Quick Links

When Microsoft Project Won’t Connect with Microsoft Project Server EPM

Microsoft Project Professional edition is the desktop client in Microsoft Project Server (MSPS). The version of the server and client software should be at a supported level in order of the two to work together. Service Pack or Cumulative Update (CU) patches if deployed without planning can cause issues in MS Project Server Enterprise Project Management (EPM) system.

There are different reasons as to why MS Project Professional can’t connect with MS Project Server EPM.

Below are some of the scenarios:

  1. Not using the right edition of MS Project (Professional VS Standard)
  2. Not using the right edition of MS Project Professional with the right edition of MS Project Server (2010 VS 2013)
  3. Not using the correct URL of Project Web Access (PWA)
  4. Not having enough permissions (a user with team member or lower rights trying to connect MS Project Professional to MS Project Server)
  5. Not using the right version of MS Project Professional with the right version allowed by MS Project Server in PWA > Server Settings

The focus of this article is about the last scenario. I’ll also cover special case of this scenario.

Not using the right version of MS Project Professional with the right version allowed by MS Project Server in PWA > Server Settings

There are known issue if your MS Project Server is at latest patch version and your desktop MS Project Professional edition used it too old.

MS Project Server 2010 / 2013 / Project Online circumvent this problem by allowing the Project Server Admins / PMO Admins / PMO Analysts to set limit on the least version of MS Project Professional that can connect with the Project Server.

Which MS Project Professional product can connect with which MS Project Server product?

The short summary is:

  • MS Project Professional 2010 can only connect with MS Project Server 2010
  • MS Project Professional 2013 can connect with MS Project Server 2013 & MS Project Online
  • MS Project Standard can’t connect with MS Project Server.

MS Project Prof and MS Project Server Versions Compatibility

How to Control Which version of MS Project Professional Can connect with MS Project Server EPM

Microsoft Project Server 2010 / 2013 has the configuration setting that allows you to control which version of MS Project Professional within the same edition (2010 or 2013) can connect with the MS Project Server.

The settings are located in Project Web Access (PWA) > Server Settings > Additional Server Settings.


On that ‘Additional Server Settings’ page there is a setting to set the minimum version number of MS Project Professional that can connect with that instance of the MS Project Server EPM. Ms Project Professional versions prior to that number will not be able to connect with MS Project Server.


You can see this pilot instance supports a minimum of 14.0.6123.5000 version of MS Project Professional. That version is dated back to June 2012. That is little too old.

As per ITIL best practices for Configuration Management and Problem Management and also as per Information Security’s Patch Management Life cycle, the application versions should be maintained at the best possible levels. Even from Information Risk Management prospective, sometimes supporting too old version means also keeping old vulnerabilities alive in your new system. There is lot more to talk about on these best practices related to this topic. But that is little out of scope at this time for the topic.

Special Case Scenario due to version mismatch

I’ve seen a special case where a Project Manager was not able to connect to MS Project Server with everything correct as per the scenarios discussed at the beginning of this article.

The PM was getting the error listed below when launching MS Project Professional using connection with MS Project Server.

The following job failed to complete.
Job Type: Load
Error ID: 12015 (0x2EEF)
Error Description: An internal error occurred.
Cloud not load Project. Please try after some time. If the problem persists, contact your system administrator.


Clicking more Info button reveals more details. You can see the version that is passed on to the PWA is not the right one.

Cache Error

Click OK to the first error message brings the second error:

Cloud not retrieve Enterprise global template.
There seems to be a problem with the database, please contact your server administrator.


Issue Cause

I verified that the MS Project Professional version was new relatively i.e. 14.0.7015.1000. That was higher than the minimum supported version configured in PWA.

MSP Version

Looking at the File > Help in MS Project Professional and reviewing the version screen in a large print out, I was able to find an anomaly. See the above screen shot again. It shows that MS Project Standard and MS Project Professional both as activated versions!

It turned out to be the Desktop Engineering person deployed MS Project Standard version first by mistake (& without any service packs or updates). Later he installed MS Project Professional over the same version as upgrade rather than removing the standard version. Now when the PM was trying to connect to MS Project Server using Ms Project Professional, somehow the desktop was passing the lower version 14.0.4751.1000 (see one of the screen shot above) and thus PWA was rejecting the connection.


Uninstall any version of Microsoft Project from the desktop, reboot and then install the correct version of MS Project Professional with the the latest service pack and CU level as supported by the organization.

Revo Uninstaller – Free version  is one nice 3rd party application (Pro Version) to remove the stubborn applications. That helped in getting rid of the old version completely and then installing the MS Project Professional version again.

The correct version once installed and activated should only show MS Project Professional under File > Help.


MS Project Professional was able to connect with the Project Server.

Related Content

Webinars (watch for free now!):
Webinar: Creating your EPM Deployment Plan
Structured Project Management using EPM, Jira, and TFS

8 Important Lessons I Learned During EPM Implementations
Ask the Experts: A Successful EPM Implementation Has More than Technology


Avatar photo
Written by Faisal Masood

Faisal Masood holds numerous credentials: PMP, CCNA, MCSE and MOS:

SharePoint 2013, MCITP and MCTS SharePoint 2010, MCSA Office 365, Microsoft

Specialist: MS Project 2013 and Azure certification. He has over 15 years of experience in technology, project and security management work. He’s the owner of Softvative, a technology solutions company with a focus on Microsoft Project Server EPM/PPM, SharePoint, website, security and technology management, optimization and automation. Visit Softvative’s Website and follow him on Twitter, Google+ and Slideshare. Or reach him at fm@faisalmasood.com.

Share This Post
  1. Actually, the version number passed to Project Server is not the one on the File/Help page, but rather the one on link on the page for “Additional Version and Copyright Information”. The “About Microsoft Project” dialog window will show and there will be two version numbers near the top of the window. The first is the version of Microsoft Project 2010. The second version number is the version number of Microsoft Office. The first version number is the one passed to Project Server 2010.

  2. Hi Gord,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I happen to notice the version under the link after that article. Just like you pointed. Currently I don’t have the MSP versions to validate that info.

    Do you have any link / reference to the version info that I can review and use? My goal is to correct the information.


  3. Hi Faisal,
    Here is a reference post I wrote few weeks ago. The 2 last columns refer to Brian’s Smith posts where you’ll find all version number for Project Pro and Project Server, both 2010 and 2013 versions.

  4. Hi
    My setup.
    Project server 2013
    project professional 2013

    I am facing one of the problem continuously regarding project professional 2013, when i am opening the project from PWA to project professional 2013 then i faced the problem “project Professional needs to be installed to open the project” this error is only in chrome ,In IE its working fine.i required your expert opinion.

  5. Najeeb,

    IE is the preferred browser for PWA. Chrome doesn’t support all the features. Review the following articles for reference.

    Hardware and software requirements for Project Server 2013

    Plan browser support in SharePoint 2013


    Faisal Masood

  6. Hi Faisal

    Hardware and software requirements for Project Server 2013 shows that it can support Chrome (latest release version)?

    Is this correct?


  7. An end user is attempting to open up a project on a website using MS Project Professional 2013 and he gets the error “Sorry we were unable to open your project. Please try again. If this happens again, please contact your administrator.”

    I tried running repair, clearing the cache, etc but can’t get it to go away. Any help appreciated.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>