Create your own ‘Getting Started with the Project Web App’ carousel

One of the most obvious differences between Project Server 2013 and 2010 is the look and feel, specifically the new modern UI style tiles to help you perform tasks / find options quickly and easily called ‘The Carousel’.  On a un-customised PWA site you will see two rows of these tiles, the ‘Getting Started’ and the ‘Track your work’ options.

image

For a while I have been thinking about how powerful one of these carousels would be within your own organisation, perhaps providing a direct link to view the queue, a link to that report everyone uses, a central lessons learned register, a PMO site, or even your favourite EPM / PPM blog. Whilst recently catching up on the Project blog, I noticed this post talking about how how the carousels were based on SharePoint’s promoted links app, so thought I would see how easily I could create my own customised carousel.

Creating the Promoted Link app.

In your PWA site (In this post, I have used Project Online, but you could also do this in your on premises Project Server 2013) , click on the Settings (Cog) icon and choose ‘Add an App’

PWA - Add an App

In the ‘Your Apps’ screen, you can either scroll through the available apps, or do as I did and choose to search for ‘Promoted’.

Promoted Links App

Click on the Promoted Links app, you will then be prompted to give it a name. In this case I am going to call it ‘EPMSource Links’  and click on Create.

Create Promoted Links app

The app will then be added and ready for you to start customising.

Promoted Links app added

Adding content to your app

Click on the EPMSource Links app to open it, you will see an empty screen advising that you can add new links from the ‘All Promoted Links’ view.

EPMSource Links

Click on the ‘All Promoted Links’ view to open up the correct view, then click on the ‘Add Item ‘ to add your first piece of content.

Add New Item

A new item screen will be displayed where links themselves can be configured.

My Queued Jobs Link

To start with I am going to create a link through to the My Queued Jobs page (MyJobs.apsx). As the carousel is visual, I also need to create a 150 x 150 image to show up, in this case I have artistically created a large white Q on a green square and uploaded it to the Site Collection Images.

My Queued Jobs Settings

Then fill in the following items:

  • Title, this is what will show up on the individual item in the carousel
  • Background Image, this is what will show up as the contents of the tile
  • Description, this is info that will be showed when the mouse hovers on the tile
  • Link Location, this is the location the browser will go to when the tile is clicked
  • Launch behaviour, this determines if the link opens in the browser, a new browser or a dialog box
  • Order, used to order the tiles when there are more than one.
    When your happy, click Save.

Adding a link to external content

Following the above steps, add a second item with the following settings:

EPMSource settings

This time the tile will be the second one and link out to this blog.

If you’ve done everything right, you should see something like this

The configured carousel

Adding the Promoted links to the PWA page.

The final step to use our links is to add it to the front page, thankfully that’s pretty easy.

On the PWA home page, click on the Settings (Cog) and choose Edit Page.

Edit the Page

Click on the ‘Add a Web Part’ link for the zone where you want to add the links. The Add Web Part UI will be displayed, allowing you to choose a web part, or in our case, an ‘App part’ to add to the page.

Make sure you select the Apps category, then the EPMSource Links, then click on Add.

Add the App Part

The app part will then be added to the PWA homepage, click on Stop Editing and you should see something like this.

The final completed carousel in PWA

As you can see, it’s pretty easy to customise and add new links to Project related content via the Promoted Links app. Of course you are not just limited to doing this in PWA, the Promoted Links app is also available in SharePoint, so you can add a similar customisations to your Project workspaces and SharePoint sites.

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