How can we improve Project?

Give us a way to read all useful task fields from Project Online

Is there is a supported way for Microsoft partners to read local custom fields residing in Project Online? What appears to be the case is that CSOM is supported for Project Online, but PSI is not. Furthermore PSI gives access to local custom fields but CSOM does not. Thus there is no supported solution that allows read access to local custom fields in Project Online. I hope I am missing something here. It would be great to know if I am wrong or if there is a workaround. Failing that, it would be great to get an enlargement of CSOM to provide access to local custom fields. Please see attached summary of the MSDN documentation that leads to my suggestion here.

Jim

I would really appreciate a response to this request because I have customers who my company's applications to be able to read their project data from Project Online

130 votes
Sign in
(thinking…)
Sign in with: facebook google
Signed in as (Sign out)

We’ll send you updates on this idea

Jim Black shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

8 comments

Sign in
(thinking…)
Sign in with: facebook google
Signed in as (Sign out)
Submitting...
  • Marcos Babu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What about a way to update local CustomFields (that is, on specific projects) through CSOM?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I have been using Chroniclegraphics since 2010 with MSProject and it is absolutely indispensable! Please assist them so that no functionality is impacted.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    The use of Chroniclegraphics OnePager Pro is key to our project management activities. Please ensure the needed features in MSP remain so this OnePager's can continue to be generated.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Our organization is considering MicroSoft Office 365 which I believe would be a cloud application and therefore require the ability to utilize OnePager from a Server vs. Desktop application.

  • SanshaKuvakei commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hey Nadin,
    we face the same problem here, and the local custom fields are not read-only in PSI, you can update these values easily. But our use case is that you have project related lookup table. For example if you want to map a task to an wbs element in an external system. The wbs elements are always project dependent. Until now it was easy to use for the customer cause we were able to provide the correct values into an local custom field which had these values as lookup table per project. Without them, you have to use an enterprise custom field with one lookup table for all projects which results at our customers in a lookup table with > 10000 entries. And this is not usable and we cannot argue for such a scenario, besides that, you are not able to maintain lookup table of this size, cause everything crashes or runs into timeouts. But there are even more scenarios out there.
    I hope this illustrates the problem for you.

    Regards

    PS: There is a nice discussion going on at the forums (https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/bfe5b6ed-63ad-4d0d-8c58-1b81c193b20a/microsoft-does-not-provide-a-supported-way-to-read-all-useful-task-data-from-project-online?forum=project2010custprog).

  • Jim Black commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi again Nadin,
    Following onto my previous comment, let me give you a very common customer scenario in which you can see the problem.

    1) Create a project in Microsoft Project Professional 2013 on your desktop. Populate Yes/No values in the Flag 20 field. Also populate string values in the Text 30 field for, say, a company strategy classification (e.g. 'Customer Satisfaction', "Price Competitiveness', 'Product Innovation'. Save the mpp file and close MS Project.

    2) Now relaunch MS Project, but this time connect it to MS Project Online 2013.

    3) Open the mpp file saved in step 1 and save it into the cloud on Project Online 2013. You will still be able to see the Flag20 and Text 30 values even though the project has been saved on the server. You will also be able to see the Flag20 and Text30 values in Project Web Access if you log into Project Online via a browser.

    4) Now use CSOM to attempt to extract the values of Flag20 and Text30 in the project that you saved on Project Online 2013.

    Expected Result: you can read the Flag20 Yes/No values and you can read the Text30 strategy strings that are stored on Project Server and visible in both Project Professional and Project Web Access.

    Actual Result: you cannot see the Flag20 or Text30 values in CSOM.

    Hope this helps,
    Jim

  • Jim Black commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Nadin,
    Thank you for your interest in my request. Here is the scenario. Using either Microsoft Project Professional or Project Web Access, customers store information in all three sets of fields:
    1) Standard fields (e.g. Start, Finish, Name, ...)
    2) Local custom fields (e.g. Flag1,... Text1,... Number1, ...)
    3) Enterprise custom fields
    Customers require my company's software to read values from any field that they use, and that field can fall in any one of the three sets. Therefore, if we are unable to read any of the local custom fields but can still read the standard and enterprise custom fields, the solution does not meet customer needs. Customers have not stopped stop using local custom fields even though enterprise custom fields provide a larger and more flexible set. I have never seen a customer project that did not employ several local custom fields, even when it was also making good use of enterprise custom fields.
    To address the assumption in your second sentence, enterprise custom fields are certainly being used. My customers use both local custom fields and enterprise custom fields. This is not an either/or situation. Even though there are ways to map enterprise fields to local fields, in practice customers and their IT administrators do not configure Project so that enterprise custom fields are complete substitutes for local custom fields. We have to read project data that is laid out in the way that the customer has chosen to use the three sets of fields. Thus CSOM needs to emulate PSI in providing access to all three sets of fields.

    Thanks,
    Jim

Feedback and Knowledge Base