My Picks from Project Conference 2014

As you probably are all aware, the sessions from Project Conference 2014 have all been made available online.  Here’s my list of the “must see” sessions. The only problem, of course, is that I didn’t get to see all of the sessions – in fact, I didn’t get to see very many sessions at all.

Hence my list is basically culled from the list of what other folks have told me that I should see.  It’s a good start, I suppose – and not intended to disparage anyone’s presentations that didn’t make the list.

Gartner Shares the Most Important PPM Trends for 2014; Donna Fitzgerald and Ben Chamberlain.  If you’re a PMO director or often called to play the role of one, make sure to see this presentation on how to do portfolio management – and make sure you have your Amazon account open on another screen and a credit card handy as you’ll be buying a number of books after this.

AWESOME User Experience for PWA From a Great Visual Design; Dariana Kestenholz and Mathias Laegdsmand – A simple way to drastically improve the look and feel of the main PWA site – and thus drive user adoption.

Real World Reports: Business Intelligence in Project Online and Project Server 2013; Mike McLean and I skim a rock over options for reporting against online and on-prem installations.

MS Project Server at Qualcomm; Nelson Diaz presents a case study on a Project Server implementation.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, there’s plenty more where that came from – including a vast array of customer case studies and technical chalk talks.

My Picks from Project Conference 2014

Configuring OData Refresh in Project Online (Revisited)

When Project Online was first released, there was no mechanism to refresh Excel reports consuming OData feeds.  Users were encouraged to open the Excel reports and manually refresh the reports.  Macros were written.  Hair was pulled in frustration.

Somewhere after the release, Microsoft came up with a clever solution – which involved basically routing the Excel report to an Azure server, which then triggered the refresh and returned the data to the Excel report.  The instructions for configuring this were posted in Microsoft blog under a somewhat less than obvious title:

Somewhere after that was posted, the configuration became a site collection feature.  Hence, if you’re using Project Online right now, you need to activate this at the PWA site collection level.

To get there, go into site settings for the PWA main site, and select the option for Site Collection Features.


The one you’re looking for is entitled Project Web App Permission for Excel Web App Refresh.  Activate that and you should be good to go.


For more official architecture type stuff, take a look at this link:

Configuring OData Refresh in Project Online (Revisited)