Project Server Post SP1 – Approval Center Rules Error

If you create rules in the Approval Center PRIOR to Project Server SP1, this is how it looks. Notice there are only three columns “Name”, “Description” and “Apply Automatically”

Figure 1 – Pre SP1 Rules Page


If your users have created Rules in the Approval Center PRIOR to Project Server SP1, they cannot edit them POST SP1.


Once I apply Project Server Sp1, how do I know if a rule was created PRE SP1?


If you view the rules, the PRE SP1 rules will have “Automatically Publish” shown as blank (its actually a null) – see image.

Figure 2 – Post SP1 Rules Page with Rules from Pre SP1

They can create new rules POST SP1, but cannot edit prior rules due to a known issue. This error occurs because the Project Server 2010 Service Pack 1 update adds a new column, RULE_AUTOMATIC_PUBLISH, to the MSP_Rules table, and all existing rows are left with a null value.

See below, I created a new rule and appended the “SP1” text to the name. That rule has the “Automatically Publish” field.

Figure 3 – Post SP1 Rules Page with Rules from Post SP1

The ULS error is
System.Data.StrongTypingException: The value for column 'RULE_AUTOMATIC_PUBLISH' in table 'Rules' is DBNull. ---> System.InvalidCastException: Specified cast is not valid.
at Microsoft.Office.Project.Server.Schema.RulesDataSet.RulesRow.get_RULE_AUTOMATIC_PUBLISH()


As a workaround for this issue, there are couple of options:

  1. You can delete and then re-create the approval rule (if you know what the rule is – not an option IMHO – are you going to notify your users that “oops – there is a bug – redo your rules again”)
  2. Making an update directly to the MSP_RULES table in the Project Server 2010 Published database that holds the rules definitions (valid option)
    Update MSP_Rules
  3. This error is fixed in the June 2011 Cumulative Update for Project Server 2010 @

This is also documented @


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