Deploying and Using the Bulk Import Tool Solution Starter

Posted By Posted by: EPM Partners on October 25, 2010

This is a very brief overview of how to get the Bulk Import Tool Solution Starter going in your environment. Sorry no screenshots!

 

Basically this feature allows you to bulk update project information from an external list. It also allows you to create projects based on an external list. This is very useful if you:

–          Currently collect proposals in a list outside of project server. (Excel, SharePoint, Access,  Other sources…)

–          Currently collect project information outside of project server and need to update existing projects with that information

–          Are combining 2 project server databases and want to speed up the processes

 

How to:

  1. First things first, create your project server fields and lookup tables in the environment that you want to update. You must obviously make sure that all lookup table values are exactly the same as your external data.
  2. Download the solution starters source code from http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/P2010SolutionStarter
    1. Ensure you get the latest versions of the Deployment and Source code Zips.
    2. Save the file kits on your server and make you sure have the admin account logged in for when you want to deploy them
    3. Open the feature that you wish to deploy from the ‘deployment’ folder. In this case we open up the ‘Bulk Import Tool’ folder in the deployment source.
    4. Navigate down until you find the ‘DeployPowerShell.cmd’. This file needs to be edited so that it points to your PWA instance.
      1. Open this file in Notepad and replace ‘http://localhost/pwa’ with ‘http://yourservername/yourpwaname’
      2. Save the file
      3. Right click on the file and select ‘Properties’
      4. Next to Security, click Unblock, this will disable the requirement for digital signatures. Do this for the ‘Deploy and WSP’ files that are also in the folder.
      5. Run your modified ‘DeployPowerShell’ file and you should receive all green ‘done’ messages from the command prompt dialog.
      6. Activate the feature in SharePoint from PWA. Site Actions>Site Settings>
      7. Once complete navigate to Project Center  in PWA and you will now notice the ‘Bulk Import Tool’ button located on the top right hand side of the ribbon.

 

Get Data into a SharePoint List

  1. Create your sharepoint data list ready for import by:
    1. Creating a custom sharepoint list at the PWA level and importing your excel file or items in
    2. Ensure your custom sharepoint list has a field ‘project name’ or similar that corresponds exactly to the project name in project server (if updating existing projects)
    3. Ensure all the data you wish to update exists in the sharepoint list and as a field in project server
    4. Open the Bulk Import Tool from Project Center
    5. Enter the site URL where your sharepoint list resides and click ‘validate’
    6. Select you sharepoint list that you wish to import. If it doesn’t appear in the drop down, the URL you entered above must be incorrect.
    7. Select the view that applies to the sharepoint list you wish to import (cool huh!)
    8. Map the columns from the SharePoint list to the Project Server fields you created. You don’t need to update everything… If there isn’t a project server field valid for the sharepoint field, it just won’t come across.
      1. Ensure you map the project name with the correct project/proposal name from your list. This will allow you to update projects rather than creating new ones.
      2. Select the EPT you wish to use when creating projects
      3. Tick if you would like to ‘publish’ projects upon import. Personally I love this as it means all your updates can be seen in PWA and in reports straight away.
      4. Tick if you would like to ‘update existing projects’ with this import. As mentioned this needs to be ticked if you are updating projects as opposed to creating new projects or a combination of both.
      5. You can save the configuration list information to the specified list that is created upon activating the feature.
      6. Click Start Import to run the procedure

 

After this, all you existing projects will be updated with your sharepoint list information that you mapped correctly and all new projects will be created from your sharepoint list.

 

This is a great feature that I think greatly improves the ‘integration’ of external lists and databases and finally supports our argument to have project server as the single source of information!

 

You can set this up as an interim process to update once (upgrade/migration project) or to happen every week at a certain point for reporting reasons! Cool?! Cool…. J

 


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