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Hyperlinking to PWA Occasionally Causes Error 500

I've recently started a Project Server 2003 for some of the folks here and with the exception of one bug, its been working well.

Basically, I've have been creating hyperlinks to different projects within Project Web Access from websites I've made and applications that are commonly used here. For instance, I've put URLs in Project Profesisonal fields, created shapes in Powerpoint with hyperlinks to PWA, and put normal hyperlinks on internal websites here, and occasionally, PWA returns an error 500. Usually, it occurs when a person clicks on a hyperlink for the first time, and then the second time its tried, it works fine and will work for the rest of the session, apparently, until a user logs out or times out.

The hyperlinks I'm using are in this format:
http://"ServerName"/ProjectServer/Views/ProjectReport.asp?_projectID=199

When it fails, this URL is in the address bar, along with the default Error 500 message.
http://"ServerName"/ProjectServer/Prereq.asp?DefPage=/ProjectServer/Views/ProjectReport.asp?_projectID=154

Prereq.asp basically checks the system and makes sure it has the Web Tools.

The data flow for authentication when trying to log onto Project Server is:
LGNINT.ASP --> SESSTART.ASP --> PREREQ.ASP --> REDIRECT.ASP --> Application Start Page

MS describes the basic architecture behind its authentication here, but doesn't go into troubleshooting. I couldnt find a good doc on Project Server 2003, but it seems the architecture from 2002 seems simular enough to get an idea on what is going on.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/?url=/library/en-us/pdr/PDR_mpsCompAuth_3363.asp 

I'm curious to see if anyone has experienced or heard of an issue with on-and-off Error 500s appearing during authentication to PWA from a hyperlink.

Thanks for your time.
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xrosem
Asked:
xrosem
2 Solutions
 
BembiCEOCommented:
Checked it on my system, can resolve it in that way, that I opened a Word document, put the link into the document and then click the link. It happend the first time, and after that it worked.

Get the same message.

If you go to Project Web Access and then just logoff, and you then klick again onto the link, you get a message, which says, that the session is invalid, qwith the same link in the browser address.

This points me to the session-cookie. I assume, that the session cookie is invalid / timed out and therefore the message you see comes up. If the session cookie is valid, you work with the session, as project reads the session-cookie and it is o.k. If the session-cookie is invalid, you run into that error as you requests a secured site and the cookie can not be validated.

This may be a general issue with the MS Project as the logon process seems not to work, if you are calling directly a internal site without a valid seesion cookie, maybe also a general ASP issue.

I do not have a workaround for this with the exception of the hint, fist to start web access and then to klick the link. But maybe it point you a few closer to the reason for this behaviour.

Note also this:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/896452/en-us

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harisrashidCommented:
hi,

You need to authenticate users. To do, you can provide the links on the first page (default) of Project Server. Users should use a single link to login to the Project server and once logged in they can click on the desired link.

Posting links directly will not work unless you work out a way to pass the user account information along with the link and have it authenticated.

Regards,

Haris
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xrosemAuthor Commented:
Okay, it doesn't seem like there is a way around it logging into PWA first besides disabling authentication altogether. Anyway, thank you for confirming this is normal behavior for PWA.

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