Project Server 2007: Check your clocks – and keep the farm in sync!

Been slow on the blog the last week or two, and now two posts come along at once.  And a third may arrive later today!  Just like buses.  Just the way it happens sometimes, with topical issues coming in via support calls and e-mail.  I’ll hope to catch up and podcast these soon – so if you want to listen and not read you can wait, and stop reading here…

This problem came in as an issue creating timesheet periods – with the error:

 Project Server timesheet periods cannot have duplicate names, or gaps or overlaps between adjoining period start and end dates. Period “xxx” does not conform to this standard. Correct the periods, and then save your data again.” 

Very strange?  How could you get bad data in as it is checked via the data entry page?  After checking the database we knew the data was correct – yet in PWA you could see the overlap mentioned in the error.  Timesheet periods existed with the end date the same as the start date of the next period – instead of being the day before.  When I see things like this I initially think of time zones, date formats – basically anything that might make one day look like another.  It turned out that the Web Front End was running an hour different from the rest of the farm, so 23:59:59 (default end time of a timesheet period in 24h format) looked like 00:59:59 the following morning!  Thanks to Maulik and Tim for the great work on this case.

We have also seen (and I have blogged) how different time settings can slow down the queue – so please make sure all your servers are running sync’d to the same time.

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