I came across an unexplained issue recently with an ‘old’ Project Server 2010 customer, in short what happened was many of the permissions across the Project workspace sites were lost. Unfortunately the loss was triggered by performing a Playbooks (2010 version) backup of the server configuration which was even more concerning, considering that is such a commonly used tool.
In short we needed a way to restore all of the workspace site permissions to what they should be, without having to manually action each site.
As it turns out Project Server 2010 has (once again) drastically changed the way that workspace site permissions are managed, fortunately changed for the better as now the behaviour is something like this:
- On first publish or creation of the workspace all appropriate users are granted permissions based on their group memberships and if they are a member of the project team. (Just as it previously worked)
- Subsequent publish jobs trigger another ‘Workspace Create’ job which now only adds new permissions but does not remove any existing ones, such as when a new team member is added to the plan. (This is similar to 2007 SP2)
- Active Directory Sync jobs trigger a permissions sync which acts just like #2.
The big differences are the following:
- During the sync NO permissions are removed. Thus correcting the old situation where an AD sync during business hours could result temporary permission losses.
- Manually changed permissions at the SharePoint level are respected. For instance if you remove a particular user from a SharePoint site, Project Server will not add it back in either of the standard permissions sync jobs above.
The Solution: To Restore All Permissions
As you may have found for yourself due to the new behaviour if a user is deleted from the SharePoint site, re-publishing a project will no longer fix the permissions. As such a new solution was needed in my case where permissions were lost across all sites:
- Create a new Project Server group containing all users.
- Assign My Organisation Category to that group.
- Assign Permission ‘View Project Site’ to My Organisation category.
- Save the new group (and wait for queue jobs to complete).
- Once confirmed permissions working delete the group (and again wait for the queue).
This will force a full refresh of the workspace site permissions across all users and all sites. Due the the new method of handling permissions it will only add each user with a minimum of ‘Reader’ unless they have another group which applies like Project Manager or Administrator, once you complete step 5 those unnecessary Readers will be removed, leaving only the correct permissions.
This is helpful in understanding some of the underlying logic used to balance a complex permission system and system performance. We have an issue that we still cannot resolve regarding giving read access to PDP’s (especially schedule tasks) to defined categories and groups. It seems we have to enable “new Project” or “Edit PDP” permissions in different spots for PWA visibility into PDPs to actually work. Ugh … very frustrating in our multi-project, varied responsibility, matrixed assignment environment.
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