Is the sync process that
comes with SharePoint not doing enough for you?
The Bamboo User Profile
Sync allows you to automatically synchronize a
master user database with another user database. You
can map properties from the master user database to
the target user database and view whether the update
was successful as well as an audit trail of how each
item was updated. Use the Windows Scheduler to
automate the sync process. Users
added to or deleted from a SharePoint Site
Collection Profile, Contacts List, or AD can be automatically
added or deleted in the target List (i.e. SharePoint
Site Collection Profile or Contacts List). In addition, users
added to a SharePoint Site Collection Profile can be automatically assigned to a SharePoint
group. There are five sync types offered with User Profile Sync
for SharePoint 2007. They are:
First, configure the proper settings depending on your sync type. Then enter in a user name and password for an account that has proper rights to both user database sources. For example, for the Active Directory to SharePoint Site Collection Profiles sync type, you need one user ID and password that is both an Active Directory Admin account and SharePoint Site Collection Administrator account. Then define mappings between the master user database and the target user database. After the mappings are defined, then the user data is exported to the appropriate properties according to the defined mappings. This export occurs through a scheduler that runs at your convenience. You can also view a log file to determine whether the export/import of data was successful.
For the Active Directory to Contacts List and Contacts List to SharePoint Site Collection Profiles sync types, you can define the mappings in the same way as the other sync types, but you must also create a column in the Contacts List that contains the user account name in order to link to the account name in Active Directory or the Site Collection Profile (depending on the sync type you are using). User Profile Sync requires this link to be able to update the user profile information properly.
The adding or deleting of users from AD, a SharePoint Site Collection Profile, or a Contacts List only applies to Sync types that sync to a Contacts List or SharePoint Site Collection Profile. Automatically adding new users to a SharePoint Group, only applies to those Sync Types that sync to a SharePoint Site Collection Profile.
Many companies that use SharePoint are using Active Directory (AD) as the main authentication server. The Active Directory service stores user profile information and acts as the master database for company-wide information. The user account and profile information is imported from AD into SharePoint via the Central Administration during the initial deployment. Since AD acts as a master database, the user profile database in SharePoint can be set up to run incremental imports to sync user profiles when new user information is added to AD. A drawback to the out-of-the-box SharePoint functionality is that this update is available for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) only and is only a one-way sync (from AD to MOSS). If a user updates details in their MOSS SharePoint user profile, the information is not propagated to the AD profile and/or it is overwritten by the next sync from AD.
Additionally, with Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 and SharePoint Foundation 2010, there is a separate user profile list for each site collection (a site collection profile). Out-of-the-box SharePoint functionality does not provide a method to keep these separate information stores in sync. Users with access to more than one site collection could update their user information in one site collection and the update would not appear in the user information kept in another site collection on the same server. Although Bamboo's User Profile Sync can be used to update user information from AD to a site collection profile in WSS 3.0 or SharePoint 2010, often there are fields in the site collection profile that store information in addition to what is in AD. There should be a way to synchronize values in these fields across site collections.
Lastly, some organizations using WSS 3.0 or SharePoint 2010 have found it simpler to store their user information in a Contacts List rather than try to use the WSS 3.0 or SharePoint 2010 site collection profile (i.e. User Information List) which can be difficult to find, extend and manage. A Contacts List allows the User Administrator to extend metadata, integrate to Microsoft Outlook and restrict access to the list to maintain data integrity. Some of these organizations may need to sync their Contact List information to the WSS 3.0 or SharePoint 2010 site collection profiles to take advantage of some SharePoint features that may come along in the future related to social networking. Other organizations have a need to sync their AD information to the Contacts List. There should be a way to perform this type of synchronization.
The Bamboo User Profile Sync application provides a quick and easy way to synchronize user information in all of these instances. Whether you need to update Active Directory, the SharePoint User Profile database in MOSS 2007 or 2010, the User Information List (i.e. site collection profile) in WSS 3.0 or SharePoint Foundation 2010, or a Contacts List, User Profile Sync can help you set up your sync type, automate the sync, and maintain an audit trail of the updates.
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