Project Site Risk List in a PDP Webpart 2013 Version

Back in the days of 2010 there was a Project Site List Viewer WebPart that gave you the ability to show specific lists (Risks, Issues or anything) from a given project’s site in a PDP. While in 2013 on-prem you can still install that solution starter from Fluent-Pro (here), that doesn’t help you with Project Online and not to mention with the dozens of on-prem scenarios where the solution doesn’t work without code modifications. So recently I was asked to solve this problem again and I thought that I’d try to find another way.

Another (simpler) way

Let’s start with a screenshot of the end result:

screen0

Perfect it looks exactly like a typical SharePoint list only in the Project Detail Page for our project – and of course importantly it shows the Risk list from the currently open project.

Reason 9,999 why I love JavaScript

Basically using a small script we can show the actual SharePoint page for the risk list e.g. “/PWA/Project Name/Lists/Risks/AllItems.aspx?isdlg=1” in an iFrame on our PDP. To do that firstly you can see that I’ve added “&isdlg=1” to the URL which tells SharePoint to show the page without the rest of the SharePoint master page and quick launch menu in the frame (which just looks weird), then we need to update the address with the actual project’s name and finally by default the ribbon menu would be shown again in our frame so we need to hide that.

JQuery script

<script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.11.2/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript">
function RenderiFrame (c) {
	document.write('<iframe id="nbDataGridFrame" src="' + c + '" width="100%" height="1400" onload="hideRibbonMnu();">');
	document.write('<p>Your browser does not support iframes.</p>');
	document.write('</iframe>');
}
function runSummaryReport() {
	var projectName = $("[id$=RootAspMenu]").find("[href*=projuid]").first().find(".menu-item-text").text();
		
	var URLString = '/PWA/' + encodeURIComponent(projectName) + '/Lists/Risks/AllItems.aspx?isdlg=1';
	RenderiFrame(URLString);
}
function hideRibbonMnu() {
	var $isFound = $("#nbDataGridFrame").contents().find("#s4-ribbonrow");
	if ($isFound.length > 0 && $isFound.is(":visible")) {	
		$isFound.hide();
	}	
	else {
		setTimeout(hideRibbonMnu, 100);
	}
}
runSummaryReport();
</script>

Okay so I won’t go through it line by line, but in summary what the script needs to do is the following:

  1. Construct the correct URL to the list (Risks in this case) by obtaining the Project Name from the quick launch menu of the current page- Yes I’m assuming the default site naming based on project name!
  2. Passes the encoded URL into a function which renders an iFrame of the specified size.
  3. Finally as a part of the iFrame itself there is an ‘onload’ parameter which calls a function to hide the ribbon menu once the frame is loaded.

Installing the script

If you’ve not used the CEWP much before here are a few reminders on how to create a PDP with this kind of script:

Firstly save the script above to a file named “showListonPDP.html” (note it is .html not .js), then upload that to your PWA site contents where everyone can access it /PWA/SiteAssets/ or /PWA/Site Collection Documents/ etc.

Then create a new PDP as normal and add the Media and Content -> Content Editor web part:

screen1a

 

Now edit the web part properties and paste in the URL of the script:

screen2

Note that the URL must be just the file name, not the full URL, e.g.: “/PWA/SiteAssets/showListonPDP.html”

Now add the PDP to your EPT and go ahead and open a project.

screen0

 

Just one more little thing

Now if you click the new or edit item menus it opens the form in the frame which could be better, fortunately SharePoint lists can be configured to open forms in a dialog, the option can be found from the list settings on the project site itself (obviously you want to do this on your project site template as well), so open your site project, go to the Risks list, and select site settings -> Advanced settings, at the bottom you will find:

screen3

 

Select yes and Ok, now when you go back to the PDP and click New Item this is what you should see:

screen4

 

Neat huh?

 

PWA View Failure with customised Gantt Chart format

I came across this one working with a customer recently, basically the following error comes up whenever you attempt to edit a project schedule in PWA and selecting a view that contains custom gantt chart formatting:

viewfail

Error Message: View Failure: The view failed to load. Press OK to reload this view with the default settings….

In some cases users see the additional message of:

An error occurred while opening your project. Give us a few minutes and try again. …

Cause

While this error is quite generic as it can be caused by a number of things, this specifically only occurs when attempting to edit a project using the view in question, all other views work (view and edit) and these custom views definitely work when only viewing the project data.

For example modifying a view to use the following Gantt Chart with “Custom Duration 1″ selected will result in this error:

customgantt

Finally I have tested this issue on a number of Project Server versions and as far as I can see it exists on all Project Server 2013 SP1 and above – up to the latest Cumulative, as well as Project Online (at the time of writing).

However it does not affect Project Server 2010.

Solution?

Sorry can’t help you here, other than to disable the customisations to the gantt chart! I’ll be logging this one with Microsoft and will update this post if anything comes of that.

 

Controlling Project OData permissions for Apps and Reporting

Project Server 2013 changed a lot when it comes to both security and reporting and I’ve had a few customers asking about configuring user access to OData both for reporting and apps (such as Bulk Edit), fortunately Microsoft has some good guidance available on MSDN covering this topic;

When Project Server 2013 or Project Online is in Project permission mode, you can explicitly grant or deny access to the OData feed for specified Project Web App users. For example, on the Edit User page in Project Web App, expand the Global Permissions section, and then in the General section, select the Access Project Server Reporting Service check box in the Allow column.

In the default SharePoint permission mode, not all Project Web App users have access to the OData feed. Only users in the following groups have access: Portfolio Viewers, Portfolio Managers, and Administrators

Source: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj163015(v=office.15).aspx 

So basically if using Project Permission mode then this is what you’re after (preferably from Edit Group, not edit user as MSDN suggests):

perms

Unfortunately as above article goes on to mention there is no granularity to the access, it is all or nothing so if you’re looking for the kind of flexibility that the cubes previously gave then unfortunately you’re out of luck!

What has this got to do with Apps?

OData and the REST Api’s used in CSOM / JSOM are closely related, and in the case of Project Apps that need to work with project data such as Bulk Edit, then we need to also grant access to “Use Remote Interfaces” in SharePoint, to do that you will need to check the Permission Levels configuration: Site Settings -> Site Permissions -> Permission Levels -> Edit

perms2

By default the Project Managers SharePoint Group has this already, so if for example you want to grant all Project Managers in PWA permissions to run Bulk Edit, then all you need to do is add the Project Server Global reporting permission above, and combined with the SharePoint permissions they will be able to edit all project information.

What if I want Granularity?

I’m not good a saying “no it can’t be done” :) so if you require reporting granularity then the solution would be to use the SSIS reporting to create your own local SQL replica where your DBAs can apply whatever permissions are required. Reason 999 why that SSIS solution is key to any deployment in the future!

How about Apps? The picture is a little better but at the same time less simple, REST is security trimmed, so a PM will by default only be able to update / modify the project to which he / she has permissions, great. However as Apps can leverage both OData and REST endpoints which work differently it may result in inconsistencies depending on how the App was designed, for example:

Bulk Edit (at the time of writing) will allow Read Access to all Projects as a minimum, BUT will only allow updates to projects that to which the user has the rights.

If you’re wondering about any other app, then these simple rules apply:

  • Writing data always requires REST – allows security trimmed granularity.
  • Reading sometimes requires OData – does not allow granularity.

 

I expect in the future this to change, from experience project server security has been a moving target since the very beginning, so perhaps we’ll see more granularity in the future.

Hope that helps someone out there..

OData error processing this request

I came across this while working with a customer and quickly found that the error triggers a known issue in my Bulk Edit app as well which was causing some unexpected errors using the app for some people, however this is a broader issue as it causes basic OData feeds to fail completely with the following message: Error message accessing /_api/ProjectData/Projects

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<m:error xmlns:m="http://schemas.microsoft.com/ado/2007/08/dataservices/metadata">
 <m:code/>
 <m:message xml:lang="en-US">An error occurred while processing this request.</m:message>
</m:error>

The problem can happen both on-prem or online but if you have access to the ULS logs you will see the following log entries (showing only the interesting bits):

Project Server Database agxfb Exception [bucketHash:7C60C52B] SqlException occurred in DAL (ProjectWebApp@NB): Class 16, state 1, line 1, number 8156, procedure , error code -2146232060, exception: System.Data.SqlClient.SqlException (0x80131904): The column ‘Campaignstatus’ was specified multiple times for ‘OdataSelect’. Project Server OData abljj High [Forced due to logging gap, Original Level: Verbose] PWA:http://nb/PWA, ServiceApp:Project Server Service Application, User:i:0#.w|blah\ml, PSI: Exception encountered when trying to instantiante the OdataResultItemCollection

As error logs go that is a pretty helpful one!

Cause  – Duplicate Custom Fields

The issue is caused by the Enterprise Custom Field configuration of the Project Server, specifically to looks like there are some duplicate named fields (Campaignstatus in my error above), now of course that is of course not possible! However when you look at the OData feed you can see that a few things happen:

  • Spaces are removed from field names; so e.g. Campaign Status becomes  CampaignStatus, etc.
  • Duplicate named fields (after space removal) are numbered, so for example you may see CampaignStatus1.

However there is a bug, OData is case-sensitive while SQL is not. So in my example above it seems that there are two fields the same name but with different cases, specifically I have the following two fields configured: Campaign Status and Campaignstatus. In my case if the second field was named CampaignStatus then this issue would not occur as it would have a number appended in the feed! (While this might sound a little esoteric actually I’ve already seen this a couple of times in German PWA instances where words are typically conjugated, etc)

Solution

Simple, either;

  • Rename the aforementioned field to something completely different (e.g.; Campaignstatus2), or
  • Recreate the field with different Case, e.g. in my example if I recreated the field Campaignstatus as CampaignStatus.

Note; renaming a field to a different case does not work(!), you need to recreate the field in order to regenerate the correct ‘cased’ Odata name.

Hopefully this bug will be fixed in a future service pack, but for now in Bulk Edit at least I have implemented a workaround anyway.

Bulk Edit v1.0.4 Update

A new version of Bulk Edit is available from the App store, check your site settings for the upgrade link now to install it.

New Features

  • Project Owner Field editing support

Bug Fixes

  • Loading never finishes in some cases
  • Loading of projects is incomplete errors occur in the F12 script console

Installation

Open site contents in PWA to find the update link:

sitecontentslink

 

Finally if you use and love Bulk Edit, please rate it in the App Store!