How to troubleshoot Active Directory synchronization issues in Project Server 2003

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INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to troubleshoot Active Directory directory service synchronization issues in Microsoft Office Project Server 2003.

MORE INFORMATION

Active Directory synchronization issues fall into the following categories:

Active Directory communication and environmental issues and Active Directory object issues that are independent of the Project Server database

The Active Directory synchronization component in Project Server 2003 does the following things, in this order:
  1. Contacts a global catalog in a specific Active Directory forest.
  2. Performs a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) query by using ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) to search for a specified Active Directory group or organizational unit (OU).
  3. Uses Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) to obtain a reference to the group or to the OU to iterate through the members of the group or the members of the OU. This includes nested groups and organizational units.
These issues fall into the following categories:

Issues with contacting the global catalog

  • When you synchronize Active Directory to a group cross forest, do the following things:
    • Use the full Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) to specify the group. For example, use the following FQDN to specify the group:
      groupname@childdomain.rootdomain.com
    • Make sure that the target domain in the remote forest contains a copy of the global catalog for that forest.
  • If your domain contains Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 backup domain controllers (BDCs) and Microsoft Windows Server 2003 domain controllers, you may be running the Windows Server 2003 Active Directory forest in Interim Mode. Running the Windows Server 2003 Active Directory forest in Interim Mode can prevent Project Server from accessing the global catalog.
  • When you use either the full FQDN or the domain\username format to specify a group, make sure that the target domain contains a copy of the global catalog for your forest.
  • Make sure that port 3268 is open between the computer that is running Project Server 2003 and the domain controller that is hosting a copy of the global catalog. Port 3268 is used for global catalog communication. If your global catalog communication is encrypted by using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), make sure that port 3269 is open.
  • Make sure that the network and security topology is enabled for communication between Project Server and a domain controller that is hosting a global catalog. For example, if the computer that is hosting Project Server is a member of a workgroup, global catalog communication fails.

Issues with a specific Active Directory group

  • If the group that you are trying to synchronize has no members, you receive a failed synchronization status. This is a known bug. To work around this issue, make sure that the group that you are trying to synchronize has at least one member.
  • If the incorrect group is being synchronized, you may have more than one group that matches the LDAP query that is used by Project Server. To work around this behavior, you can try to use the full FQDN of the group. Or, you can change the group name to make sure that the group name is unique across your Active Directory forest.
  • When you synchronize a group by selecting the Update Now option, a group is not returned by the FetchGroup function in the Project Server 2003 Active Directory synchronization component. Additionally, an error message is logged in the Application log. The error message includes the text "FetchGroup:" followed by a numeric value. Although the root cause for this issue has not yet been determined, we believe that this issue is related to Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services and Internet Information Services (IIS) configuration or corruption. You can typically workaround this issue by creating a new Web site and then using the EditSite tool to create a new "ProjectServer" virtual directory under the new site.
  • If only some of the group members are being returned, you may be experiencing an LDAP policy limitation that is related to multivalue attribute retrieval. In this scenario, Active Directory group attribute "members" are the multivalue attribute. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    315071 How to view and set LDAP policy in Active Directory by using Ntdsutil.exe

Issues with a specific Active Directory user

  • Project Server requires all Active Directory users to have their displayName property populated. Users who have empty displayName properties are not synchronized with Project Server.
  • References to some users may exist in a group's members attribute. However, these users may have been deleted from Active Directory. In these situations, you may receive a "partial failure" error message for a specific Active Directory synchronization process. Additionally, the following error message is logged in the event log:

    "Accessing AD group " & GroupName & " failed partially because group member - " & sMemberDN & " can't be resolved by LDAP."

    Because the user no longer exists in Active Directory, the error is fairly harmless and can be ignored. Contact your Active Directory administrator to remove the reference to the non-existent user from the group's members attribute.
  • Certain special characters in the displayName property for specific users can cause synchronization failures for those users. The following characters are replaced for a specific user's Active Directory displayName property before the displayName property appears in the Project Server database:
    • List separator character
      • If the list separator character is a comma, the comma is replaced by a semicolon.
      • If the list separator character is anything other than a comma, the list separator character is replaced by a comma.
    • Brackets
      • Brackets are replaced by braces. That is, "[" and "]" are replaced by "{" and "}" respectively.

Tools

The following tools are available to troubleshoot these issues:
  • ADSI Edit
  • EditSite
To obtain the EditSite tool, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=6dc2c83e-54e1-40a9-9bb8-2dd293226b6f

Project Server database issues that relate to Active Directory synchronization

The Active Directory synchronization component in Project Server 2003 uses the Project Data Service (PDS) to perform the following potential actions during an Active Directory synchronization process:
  • Updating a resource. This includes inactivating a resource.
  • Adding a new resource or a new Project Server user.
  • Adding an existing Project Server user to a Project Server security group.
  • Removing an existing Project Server user from a Project Server security group.
Depending on the circumstances, one or more of these PDS actions may fail. To isolate and capture more specific information about these failures, you can use the Project Server 2003 SetTracing utility. By using the SetTracing utility, you can obtain the following information from Project Server:
  • The exact PDS commands that are requested by the Active Directory synchronization component.
  • The replies from the PDS. The replies include error status codes.
Use the SetTracing utility to increase the information capture sensitivity level to 4 for application event log capture. Run an Active Directory synchronization process, and then examine the application event log. Information that appears immediately before error events and warning events should include PDS request and reply information. The PDS reply information may contain a numeric non-zero value in the <Status /> node. Use the PDS error code reference to obtain more information about a specific status code. To view the PDS error code reference, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa204425(office.11).aspx

Known issues

  • PDS ADD commands may fail if the displayName of a new user or resource matches that of an existing Project Server user or resource. The Active Directory displayName property maps to the User name property or to the Resource Name property in Project Server. Project Server requires that these field values are unique throughout a single Project Server database.
  • PDS ADD commands may fail if you have manually added a user to Project Server but their Windows Account or User Name fields do not match those properties in Active Directory. The Windows Account or User Name fields must exactly match the User Name and Resource Name properties in Active Directory. If they do not exactly match, an error status code of 2028 or 2029 may be logged in the application event log.

Tools

The following tools are available to troubleshoot these issues:
  • Application event log
  • PDSTest Harness
  • SetTracing
To obtain the SetTracing utility, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=49443d62-0c72-4fa6-9cdf-6a796bde2882&displaylang=en

Active Directory synchronization component work and data flow misunderstandings

The Active Directory synchronization component in Project Server 2003 exhibits specific behavior that may not be intuitive or was not previously well documented.

These issues fall into the following categories:

Clearing the AD GUID

An AD GUID should be cleared for a specific user when you want that user to remain active even though they no longer belong to the Active Directory group that is mapped to the Project Server Enterprise Resource Pool. Clearing the AD GUID also prevents other Project Server users from being removed from Project Server security groups if their Active Directory account has been removed from an Active Directory group or from an OU mapping to a specific Project Server security group.

Following is an example Enterprise Resource Pool synchronization scenario that illustrates the use of the "Clear User AD GUID" feature:
  1. User "John Doe" is a member of an Active Directory group that is named "ERP (AD)".
  2. An administrator synchronizes the Project Server Enterprise Resource Pool to the Active Directory group "ERP (AD)".
  3. "John Doe" is removed from "ERP (AD)".
  4. An administrator again synchronizes the Project Server Enterprise Resource Pool to the Active Directory group "ERP (AD)".
  5. If John Doe's AD GUID had been cleared before the second synchronization, he would not be inactivated.
Important After clearing an AD GUID, the AD GUID is automatically re-inserted into the Project Server database in the following scenarios.
Enterprise Resource Pool Active Directory synchronization process
The AD GUID is automatically re-inserted into the Project Server database if the following conditions are true:
  • The related user is not removed from the Active Directory group mapping to the Enterprise Resource Pool.
  • A subsequent Active Directory synchronization occurs.
Project Server security group Active Directory synchronization process
The AD GUID is automatically re-inserted into the Project Server database if the following condition is true:
  • The Project Server user had gained a new Project Server security group membership through a Project Server security group Active Directory synchronization process.
For Enterprise Resources, the AD GUID is stored in the Project Server database in the following locations:
  • MSP_WEB_RESOURCES.WRES_AD_GUID
  • MSP_RESOURCES.RES_AD_GUID
For Project Server users who are not also Enterprise Resources, the AD GUID is stored in the Project Server database in the following location:
  • MSP_WEB_RESOURCES.WRES_AD_GUID

Inactivation or activation of resources

A user is inactivated during an Enterprise Resource Pool Active Directory synchronization process if the following conditions are true:
  1. The user already exists in the Enterprise Resource Pool.
  2. The user is then removed from the Active Directory group mapping to the Enterprise Resource Pool.
  3. A subsequent Enterprise Resource Pool Active Directory synchronization process occurs.
Users are never reactivated during an Active Directory synchronization process. Inactivation does not apply to Project Server security group Active Directory synchronizations.

The active or inactive status for a specific resource is stored in the Project Server database in the following locations:
  • MSP_WEB_RESOURCES.WRES_IS_ENABLED
  • MSP_RESOURCES.RES_RTYPE (0 = active work resource, 1000 = inactive work resource)

Interruptions to the Active Directory synchronization process

When an Active Directory synchronization process starts, the MSP_WEB_ADMIN_AD. WADMIN_AD_ERESPOOL_UPDATE value is set to 1 for Enterprise Resource Pool synchronizations. The MSP_WEB_ADMIN_AD. WADMIN_AD_GRP_UPDATE value is set to 1 for Project Server security group synchronizations. When the synchronization process has been completed, these values are set back to 0 (zero).

The purpose of these database modifications is to prevent overlapping synchronization processes. For example, if a scheduled Active Directory synchronization process starts, you do not want administrators to also start the same process through Project Web Access because data integrity could be compromised. When either of the previous values is set to 1, to prevent overlapping synchronizations, the Update Now option is not available.

If, for any reason, an Active Directory synchronization process is unexpectedly interrupted before it has been completed, the value for WADMIN_AD_ERESPOOL_UPDATE or the value for WADMIN_AD_GRP_UPDATE may stay at 1. This prevents subsequent synchronization processes. For example, this can occur if IIS was reset or if IIS crashed during a synchronization process. To correct the issue, set the values for those fields back to 0, and then re-synchronize.

User metadata

The following fields can be updated during an Enterprise Resource Pool Active Directory synchronization process:
  • Resource Name
  • Windows User Account
  • E-mail Address
  • Group
  • AD GUID
A match between Active Directory users and Project Server resources is first tried on the AD GUID and then on the Resource Name field in Project Server and on the Display Name field in Active Directory. If a match is made, and if the Active Directory user properties and the Project Server resource properties are different, an update is tried through the PDS.

The following table lists the Active Directory fields that map to the Project Server resource fields.
Collapse this tableExpand this table
Active Directory PropertyProject Resource Property (Enterprise Resource Pool)Project Server User Property
Display Name (UserObject.displayName or UserObject.fullName)Resource Name (MSP_RESOURCES.RES_NAME)User Name (MSP_WEB_RESOURCES.RES_NAME)
Windows User Account (domain\sAMAccountName)Windows User Account (MSP_TEXT_FIELDS. TEXT_FIELD_ID = 205521207)Windows User Account (MSP_WEB_RESOURCES. WRES_NT_ACCOUNT)
E-mail Address (UserObject. EmailAddress)E-mail Address (MSP_TEXT_FIELDS. TEXT_FIELD_ID = 205520931)E-mail Address (MSP_WEB_RESOURCES. WRES_EMAIL)
Department (UserObject.Department)Group (MSP_TEXT_FIELDS. TEXT_FIELD_ID = 205520899)N/A (No schema allowance)
AD GUID (UserObject.Guid)<No UI> (MSP_RESOURCES. RES_AD_GUID)<No UI> (MSP_WEB_RESOURCES. WRES_AD_GUID)
Note that metadata updates do not occur for Project Server users during a Project Server security group Active Directory synchronization process. There is one exception to this. The AD GUID can be re-inserted during a Project Server security group Active Directory synchronization process if the following conditions are true:
  • The Project Server user's AD GUID had previously been cleared.
  • The Project Server user had gained a new Project Server security group membership through a Project Server security group Active Directory synchronization process.

You receive an "AD Res Pool Sync - failed to open the Ent. Res" error message when you perform an Active Directory synchronization against the Enterprise Resource Pool

When you perform an Active Directory synchronization against the Enterprise Resource Pool, you may receive the following error message:
AD Res Pool Sync - failed to open the Ent. Res.
This problem may occur if the enterprise resource was checked out when the Enterprise Resource Pool Active Directory synchronization process runs. To resolve the problem, you can force a check-in of the Enterprise Resource Pool project.

Important If you check in an enterprise resource that is checked out, the user who has the enterprise resource checked out will not be able to save changes to the database.

To check in the Enterprise Resource Pool project, follow these steps:
  1. On the Project Web Access Admin page, click Manage enterprise features under Actions.
  2. Under Enterprise options, click Check in enterprise projects.

    Note Only users who are assigned the "Check In My Projects" global permission can access the Check in enterprise projects link.
  3. On the Check in enterprise projects page, click the Enterprise Resource Pool project, and then click Check-In.

Active Directory synchronization security issues

The Active Directory synchronization component in Project Server 2003 must run in some kind of security context. The details of this security context are briefly covered in this section. This includes accounts, permissions, and security caveats.

These issues fall into the following categories:

Active Directory synchronization context accounts and security requirements

Different security accounts are used depending on whether you are scheduling an Active Directory synchronization process or initiating an Active Directory synchronization process by selecting the Update Now option in Project Web Access. When you select the Update Now option in Internet Explorer, IIS hosts the process that handles the Active Directory synchronization. The security account that is used depends on your IIS file security permissions for the following files:
  • /Admin/SyncPool.asp for Enterprise Resource Pool synchronizations
  • /Admin/SyncGrp.asp for Project Server security group synchronizations
For each of these files, you should have only the Integrated Windows Authentication option selected for IIS file security permissions. This makes sure that the currently logged-on Windows user's credentials are used for the synchronization process. This includes contacting the global catalog and running ADSI commands through LDAP.

When you schedule Active Directory synchronizations, the logon account that is specified for the Project Server Scheduled Process Service is used to perform the synchronization. By default, this logon account is the Local System account.

These accounts must be able to create an instance of the /BIN/PjSvrADC.dll file, contact the global catalog, and read all relevant Active Directory objects that are related to the synchronization. This includes OUs, groups, users, and so on.

Active Directory object-level security

To synchronize to a specific group or OU, the context account that is used to perform an Active Directory synchronization must be able to read all relevant Active Directory objects. These objects include groups, OUs, nested groups, and all member users. For information about context accounts, see the "Active Directory synchronization context accounts and security requirements" section.

To check individual Active Directory object permissions, use the ADSI Edit tool that is available in the Windows Server 2003 installation media.

Tools

The following tool is available to troubleshoot these issues:
  • ADSI Edit

Properties

Article ID: 887025 - Last Review: September 18, 2011 - Revision: 8.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Project Server 2003
Keywords: 
kbhowto KB887025

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