Wednesday, November 02, 2011

User Profile Synchronization in SharePoint 2010 Facts

Hi Folks,

I'd like to share with you some important facts about User Profile synchronization in SharePoint 2010. SharePoint 2010 has User Profile Service application which provides a two-way synchronization for users/groups from your directory services or any external system in sync with SharePoint 2010 users and groups profiles.

Terms used in this post:
* UP: User Profile.
* UPSSA: User Profile Synchronization Service Application.
* UPSS: User Profile Synchronization Service.

Here are some facts you should be aware when you start planning for user profiles in SharePoint:
1) SharePoint 2010 has User Profile Service Application which manage the synchronization process between SP and AD or any external system that contains users & groups.

2) SP 2010 provisions a version of Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager to participate in synchronization.

3) UPSSA can only have one user profile synchronization service.

4) A UPSS is associated with connections and mappings.

5) We divide connections in UPSS into two types: connections to directory services, and connections to business systems.

6) When you setup a connection in UPSS to connect to directory services, You specify which containers to be included in the synchronization. You can specify filters to exclude service or disabled accounts.

7) Mapping is a step to map SharePoint user profile fields to directory services/external system user profile master data fields.

8) Upon each synchronization, SharePoint deletes SP users who have been deleted from Directory services.

9) Upon each synchronization, SharePoint add and updates SP user profile's fields as configured in the UPSS.

10) IMPORTANT: If you have multiple directory services, each directory services MUST provide unique users. You can't synchronize a single user with multiple directory services.

11) IMPORTANT: You can populate properties from any existing business system. You can't create new user profiles from an external system, and you can't write data back to a business system.

12) To synchronize properties from external system, First you should create an external content type to bring data from the business system into SP 2010. Then you will be able to synchronize these users into SP.

13) You should have a key field to be used for mapping between SP user profiles and your external system. You can use employee's work email as the identifier of your external content type. In this case, SP will synchronize information which matches employee's email to be captured in your synchronization records.

14) You can build a custom solution using SP object model to create user profiles in SharePoint.

Hope this helps.


References:
1) Profile Synchronization overview in SP 2010:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg188041.aspx
2) BCS Overview in SP 2010:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee661740.aspx



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