Almost all Project Server administrators know that when you have an enterprise custom field using a lookup table that you can pick one of the values from that lookup table to be the default value for new entities.
But what about a case where the field is set to NOT have a default value but some new projects are being created where when the Save button is hit on the New Project PDP a value is being entered for that field? What might cause that?
There are (at least) two possible answers.
Templates on Enterprise Project Types
When you create your enterprise project types you can associate an enterprise project template so that when a new project is created using an EPT it will automatically use that template. It is possible for a template to contain values in some enterprise fields as part of the template. If the template associated with the EPT has a value in that custom field then it can look like there was a default value set for the field, even when the field itself does not have a default set.
Two things lead to this being overlooked:
- EPTs are a new feature to Project Server 2010 and it does not always occur to users that clicking “New” in the Project Center could call up a template to begin with.
- Many organizations tend to strip out custom field values when saving a project as a template so the idea of there being a value in the fields for a template might not occur to everyone.
I have seen this issue at 2 different locations now and it can cause some pretty severe head-scratching.
Workflow Code or Custom Event Handler Code
Through workflow coding or custom event handler code there could be situations where the code would examine the values of certain custom fields when the project is initially saved and then make decisions about the values of other custom fields. An example of this is if a project is created and the user picks “Washington” as the value for the ‘Location’ field. The code might be set to assign a certain value for an Account Manager” field based on the project being located in Washington state. For some users that do not know about this coding it might appear as if there were default values on some fields.
This type of coding is much more common now in 2010 and in most cases users and certainly the administrators are likely to know about these kinds of changes. In my experience the most common cause for confusion about mystery ‘default’ values is going to be from a template on an EPT.