Test background operations (Project Server 2010)


Applies to: Project Server 2010

Topic Last Modified: 2011-11-18

This article is about operations that are not the direct result of any user action, but instead are running in the background as scheduled jobs. Some of the most frequent operations that belong to this category include the following:

  • Cube building

  • Active Directory synchronization

  • Project archiving

Normally, testing strategies for these operations only consist in the following things:

  1. Controlling when the operation under test starts

  2. Running a dummy test on Visual Studio Team System 2008 Test Edition at the same time in order to capture relevant data from the affected servers, and without any other load

A dummy test has to be run in order to start the collection of performance counter data and continue for the whole duration of the cube building process. An example of a dummy test that can be used for the purpose is included in the "EPM Stress Test" Visual Studio solution ("DoNothing" class), which is part of the "Project Server 2010 Performance Lab Kit."

The following sections provide more specific details for testing each of the above operations.

Cube building

In order to trigger a start of the cube building process, you can access the Cube Build Status page under Server Settings and use the Build Now button at the bottom of the page. This will cause activity on the computer that is running SQL Server, the Project Server application server and the SQL Server Analysis Services server.

Active Directory synchronization

The Active Directory synchronization feature in Microsoft Project Server 2010 can synchronize resource data in the Enterprise Resource Pool or user data in security groups. Management settings for the two types of synchronization targets are different.

To configure and start a synchronization targeted to the Enterprise Resource Pool, you can simply access the Active Directory Enterprise Resource Pool Synchronization page from Server Settings. Click the Save and Synchronize now button at the bottom of the page.

To configure and start a synchronization targeted to a security group, you must perform two steps. First, set the Active Directory group for every Project Server group that you want to synchronize. You begin this step by accessing the Manage Groups page from Server Settings. Then you click on a group name to enter the Add or Edit Group page, and then you click Find Group in the Active Directory Group to Synchronize section. The second step consists in configuring the synchronization parameters and scheduling. You can do this by clicking the Active Directory Synch Options button on the toolbar of the Manage Groups page; a dialog window opens. This allows you to set the options for group synchronization. You can use the Save and Synchronize now button at the bottom of this dialog window to start the synchronization task immediately.

Project archiving

Project archiving (or backup) can be triggered by accessing the Administrative Backup page from Server Settings (select Projects and then clicking Backup). Entities other than projects can also be archived and tested. The backup operation is en-queued and then processed by a Project Server application server. You can also expect significant activity on the computer that is running SQL Server.

See the Retire Projects article for more information about Project archiving in Project Server.

Identify different queue behaviors

When performing background operation testing it is important to understand and be able to identify different queue behaviors during your tests. The two key performance counters that should be monitored for this objective are as follows:

  1. QueueGeneral | Current Unprocessed Jobs (Current number of unprocessed jobs in the queue)

  2. QueueJobs | Jobs Processed / Minute (Number of jobs processed per minute)

Please send any comments, questions, or concerns about the documentation to epmdocfeedback@microsoft.com.