Monday, June 30, 2014

Change a custom field label in PDPs

When you're in charge of a large Project Server deployment, you might face concerns and issues that are due to the project scaling. When I say "large", I mean thousands of users, hundreds of custom fields, tens of project types, PDPs...

In this context, in order to keep a consistency between lookup tables, custom fields or any other objects, I usually use a naming convention such as "lkp_table name", or "organization_customfieldname" for multi-organization deployment. Thus it means that you do need to find a way to display a custom label for those custom fields, different from the name in the system.
Figure 1: naming convention for lookup tables or custom fields

It also make sense for out-of-the-box fields such as "project Owner". In many case, the project owner will be a project manager, but it could be a PCO. Thus organizations might want to give a custom label to this native field.

Facing this concern, evenif I'm not a developer, there is an easy way to give custom label. So enjoy it because that will probably be the one and only post I'll ever write about coding. But as you'll see, it is not much difficulty.

We'll make a simple example with the "owner" out-of-the-box field.
Figure 2: default owner field

First you need to download the following jquery librairy. You can upload the js file to the style librairy of your PWA site collection, accessible from the "site contents" link. Once uploaded, you can download from the TechNet gallery a script provided by a fellow MVP Paul Mather. Download the script for example in your site collection document librairy (sites/pwa/SiteCollectionDocuments).

You can edit the js file and replace the custom label.
Figure 3: update the js file with your custrom label
Then edit your PDP from the server settings and add a content editor webpart.
Figure 4: add a content editor webpart to the PDP
Edit the webpart then enter the path of your javascript file (/sites/pwa/SiteCollectionDocuments/ChangeCustomFieldDisplayLabelonPDP.js in my case) and set the webpart as "hidden":

Figure 5: enter the javascript file's path in the webpart configuration and hide it

Et voilà!! The native field is "renamed" as you needed to.
Figure 6: PDP with the new label

Note that if you have installed language packages, since the code contains the name of the field and not the GUID, you'll need to consider writing in the javascript file the label for custom field in all languages supported on your PWA instance.

**2014-08-01 : need to add a function or it will not work. I'll update the post asap.
**2015-06-22: post (lately) updated with a new code example, based on Paul Mather's excellent post.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

How to disable in MS Project Pro the "new tasks are created in ... scheduled mode"

A quick one for this week! More than an article, let's call it a tip. We are all experts that deal with advanced features to answer elaborate customer's business needs. BUT.... The user acceptance is one of the key success factor. And after deploying Project Server since 2006, I've come to the conclusion that a few little tiny details can promote or limit this acceptance.

So what about this very annoying notification each time users (actually including yourself as a Project Server SME) open MS Project Pro?
Figure 1 : new tasks creation mode notification message
I actually lived with this notification with a fatalistic acceptance unless the question was raised and answered on the TechNet Project forum by one of our excellent MVP (Julie Sheets, not to mention any names...).

YES YOU CAN deactivate this notification, god!!

Once MS Project is opened (and after the notification disappears argghh), just right click on section which displays the scheduling mode for the new tasks:
Figure 2: scheduling mode for new tasks

You'll get a menu that proposes various options for customizing the status bar. Just deselect the "new task mode notification":
Figure 3: unselect the "new task mode notification" option in the status bar customization menu

Et voilà!!
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Tuesday, June 3, 2014

View effective rights tool: now integrated to Project Server 2013

Much has been said on the 2013 release of Project Server, so it's kind of ambitious to write a brand new blog on the topic those days! But let's try!
Some of you guys surely faced the situation where a resource cannot access an object in Project Server? Or have been called on Monday morning by a gently customer and seeing that the security has been tweaked making a real mess?
Project Server 2007 PRK (Project Resource Kit) used to propose a "View effective rights" tool that allows the Project Server administrator troubleshooting issues regarding security settings and access control.

Here is basically what did it look like:
Figure 1: "view effective rights" tool in the PS2007 PRK

This tool has vanished in PS2010 (as far as I know..) and it is with a great pleasure that I'm presenting today the "view effective rights" functionality integrated to Project Server 2013!

It is pretty simple to use it, assuming of course you're using the Project Server permission mode. Just navigate to the server settings, then manage users. After selecting the culprit user, you can click on the "view effective rights" button.
Figure 2: "view effective right" in "manage users"
Then you'll be able to select from the drop-down list the type of rights you want to troubleshoot :
  • Global permissions,
  • Category rights for projects,
  • Category rights for resources,
  • Category rights for views,
Figure 3: type of rights selection
Figure 4: category rights on projects
Figure 5: category rights on resources
Figure 6: category rights on views

Try it and as an administrator you'll soon use it on a daily basis!

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