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3-Step Bulk Editing in Project Server

Census_workers

Reprinted with permission from the US Census Bureau, https://www.flickr.com/photos/uscensusbureau/

Project Server is a great tool for showing data from multiple projects. In fact, that’s what makes it so good to use when you’re working with a portfolio of projects. In Project Server 2010 there were open source tools you could install called “Solution Starters,” extensions to Project Server that provided additional functionality. One extension was the “Bulk Edit Tool.” This tool allowed the user to select multiple projects in the Project Center View and then click a button and have the ability to edit multiple project-level fields in a datasheet interface.

For anyone who has used Project Server, having a bulk edit capability for projects is a great thing. However, (and, yes, there is an however), using the Bulk Edit Solution Starter is quirky at best and can be frustrating and just not helpful at worst.

So, I have a little trick to help you do bulk editing. And this can be done in Project Server 2010 or 2013 and uses out-of-the-box functionality. Here’s the trick!

1. In Project Server, in the Project Center View, select the projects you want to bulk edit, and then click on Open in Microsoft Project for Editing.

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These selected projects will now open up in Microsoft Project Pro as subprojects in a new Master Project.

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2. Create a Table/View definition in Microsoft Project Pro that exposes all the fields you’d like to edit. Now you can “bulk edit” all the projects and fields you want.

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3. Once you’re done editing, you simply close the Master Project Plan (Project2 in this case), which will also close all the subprojects. The key thing is to answer two questions:

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You have just bulk edited all your project plans with all the edits you made in Microsoft Project Pro!

Jean Lieverman
Written by Jean Lieverman

Jean Lieverman is an experienced project management consultant who enjoys sharing her knowledge with others. She has created project and program management systems and has expertise in pharmaceutical R&D. A PMP, she has been active in several PMI® groups as well as MPUG. Additionally, Jean has an MPH in Biostatistics, MS in Bioengineering, and BA in Psychology. Contact her at jean@lieverman.com.

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10 Comments
  1. Prasanna Adavi

    Jean,

    Very good tip, that a lot of Project Server users are unaware of. Just want to add that this will ‘Save’ the values to the projects, but you still need to publish them to be able to see them in PWA. You could use a PowerShell Script to do the bulk-publishing: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/projectserver/Server-2010-Publish-537857d8

    Reply
  2. Great actionable post. Thanks for sharing Jean!

    Reply
  3. Jean,
    Great post and a great way to edit projects. We have a couple thousand projects in our Project Server and are often updating the priority of all of them when we do our quarterly portfolio planning. We started using the method you mentioned and it worked but as our plans got bigger, loading them into Pro took a long time. We found two tools… we started using FluentBooks from FluentPro and found that it saved a lot of time. We loved it but it would only let one person do the editing and we had to install, download, modify and then upload. We found a tool from Matan Consulting they called “Project Bulk Editor” http://www.matan-solutions.com/#!project-bulk-editor/c1z5e and started using that. It didn’t have any of the problems the solution starter had and let us update 1000s of projects an hour without having to install anything on our desktop. Your solution is an awesome tip but our (maybe unique) needs just pushed us to look for something else. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  4. Thank you for posting this article, I have used this often and find it effective. As the prior comment mentioned, you do need to publish. We seen that our enterprise fields that are set to have a behavior of ‘Workflow-controlled’ do not allow us to modify (for they are greyed out). Overall though great tip!

    Reply
  5. Jean,

    I loved your post. I am trying it right now and it is a great solution.
    Thanks for sharing this great article.

    Sincerely,

    Virgil

    Reply
  6. Good solution. But how to bulk publish your bulk edit?
    Thanks
    Regards
    Daniele

    Reply
  7. Thanks for sharing.

    Faisal Masood
    PMP
    MCSE, MOS: SharePoint 2013
    MCITP, MCTS: SharePoint 2010
    MCSA: Office 365
    MS: MS Project 2013
    MS: Azure
    SharePoint, Office 365, Azure, ProjectServer EPM Consultant

    Web: http://www.softvative.com
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/softvative
    Slides: http://www.slideshare.net/faisalmasood

    Reply
  8. Thanks all for your comments – and good comments too. And I do have this other trick about publishing the projects you’re updating in a bulk manner. I just thought I would save it for another tip. So I will get to work on getting that one out.

    Also, great suggestions about other tools that can also be used. My goal was to just show out of the box behavior.

    Thanks again,
    Jean

    Reply
  9. Thank you so much for sharing. This is very helpful and time saving technic.

    Reply
  10. Jean, did you ever write up the bulk publishing trick to follow this bulk edit trick?

    Reply

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