Project Online: Opening Projects from Project Center with Firefox

I couple of related issues I thought worth documenting when you are using Firefox as your browser with Project Online – or indeed Project Server 2013.  The first is when trying to open some projects from Project Center – using the ribbon option to Open in Project Professional – either read only or for editing – and you find they don’t appear to exist on the server – the second issue is the error handling when incorrect data is entered in Project Details Pages (PDPs) – such as putting text into a cost field.

First the problem with opening some projects:


It looks as though things are working – wheels spin, Project Professional opens, but then you see an error: Project Web App was unable to find the specified project.


At first this seemed somewhat random – then I found the pattern and confirmed by using Fiddler to examine the flow of data to the web services behind the scenes.  It turns out that unlike Internet Explorer and Chrome, Firefox is encoding spaces in the string it gets from the Project Center – so in my example project above – “AA Testplan” – this gets passed into the web service as a project called “AA%20Testplan” – and as no such project exists the error above is generated.  A couple of possible workarounds – obviously you could avoid spaces in project plan names and you can edit the name either in the PDP or in the “File, Open, Show me the list of all projects” page in Project Professional as shown below (please don’t use ‘save-as’ as that would overwrite the plan and all GUIDs would change – causing issues with existing assignments, timesheets etc.)



The other workaround would be to use a different browser such as Chrome or Internet Explorer.

We are currently considering the best fix for this one – either to handle the encoding on the server side, or potentially have the client cope with the %20.  As ‘%’ is not a valid character in a name it should be possible to assume that shouldn’t be there.

The second Firefox issue – and like busses these things tend to come along together – is a missing error if you put invalid data into a PDP custom field – such as text into a cost field.  In IE or Chrome it will alert you to the fact, (Project Online shows this below the field, Project Server 2013 shows it at the top of the page)


Whereas Firefox will refresh the page – but not display the error (and not save anything – which is the same as IE and Chrome of course).  Again using Fiddler I can see that the error was actually returned by the web service but was just not displayed.  Nothing in the pipeline for fixing this right now – and only workaround would be to use another browser.  If a premier customer feels strongly about this then we can certainly discuss a fix for this.

Comments (3)

  1. anonymouscommenter says:

    These are not the only "busses": Firefox has also issues when editing a project plan in the web, see Project Online case ticket [REG:114072111635413]. Trevor Turner wrote that this won’t be fixed as well.

    Edit a plan in Firefox and click on the ribbon.

    The information for the Gantt chart disappears. Also, some of the options in the ribbon become unusable

    This is a bug in Firefox.

    A hotfix request was made, however the problem was deemed to be a bug in Firefox.

  2. anonymouscommenter says:

    I’m new to all this and not quite sure how blogs work but I have a question about Project Online. I have some how changed my Projects Online Home page to the Schedule.apsx page and want to get it back to it’s original home page look. Can you help with
    this question or direct me to the appropriate forum. I did do an Ask question but I can’t figure out how to delete it and every time I try to ask a new question, it wants me to create another profile… so confusing

  3. Hello Brian,
    How are you 🙂 ? , miss you so much , i think that i have faced similar one with chrome getting the below error , while project professional 2013 is already installed and working normally with IE

    project professional needs to be installed to open the project. install project and try again.

    it worked with me when i have used "IE Tab" with Chrome.

    How to get :
    Just go to this address and choose the IE tab which matches your Favourite Browser.

    More info Check this.
    Error Message when opening Project Plan on Project Professional from PWA 2013 using either Google Chrome or Firefox

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