Project Server / Project Pro => Cut and Paste official best practices to avoid corruption RRS feed

  • Question

  • It is pretty common knowledge among Project Server veterans that Cut and Paste between Project Pro files can cause corruption with the assignment table. This leads to Publish and Reporting (Project Publish) failures. I just went through an upgrade from Project Server 2007 to 2013 and a LOT of files had to be rebuilt from scratch. 

    I ask my users to not Cut and Paste within or between project files. They do not always listen.

    I have looked and cannot find official Microsoft text on the subject or at least some sort of official best practices doc. It would help me prevent some corruption if I had a doc with a Microsoft logo that says “It is not recommended….” Or “If you do this you will make your admin cry…

    If this doc is right in front of me and I just missed it I apologize in advance.


    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 4:01 PM

All replies

  • John --

    To the best of my knowledge, there is no such Best Practice document from Microsoft.  Based on my experience with Project Server from Project Central through Project Server 2013, following are some items that can cause corruption in your project:

    • Use of special characters in the name of the project.
    • Cutting/copying/pasting entire task rows within a single enterprise project or between multiple enterprise projects.
    • Opening an enterprise project on your laptop while connected to a wireless network, then closing the laptop lid, walking to another room in the building when you pass from one wireless access point to another, and then opening the laptop lid again.  I learned this from one of our former clients.

    Beyond this, there are some other items that will not corrupt your project, but which will cause problems with saving or publishing a project.  These items include:

    • Using blank rows in the project.
    • Using special characters in task names.
    • Task names that start with a space character (this sometimes happens when copying and pasting from an Excel workbook).

    In both Project Server 2010 and 2013, the recommended method for resolving a corrupted project is to use the Save for Sharing feature. Refer to my directions in the following thread on how to use the Save for Sharing feature:

    Beyond what guidance I have provided, I am hoping other members of this community will add their thoughts as well.  Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 4:18 PM
  • Dale,

    Thank you for your comments. 

    A forum post is good for me but does not carry extra weight with my users (they do not know who you are).  I will use your text but I would think that a very explicit and definitive best practices doc from Microsoft, Project Experts or PCubed could be helpful to admins like me.

    For a consultant, I would think this would be a good thing to have on your page. I would link to it.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 5:07 PM
  • John --

    For nearly a decade I was the Vice President of Education for msProjectExperts.  After too many years on the road, I took a job last year working mostly from home in the PMO of a large corporation.  I have been a Microsoft Project MVP for 11 years now, and am one of about 60 Microsoft Project MVPs around the world.  I am the co-author of 17 books on Microsoft Project and Project Server.  I am not just some guy in the user forum who answered your question.  Why don't you tell your users this about me, as well as what I said?  Perhaps THEN they will believe me!  :)

    Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 5:11 PM
  • Dale,

    I know who you are. I forwarded your comments to my users with a short version of your credentials.

    My point is forum posts are not official documentation. If I had not met you once, heard you speak, taken classes from Project Experts AND did not own 3 or 4 of your books, I might not know if you were some crackpot or not. :-)

    (funny that I say this since 1/4 of my income is from a forum based website)

    Thank you for your efforts and yes your answer to the about corruption was complete.

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 5:36 PM
  • John --

    Thanks for your kind comments.  Sometimes people know me and know my reputation, and sometimes people do not know me from Adam.  At the Project Conference back in February, I would run into people who have never heard of me.  And then I met one man who exclaimed, "Oh, I have your books and NEVER thought I would meet you in person.  Today is the greatest day of my life!"  That made me smile.

    I understand about the reluctance of your people to believe anyone on this issue of cut/copy/paste of entire task rows.  I actually got yelled at in class a couple of years ago by a student who absolutely WOULD NOT BELIEVE that this could cause corruption. She said she would not believe it unless Microsoft said so.

    Their company was having terrible corruption problems, so they ended up hiring a consultant directly from Microsoft to study their corruption problems (they threatened to switch to Primavera, by the way, over this issue). They told the Microsoft consultant about the warning I had given in class, the warning which caused my student to yell at me. The Microsoft consultant told them that cut/copy/paste of entire task rows WILL corrupt the project, but the user may not see the signs of the corruption until it gets much worse. I felt vindicated after that.

    Hope this helps.

    Dale A. Howard [MVP]

    Tuesday, April 22, 2014 7:08 PM