With Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 and its clients, one can more effectively manage and coordinate work ranging from one-time projects to complex programs across the entire project life cycle. Office Project Server 2007 is designed to be accessible by its clients, Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007 and Microsoft Office Project Web Access.


Ensuring teams share common goals and work together effectively becomes more vital as organizations become more geographically and culturally diverse. Project Web Access provides Web-based access to timely, business-critical project information stored by Office Project Server 2007, so teams can share knowledge, collaborate smoothly to complete tasks and deliverables, and adjust activities quickly to accommodate project changes and updates
You can form the complete Office EPM Solution and gain additional portfolio management functionality using the bi-directional Project Gateway. This expands the value of the solution beyond operational management into strategic decisions on alignment of investments with business objectives. The Enterprise Project Management (EPM) solution with Microsoft Office Project Server 2007 can help organizations effectively manage and coordinate people, projects, and processes.
Microsoft® Visual Studio® Team System is a collection of tightly-integrated software development tools that change the way software development teams work together. With Visual Studio Team System, organizations can reduce software development complexity, facilitate collaboration among all team members, accelerate development time, improve predictability and reliability of the development process, and customize and extend Visual Studio Team System with their own internal tools, process frameworks, and supplemental partner products.
Currently VSTS supports integration with Microsoft Office Project Standard 2007 and Microsoft Office Project Professional 2007, also they help manage and plan activities, projects, and timelines on a standalone basis without leveraging any kind of collaboration between the data across different projects in a team.
Microsoft Project Server 2007- VSTS Connector comes in integrating the data across VSTS and the Project Server and helps synchronize the tasks (Work items) between the two applications. The connector also gives control over governing the activities between the two by providing the Approve/Deny option to a Manager/Administrator who can monitor the workflow between the two.
The integration solution provides better tracking of tasks and assignments. The solution integrates work items on the assignment level and provides:
  • Synchronized update to development tasks in real-time. The synchronization engine uses the event model for tracking changes in VSTS.
  • Reduced manual dependency in tracking the progress of the work on a day-to-day basis.
  • A single tool in VSTS to track the project progress. Team members do not need to use tools such as Project Web Access.
  • Notifications and Updates sent to the user. Project managers can get immediate notifications regarding work item updates made by the team members.

Walkthrough Scenarios

The synchronization scenario will describe the integration of MS Project Server 2007(PS) and VSTS, typically the mapping between the work items in VSTS and the assignments in Project Sever. In detail the following will be covered.
  1. Creating Assignments in Project Server
  2. Creating Team Project in VSTS
  3. Creating Associations in Connector thru Connector UI
  4. Update Assignments in Project Server – Sync to VSTS
  5. Update Work Items in Team Project (VSTS) – Sync to Project Server
  6. Approve/Deny pending changes in Connector UI

Getting Started

There are three client applications involved when synchronizing VSTS Work Items and Microsoft Project Server Assignments.
  • Microsoft Project Server Project Web Access
  • Microsoft Project Professional 2007
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Team Edition

Scenario 1 - Creating New Project/Assignment in Project Server

1. Access the Project web access URL for the project server and browse to the project center page.
2. Select new project from the dropdown menu items.


3. Set the project server account property for the new project which is created. (In case of a warning dialog box, open the Project server accounts separately and add the properties)
4. Enter the account name and the Project server URL. (If the account has been added separately go back to web access page and open a new project again).


5. Create new tasks and set the properties related to them (Duration, start, finish, etc).
6. Gantt chart view is the default view of the Project server.


7. Go to View menu and change to Task usage view. The custom field columns need to be added here.


8. Right click on the column frame and select insert column.


9. In the column definition dialog select the custom field names (as per the requirement). The custom fields currently supported are listed below.
  • AutoSync with external system.
  • Bug Description.
  • Cost type
  • Enterprise WorkItem type
  • Requirement type


10. Save and publish the project.
11. Browse the Project Web Access page and go to the Project Center.
12. Click on the saved project from the list in Project Details.
13. Select the Build Team link as shown below.


14. Select the Resource names from the left hand column and add them to the Build team on the right.
15. Save the changes.


16. Browse to Edit Project Properties page and click on Save and Publish to check-in the changes.


17. Select the saved project from the Project Center to open the Professional client.
18. Change the view to Gantt chart.
19. Assign Resources to each of the tasks as shown below.


20. Switch to Task Usage view.
21. Change the Enterprise Work Item type to Task, Bug or Requirements as per the scenario (Change the property for any other custom field if selected).
22. Change the AutoSync with external system property to yes.
23. Save and publish the project.


Scenario 2 - Creating Team Project in VSTS

1. Start VSTS and open the Team Explorer to create a new team project.
2. Connect to the Team Foundation Server if not mapped to the Server.
3. Right click on the Server name in the team explorer and select New Team Project.


4. Follow the steps in the wizard to create the new Team project as shown below.


5. Browse the project in the Team explorer as shown once created. Save the project.


Scenario 3 - Creating Associations in Connector

1. Browse to the home page of Connector Web Site.
2. Select Create New Project Association as shown below.


3. Select the previously created Team System project and the Project server enterprise project from the drop downs.
4. Select the check boxes to auto create the associations between work items and assignments and vice versa.
5. Save the connection.


6. Ensure that the association has been successfully created.


7. Details of the association can be viewed under view details as shown below.
8. Select create new assignment association to modify Task-Work item association.


9. Select the Task / work item from the drop down to modify the existing associations.
10. Add and submit the changes.


Result Verification

  1. To ensure that the integration is done, start VSTS and browse to the associated team project.
  2. All the tasks/assignments created in Project Server should reflect as Work items in the Team project along with the respective entity properties which were set.
  3. To check this run the team query for all work items as shown below.
  4. The most recent Work items are listed on the top of the results window.


Scenario 4 - Update Assignments in Project Server – Sync to VSTS

  1. To update assignments/tasks in the Project server, browse the associated project as explained in Scenario 1.
  2. Modify/create assignments/tasks, and their entity properties.
  3. Save and publish the project.
  4. To verify result open the associated Team Project as shown in Scenario 3.
  5. Check the corresponding Work item in the query result window after running the query to see the reflected changes.

Scenario 5 - Update Work Items in Team Project (VSTS) – Sync to Project Server

  1. To update work items in the team project (VSTS), browse the associated project as explained in Scenario 3.
  2. Select the work item which will be modified in the query results window and scroll down to make changes to the same as shown.
  3. Save the project after updating the work item.


Last edited May 23, 2007 at 6:15 AM by grahamba, version 20


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