Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

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Quick Start for Project Server Veterans

Everyone has heard of the five stages of grief; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Shock, Horror and Awe are the stages that an experienced Project Server professional goes through when first absorbing Project Server 2013. At first I thought this was a personal phenomenon, but after watching colleagues and friends I now realize this is a normal and expected reaction. Thankfully the cycle time is nowhere near as protracted as grief. And, you now have the advantage of expecting it.

The shock sets in when you launch PWA for the first time. Where did my interface go? The following figure shows a fresh new instance of Project Web App. Notice the abbreviated Quick Launch menu. As a veteran, you no doubt want to get started with the Server Settings page, which by the way has a new name, PWA Settings page. Click the gear icon in the upper right of the interface.

Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

The system displays the menu, that was the Site Actions menu, shown in the following figure.

Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

Select the PWA Settings item from the menu. The system displays the PWA Settings page shown in the following figure.

Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

This is where the Horror part happens as you notice things are missing. Where did they go? The answer is two-fold. Some of the items have relocated to SharePoint Central Admin, while still others are in suspended animation. To locate the migrants, launch SharePoint Central Admin and click the General Application Settings link. The General Application Settings page displays as shown in the following figure.

Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

At the bottom of the page, in the PWA Settings section, click the Manage link. The “blue flag” PWA Settings page displays. I say blue flag as this page carries standard SharePoint flag rather than Project Server’s emerald green emblem. Otherwise, another distinguishing feature is the appearance of the Project Web App Instance selector in the upper right hand part of the content area. Here, what you can do for one, you can do for many.

Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

As the purpose of this post is to get you started on your own adventure, I am not going to get deep into specifics on the page. The reason for this change is to make this more intuitive to SharePoint administrators and further adopt the SharePoint management model. Some management functions appear in both locations.

Part two of the horror cycle is realizing that the familiar security management controls for groups and categories are absent from the PWA Settings page at the site level in the default presentation. This is because new instances, not upgrades, but new instances of Project Server arrive in the new default SharePoint Permissions mode. This new way of managing users is worth exploring before writing it off as seems to be a popular first reaction. I strongly encourage you to keep an open mind and imagine some of the new scenarios this might support for your organization or customers.

In the name of brevity, you no doubt want to know how to escape this mode. If you are working on your own server, you use PowerShell. Launch the SharePoint 2013 Management Console from the server Start menu as shown in the following figure.

Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

You can change permissions mode using the following PowerShell cmdlet for your in-house system.

Set-SPProjectPermissionMode –Url <URL> -Mode <Mode>

(<Mode> = ProjectServer or SharePoint)


If you are using Project Online, you can change the permissions mode by navigating to the SharePoint admin center for your tenant and expand the Project web App menu as shown in the following figure.

Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

Selecting the Settings item displays the site collection with project web app settings dialog shown in the following figure.

Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

For those of you who want to get Project Server 2013 to a classic Project Server state, you must perform two more small tasks. From the PWA Settings page, click the Quick Launch link to display the menu editing page shown in the following figure.

Project Server 2013: Shock, Horror and Awe

Select the items that you want to display and then click the Save &Close button. The last step is to reset the default project type. This time from the PWA Settings page select the Enterprise Project Types link and set the default enterprise project type to the Enterprise Project Type rather than the SharePoint list. At this point you are in classic Project Server mode.

Finally, the awe part is up to you. How fast do you adapt to new ideas? Can you appreciate a little disruptive thinking? If, so spend some time exploring and digesting. There are lots of new scenarios supported by the raft of changes in Project Server 2013. Bill Raymond and I deep dive into all of this for you in the new version of the Orange book.

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Written by Gary Chefetz

Gary Chefetz is founder and Chief Executive Officer of MSProjectExperts. Gary is a Microsoft Project MVP, recognized for his expertise sharing in the Microsoft Communities and for authoring numerous books about Microsoft Office Project and Project Server. Gary also holds an MCP in Project Server.

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  1. I would like to know if you offer any live training courses on Project Server 2013?

    Personal email=

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