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April 14, 2010

Extending the Project Workspace Template

Extending the Project Workspace Template

By default, Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 creates a project workspace site on Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 when it publishes a project. The project workspace template that is used for site creation can be extended and customized to better suit the needs of your organization. This article explains what makes a valid project workspace template, how to create an extended template, and how to install a custom template. (The code samples and procedures in this article were contributed by Eric Zenz, Microsoft Corporation.)

For an introduction to Project Server integration with Windows SharePoint Services, see Windows SharePoint Services Infrastructure for Project Server. For more sample code that addresses project workspaces, see How to: Create a Project Workspace and Link it to a Project.

Project Workspace Site Features

A valid project workspace is a Windows SharePoint Services site that includes the project workspace collaboration lists. Data in project workspaces, such as documents and list data, is saved in the related Windows SharePoint Services content database. A project workspace site includes the following specialized lists for team collaboration:

  • Project Documents

  • Project Issues

  • Project Risks

  • Project Deliverables

You can open a project workspace site from the home page or from the Project Center page in Project Web Access. On the Project Center page, select a project row and then click Project Workspace on the Go To drop-down menu. The Documents link in Quick Launch (Figure 1) goes to a page that contains a specialized list for project documents.

The Deliverables, Issues, and Risks folders in Figure 1 contain specialized lists that are specifically designed for project team collaboration. The other default lists in the All Site Content page (Announcements, Calendar, Links, and Tasks) are generic lists that are available in all Windows SharePoint Services sites.

Figure 1. The Lists page of a project workspace

 

The specialized lists for project workspaces include information that you can add as new columns in the list. For example, Figure 2 shows the extended columns available for the Issues list. Some of the extended columns include project-specific data.

Figure 2. Adding columns in the Issues list

 

You can link any site within a Windows SharePoint Services farm to a project plan, or extend the site with a custom project workspace template, if the site meets the following conditions:

  • The site is associated with a Shared Services Provider (SSP).

  • The SSP includes a Project Server Application Service instance.

If you are in the Site Collection Administrators group of Windows SharePoint Services, you can use the Central Administration page to determine whether the site qualifies.

Procedure 1: To determine whether a SharePoint site can use a project workspace template:
  1. Open the Central Administration page for Windows SharePoint Services, using one of the following methods:

    1. If you are logged on the Windows SharePoint Services server, on the Windows Start menu, click Microsoft Office Server. Then, on the All Programs menu, click SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration.

    2. If you know the URL, access the Central Administration page remotely. For example, if the server port of the Windows SharePoint Services Central Administration site in Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager is 18294, use the URL http://ServerName:18294/default.aspx.

  2. Click Application Management. On the Application Management page, click Create or Configure this Farm's Shared Services.

    If the SharePoint farm has an SSP, it is in the list on the Manage this Farm's Shared Services page. For example, if there is a site named SharedServices1, all of the Web sites that are associated with that SSP are listed under SharedServices1.

  3. To see if a Project Server Application Service is running for that SSP, click Operations on the page menu or in Quick Launch.

  4. In the Topology and Services section of the Operations page, click Servers in farm.

  5. The Servers in Farm page shows the services that are running on each server in the SharePoint farm. Determine whether the Project Application Service is running on the server that has the SSP Web site. If so, it can use a project workspace template.

Creating a Project Workspace Template

A good way to create a new project workspace template is to start with the Site Actions menu in the SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration application to create a clean Web site that you provision with the default project workspace template. You could also create a new project workspace site collection using the Application Management page, but it is not necessary to create an entire site collection just to get a new workspace template.

Note:

Do not use an existing project workspace site as the basis for a template Because the template is already linked to a project, you will get an error when trying to provision a new site for any other project.

Procedure 2: To create an empty new project workspace:
  1. In the SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration application, click the Site Actions menu on the upper right of any page, and then click Create.

  2. On the Create page, click Sites and Workspaces in the Web Pages section.

  3. On the New Share

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