Project Online: What happened to my site creation settings?

To use a Douglas Adams reference I sometimes feel like a Vogon telling customers that they should have known about stuff because it was posted to the Message Center.  For many of our PMO folks who are not Office 365 Administrators they have more chance of getting to Alpha Centauri…  But I digress, and even if you had seen the message center post it didn’t do a great job of explaining everything.  What did happen to the site creation settings?

The first information behind this change was in a blog post that talked about the extension of the limits of the number of projects we support in a PWA instance in Project Online.  One aspect of this was the support for sites outside of the PWA site collection – and the ability to use specific settings in an Enterprise Project Type (EPT) to set where a site should get created (and even if it should get created).  The ‘where’ part is only available if you are using Project Permission Mode.  What wasn’t explained was that the existing place where you had made the setting was going away.  It was in the header for the Connected SharePoint Sites.

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And when you clicked on it the settings options looked like this:

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With the change to being able to set these values at the EPT level this was removed and instead you need to navigate to each EPT and make the setting there. 

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There is a new section within the EPT settings once you open up the EPT where the Site Creation options can be configured.  If you don’t see the ‘Location’ part then you are probably in SharePoint Permissions mode and you don’t have the option to create in other site collections.

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This is giving you the same options as before – but adds the flexibility to specify by EPT as well as choose other site collections to create your sites – thus spreading the project sites around and being able to reach the 30,000 project limit even if you need sites for each project.  If you do choose a different site collection then you can’t sync user permissions or tasks lists either.

If that had all gone to plan you may not have noticed much (apart for the setting being gone from Connected SharePoint Sites) – but we did have an initial bug that was causing sites to not get created – which then raised the further questions of “what just happened”.  The expiry of the original Message Center post has been extended and we will be updating the link to point to this blog post.  Sorry for the confusion around this change – and we are learning for the next changes.

Two other useful links to give more context here – the support document for Enterprise Project Types – https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Enterprise-Project-Types-C576DE02-A25C-4EA1-9DE6-02BE44DBB0A6 and the support document for tuning Project Online performance https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Tune-Project-Online-performance-12ba0ebd-c616-42e5-b9b6-cad570e8409c.

Always a good idea to talk to your Office 365 administrator and let them know that you need to know about any notifications for Project Online changes.  To see the Message center they need to go to the Admin tile in Office 365 and then under Health they will see Service health (where any known current issues should be posted) and Message center, where we post announcements.  These can fall into different categories as the screenshot shows.  You click on a row to get more details. The link in the Message center pane takes you here.

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And while I’m here you might want to keep an eye out for another Message that will land soon concerning options to change the way time-phased data is presented – and allowing daily, weekly, monthly or fiscal period roll-ups instead of just daily.  The initial posting is just a heads up on the change as it may require you to update your Odata reports – and I’ll be posting more details in a couple of months when that feature gets closer to being turned on.

I could finish as a Vogon too – and read you some poetry perhaps?  Maybe not.