MSP Error: 'We're sorry. There seems to be a problem with this file' due to issue with Notes when opening a project from PPM

Document ID : KB000091838
Last Modified Date : 13/09/2018
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Issue:
In the Microsoft Project (MSP) New Driver, receive an intermittent error message: "We're sorry. There seems to be a problem with this file that keeps us from opening it. Please try using a backup copy if available." when attempting to open a project from CA Project & Portfolio Management (PPM).
  • In reviewing the XML associated to the project, it shows that the issue appears to be due to Notes being corrupted upon export from PPM, where characters are incorrectly appended to the end of Notes tags. TIP: See the following KB for steps on how to get the XML file from the workstation for the project: KB000099202
  • This is more consistently reproducible as the number of tasks with large text notes in the project increases.
STEPS TO REPRODUCE 
1. In MSP create a new project 
2. Create one new task with a Start and Finish Date 
3. Double click on the task 
4. Click on the 'Notes' tab 
5. Paste a large quantity of text into the Notes field (Such as 3,000 characters or more) and click OK 
6. From the CA PPM Integration tab, click the Save As button to save the project to PPM as a new project 
7. Attempt to open the project from PPM to MSP 
(Note if you do not receive the "We're sorry error at this step, repeats steps 2-7 above until the error is generated) 

Expected Results: The project opens successfully with task(s) displayed 
Actual Results: Receive the following MSP error and the project does not open. "We're sorry. There seems to be a problem with this file that keeps us from opening it. Please try using a backup copy if available." Additionally, if you look at the XML, unexpected characters are randomly added to the end of notes tags. 
Environment:
This issue applies to CA PPM 15.2, 15.3, and 15.4 MSP New Driver
Cause:
This is caused by DE39765
Resolution:
This issue is fixed in CA PPM 15.4.1.

Note: In order to see this fix, (and any other CA PPM MSP Interface fixes) after upgrading CA PPM, the MSP New Driver version on each workstation will also need to be upgraded to the latest driver from PPM's Software Downloads section. This applies to both patches and releases.
  • Before installing, first uninstall the existing MSP New Driver components from the workstation which include:
    • CAClarityAddin, CA PPM Schedule Connect, CA PPM Microsoft Project Interface
  • The latest MSP New Driver can be installed from PPM in Home->Account Settings->Software Downloads.  (Ensure the bit level installed matches that of Microsoft Project.)
Workarounds: 
Option 1: Sometimes, making a change to the Note in PPM, such as removing a '.' at the end of a line in a note that has corruption in the tag helps, but in some instances it keeps coming back. 
To determine the first impacted note:
  1. Drag the XML from the directory on your computer to a Chrome browser window
  • See the following KB for steps on how to get the XML file from the workstation for the project: KB000099202
       2. You'll see an error message pointing to the exact line with the first problem note

​       3. Navigate to the problem line item in the XML and take note of the related task

​       4. Navigate to the task notes section in PPM (Click on the task and then click on the 'Notes' link in the task

​       5. Click on the properties icon for any note, make a change, and click 'Save and Return'

​       6. Once that note is corrected, you may need to perform these steps again to find the next line with a problem note

Option 2: If the above that doesn't help, as a temporary workaround, reducing the number of notes in the project has helped to allow the project to open. The Notes information can be stored locally in a document until the issue is resolved where the Notes can then be added back to the tasks. Notes can be deleted via PPM using the following steps:

  1. Open the XML for the project and do a Control F on key word <notes> to track down tasks that contain notes data
  2. In PPM, go to the problem project
  3. Click on the Tasks tab in PPM
  4. Click on the task with a note
  5. Click on the Notes link on the right hand side (Note: Project will have to be unlocked to see this link)
  6. Select all the notes and click ‘Delete’

Note: In rare circumstances, you may run into an error accessing a note in PPM when using the above workarounds. If after deleting other notes, you still can't open the project in MSP, you can try deleting the task completely in PPM (Note that if the task has actuals, you will receive an error that the task can't be deleted, but in MSP, the task will show under a "Deleted Tasks" section, and the Note should then be removed). Before deleting the task, take note of the data in the task including any dates, assignments, etc, as it will need to be recreated. 

Additional Information:
If the above doesn't help with the issue you are seeing, see KB000004116 for details on another cause of the 'We're sorry. There seems to be a problem with this file' error in CA PPM 14.3, 14.4, and 15.2.

See the below for the list of known CA PPM MSP Issues and Defects:
  • KB000071385 - CA PPM and MSP integration - List of Knowledge Documents
  • KB000015956 - CA PPM and MSP integration known defects - Support Technical Document Index