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SharePoint 2013 Profile Synchronization And Directory Service Types

There are two types of synchronization that can occur. Full Synch can take a very long time to take place. If you have lots of directors with a volume of users then it can take days for it to be completed. This must be performed the first time that synchronizing is done. Incremental takes less time because it will only be synchronizing the data that has changed in SharePoint Server 2013 or the external system. This is recommended for second and future synchronizations.

There are some circumstances that can make it impossible to use incremental synchronization though. They include:

  1. Changes to a mapped property
  2. Changes to containers that are used by a connection for synchronizing with the directory service
  3. Changes or addition of a filter
  4. Changes to any external content type that you are synchronizing with
  5. A connection has been added or deleted

It is possible to configure a timer job to run incremental synchronization at regular intervals. You can select the schedule to do it several times per hour or only a few times a month. You can also do a full or incremental synchronization manually at any time.

You have the option with SharePoint Server 2013 Preview to create connections with various directory services including AD DS, Sun Java System Directory Server, Novell eDirectory, and IBM Tivoli.

It is possible to use any of these directory services when you want to synchronize users. However, you can only use AD DS when you want to synchronize groups. Novell eDirectory is only supportive of incremental synchronization. All of the others also work with full synchronization. It is possible to import data directly from AD DS. Profile sync enables you to create user profiles by importing information from other systems that are used by your organization.

There are a few steps you need to incorporate for profile synchronization planning to take place. Start out by identifying the synchronization connections and collecting the information that you need for that connection to be created. For any type of external content you will have to document the requirements for them. This allows you to provide those requirements to the developer. It will also make it possible for you to have all the details for synchronization to occur with the business system.

 The next step is going to be to determine mapping the user profile properties so that information in the external system can be synchronized. Next, you will need to answer questions about if you plan to synchronize groups or not. You will need to decide which server will be used for the synchronization services. You also need to make a decision about how often you plan for the profile information to be synchronized.

Each of the properties that are part of a user profile can stem from an external system, either Directory Services or Business Systems. A synchronized connection in SharePoint Server allows a method for a user profile and information to get to the external system. Being able to import files from the supported directory services involves creating a synchronized connection to the directory service. You can import other profile properties too from a business system by creating an external content type. This will bring the data into the SharePoint Server from the business system. It then creates a synchronized connection to the external content type. In the next section, you will explore an explanation about collecting information that is needed for each of the synchronization connections.

Every single user that you wish to have a profile in SharePoint Server must have an identity set up in directory services. If they aren’t you won’t be able to synchronize the user profile. To start, you need to identify which of the directory services contains the information for these users. You also need to identify the administrator unless you are going to access the directory service on your own. If you have an administrator, you need to collaborate with them so that they can collect the necessary information for those synchronized connection to be completed.

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