Second Life of a Hungarian SharePoint Geek

March 4, 2017

Using PowerShell and REST with Project Server (or SharePoint) for Reporting

Filed under: OData, Project Server, REST — Tags: , , — Peter Holpar @ 21:43

If you are working with Project Server or SharePoint Server, you should not ignore the potential provided by PowerShell and the REST (OData) interface to create simple reports. You should although at the same time be aware of  a few pitfalls of this combination as well.

Let’s see the next code example first. Its goal is to output the list of projects to the screen, including their Id, Name and ProjectSiteUrl properties:

$url = "http://YourProjectServer/PWA/_api/ProjectServer/Projects?$select=Id,Name,ProjectSiteUrl"

$request = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create($url)
$request.UseDefaultCredentials = $true
$request.Accept = "application/json;odata=verbose"

$response = $request.GetResponse()
$reader = New-Object System.IO.StreamReader $response.GetResponseStream()
$data = $reader.ReadToEnd()

$result = ConvertFrom-Json -InputObject $data
$result.d.results | select Id, Name, ProjectSiteUrl

If you test the URL http://YourProjectServer/PWA/_api/ProjectServer/Projects?$select=Id,Name,ProjectSiteUrl from the browser, you see, that all of these three properties are returned. However, if you run the above script from console, you find, that the ProjectSiteUrl column is empty for all of the projects.

If you use the ProjectData OData endpoint instead of the ProjectServer endpoint, and select the corresponding properties, all of the properties will be omitted by the script:

$url = "http://YourProjectServer/PWA/_api/Projects?$select=ProjectId,ProjectName,ProjectWorkspaceInternalUrl"

$request = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create($url)
$request.UseDefaultCredentials = $true
$request.Accept = "application/json;odata=verbose"

$response = $request.GetResponse()
$reader = New-Object System.IO.StreamReader $response.GetResponseStream()
$data = $reader.ReadToEnd()

$result = ConvertFrom-Json -InputObject $data
$result.d.results | select ProjectId, ProjectName, ProjectWorkspaceInternalUrl

Note: If you have a localized version of Project Server, you can either use an OData query including the localized entity and property names, like:


or switch back to the English version by injecting [en-US] segment after the ProjectData endpoint:


Of course, in the first case you should change the property names used in the select statement in the PowerShell script to match the names used in the REST query.

Let’s see another example. In the next case, our goal is to create a .csv file, that one can easily import to Excel, including the name and the RBS (resource breakdown structure) of the resources.

  1. $baseUrl = "http://YourProjectServer/PWA/_api/ProjectServer"
  2. $rbsUrl = $baseUrl + "/LookupTables?$filter=Name eq 'RBS'&$expand=Entries&$select=Entries/InternalName,Entries/Value"
  3. $resourceUrl = $baseUrl + "/EnterpriseResources?$select=Name,Custom_000039b78bbe4ceb82c4fa8c0c400284"
  5. #rbs
  6. $rbsRequest = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create($rbsUrl)
  7. $rbsRequest.UseDefaultCredentials = $true
  8. $rbsRequest.Accept = "application/json;odata=verbose"
  10. $rbsResponse = $rbsRequest.GetResponse()
  11. $rbsReader = New-Object System.IO.StreamReader $rbsResponse.GetResponseStream()
  12. $rbsData = $rbsReader.ReadToEnd()
  14. $rbsResult = ConvertFrom-Json -InputObject $rbsData
  15. $rsbEntries = $rbsResult.d.results.Entries.results
  17. #resources
  18. $resRequest = [System.Net.WebRequest]::Create($resourceUrl)
  19. $resRequest.UseDefaultCredentials = $true
  20. $resRequest.Accept = "application/json;odata=verbose"
  22. $resResponse = $resRequest.GetResponse()
  23. $resReader = New-Object System.IO.StreamReader $resResponse.GetResponseStream()
  24. $resData = $resReader.ReadToEnd()
  26. $resResult = ConvertFrom-Json -InputObject $resData
  28. $resResult.d.results | % {
  29. select -Input $_ -Prop `
  30.     @{ Name='Name'; Expression={$_.Name} },
  31.     @{ Name='RBS'; Expression={$rbs = $_.Custom_x005f_000039b78bbe4ceb82c4fa8c0c400284; If ($rbs.results -is [System.Object[]]) {$rsbEntries | ? { $_.InternalName -eq $rbs.results[0] } | % { $_.Value } } Else {''} } }
  32.     } | Export-Csv -Path ResourceRBS.csv -Delimiter ";" -Encoding UTF8 -NoTypeInformation

Note: The –NoTypeInformation switch of Export-Csv ensures that no type information would be emitted as header into the .csv file. The -Delimiter ";" and the -Encoding UTF8 settings help to produce a .csv file in a format and encoding that can be opened in Excel simply by clicking on the file.

The symptoms are similar as in the first case, only the resource name is included in the file, but the RBS value not.

I’ve included this last code sample in a code block not just because it is a bit longer as the former ones, but because I help that the highlighting helps you to understand the base problem with our scripts, even if you did not catch it at the first example. Have you recognized, that the query options ($filter, $select and $expand) have a different color, as the rest of the query text? Actually, they have the very same color as the variable names (like $baseUrl or $resRequest) in the code. It is because they are handled really as variable names. Since we used double quotes in the code to define the string literals for URLs, and it means PowerShell should parse the string and replace possible variable names with the values of the variable. As we didn’t define variables like $filter, $select or $expand, they are simply removed from the string (replaced by an empty string). See this short explanation for details.

Instead of double quotation marks we should use single quotation marks to leave the query options intact, but in this case we should escape the single quotes (using two single quotation marks) used in the REST query itself.

For example, instead of:

$url = "http://YourProjectServer/PWA/_api/ProjectServer/Projects?$select=Id,Name,ProjectSiteUrl"

we should simply use:

$url = ‘http://YourProjectServer/PWA/_api/ProjectServer/Projects?$select=Id,Name,ProjectSiteUrl’

and instead of::

$rbsUrl = $baseUrl + "/LookupTables?$filter=Name eq ‘RBS’&$expand=Entries&$select=Entries/InternalName,Entries/Value"

we should use:

$rbsUrl = $baseUrl + ‘/LookupTables?$filter=Name eq ”RBS”&$expand=Entries&$select=Entries/InternalName,Entries/Value’

Note, that the value RBS is enclosed by two single quotation marks on both sides, and not by a double quotation mark!

Alternatively, you can use the double quotation marks to define the strings for the REST queries (for example, if you still would like PowerShell to parse it from some reason), but in this case, you should escape the dollar sign in the query options to disable parsing them out from the string.

For example, instead of:

$url = "http://YourProjectServer/PWA/_api/ProjectServer/Projects?$select=Id,Name,ProjectSiteUrl"

we should simply use:

$url = "http://YourProjectServer/PWA/_api/ProjectServer/Projects?`$select=Id,Name,ProjectSiteUrl"

and instead of::

$rbsUrl = $baseUrl + "/LookupTables?$filter=Name eq ‘RBS’&$expand=Entries&$select=Entries/InternalName,Entries/Value"

we should use:

$rbsUrl = $baseUrl + "/LookupTables?`$filter=Name eq ‘RBS’&`$expand=Entries&`$select=Entries/InternalName,Entries/Value"

See this description for more details about PowerShell string parsing and escaping methods.

If you compare our first two examples (the one with the ProjectServer and the other one with the ProjectData endpoint) the results are different, because in the first case the ProjectSiteUrl property is not part of the standard set of properties returned by default for projects via the ProjectServer endpoint, but ProjectData returns all properties, the ProjectWorkspaceInternalUrl property too, even if it is not specified in a $select query option.

In the third case, our query should have returned the entries of the RBS lookup table, but since the query options got lost, it simply return an overview about all lookup tables.


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