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Missing baseline labels RRS feed

  • Question

  • There is a problem with Microsoft Project 2010 destroying baseline references that have been previously set in a schedule.  For some unexplained reason or condition all baselines appear to be deleted.  The problem can be stopped by applying the latest updates to Project.  However, this does not fix schedules that had their baselines deleted and then saved by the user without the knowledge of their destruction.

    Interestingly, upon closer examination it can be discovered that the baseline data actually still exists.  Columns for “Baseline”, “Baseline1”, “Baseline2”, etc. can be displayed in a table to confirm that all data is still intact.  The problem then is the appearance that the baselines have been deleted when in fact the real problem is that the references to the baselines have been deleted.  (Navigation: Tab: Project, Group: Schedule, Command: Set Baseline, Window: Set Baseline, Control: Dropdown Baseline) The problem now is how to restore the references to the hidden baselines.  There does not seem to be any know method or command in the user interface that will restore these references to the hidden baselines.  Additionally the VBA Project object model was searched and nothing could be found to restore these references.

    It there a place in the Project object model where the references to baselines can be restored?  Where in the Project object model are the references to the baselines?

    Thursday, June 28, 2012 11:19 PM

Answers

  • Dan,

    My best guess is that it was SP-1 that fixed the baseline date reference info since SP-1 is the only update I have applied for my installation and I see the saved date information. I do not know if it was missing prior to SP-1.

    As far as I know there is no way to write the date for a saved baseline, either manually or through VBA. You can find out the saved date with VBA using the BaselineSavedDate property on the Project object but I don't know if that will yield any information for Project 2010 files created prior to installation of SP-1 and that property is read only.

    I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, but you'll have to bite the bullet and figure out a work around.

    John

    Saturday, June 30, 2012 4:43 PM

All replies

  • Dan,

    Which update solves the problem (SP-1 or one of the hotfixes in the cumulative update)? And what exactly do you mean by "references" to the baselines. I followed your ribbon sequence but I don't understand what you mean by references.

    With reference to users who unknowingly deleted baseline data because they though it had disappeared, there may or may not be a "solution". It may require reverting back to a previous version and then going forward from there, after insuring the update is now installed.

    John

    Friday, June 29, 2012 3:34 AM
  • John,

    Unfortunately I cannot answer which update it was that fixed the problem.  This happened at work and the IT staff took care of the problem.  All that I know is that the original plan vanilla Project 2010 Professional out of the box had the problem and that some patch that came out before several months ago fixed the issue.

    Let me give you an example of what I am seeing.  Follow the same navigation train as before.  Tab: Project, Group: Schedule, Command: Set Baseline, Window: Set Baseline, Control: Dropdown Baseline.  In the Dropdown Baseline list I had the following which represented several baselines that I had taken of a schedule.

    Baseline (last saved on Wed 12/7/11)

    Baseline 1 (last saved on Wed 6/8/11)

    Baseline 2 (last saved on Tue 7/26/11)

    Baseline 3 (last saved on Wed 8/10/11)

    Baseline 4 (last saved on Wed 8/17/11)

    Baseline 5 (last saved on Wed 12/7/11)

    Baseline 6

    Baseline 7

    Baseline 8

    Baseline 9

    Baseline 10

    The way that I operate is when I snap the original baseline I put a full copy of all tasks in “Baseline” and a second copy in “Baseline 1”.  From that point forward as the schedule is modified by the addition of new tasks or a change in the statement of work for existing tasks I snap an incremental baseline of just the new or changed tasks in “Baseline” and Baseline 2”.  The next approved change would be saved to “Baseline” and Baseline 3” and so on.  Each sanctioned change to the baseline is capture in the basic “Baseline” and in the next numbered baseline.  By doing this I always have the current baseline in "Baseline" to work from and I have a paper trail of what the past ten baselines were in the numbered baselines (Baseline 1, Baseline 2, etc.).  It is these descriptions, “Baseline 1 (last saved on Wed 6/8/11)”, that I am referring to as the baseline references.

    The problem is when the bug strikes your list of baselines looks like this.

    Baseline

    Baseline 1

    Baseline 2

    Baseline 3

    Baseline 4

    Baseline 5

    Baseline 6

    Baseline 7

    Baseline 8

    Baseline 9

    Baseline 10

    All of your baselines are wiped out and you immediate go into panic.  Worst yet, there is no indication when this happened and you might have statued and saved your schedule through several cycles before you even realize that it happened.  What I discovered is that even though all of the references to you baselines have been erased, the data is still there.

    So my question is where in the Project object model can I go to retype in “(last saved on Wed 12/7/11)” for Baseline and “(last saved on Wed 6/8/11)” for Baseline 1, etc.?

    Saturday, June 30, 2012 1:31 AM
  • Dan,

    My best guess is that it was SP-1 that fixed the baseline date reference info since SP-1 is the only update I have applied for my installation and I see the saved date information. I do not know if it was missing prior to SP-1.

    As far as I know there is no way to write the date for a saved baseline, either manually or through VBA. You can find out the saved date with VBA using the BaselineSavedDate property on the Project object but I don't know if that will yield any information for Project 2010 files created prior to installation of SP-1 and that property is read only.

    I know this isn't what you wanted to hear, but you'll have to bite the bullet and figure out a work around.

    John

    Saturday, June 30, 2012 4:43 PM
  • John,

    You are right.  It is not what I wanted to hear.  But I would much rather hear the true then to be strung out on a false hope.  Regardless, thanks for looking at it.

    Saturday, June 30, 2012 9:22 PM
  • Dan,

    You're welcome. Please mark this post as answered even though it wasn't the answer you wanted.

    John

    Sunday, July 1, 2012 2:16 AM
  • Dan - we have had similar issues with baselines.  There are three things that I would share:

    (1) We frequently analyze schedules from other contractors.  Often times people will set baselines by copying the planned start/finish and pasting it into the baseline start/finish fields.  This creates a problem in that MS-Project does not dynamically compute baseline duration in this instance (Baseline Duration is only computed when you use the "Set Baseline" function).  This makes it impossible to analyze the schedule since the baseline durations cannot be trusted.  Since it is our practice to not modify the data given to us by other contractors, we compute baseline duration in a separate unused user-defined date field.  This has been a suitable work-around for us.

    (2) We would delete the contents of the baseline start/finish fields only to discover that the baseline start/finish fields would be populated again after we re-opened the file (this may be similar to your problem).  I haven't confirmed it yet, but my suspicion is that this is a cache issue.  In Project Server V2007 it was a common practice to wipe the cache and only open from the Server.  The fact that you would delete the baseline dates from your client would be a piece of information that was stored locally in the cached version of the file, but not being synched with the Server.  In any event, we discovered that the only sure-fire way to wipe a baseline was to set the baseline for that record using the "Set Baseline" function, then immediatly clear the baseline for that record using the "Clear Baseline" function.  Using the "clear baseline" function on a record that was never set using the "set baseline" function did not provide consistent results!!!

    (3) Similar to other two items, above, we discovered that people would populate the baseline fields, declare the items as SharePoint Deliverables, then change their minds and delete the baseline start/finish fields.  Or similarly,  the would link to a SharePoint deliverable and they would have baselines while the SharePoint item would not have a baseline.  We use macros to push baseline information from the SharePoint giver to the SharePoint receiver and we were discovering that there would be lack of synch between baselines in the SharePoint items and either the giver or receiver files.  We have now formalized in our macros a process where if the Giver file has no baseline then we use the process from step (2), above to clear the baseline for that record.  At the backend, if the SharePoint item has no baseline, then we use the process in Step (2) to clear the baseline in the receiver file.

    I hope this helps,

    Chris

    Tuesday, July 3, 2012 11:48 AM
  • Chris,

    I believe that we are talking about two different things.  I only have a standalone copy of Project 2010 Standard and we are not running SharePoint.  So that would make it an unrelated problem to your #3 situation.  I know for a fact that I did not select the “Clear Baseline” command, not even accidently.  So that would make it unrelated to your #2 situation.  I am still uncertain as to what circumstances or conditions existed to erase all references to the baselines yet keep the baseline data.  Whatever it was it was fixed in a later patch.  Your observation on the cache is interesting, but again we do not have SharePoint.  Your point #1 is unrelated since it deals with the calculation and writing of the baseline duration, but it is interesting and I have come up with a new filter to check to see if data was copied into the start/finish baseline field rather then written to the fields through the baseline function.  Good catch.

    Looks like you have three separate problems from the one that I found.  I hope someone from Microsoft monitors this traffic and picks this stuff up so that it can get fixed.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012 5:31 AM