Patience please – async processes at work

One thing that I have touched on before is the asynchronous behavior of the some of the processes in Project Server and Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.  This is still catching some people out.  For instance, if you provision a new PWA site and then decide you want to change something – so you delete it – it looks like it has gone right away.  However, the site collection that was created as part of the process (usually /PWA) takes a while to be removed.  This means you may see an error if you try to re-create the PWA site immediately.  Another point of confusion is the “Waiting to be processed” message in the queue service of PWA.  This can sit there and look like it is doing nothing, when it is actually waiting for some other background task to complete.  Canceling and retry may make no difference – it will go when it is ready.  Of course there are times when something has gone wrong and it will never process – such as the queue service not running.  Perhaps a password has changed – or a connectivity or permission issue is stopping the account running the queue service from being able to get to the jobs (the queue jobs are held in the Project Server database tables).  Normally a look in the ULS logs or event logs will give clues to both these types of failures and also sometimes the reasons why a job may just be sleeping.

 For some internal details of the queue service take a look at the TechNet article at

The most common time for patience if if you have saved and closed a large project to the server and you are working on a low bandwidth or high latency connection.  This scenario was virtually impossible with 2003 but with 2007 it can be done.  However the save and check-in of the project may still take a while from the point you click the button on the client – and you may well find that the project is still checked out if you try to open it up too soon.  And remember – force check-in will not speed anything up – this just puts another job on the queue!

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