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Values from Enterprise Custom field not present when using save and send to update project offline RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    Have Server 2010 and using Professional 2010.

    We have a Task Enterprise Custom Field that is populated from a look up table. When we use save&send to allow project to be updated offline, the values for the field are not present in the offline version. Then when we load the updated plan back to the server to synchronise the values on the server version are overwritten with blanks. Is there a way around this problem?

    Thanks

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 10:46 AM

All replies

  • Hmm, I can confirm I can see this too - SP1.  I shall do some further digging.

    Ben Howard [MVP] blog | web

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:51 PM
    Moderator
  • Are you using the Save for Sharing feature?

    Can you provide a more complete list of steps to reproduce the problem?


    Reid McTaggart – DeltaBahn Vice President
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:54 PM
  • Hi - thanks for the replies - steps that I took:

    While connected to the server - edit a project plan in Professional 2010 filling in an enterprise custom task field. This field is filled in from a lookup table with 4 possible values, only one value is permitted.

    Publish, save and check in the project.

    Then yes - using the save for sharing feature by:

    Select Edit project in Professional 2010, select Send and Save, Save Project as File and save for sharing. Saved to Desktop with same name as on Server. Now if opened on my machine connected to Server values are present in the Enterprise Custom Field.

    File is then sent to someone not connected to Server. When they open the file the values in the Enterprise Custom field are not present. They apply their updates to the plan and send back.

    I come to synchronise with server version of the project - I have not made any changes to the server version at this stage. Open project in Professional 2010 connected to the server, select Save and Send and Publish to Server, then follow the Import Wizard and save. Then Publish, then close and Check in.

    The values in the Enterprise Custom Field have now been overwritten with blanks from the File used for sharing.

    Does this give you enough to reproduce the problem..?

    Thanks again

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 6:58 AM
  • I don't think you are following the right procedure to synchronize the schedule back to the server.  Try these steps from the official Microsoft Project 2010 blog:

    Once the file has been returned to you, you can open it and synchronize the changes with Project Server

    1. Start Project Professional and connect to Project Server.
    2. In the Login dialog box, select the server from which the shared file was initially created. Do not click Work Offline.      

      Note    If you do not select the server from which the project file was initially created, then you will not be able to synchronize the shared file with Project Server.

    3. On the File tab, click Open.
    4. In the Open dialog box, double-click the project name to open it.
    5. On the File tab, click Save As.
    6. Select the name of the original project from which the shared file was created.     
      If the shared file name matches the original project name, then the project name will be displayed in the Save to Project Server box.
    7. Click Save. The shared file will now be synchronized with the original project.

    Reid McTaggart – DeltaBahn Vice President
    Blog | Twitter | LinkedIn

    Thursday, March 29, 2012 9:52 PM
  • Thanks for this - apologies in the delay in responding. I will try this for synchronising back in. However, don't think this explains the loss of the data when the file is sent to someone without access to project server. I understand that the actual lookup tables will not be available offline, but would expect the data selected while connected to the server to still be there. I note that the data is retained for Project Level Enterprise Custom fields that are populated via a lookup table, seems to be when it is a task level field that the data is lost.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 9:29 AM
  • I will try and verify this later, but when you have saved the project for sharing, and then open it up with a profile that is not connected to project server, the Enterprise Custom Fields are saved, (ie the names) but the lookup table definitions and values are not saved - as effectively they are pointers to data held on the server. 

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    Ben Howard [MVP] blog | web

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012 9:46 AM
    Moderator
  • I managed to do some further investigation into this.  The loss of data occurs when a user tries to edit the data field when they are not connected to the project server (as would happen in a save for sharing scenario).  I cannot find an acceptable work around, as the only available option is to "hide" the relevant columns prior to sending out the file, but given that the columns still exist within the plan, there is nothing to stop the recipient of the file trying to edit that data (and hence losing it).  If you want to take this further, you should raise a bug with MS

    Ben Howard [MVP] blog | web


    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 8:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for your time Ben. For now, looks like we'll have to decide either to not use lookup tables for task level data or not allow projects to be edited when not connected to the project server.

    Thursday, April 19, 2012 7:01 AM
  • Hello,

    I am having a similar problem using Enterprise Custom Fields with a Lookup Table and came across this post while searching for more information. I am connected to the Server and saved my project as an .mpp file so that I could email to another user who does not have server access. That user did not make any changes to the Enterprise field but did make some other edits and returned the schedule to me. When I opened in Project Professional, while connected to the server, all of the value previously entered in that field had disappeared.

    Has anyone found a way around this?

    Thanks


    Jessica Hancock

    Monday, July 30, 2012 6:53 PM
  • Jessica, you should really use Save for Sharing.  As soon as you save as MPP, you disconnect the mpp plan from the server plan and they become different entities.

    Ben Howard [MVP] blog | web

    Monday, July 30, 2012 6:59 PM
    Moderator
  • Ben,

    Thanks for the tip. I wasn't sure what that function was for but it seems that it is exactly what we were looking for. Unfortunately, I am seeing the same problem as Mathonex. Even if I don't make edits to the Enterprise Custom Fields that use a drop down menu, I am still losing some data (not all the data in the field is disappearing, just some rows). I will try and follow up with MS unless anyone had another workaround.

    Thanks!


    Jessica Hancock

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012 1:58 PM
  • Hi Jessica,

    I never managed to find a way that held on to the data.

    The data from look up tables does not seem to be lost at the project level, although as discussed before, the look up table itself will not be available. Also flag fields with Yes / No drop downs do not lose the data. For me, most of the look up tables related to project level data which did not get lost so there were actually not that many task level fields where we were trying to use look up tables, for the couple that we did, we ended up using flag fields i.e create and name a flag field for each option you would have had in the look up table then select "YES" where applicable. Obviously if you have many fields and long lists then this is not really viable, but for us, we originally had two fields with 4 options each, so ended up with 8 Flag fields. Not pretty but holds onto data integrity a bit better than free text.

    Interested to hear if you find or find out any other info on this.

    Tuesday, July 31, 2012 2:59 PM
  •     I have a work-around that will keep the look-up table values visible, but it will not necessarily provide a way to restore them when putting it back on Server. BTW, when you "Save as File" there is an info box that pops up informing you that "Enterprise lookup tables and values will not be saved."!!!

        For each Enterprise lookup field that you want to be visible to an external MS Project user, create a LOCAL field of the same type (Text, Number, etc.), and populate it by a formula of the form:

                                                  [Enterprise_field_name]

    Every time you do "Calculate", this field will be populated with the latest value from Enterprise. Just before saving the project locally, change the local custom field from "Formula" to "None". This will preserve the current value, and prevent further updates when a calculation is done, especially on the local copy!

        Not pretty, but it works at least one-way, to allow external viewers to see current values.

        FWIW ...

    Jackson T. Cole, PMP, MCITP


    JAckson T. Cole, PMP, MCITP

    Friday, April 11, 2014 9:13 PM