Getting started: Site administrators

Site administrators are the people who configure the Project Web App server settings. They are responsible for setting up a wide variety of options in Project Web App, including things like security, time reporting periods, operational policies, and workflows.

Are you a site administrator? If so, content to help you get your job done can be found on and on TechNet. content covers many of the options that you find within the Project Web App user interface. All other content that applies to site administrators can be found on TechNet.

In this article

What is Project Web App?

Where do you start?

How to get help

What is Project Web App?

Project Web App is one part of an end-to-end enterprise project management solution. This solution includes a client program, Project Professional, and a server, Project Server. Project Web App is part of Project Server. It is a robust Web application that is used to do everything from analyzing portfolios and managing demands, to entering time in a timesheet and updating task status.

Get oriented

The Project Web App interface is made up of three main areas: the Quick Launch, the Ribbon, and the content display area.

The Quick Launch lists the main views and pages that you are able to access. You can click these links to navigate to different areas of the program. Some pages in Project Web App do not include the Quick Launch. For example, when you fill out a form, you must complete and save the form, or cancel out of it, in order to see the Quick Launch.

The Ribbon is the toolbar that you use to perform actions on what's currently in the content display area. There may be multiple tabs on the Ribbon, to change between different sets of actions. Each tab contains groups of related buttons that you can use to interact with the page content.

The content display area contains information about your portfolios, projects, and tasks. This is the main focus of each page, and is where you will enter and review data.

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Where do you start?

Site administrators should start by clicking Server Settings on the Quick Launch in Project Web App. To be frank, if you’re a new Project Web App site administrator, you may find yourself somewhat overwhelmed when you see how many options you can set up on the Server Settings page. You may have an easier time thinking about the server settings in bigger terms. There are server settings for people, data, projects, user interface, and Project Server. The following sections provide more information about which settings pages fall into these categories.


First, let’s get our heads around what you need to set up in terms of people in Project Web App. In Project Web App, “people” translates to “users,” so you’ll need to first think about what kind of security you want to put in place for your user base. Project Web App has multiple security levels, which you can use to clearly define who can see and do certain things. Once you have your security model defined, you can begin adding user accounts, and applying security levels to those accounts.

Site administrators are also responsible for setting up delegations. When a user knows that he or she will be unavailable during a certain time period, and that during that period there are specific things that need to happen in a project that only that user can do, the user can request that another user be made his or her delegate for that time period. As a site administrator, you can set up that delegation, granting one user full access to everything the other user can do, for a set duration.


There are several different angles to talking about data in Project Web App. The site administrator can set up different enterprise data options, such as custom fields and calendars, that are used throughout several projects. The flip side of setting up the data within the system is handling the actual database where the data is stored. The site administrator is also responsible for setting up backups, restoring the database (when necessary), and managing OLAP databases.


The site administrator sets up three different aspects of projects in Project Web App: workflows, project details, and time and task management.

In this version of Project Web App, projects are tied to a workflow, which the site administrator sets up using a combination of Microsoft Visual Studio and Project Web App. The workflow logic is defined by the portfolio manager, who provides it to the site administrator to set up. You will set up phases and stages in Project Web App, and then use Visual Studio to organize those phases and stages into a workflow.

The site administrator is also responsible for setting up the pages that are used to capture project details at each phase and stage of the workflow. The portfolio manager provides the site administrator with the information that needs to be captured, the site administrator sets up the appropriate custom fields in Project Web App, and then the site administrator adds those fields to Project Detail Pages.

In the time and task management area of Project Web App, the site administrator is responsible for configuring reporting periods and other settings specific to tracking how much work is done on a project, and how much work remains.

User interface

The site administrator has a degree of control over the Project Web App user interface. Changes can be made to views, grouping formats, Gantt chart formats, the Quick Launch, and the layout of project detail pages.

Project Server

Finally, the site administrator is responsible for the management of certain things that aren’t specific to only Project Web App. These Project Server aspects that are controlled by the site administrator include the queue and several operational policies.

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How to get help

If you run into trouble while administering Project Web App, there are several resources available online to help you find solutions:

  •    This article has pointed to several resources available on If the issue you’re facing is something addressed within the Server Settings pages in Project Web App, look for content to support your issue on

  • TechNet    If your issue goes beyond what you can address using the Server Settings page in Project Web App, or if you are unable to find answers on, look for content to support your issue on TechNet.

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