Replicate Project Online Reporting Data to a SQL Server database using the OData protocol

Office 2013

Learn how to replicate your Project Online data to a SQL Server database using SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) and the OData protocol.

Last modified: August 04, 2014

Applies to: SharePoint Server 2013 | SQL Server 2012

This topic describes how you can use SQL Server Integration Services (SSIS) to replicate your reporting data from Project Online to a separate SQL Server database, using the Open Data protocol (OData). It explains how to install the add-on, the high level details of the replication process and how to get started in Visual Studio with the Integration Services project template to create a project that automatically pulls your data based on a schedule.

This walkthrough shows you how to create and configure the Integration Services project in Visual Studio to synchronize your Project Online data to a SQL Server database.

Prerequisites

To complete this walkthrough, you will need access to Project Online, and credentials for a user with sufficient permissions to access the OData feed.

In addition, you will need a server for your SQL Server database. This server needs to run Windows Server 2008 R2 or newer, and it can be an Azure virtual machine. On this server you need to install the following:

To create the project for replicating Project online data

  1. From Visual Studio, on the File menu, point to New, and then click Project.

  2. In the New Project dialog box, expand the Templates node, and then click the Business Intelligence node.

  3. Click the Integration Services Project template.

    Note Note

    If you don’t see the Integration Services Project template in the available project templates, confirm that the SQL Server Data Tools are installed.

  4. In the Name box, type SyncProject, and click OK.

    Figure 1. New SSIS project dialog

    New SSIS project dialog

Your project has been created and opened in the SSIS Designer, ready for you to add the data connection to your Project Online data.

To create the data connection

  1. Right click Connection Managers in Solution Explorer, and select New Connection Manager.

  2. Select ODATA as Connection manager type, and then click Add.

  3. For Connection manager name, specify ProjectODataSource

  4. For Service document location, specify the top level URL of the OData feed, for example:
    https://<server>/sites/pwa/_api/projectdata

  5. For the Authentication section, select Use this username and password, and specify credentials for an account with OData permissions.

    Note Note

    A best practice here is to create a system account and grant OData permissions to this account. In the default SharePoint permission mode, not all Project Web App users have access to the OData feed. Only users in the following groups have access: Portfolio Viewers, Portfolio Managers, and Administrators. Access cannot be managed for individual entities in the OData feed; so if a user with access to the OData service also has access to the reporting data published for all of the projects, resources, tasks, and other entities. For more information about the permission modes, see Plan user access in Project Server 2013.

  6. Click All in the left pane.

  7. In the Security node, set Microsoft Online Services Authentication to True.

  8. Click Test Connection to confirm that the connection is configured correctly, and that the new connection works.

Once you have confirmed that the connection is configured correctly, you are ready to create the Data Flow task to move the data from the Project Online OData feed to your SQL Server database.

To create the data flow

  1. In the SSIS Designer, click the Data Flow tab, and click the link to add a new Data Flow task.

  2. From the SSIS Toolbox, drag and drop an OData Source component to the Data Flow designer.

  3. Double-click the OData Source component to open the OData Source Editor and configure the component to extract data from the Projects collection in the OData feed.

  4. Select ProjectODataSource for OData connection manager, Collection for Use collection or resource path and Projects for Collection.

    Figure 2. Connection settings in the OData Source Editor

    OData Source Editor
  5. To see how the column mapping will work between the OData feed and the database you are creating with this tool, click Columns in the left pane of the OData Source Editor. From here you can change the column mappings, define custom names for the SQL columns, or remove any columns you don't want to sync.

    Figure 3. Column mappings in the OData Source Editor

    Column Mappings OData Source Editor
  6. Click OK to save the configuration for the OData source.

  7. Drag and drop an OLE DB Destination component from the SSIS Toolbox onto the Data Flow designer.

  8. Connect the components in the data flow by dragging the blue line from the OData Source component to the OLE DB Destination component.

    Figure 4. Data connection on the Data Flow tab

    Data Flow tab

Now you’re ready to configure the settings for the SQL reporting database to be created for the destination.

Note Note

This walkthrough demonstrates the basic steps you need to take for synchronizing reporting data between Project Online and a separate SQL reporting database. While this sample demonstrates the basic steps, as a best practice, you would likely include code in your project to create URL connections and queries at runtime, based on the data you need.

To configure the settings for the database

  1. Double-click the OLE DB Destination component to open OLE DB Destination Editor.

  2. On the Connection Manager page, for OLE DB connection manager, click New.

  3. In the Configure OLE DB Connection Manager, click New and specify the server name and credentials used to connect to the database server.

  4. Once you’ve verified that the connection is configured properly by clicking Test Connection, click OK.

  5. Click OK to close the Configure OLE DB Connection Manager.

  6. You should now be back in the OLE DB Destination Editor. Click New for Name of the table or view. This opens an editor where you can modify the CREATE TABLE syntax to specify the name for the new table. Once you’ve finished modifying the CREATE TABLE statement, click OK to close the syntax editor.

    Figure 5. Create table statement

    Create table dialog
  7. In the OLE DB Destination Editor, click Mappings in the left navigation pane and verify that the input and destination column mappings are correct.

  8. Click OK to close the OLE DB Destination Editor.

Testing the data synchronization

You can now test the package to see the data flowing between the source OData feed and the destination SQL Server database. In the Visual Studio Debug menu, click Start Debugging, or use the keyboard shortcut F5 to execute the package.

Figure 6. Data Flow tab results when running the package

Results on the Data Flow tab

While the package is running, you can see how the execution is progressing from the Progress tab.

Figure 7. Package Process tab

Package Process tab

This can help you see where you might be able to make changes to improve the performance. See also Debugging Data Flow and Debugging Control Flow.

In this example, the data will be duplicated with every synchronization. To prevent this from happening, you will need to delete all the data in the table before every synchronization. You can do this using an Execute SQL task to delete the table using the TRUNCATE TABLE statement before the Data flow task.

To delete the table

  1. In the SSIS Designer, click on the Control Flow tab.

  2. From the SSIS Toolbox, drag and a drop an Execute SQL task component above the Data flow task component.

  3. Connect the two components by dragging the green connector from the Execute SQL task component to the Data flow task component.

  4. Double-click the Execute SQL task component to open the Execute SQL Task Editor.

  5. On the General settings page, select the connection for the database server

  6. Type TRUNCATE TABLE MyProjectsTable for SQL Statement. Replace MyProjectsTable with the actual table name you specified when creating the table.

    Figure 8. Execute SQL Task Editor

    Execute SQL Task Editor

Now when you synchronize the data, the old data will be removed before the new data is synchronized.

There are multiple ways to show the SSRS reports in SharePoint, they all depend on your type of deployment.

Note Note

It is not currently possible to render SSRS reports directly into Office 365, so the preferred implementation is to use links.

The following example scenarios show how to maintain an easy single sign-on experience between your Office 365 pages and SSRS reports.

  • For full on-premises deployments, you can follow the steps described in Install SQL Server BI Features with SharePoint 2013 (SQL Server 2012 SP1) on how to deploy SSRS reports functionality in SharePoint.

  • For seeing on-premises SSRS reports in Office 365, it is recommended that you do the following:

    • Integrate your SQL Server database machine to your domain

    • Manage reports permission in SQL Server

    • Add links in Office 365 to the SSRS reports page. You can control access to these links via SharePoint permissions.

  • For seeing Azure SSRS reports in Office 365, you need to do the following:

    • Integrate the database server to your domain

    • Use the Azure Active Directory Sync tool to synchronize your local Active Directory (AD) to Azure Active Directory (AD). This new feature will allow for the same sign-in with Microsoft cloud services such as Office 365 powered by Azure AD since the username and the password from the local AD will by synced up to Azure AD.

    • Manage reports permission on your SQL Azure database.

    • Add links in Office 365 to the SSRS reports page. You can control access to these links via SharePoint permissions.

If you do not have an on-premises deployment, it is not currently possible to have a single sign on experience. The recommended practice is described in the steps below. In this case, the user will have to manually enter SQL Server authentication credentials in order to view the reports.

The following OData best practices apply when retrieving Project Online data is by using the OData protocol. To learn more, see Best practices for querying OData feeds for Project 2013 reporting data.

Use JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) format

You should request responses in the JSON format for SSIS packages. You configure this for the OData source in the Query options field in the OData Source Editor.

Retrieve only the data you need

You can improve performance by limiting the number of properties to be returned to only the ones you will use in your report. This diminishes the size of the data downloaded, as well as giving you faster answers when you filter out the uncommon or custom properties on a task.

Not all properties are created equal

When retrieving a list of properties, note that the time it takes to fetch the properties varies when the OData query is transformed into a SQL query. Querying by using keys provides the best performance, followed by regular properties and then custom properties.

For example, you can see that ProjectId and TaskId are the keys for the Task entity.

<EntityType Name="Task">
    <Key>
        <PropertyRef Name="ProjectId" />
        <PropertyRef Name="TaskId" />
    </Key>
    <Property Name="ProjectId" Type="Edm.Guid" Nullable="false" />
 . . .
    <NavigationProperty Name="Assignments" Relationship="ReportingData.Assignment_Task_Task_Assignments" ToRole="Assignment_Task" FromRole="Task_Assignments" />
 . . .
</EntityType>

See the ProjectData OData service schema reference to find keys for other entity types.

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