Project Server 2010: Copying custom Project site templates across instances

Interesting question came in today via the blog on my previous customization topic at and thought it worth a broader response, as it wasn’t something I had really thought about…  If you follow the directions at that blog then you can use the custom template in that PWA instance – but what about in other instances – or web apps or indeed other farms?  I played around a little and it is somewhat similar to the process in 2007 where you save off the template and then import – but I’ll guide you through the UI and also deal with an issue I ran in to – which I have a workaround for, but not sure why it worked on one of my sites but not another…

If you have already used my previous article then you will have your template in a solution gallery – so browse to that gallery (Site Actions, Site Settings, Solutions (in the Galleries section) and you should see something like this:


I have two custom templates, called BaseSite and Rainbow.  If I want to use these in another PWA instance then I need to Right Click and use the “Save Target as…” option to save a WSP file (my desktop is my usual destination for such things – just so I can find them again).

The next step is to go to the same location in your target instance, click the Solutions tab and click the Upload Solution option in the ribbon.


You can then browse to your saved .wsp file and upload.  This will bring up another dialog where you should Activate the solution:


Once activated then it should look like the first screenshot – and show Activated under the Status column.  It will then be available to be selected as the template to be used within your Enterprise Project Type definition.  Here is my selection when I updated the Basic Project Plan EPT to use my new Rainbow template.  One gotcha is that you do need to update the EPT definition – just changing the value in the Project Site Provisioning settings page will do nothing.


For me these steps were enough in one of my sites and I could successfully create and publish a new Basic Project Plan and got a ‘Rainbow’ based site.  (Just as an aside – I called this Rainbow not because it was colorful, but I was testing another scenario and had changed the values in the Issues and Risks ‘Category’ field choices list from the usual (1) Category 1… to Red, Orange, Yellow, etc.  This worked fine and these selections can be used for categorizing issues and risks – it breaks nothing, and even gets in to the reporting database without even needing to re-publish the plan – and will even be in the cube at the next build.

Back to the main story.  For all my other sites,  I got a couple of failures in the queue when trying to create from this new template.  It appeared that the site was created but the template was not applied – as I could browse to it and it asked what template I would like…  So here are the messages, just so the search engine can have something useful to read:

CreateWssSiteContent: Creating project site failed! Project Uid=5fd8daf5-619f-46c5-b884-8efe39b5935a, site URL=http://myserver.f.q.d.n/PWA/Test1, site name=Test1. Microsoft.SharePoint.SPException: The site template requires that the Feature {b90f23c9-68d5-4570-a3ef-4e491ee6d35a} be activated in the site collection

WSSCreateSiteFailure (16400). Details: id=’16400′ name=’WSSCreateSiteFailure’ uid=’bb9a4b90-5c77-4dc4-9bc9-2854554f6288′ projectUID=’5fd8daf5-619f-46c5-b884-8efe39b5935a’ workspaceUrl=’http://myserver.f.q.d.n/PWA/Test1/Test1′ projectWorkspaceName=’Test1′.

Followed by:

WSSWebAlreadyExists (16402). Details: id=’16402′ name=’WSSWebAlreadyExists’ uid=’5703a3a1-4092-4a12-a15c-37b523ca9861′.

There were also the usual 26000 GeneralQueueJobFailed messages too.

From the message it appeared a feature hadn’t been activated and peeking into the content database this appeared to be something to do with AssociationForm.xsn.  This is probably related to the Dynamic Workflow solution starter I have been playing with – but you may well run in to other similar issues when moving things around so may need to activate features too.  This can be carried out via a PowerShell command – so start the SharePoint 2010 Management Shell as administrator then execute a command similar to:

Enable-SPFeature –identity ‘b90f23c9-68d5-4570-a3ef-4e491ee6d35a’ –URL http://myserver.f.q.d.n/PWA

where the identity will be the GUID from the first error message and URL will be the PWA instance where you want this template to work.

Thanks to bpettersen for the question that prompted me to look deeper in to this topic.

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