Monday, December 04, 2006

Project Server 2007 / EPM 2007 Performance Preview

There is currently no documented performance numbers for Project Server 2007, but have hope, Microsoft has given us every technical reason to believe that performance will be dramatically improved over Project Server 2003. Various improvements in the architecture will hopefully show this increase in performance. Listed below are several of the architecture improvements and how they may impact performance.

The PSI and DAL

The PSI is the Project Server Interface. It is the API (Application Programming Interface) for Project Server 2007. The new DAL or (Data Access Layer) for Project Server 2007 has many items that may (and should) improve performance. One of the big changes provided with the DAL is that not only PWA (Project Web Access) but also Project Professional 2007 will use the new DAL to interact with the Project Server Databases. This eliminates the need for Project Professional to have direct database access as previous version did and should also improve overall performance. Here is a diagram to better illustrate the new architecture:

Eventing System, Queuing, and Scheduling Architecture:

All of these items are designed to help improve the overall performance of the system and to allow for removal of direct access into the primary Project Server database tables. These items are designed to ensure that data flows properly between the Application, the PSI and the Databases. They can also be used to introduce much more integration and workflow into the solution as well as workflow capabilities that are much improved over previous versions.

Database Redesign

The Project Server database has been redesigned and Project Server 2007 data is now housed within four distinct databases. There are also two additional distinct databases that house the SharePoint Services 3.0 data. What six databases? Yes, there are a total of a least six databases within a project server solution and easily could be more. The good news is that the majority of the data is now exposed through the PSI and the DAL and we can eliminate most direct database exposure. There is also a reporting database that will provide some direct access to data through reporting services or other applications as needed.

I understand that Microsoft is doing some performance testing on the Project Server 2007 solution and I hope to have those results along with some independent performance tests posted in the near future. My hope is that the client perception or perceived client side performance is increased by 1000% and that actual server side performance will increase by over 500% with ten times the capacity. One of the biggest issues solution provides faced over the past four years has been the client side performance of both the Project Professional client attached to Project Server and with certain views associated with Project Web Access (PWA). My belief is that this new solution is going to make all of us in the Microsoft Enterprise Project Management (EPM) space smile.

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