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Project Server 2007 – Enterprise Global (And, the Standard Template)

By Collin Quiring

Enterprise Global Summary:

In Project Server 2007, the Enterprise Global file is the main file that provides the default settings, tables, required fields, custom fields and views that are used in Project Professional.  It exists so that all the Project Managers that connect to the server will use the same settings.

 

How does it work?

When the business decides that certain information, processes or settings are required for schedules placed in Project, the Global file is modified to match those needs.  Therefore, only the Administrator should be able to modify the Global file.  This ensures that required fields are filled out prior to the schedule being published on the server.

 

Whenever a user opens Project Professional with a connection to a server, the Enterprise Global file will be downloaded from the server to the user’s computer.  This happens automatically, in the background, and can’t be stopped by the user.  Every time Project Professional connects with the server, it checks to ensure that the most current Global file is being used.

 

What’s the catch?

There are two issues to the Global file that Project Manager’s need to be knowledgeable about.  They both are part of the program and the way that Microsoft built the tool.

 

1.        Since a user needs to have the ability to work without being attached to a server a cached version of the Global file is saved on the user’s computer.  This allows for faster processing while online and for the ability to work offline.  This is also why sometimes the Global file is referred to as the “Enterprise Global file” or “Local Global file” to designate between the two potential versions of the Global file.

a.       The catch here occurs if a person modifies their own Global file, has never connected to any Project Server or is connecting to multiple Project Server instances and then working offline between those connections.  While a rare occurrence it sometimes happens.  Doing any of these can cause the user’s version of the Global file and the server’s Global file to be incongruent.  When the user later connects to the server, the Enterprise Global file will download and if they have any customized views, fields or other modifications in the Local Global file those modifications won’t necessarily be saved to the server.

 

2.       For some reason, Microsoft decided that only about 95% of the Enterprise Global file would actually download to the user’s computer.  There are some settings (like the option for “Project Summary”) that do not download.  In those cases, the individual Local Global file is used with whatever most recent (or factory default) settings are in that Local Global file.

a.       The solution for this is relatively simple and leads us to the Standard Template.

 

Standard Template Summary:

While the Enterprise Global file controls views, custom fields, and most other settings the way to ensure that a Project Manager starts with the same settings for every new schedule is to create a Standard Template.  The Standard Template has everything set to the agreed upon settings and can therefore guarantee that everybody is starting out with the exact same starting point. 

One way to differentiate the Enterprise Global file and the Standard Template is to view it like this:  The Enterprise Global file creates the views and fields to use and the Standard Template opens with the view and fields to start an actual schedule.  The Standard Template may or may not have certain tasks in it as well. 

 

The standard methodology should be that whenever a Project Manager starts a new schedule, they connect to Project Server to get the Enterprise Global file and then they open the Standard Template and begin adding their specific schedule’s information.

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