Recently I had a need to enable MS project for a user in Office 365, this was the first time I had to do this and it proved interesting and I learnt a lot.
The end user already had MS Project 2016 installed on their laptop, so it was just a case of enabling Project in O365, or so I thought. I was WRONG!
Login to http://portal.office.com and go to Admin section and then check the user account. The user already had O365 E3 license assigned to them, so I enable Project for the user under the additional “Project Online Professional” license. At this point I discovered the quirk with O365 that the SharePoint license has to be assigned under the same license agreement as Project. Not a problem, a couple of mouse clicks fix that and we then have the following:
Save those changes and give it a few minutes for O365/Azure to synchronise and get the user to test access to MS Project online.
First step, user logs into the O365 Portal. Success, Project is listed.
Next, launch Project online. Failure, the user does not have access.
Did a bit of research (Googling) and found the following Microsoft article on Get started with Project, this was a user guide for Project not an admin guide on how to provision it for a user.
Moving on I found the following article KB 2837932 which described the exact issue I had. But what permissions mode was being used was my next question. Was it SharePoint of Project?
Found a few articles, one on SharePoint permissions mode, another comparing Project permissions mode with SharePoint permissions mode, there was also the article telling me where to Change permission management in Project Online.
From reading these articles and a few others I found that SharePoint permissions mode is the more basic option, you can easily move from SharePoint permissions mode to Project Permissions mode, but to go backwards is not as easy. It was also apparent that Project Permissions mode is the option that Microsoft would prefer people use.
In order to get everything working, there are 2 stages. The first stage “Set Project Permissions mode” only has to be done once for the O365 tenant. The second stage “Add users as resources” needs to be done for the Project/Tenant administrator and also for each user who is assigned a Project license.
Set Project Permissions mode:
- Using your admin account, login to http://portal.office.com and click Admin. On the left menu, select Admin Centers then SharePoint:
- Select the PWA site and then click the Project Web App icon and select Settings:
- Select Project Permissions Mode:
REMEMBER: You only need to do this step once for the tenant.
Add users as resources:
- With your admin account, open Project online from http://portal.office.com.
- Click on the cog top right and select PWA Settings.
- Under Enterprise Data select Resource Center.
- If your admin account is not already listed, click on New Resource from the ribbon.NOTE: All steps below show adding in the Admin account.
- Under Identification Information tick the box Associate resource with a user account.
- Scroll down a bit and under User Authentication add in your user account.
- Scroll down and under Security Groups, select Administrator. By default this sets users to the Team Members group.
- At the bottom of the page click Save.
- Repeat the above for the new user you want to allow access to Project, but instead of assigning Administrator rights, choose Team Member (basic access they cannot create new projects), or Project Manager (can create new projects, see reports etc).
- After doing this, if you go back to the Cog in the top right again and click PWA Settings. You should now see more options under Security:
- Click on Manage Users, you should see your account and the new users account listed.
Going forward, you essentially have two options under PWA Settings to add new users to Project online. There is the method used above, or you can choose Manage Users and then click New User as per the last screenshot. If you do click on New User, what you end up seeing is the exact same page as for adding a New Resource in the steps above, so both options ultimately give you the same outcome.
As usual, after completing the above actions for the new user, you just need to give it a few minutes to update behind the scenes and then the user will be able to access Project Online.
If for any reason the user is still experiencing problems accessing Project, check the following:
- In the top right hand corner just under your name, click the share icon.
- Who does it say the site is shared with?
- If the user isn’t showing up , on the invite section, add in the users name and select the same permissions level as you had done earlier when adding the user and click Share.
- If you had to share the site with the end user, get them to retest now.