Project Server 2010: SP1 and June 2011 CU–FormatException when trying to provision a PWA site

Thanks to everyone who joined Adrian and I for this morning’s webcast – we sure covered a lot of stuff (well mostly Adrian – with the June CU update).  For those who couldn’t attend you can listen to the recording

*** Update *** 7/8/2011 – It appears the problem relates to the People Picker on the page, and another workaround in the UI is just to re-type the account for the Administrator Account in the dialog before submitting and things will work.  If you look carefully you will see that an extra space creeps in when the page refreshes – so for example DomainUser gets validated as User the first time – but on refresh it will look like  User with a leading space (hope that underlined white space doesn’t get lost somewhere between my screen and the Interweb thing…) .  Thanks to Rob and Marius for the quick work on the workaround – and I’ll keep you posted on a more permanent fix.

*** End Update *** 

One thing I mentioned towards the end was a bug that both Adrian and I had seen since loading SP1 and the June Cumulative Update around provisioning PWA sites if you had more than one web application to choose from on your ManagePWA page.  Well we just had our first customer hit this same issue – so looks like it is out in the wild and not just something Adrian and I broke on our servers.  Still digging in to the detail and trying to find the root of the issue – but the workaround is simple – just use PowerShell to create the PWA site.  More on that later – first some details of the error so the search engines find this posting.  You will either get it when selecting a web app other than the default and filling the page and clicking OK – but you can also see it if you just change from a web app that is not the default to another one in this dialog:


and this will be the error you get


and the text for the search engine – String was not recognized as a valid boolean.:

and from the ULS logs:

07/06/2011 16:27:50.59    w3wp.exe (0x1E10)    0x1FF4    SharePoint Foundation    Runtime    tkau    Unexpected    System.FormatException: String was not recognized as a valid Boolean.    at System.Boolean.Parse(String value)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.EntityEditor.ParseSpanData(String spans)     at Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls.EntityEditor.LoadPostData(String postDataKey, NameValueCollection values)     at System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessPostData(NameValueCollection postData, Boolean fBeforeLoad)     at System.Web.UI.Page.ProcessRequestMain(Boolean includeStagesBeforeAsyncPoint, Boolean includeStagesAfterAsyncPoint)    c52c7488-9e1f-4a26-a256-de796d689c12

The PowerShell workaround is really straightforward – you can use the New-SPProjectWebInstance command, and either give all the parameters or just hit return and respond to the prompts.  The URL is the full URL of the Project Web App you wish to provision.  Full details on using Windows PowerShell for Project Server 2010 can be found at and here is the syntax listing from the {PowerShell get-help command on the  New-SPProjectWebInstance command


    Creates a new instance of a Project Server service application.

    New-SPProjectWebInstance -AdminAccount <String> -ArchiveDbname <String> -DraftDbname <String> -PrimaryDbserver <String> –publishedDbname <String> -ReportingDbname <String> -ReportingDbserver <String> [-PrimaryDBMirrorServer <
String>] [-ReportingDBMirrorServer <String>] -Url <String> [-AssignmentCollection <SPAssignmentCollection>] [-HostHeaderWebapplicationUrl <String>] [-Lcid <Int32>] [-Wait <SwitchParameter>] [<CommonParameters>]

    Use the New-SPProjectWebInstance cmdlet to create a new instance of a Project Server service application. An instance of a Project Server service application is referred to as a Project Web Access (PWA) instance.


    To see the examples, type: “get-help New-SPProjectWebInstance -examples”.
    For more information, type: “get-help New-SPProjectWebInstance -detailed”.
    For technical information, type: “get-help New-SPProjectWebInstance -full”.

Once you’ve used this you will never want to go back to the UI!  I’ll update this entry as we find more information and have news on any fix.