Project Professional task ID mixup across linked projects

New Contributor

Hi,

 

Ran into a problem yesterday with a customer using linked projects (Master, subproject and a shared resource pool) Recently, when opening their masterfile they start getting "not able to link" error messages, and upon further inspecting the files (external dependencies) It looks as if they've managed to mess up the ID references meaning that a dependency can be showing as linked to ext/fileX/task8, but using the task inspector the same link may show as linkting to a valid file but e.g ext/fileY/task215.

I'm aware of the pitfalls of linked projects, however, does anyone know if there was ever a tool to traverse  linked project file IDs to identify the link errors and aid in correcting such, or is this one of the situations where you count your losses and schedule the weekend for a massive manual rebuild of your planning hierarchy?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in adv.

3 Replies

@C_G_Hemmingsen 

You say you are familiar with the pitfalls of working with linked structures in Project but it sounds like your customer is not. For review, when working with linked structures in Project, none of the files should ever be renamed, moved, overwritten or "saved off" to another location. Ideally all the files in the structure should be located in a single directory on a local drive and not be operated over a network.

 

You also indicate the customer has inter-project links and a resource pool file. That increases the link complexity and ups the ante for corruption. My guess is your customer either saved one or more of the files off to another location, perhaps thinking having a backup was a good idea (it is not in this case), or added/deleted subprojects or inter-project links without doing so properly. Incomplete link changes will result in link fragments (i.e. corruption) and can produce strange results like you report.

 

As far as tools to identify Project link structure problems, I don't know of any but you might find some with an internet search. I wrote a macro that converts a dynamically linked master/subproject structure with inter-project links into a "flat" file with inter-project links converted to normal predecessors/successors. Part of the conversion process includes file integrity checks prior to and during conversion. However, the macro is not freeware. If you are interested let me know. Otherwise I suggest you set aside a weekend for that massive manual rebuild and also "school" your customer in the rules for working with linked structures in Project.

 

John

@John-project: Thank you very much for your feedback. I fear though, that designing the logic and coding it as a macro or an application to fix faulty task IDs may take longer than doing a manual rebuild, even if they have the dev skills.

Appreciate your offer on your existing macro. It sounds like a great tool, just maybe not for this particular situation.

C_G_Hemmington,
Your correct, there is significant effort in developing a macro to ferret out faulty link structures and for a "one-off" it wouldn't make sense. My macro was designed for a different purpose and it might or might not be of much help in your situation.

Thanks for the feedback and good luck.
John