: Low risk, only of interest to customers that want to use the hidden link list Project Request Manager and Projects and…

    User with full control cannot create sub sites or projects

    Lately we had a customer who’s SharePoint environment suffered from a strange access denied error, when a user with full control tried to create sub sites in the site collection. Each time these users tried to create either a project or team site they got “Sorry, you don’t have access to this page” or “Access Denied”. Symptoms: Each time these users tried to create either a project or team site they got “Sorry, you don’t have access to this page” or “Access Denied”. It appeared SharePoint was ignoring the full control access permission(owners group). User with site collection administrator permissions could create subsites. New site collections on the same web application operated normally without this issue. Investigation: We started by activating verbose ULS logging on the SharePoint server. Users then attempted to create sub sites and we pulled the logs for this time. We first noticed “Access is Denied” error messages within the ULS logs. A number of lines above this “Access is Denied” event it stated that an UpdateField request was being performed on a list identified at that time as c442bc26-f509-4ec7-9da0-a8fe0234924e. Here is that event. SPRequest.UpdateField: UserPrincipalName=i:0).w|s-1-5-21–4218016322-16051, AppPrincipalName= ,bstrUrl=http://server/sites/name/team ,bstrListName={E8F681E0-C8AB-4454-9C52-376AADCB7112} ,bstrXML=<Field Type=”TaxonomyFieldTypeMulti” DisplayName=”HashTags” StaticName=”HashTags” Name=”HashTags” ID=”{333b1bc2-0532-4872-96f1-bbbdead35a56}” Description=”Some description” SourceID=”{2e9ba01e-b042-49ce-8993-e16635268252}” List=”{c442bc26-f509-4ec7-9da0-a8fe0234924e}” WebId=”18b250fa-8e7f-4410-806d-   We…

    SiteFeedFeatureReceiver Error

    Symptoms: When creating a new BrightWork Site Collection you receive the following error. SiteFeedFeatureReceiver: can only be enabled in the same farm where MySites are deployed. This error is also visible in the ULS logs when creating a Project Template on a BrightWork Site Collection. * This error only applies to SharePoint Server 2013 and should not occur on a SharePoint Foundtion deployment. Other Issues not related to BrightWork: When trying to activate the Site Feed feature on a SharePoint site (like a team site, or other) you get an error with correlation ID and time stamp. ULS logs will also show the SiteFeedFeatureReceiver error. Cause: This happens on SharePoint Server and Enterprise when the User Profile Service (UPS) Application is not set up correctly. BrightWork will work without My Sites deployed but the UPS Application must be provisioned correctly. Resolution: Create the UPS application and add the Farm account as a UPS Application administrator. Open Central Administration Under Application Management, click Manage service applications Click New -> User Profile Service Application Important: If there is already a User Profile Service Application created, skip this step and go to step 6. Name the service application and fill in the details…

    Recreate the BrightWork bwProjectCache list

    Symptoms: The bwProjectCache list is a hidden list that is required for the operation of BrightWork Cache Reporting. If for some reason this list is corrupted the Project Cache Reporting may malfunction or not allow the addition of additional columns. In cases like this it may be nesscecary to recreate the bwProjectCache list. This will restore the list to its original state removing any added columns. Resolution: Use PowerShell to deactivate the BrightWork Cache Feature and reactivate it to recreate the list. Warning: These steps will remove any customizations made to the list and should only be performed in extreme cases. To do this, on your BrightWork server: Open the SharePoint Management Shell Enter the following command: Disable-SPFeature BrightWork.ProjectCacheStore –Url "http://Yoursite.com/sites/siteCollection" At this point, you may want to check if the list has been deactivated. Navigate to http://sitecollection.com/sites/siteRoot/bwProjectCache. You should recieve a 404 Not Found error. Enter the following command: Enable-SPFeature BrightWork.ProjectCacheStore –Url "http://Yoursite.com/sites/siteCollection" Check the list again, it should be created new, free of any previous issues. Warning: These steps will remove any customizations made to the list and should only be performed in extreme cases.

    Syncing Users from Microsoft Project when they aren’t a member of the SharePoint Site

    Symptoms: When working in Microsoft Project Professional, you add a Domain user that does not have access to the SharePoint site you get the following error when trying to sync: We can’t sync resource ‘Joan Soap’ to the tasks list because the resource does not exist on the SharePoint server. This resource, and any other resource that doesn’t exist in SharePoint, will remain assigned to the tasks in your project plan. Cause: No record of the user exists on the SharePoint Site therefore it cannot sync the user as a resource. Resolution: Assign the task in the SharePoint site and sync. This will automatically add the resource to Project, including linking it to Active Directory. Once Project and SharePoint can recognize the resource you can continue to work in Project without reciving the above error.

    Granting the Permission to Create Project Sites without giving Full Control

    Symptoms: User wants certain people to be able to create Project sites without giving the user Full Control permissions or adding them to the Owners Group. Resolution: Create a new Permission Level and SharePoint Group. Creating a new Permission Level: Navigate to the site root Click Site Actions -> Site Settings Click Site permissions In the SharePoint ribbon, click Permission Levels On the Permission Levels page, click Add a Permission Level Give the Permission Level an appropriate name (like Create Projects) Under Site Permissions, tick the Create Subsites box. This will also automatically add other required permission levels. Click Create Creating a new SharePoint Group Navigate to the site root Click Site Actions -> Site Settings Click Site permissions In the SharePoint ribbon, click Create Group Give the SharePoint group an appropriate name Under Give Group Permissions to this site, select the Permission Level you created previously. Click Create Once you have created the group, add the users you want to allow to create sites to the new group, in addition to their current group. Users will also need read permissions to the Template areas in order to create Projects.

    Cannot change site title from its default of “Home”

    Lately we had a number of clients who suffered from an issue on SharePoint 2013, where they lost the ability to rename a site title from its default of “Home”, to a title of their choosing. Scenarios You try to rename the site title of the home page of a BrightWork site collection or Team site. Your changes are ignored and the title remains “Home”. You try to rename the site title of a site somewhere in the hierarchy. Your changes are ignored and the title remains “Home”. Root Cause This is because the page title is hidden by default in the default.aspx page in SharePoint 2013, and the “Home” in the default.aspx page is not the page title of the page. Solution Open the problem site in SharePoint Designer 2013 (SPD) Choose All Files option on the left hand quick launch Click on default.aspx On the Home tab, switch to Advanced Mode. Search for “PlaceHolderPageImage” … it’s near the top Paste the following on the next line (or after the closing </asp:Content> tag) <asp:Content ContentPlaceHolderId=”PlaceHolderPageTitleInTitleArea” runat=”server”>       <label class=”>       <SharePoint:ProjectProperty Property=”Title” runat=”server”/></label> </asp:Content> 7. Save and refresh your page Resources We reproduced this originally in a team site and brought it to Microsoft’s attention on TechNet. Read more here. http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/sharepoint/en-US/c0a503a0-2ca4-4b1d-ad1b-372238b6ccfa/cannot-rename-the-defaultaspx-home-page-title-on-team-site?forum=sharepointadmin

    BrightWork Online users: GetSPGroup: Error in retrieving SP Group

    Symptoms: Users of BrightWork Online cannot access the site despite being added as users. Users of BrightWork Online recieve the following error in the Group column on the Users Admin page GetSPGroup: Error in retrieving SP group Cause: The user has not been assigned a Group on the BrightWork Site Collection or Project site. Resolution: Add users to a group. To do this, on your BrightWork site: Click Site Actions -> Site Settings Under Users and Permissions click People and Groups On the Quick Launch, select the desired group (Owner, Member, Designer, Visitor) Click New In the User/Groups box type the email of each user separated by a semi colon ( ; )

    Change a SharePoint User Display Name with PowerShell

    There can be many reason why you may want to change the display name given to a user in SharePoint. Here are two primary scenarios for when you may want to use this option. Scenario One Scenarios being that SharePoint pulls the display name value from the active directory. Sometime later a change to this display name is made in AD and you do not see the change filtering up to the user profile in SharePoint. Scenario Two You AD display name contains a comma which is a common list separator property. An AD display name may also contain certain characters like [ ]. A list separator and other certain characters are not allowed in a SharePoint user display name when using the MS Project Professional Synchronisation Service with SharePoint. The list separator splits a single resource name into two spate resources on the MS Project resource sheet. Other characters can cause error and lack of functionality. Solution Change the SharePoint user display name with PowerShell. For this you will use the Set-SPUser. All you need to specify is the account(identity), the site and the new display name you want. Run PowerShell as administrator and call the SharePoint snapin if you ate not using the Management Shell prompt. Set-SPUser -Identity ‘i:0#.w|domainjbloggs’ -DisplayName ‘Joe Bloggs’ –Web http://domain/sites/pso Read more here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff607827(v=office.15).aspx Note:…

    SharePoint 2013 – Sign in as Different User

    There are multiple scenarios in which you may want to Sign in as Different User in SharePoint 2013. There used to be a simple button to do this on the SharePoint 2010 platform but this has since been removed in SharePoint 2013. Solution 1 You can sign in as a different user by applying the following url to your site. http://siteurl/_layouts/closeConnection.aspx?loginasanotheruser=true Read more about this here from Microsoft http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2752600 Solution 2 You may also be interested in other third party solutions. One of which will allow you to return the SharePoint 2010 Sign in as Different User button to your site collection.

    How to identify an existing lists type

    It can be very important to know the type of list you are working with. This is especially helpful information when troubleshooting, working with BrightWork support, checking a list created by another user or dealing with report issues. It very simple to find this out. Here are the steps. Open the list in question in any view. Right click anywhere in the browser page and select view source. Open the find box (CTRL + F) and search for ListTemplateID Record the ID to right of ListTemplateID. Armed with this ID, you can now find the long name of the list on the following BrightWork help page. For instance the list type is 727, is the Projects Tracker (BrightWork) list. This information can answer a lot of questions. Hope this helps Jonathan Browne

    AutoFollow Event Error in Provisioning Log

    Summary We have seen some users see the following error after provisioning a project site. Error Title: An unexpected exception was encountered Category: Severity 1 – Error Description: An unexpected exception was encountered deleting target SPEventReceiverDefinition – Auto-Follow New Site Event receiver|WebProvisioned System.ArgumentException: Value does not fall within the expected range. at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequestInternalClass.RegisterEventReceiver(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, EventReceiverOperation operation, Guid guidId, String bstrName, Guid guidSiteId, Guid guidWebId, Guid guidHostId, Int32 dwHostType, Int32 dwSynchronization, Int32 dwType, Int32 dwSequenceNumber, String bstrRemoteUrl, String bstrAssembly, String bstrClass, Guid solutionId, String bstrData, String bstrFilter, Int32 dwCredential, Guid contextObjectId, Guid contextType, Guid contextEventType, Guid contextId, Guid contextCollectionId) at Microsoft.SharePoint.Library.SPRequest.RegisterEventReceiver(String bstrUrl, String bstrListName, EventReceiverOperation operation, Guid guidId, String bstrName, Guid guidSiteId, Guid guidWebId, Guid guidHostId, Int32 dwHostType, Int32 dwSynchronization, Int32 dwType, Int32 dwSequenceNumber, String bstrRemoteUrl, String bstrAssembly, String bstrClass, Guid solutionId, String bstrData, String bstrFilter, Int32 dwCredential, Guid contextObjectId, Guid contextType, Guid contextEventType, Guid contextId, Guid contextCollectionId) at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPEventReceiverDefinition.RegisterForSiteOrWebOrList(Operation operation, Boolean isMigration) at Microsoft.SharePoint.SPEventReceiverDefinition.Register(Operation operation, Boolean isMigration) at BrightWork.Utility.Sync.m.t(SPEventReceiverDefinitionCollection A_0, SPEventReceiverDefinition A_1) at BrightWork.Utility.Sync.x.a(a A_0, a A_1) Root Cause Following Content (Auto-Follow) feature which is stapled to our site definition, has been turned off in the source template. This is a SharePoint bug in the timing of how it handles the web event…

    Run a SharePoint 2013 visual upgrade in Powershell

    If your carrying out platform upgrades from SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013 this may interest you. We have come across site collections where the upgrade now option in the SharePoint UI for the visual upgrade had failed, yet the PowerShell command worked perfectly. Here are the top level steps I took. –    Restored DB to SP2013 SQL –    Mount site Mount-SPContentDatabase “MyDatabase” -DatabaseServer “MyServer” -WebApplication http://sitename BW doesn’t support 2010 visuals so you won’t yet be able to navigate to your site. You will if its a regular SharePoint site. –    In PowerShell run Get-spsite The site you just upgraded should be listed as type 14. –    Run Test-SPSite http://server/sitecollection Warnings are ok in this test but errors are not good. Please see the below link for more on test results. –    Finally run Upgrade-SPSite http://server/sitecollection –VersionUpgrade Once this reaches 100% you will have the 2013 visuals throughout your site collection. To read more see the following blog. http://www.dotnetmafia.com/blogs/dotnettipoftheday/archive/2013/02/04/how-to-perform-a-sharepoint-2013-site-collection-upgrade-with-powershell.aspx Hope this helps JB