Alexander Vanwynsberghe

"There is nothing impossible to him who will try"

Microsoft Project Server 2010 Certified Professional

Since last week, I am a Microsoft Project Server 2010 Certified professional. I took the 70-177 exam (Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuring) and passed it with a score of 892/1000.

About the exam, well firstly, there is not that many study material. The company I’m working for (RealDolmen) was able to get me a copy of the book “Implementing and Administering Microsoft Project Server 2010” by Chefetz and Howard. It’s a big one with about 900 pages to read, but it’s really worth it! If you study the book and have some experience with a few implementations/setups, you will definitely pass.

The Exam structure

There were 75 questions in the exam and you have about 4 hours to complete it. The exam results are broken down into four sections.

  1. Installing Project Server 2010
  2. Managing Resources and Security
  3. Configuring Project Server 2010
  4. Administering Project Server 2010

Focus points

All questions were spread across the 4 sections.

  • Be sure that you know what the prerequisites are for a project server environment and the various upgrade options from both Project Server 2007 and Project Server 2003 to 2010.
  • One important thing is that you need to understand the difference between Categories and Groups in project server and how these are used to control the permissions of your users. It’s all about who can do what and who can access what. Also important is the part about controlling the access to project sites for users through project server and for users that you don’t have access to project server.
  • Also be sure that you have some basic SharePoint Server 2010 knowledge. As Project Server 2010 is built on top of SharePoint, it uses lots of SharePoint features

Take your time!

If you take the exam, just be sure that you read the question for what it says. Nothing more, nothing less. For example if there is a question with something like “A Project Manager saves his project” don’t assume he has saved AND published the project. Just take the time to read the question, reread it and then refer back to it when looking at the answers.

Good luck!

Event 5586 after installing SP1 on SharePoint 2010

When I was at a customer recently, I found a strange error in the Event Viewer:

Event 5586:

Unknown SQL Exception 2812 occurred. Additional error information from SQL Server is included below.

Could not find stored procedure “proc_UpdateStatisticsNVP”.

This problem is caused by updating SharePoint 2010 to SP1. This update will try to execute this stored procedure, but it’s not there. If you go to location: “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\TEMPLATE\SQL” you’ll see a file called “STOREUP.SQL”. This file will call this stored procedure. For one or another reason, the creation of the stored procedure fails when installing SP1. If you look at the file called “STORE.SQL”, you will see that there is a create statement for this stored procedure. Strange..

Ok, now that we know what the error is, we have to fix it. The first thing you have to do is to find out which databases do not have this stored procedure. You can do this by executing the following statement:

This will return you the databases without the “proc_UpdateStatisticsNVP” procedure. The next step is to create this stored procedure by using the following script:

proc_UpdateStatisticsNVP

That’s all you have to do! Be sure that you execute this script on the right database. Use the drop down in SQL Management Studio, or start the script with “USE [DBName]”.

Installing SharePoint 2010 prerequisites offline

When you want to install SharePoint (Foundation) 2010, the first thing you have to do is install the prerequisites required to successfully complete your installation and run SharePoint. One of the annoying things about the prerequisite installation procedure is the fact that your machine does need internet access. In many cases, that’s no problem. But there are some cases where it’s impossible (due company/network restrictions) to have internet access on the machine where you want to install SharePoint.

There is a solution where you can install the prerequisites in an offline mode. In this post, I’ll explain each step how you can install SharePoint (Foundation) 2010 without an internet connection

1. Download and extract your SharePoint Installer

  • The first step is to download SharePoint 2010 using an internet connected machine. You can download this using your MSDN subscription or using this link (for SharePoint Foundation 2010).
  • Once your download is finished, go to the ‘C:\’ drive of your SharePoint machine, and create a new folder. Let’s call this folder ‘SharePointFiles‘.
  • Copy/Paste your downloaded exe in this folder.
  • Open a command line prompt and navigate to this folder ‘cd c:\SharePointFiles
  • In the cmd, enter SharePointFoundation /extract:c:\SharePointFiles (the first term is the name of the downloaded exe, in my case the SP Foundation 2010 one)
  • The command in the previous step will extract everything to your folder ‘c:\SharePointFiles
  • Now you should also see the executable: PrerequisiteInstaller.exe which will allow us to install the prerequisites.

2. Download your prerequisites

3. Create a PrerequisiteInstaller.Arguments file

  • The next step is to create a PrerequisiteInstaller.Arguments.txt file in the SharePointFiles folder. This file will contain arguments, which will be used by the PrerequisiteInstaller executable.
  • Each component required by the PrerequisiteInstaller will have its own argument. This argument has a name, and a location where the installer can be found. In our case, we will create a list of arguments for all required components combined with the location of that particular installer.
  • To get a list of all prerequisite arguments, you can type ‘PrerequisiteInstaller /?‘. This will give you a popup with a list of the prequisites
  • In the PrerequisiteInstaller.Arguments.txt file, add the following commands: (All in one line, with only a space between each separate argument)
    • /Unattended /IDFXR2:C:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\Windows6.1-KB974405-x64.msu /SQLnCli:C:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\sqlncli.msi /ChartControl:C:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\MSChart.exe /Sync:C:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\Synchronization.msi /adomd:C:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\SQLSERVER2008_ASADOMD10.msi /Speech:C:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\SpeechPlatformRuntime.msi /SpeechLPK:C:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\MSSpeech_SR_en-US_TELE.msi /ReportingServices:C:\SharePointFiles\PrerequisiteInstallerFiles\rsSharePoint.msi
  • Note: Because I’m on a 2008R2 machine, I use the arugment ‘IDFXR2’ instead of ‘IDFX’. Be sure to change this if you’re on a 2008 machine!

4. Run the prerequisites installer

  • The only step left is to install the prerequisites.
  • You can run ‘PrerequisiteInstaller.exe’ manually by double-clicking on it, or using the command line
  • Because the file PrerequisiteInstaller.Arguments.txt is in the same directory, the installer will use this file for its own arguments and thus install the prerequisites in an offline mode.
  • You’re done!

5. Troubleshooting

  • It can be possible (like it was in my case) that the installation using PrerequisiteInstaller.exe did not complete. In my case, it was because there were some arguments missing in my arguments file.
  • There are log-files available who can tell you what went wrong. You can find this log-files in folder: ‘C:\Users\{user}\AppData\Local\Temp
  • The file is called something like  ‘PrerequisiteInstaller.2012.02.15.log

My Prerequisites in a zip file: here
My PrerequisiteInstaller.Arguments.txt: here

Thanks for reading!

TFS Extensions for SharePoint, manual installation

When I was at a customer last week, I had a situation that SharePoint Foundation 2010 was installed as a local instance on the TFS application tier. The TFS extensions for SharePoint were already installed using the TFS installation. Now the SharePoint Foundation 2010 instance had to be changed to a farm installation. So the SharePoint Content and Configuration databases had to be located on a data tier (SQL Server 2008 R2). After the re-install of SharePoint Foundation 2010 in a farm mode, the TFS extensions for SharePoint had to be installed again.

When I went to the Team Foundation Administration Console, the ‘Extensions for SharePoint Products’ were still there (as it was previously connected to our local SharePoint Foundation 2010 instance). The problem was that the TFS extensions were not available anymore on our new SharePoint instance. When I click on the ‘Extensions for SharePoint products’, I got the error:

“TF249063: The following Web service is not available: http://abc:17012/_vti_bin/TeamFoundationIntegrationService.asmx. This Web service is used for the Team Foundation Server Extensions for SharePoint Products”

That’s correct, that TFS integration service asmx was not available anymore. The first thing I did was an un-install from the extensions (using the TFS installation media). Then I did a re-install of the extensions, but without any result. I hoped those steps could solve my problem, but they didn’t.. Time for the next step.

stsadm to the rescue

To resolve the issue, you have to install the TFS extensions manually to the SharePoint solutions store, and then deploy them. To do this, you need the stsadm tool from SharePoint. That’s the command-line administration tool from SharePoint. You have to add 3 .wsp files to your SharePoint farm.

  1. Go to the directory: C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\14\bin\
  2. Open a command window (Shift + right-click -> Open Command Window here)
  3. Be sure that you run the command window with a user who has the right credentials (SharePoint Farm Administrator and have rights to the Central Admin Content Database on SQL server)
  4. Run the following commands:
    1. stsadm -o addsolution -filename “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Tools\Templates\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.SharePoint.wsp”
    2. stsadm -o addsolution -filename “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Tools\Templates\ TswaWebPartCollection.wsp”
    3. stsadm -o addsolution -filename “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Team Foundation Server 2010\Tools\Templates\Microsoft.TeamFoundation.SharePoint.Dashboards.wsp”
  5. Open your SharePoint Central Administration (http://server:17012 or something equal)
  6. Go to system settings and click ‘Manage farm solutions’
  7. You should see the 3 TFS wsp files
  8. Click on the first one, and click ‘Deploy Solution’
  9. Deploy the solution by clicking ‘Ok’
  10. When you deployed the 3 solutions, you should see
  11. All you have to do now is grant access for your TFS instance to SharePoint using the TFS Administration console.

That did the trick for me. Thanks for reading!