Creation of Project Server PWA instance fails, timer jobs, clearing the cache….

I recently attempted to create two new Project Server PWA instances through Central Admin on a MOSS 2007/Project Server farm. I went to the SSP and clicked on Project Web Access Sites under Project Server. I then clicked on “Create Project Web Access Site” and filled out all the required information, including unique database names for the new site. The creation of the site would start, then it would spin and spin and spin….after a few minutes it would fail with a message saying “Failed – check Event Logs.”  The event logs showed no errors. Nothing at all related to the PWA instance failing.

The ULS logs did show errors indicating two of the three servers in the farm were trying to update the SSP and were causing conflict. There was nothing else to indicate what was causing the error.

I searched the internet and found nothing that applied to our situation. As a matter of fact, there was very little on the error at all. There were a couple of posts about the binaries not being installed on the server that housed Project Server, but that was about it. MOSS 2007 was installed on the same server and I had successfully created PWA instances in the past.

After reviewing everything on the server to make sure there weren’t any problems, I got Microsoft involved. They told me that to prevent each server from having to make SQL calls to pull information from the configuration database, data is cached on the servers. Sometimes this data will become corrupt and have to be cleared out and rebuilt. The process for clearing the cache can be found here.

Although the article states it resolves issues with timer jobs failing and does not state this will resolve the issue of PWA instance creations failing, it did do the trick. After the steps were followed new PWA instances could be created without errors.

I did a little more research on timer jobs and found the PWASSPSubmitSiteCreationTimerJob is responsible for creating new PWA instances. Apparently this was the timer job the corrupted cache was interfering with.

Now there is an article that ties the failing of PWA instance creation to timer job failures and clearing the cache. Maybe it will save someone else some time.😉