Welcome!

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson, Daniel Kaar

Related Topics: ColdFusion

ColdFusion: Article

ProjectFusion: ColdFusion Project Server Integration

Manage tasks, resources, and projects

Most people are familiar with Microsoft Project - project management software that allows you to manage many aspects of projects including tasks, due dates, progress, and people assigned to specific tasks.

Microsoft Project Server is an enterprise storage product that facilitates sharing project plans created with Microsoft Project with other people in a company, especially other project managers. Project Server enables you to manage a workforce by tracking all projects in common and giving you a view of all projects that an individual may be assigned to. Chances are that any large organization will have more than one project manager and using a centralized storage point allows for better group management of projects. In this kind of environment, Project Server acts as the central repository and Microsoft Project acts as a client to access that information. Project Server also provides a Web interface for viewing the status of projects.

The principal (recommended) way to integrate with Microsoft Project is by using the integrated Project Data Service (PDS) that's included with Microsoft Project Server. PDS is a SOAP Web service that translates incoming requests and manages their entry into the system. The most common integration pieces are external user management, timesheet systems, and ticketing systems. The PDS exposes pieces of the puzzle that allow you to integrate with these external systems and to integrate all the parts of your organizational project systems.

The PDS will allow you to create projects, tasks, resources, as well as log time against projects and run administrative reports on information in the system. Granted, for most integration you'll want to use the Microsoft hooks into other Microsoft products. For example, Project Server boasts excellent integration with Microsoft's Outlook Exchange, Active Directory, and Sharepoint. If those are your only integration points, any work you would need to do is done by Microsoft, but if you need to work with a non-Microsoft product, read on.

Often times the largest integration obstacle is simply learning how a product works, and that can easily be the case with Microsoft Project. The initial learning curve of Microsoft Project may be steep but it's worth the hurdle to reach familiarization with the application before and during your implementation. You can retrieve a copy of the Microsoft Project Server API help files from this location: www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4D2ABC8C-8BCA-4DB9-8753-178C0D3099C5&displaylang=en .

I'll now focus on the basics of the PDS and share some code that you can use in your organization to hook into Project Server.

Authentication
The first thing you have to do in any integration is authenticate with the other system. In Project Server land authentication is a three-part process: authenticate with Project Server, create the session, and authenticate with PDS Web services. If you're trying this on your local system, the best way to debug and observe the authentication steps is to turn on prompting for all cookies and turn off automatic forwarding in your Web browser.

To authenticate with Project Server:


 <cfhttp method="get"  url="http://#projectserver#/projectserver/lgnPSAu.asp"
   redirect="No" timeout="60">
    <cfhttpparam name="un" value="#pjUname#" type="url">
    <cfhttpparam name="pwd" value="#pjPwd#" type="url">
</cfhttp>

Next take the cookie from the Project Server login page and pass it to the session manager:


<cfhttp method="post" url="http://#projectserver#/projectserver/SesStart.asp?
ref=lgnpsau.asp&au=0" redirect="No" timeout="60">
  <cfhttpparam name="PjSessionID" value="#urldecode(PjSessionCookie)#" 
  type="Cookie">
</cfhttp>

Passing in the cookie to Project Server instantiates the session on Project Server and initiates the security system.


<cfhttp method="post"  url="http://#projectserver#/projectserver/lgnpsau.asp?err=0"
 redirect="No" timeout="60">
   <cfhttpparam name="PjSessionID" value="#urldecode(PjSessionCookie)#" type="Cookie">
</cfhttp>

After the third cfhttp call, you'll receive an XML session cookie to use with Web services. Each and every Web service request must be accompanied with the XML session cookie provided in the last step. This cookie serves to associate your session with the system and Project Server uses this to manage the security and show you the correct projects that your username has access to. To make things easier, create an object and function to send the cookie and the XML request to Project Server.


<cfobject webservice="http://sjn-msp-02/projectserver/pds.wsdl" name="pdshandle">

  // Function to make it easier to send requests to the web service
    function pdsSend(myxml) {
       var returnedxml = "";
        returnedxml = xmlparse(pdshandle.soapxmlrequest(sessioncookie,m
		yxml));
        return returnedxml;
   }

From here you just have to send SOAP requests to the Project Server to manage whatever project you're working on. The first step is to create a project using the PDS <CreateProject> method:


 initialProject = pdsSend("<Request><ProjectCreate><AutoPublish>1</AutoPublish>
 <Project>
<ProjectName>#projectname#</ProjectName><Title>MY Test ColdFusion
 Project</Title><Company>eBay</Company><StartDate>#dateformat(now(),'yyyymmdd')#
 </StartDate></Project></ProjectCreate></Request>");

You can use this method to fully create a project and tasks, if you know all of the details about the project, such as tasks, resources, and assignments. For this example, though, project creation is broken down into each respective method call to show a wider variety of methods associated with the PDS. This example creates only one project but the PDS allows you to create multiple projects in one request. A large number of PDS methods allow you to create or modify several items in one request, which can be very convenient; however, if one item fails, all other items will fail as well.

Replies from the PDS Web service always come back in the same format: an XML response with an hresult and status node. A status code of 0 means that your request was successful; anything greater than a 0 means that something went wrong and the request failed. Figure 1 shows a <CFDUMP> of the resultant XML that is returned by PDS.

Next, check out the project you just created using the Web service call <ProjectsCheckout> to add tasks, resources, and assignments to it.


projectcheckout = pdsSend("<Request><ProjectsCheckout><Project>
<ProjectID>#projectID#
</ProjectID>
</Project><Project><ProjectID>1</ProjectID></Project>
</ProjectsCheckout>
</Request>");

In the <ProjectsCheckout> Web service call, there are two projects being checked out: the project you just created from the PDS system and the ID for the global resources project. To add resources or users to Project Server, it's necessary to check out the global project because the resources will also be added to the global project. In the default configuration, the global project should have an ID of 1 and the name of resglobal, but this may be different for your configuration. It helps to keep in mind that within Project Server, users are a type of resource.

Once the global resource project is checked out, create a resource by calling the <ResourcesAdd> method.


resourceinfo = pdsSend("<Request><ResourcesAdd><Resources><Resource>
<Name>#resourcename#</Name></Resource></Resources></ResourcesAdd></Request>");

The default type of resource created is the "work" type, meaning a person. When a work resource is created with this PDS method, it automatically creates a Project Server Web access login for the resource as well. PDS returns the enterprise resource ID or Enterprise User ID (EUID) of the user that is created. The EUID is needed for successive method calls and it must be parsed out.

Although the resource has been added to Project Server, it still needs to be added to the project that was just created in order to assign the resource to a task. Using <ProjectResourcesCreate> you can add one or several resources to the project.


ProjResource = pdsSend("<Request><ProjectResourcesCreate><AutoPublish>1</AutoPublish>
<ProjectID>#projectID#</ProjectID><Resources><Resource><EUID>#resourceUID#
</EUID></Resource></Resources></ProjectResourcesCreate></Request>");

At this point there is a little bit of a problem. The resource was added to Project Server and an EUID was created, but unfortunately the EUID can't be used in the project for assignments. For resources in Project Server there are three IDs to choose from when trying to assign a resource to a specific task in a project. Resources have an enterprise resource ID or EUID (one that corresponds to the resource ID of the resource global project), a project resource Unique ID (UID), and a Resource ID.

To assign the resource to the task, you need to find the UID for the resource. You can accomplish this by making another request to get the details for the project using the <ProjectData> method and then taking the EUID received after adding the resource to Project Server and matching it with the EUID that's returned with the project data. The <ProjectData> method returns a complete resource object that includes the EUID and the UID for that particular project.


projectdata =  pdsSend("<Request><ProjectData><ProjectID>#projectID#</ProjectID>
<ReturnUIDs>1</ReturnUIDs></ProjectData></Request>");

Sound confusing? It helps to think of Project Server organizing everything into projects. When a resource is added to a project, it creates a Unique ID for that project. The EUID corresponds to the Unique ID for the resource in the global project.

There's one other thing that you need the project data for: to find out what the next Task ID should be. If you have installed the latest service pack from Microsoft for Project Server, you won't need to do this step. For previous versions of Project Server you'll need to find out what the next Task ID is and include it with the Project ID in the task creation method <ProjectTasksCreate>.


Taskxml = pdsSend("<Request><ProjectTasksCreate><AutoPublish>1</AutoPublish>
<ProjectID>#ProjectID#</ProjectID><Tasks><Task><Name>#taskname#</Name>
<ID>#projectTaskID#</ID><Finish>#dateformat(taskenddate,'yyyymmdd')
##timeformat(taskenddate,'HHmmss')#</Finish><Start>#dateformat(taskstartdate,'yyyymmdd')
##timeformat(taskstartdate,'HHmmss')#</Start></Task></Tasks>
</ProjectTasksCreate></Request>");

Once the task has been added to the project, assign a resource to the task using <ProjectAssignmentsCreate>.


ProjAssign = pdsSend("<Request><ProjectAssignmentsCreate><AutoPublish>1</AutoPublish>
<ProjectID>#ProjectID#</ProjectID><Assignments><Assignment>
<TaskID>#projectTaskID#</TaskID><ResourceID>#ProjectResourceID#</ResourceID>
<Units>100</Units><Finish>#dateformat(taskenddate,'yyyymmdd')
##timeformat(taskenddate,'HHmmss')#</Finish><Start>#dateformat(taskstartdate,'yyyymmdd')
##timeformat(taskstartdate,'HHmmss')#</Start></Assignment></Assignments>
</ProjectAssignmentsCreate></Request>");

A resource can only be assigned to a task once. However, several resources can be assigned to complete a task. Assignments have their own start dates and end dates as well, because specific assignments can be less than the duration of the task. To finish it off, check the project back in and voilà, you've created your own project in Project Server!


projectcheckin = pdsSend("<Request><ProjectsCheckin><Project>
<ProjectID>#projectID#
</ProjectID>
</Project><Project><ProjectID>1</ProjectID></Project>
</ProjectsCheckin>
</Request>");

Conclusion
Once all of the above steps have been completed, you have a project in which you can manage tasks, resources, and projects. Using the Web service calls discussed in this article, you can do anything from tracking the status of projects, to managing resources and resource availability on an enterprise scale with your custom applications. Integrating with Project Server using ColdFusion's built-in processing tools is a great way to connect your enterprise applications to Microsoft's project management tools. If you're interested in doing more with Project Server, you'll find more information at these Web sites:

  • The official developer's network that includes tools and information for dealing with Microsoft Project including developer guides and helpful information about integrating with Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft Project: http://msdn.microsoft.com/project
  • Microsoft Project Users Group is an independent Web site that features Microsoft Project and project management resources for those interested in finding out more about how other project management professionals are doing things in the real world: www.mpug.org

More Stories By John Hirschi

Jon Hirschi is a Senior Web Developer at eBay Inc. specializing in content and knowledge management systems. He has been using ColdFusion since version 4.0.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com), moderated by Ashar Baig, Research Director, Cloud, at Gigaom Research, Nate Gordon, Director of T...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, described how to revolutioniz...
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, and physical persons. In the IoT vision, every new "thing" - sensor, actuator, data source, data con...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Focused on this fast-growing market’s needs, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (Nasdaq: VTSS), a leading provider of IC solutions to advance "Ethernet Everywhere" in Carrier, Enterprise and Internet of Things (IoT) networks, introduced its IStaX™ software (VSC6815SDK), a robust protocol stack to simplify deployment and management of Industrial-IoT network applications such as Industrial Ethernet switching, surveillance, video distribution, LCD signage, intelligent sensors, and metering equipment. Leveraging technologies proven in the Carrier and Enterprise markets, IStaX is designed to work ac...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
C-Labs LLC, a leading provider of remote and mobile access for the Internet of Things (IoT), announced the appointment of John Traynor to the position of chief operating officer. Previously a strategic advisor to the firm, Mr. Traynor will now oversee sales, marketing, finance, and operations. Mr. Traynor is based out of the C-Labs office in Redmond, Washington. He reports to Chris Muench, Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Traynor brings valuable business leadership and technology industry expertise to C-Labs. With over 30 years' experience in the high-tech sector, John Traynor has held numerous...
Bit6 today issued a challenge to the technology community implementing Web Real Time Communication (WebRTC). To leap beyond WebRTC’s significant limitations and fully leverage its underlying value to accelerate innovation, application developers need to consider the entire communications ecosystem.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, phone and digital TV services to consumers primarily in rural areas.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada. Our partner network encompasses some 300 of the world's leading systems integrators and security s...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world. The next @ThingsExpo will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, in Santa Clara, California. Since its launch in 2008, Cloud Expo TV commercials have been aired and CNBC, Fox News Network, and Bloomberg TV. Please enjoy our 2014 commercial.
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.