Microsoft and other large software vendors often fall foul of criticisms that products overlap significantly, or that discreet functionality in one product has been written afresh when the facility is already mature in another technology. As I’ve grown to know it better, I think Microsoft’s Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) provides some interesting examples of the benefits and drawbacks of product re-use. I put these thoughts out as a set of considerations to counter the view that reuse is always a positive thing.
Note: I wrote this article a long time ago, and have always been on the fence about posting it because it’s an editorial rather than purely technical content. I’m not 100% certain this is the right place for this content, but I am publishing it here now rather than letting it rot. Because this was written a long time ago, some references are dated. Like this doesn’t speak of MIM, AADSync or AAD Connect in any detail, so put that knowledge to one side for now.
Continue reading “Product reuse at Microsoft as seen through a FIM lens”
When helping our clients with Office 365 deployments, we sometimes find that DirSync has been associated with a trial tenant that is about to expire and/or was originally created with a provisional name, or similar. In any case, a public DNS name can only be verified once in Office 365, which associates that namespace with the Office 365 and Azure AD tenancies. So if we want to move DirSync (which is also a prerequisite for ADFS) to a new tenancy, then we need to back it out from the first tenant and re-associate it with the second. Unfortunately, that process isn’t exceptionally quick, but there are some manual steps that you can carry out in order to accelerate the change. As we do this more often, our list of things to check is growing, so this list may change, but this is where we’re at today. Please feel free to comment if you feel we’re overlooking anything.
Continue reading “Moving an Office 365 DirSync/ADFS domain from one Azure AD tenant to another”
In my post yesterday on User Profile Picture Export Permissions I reviewed the requirements to export the SharePoint PictureURL profile property to the Active Directory thumbnailPhoto user attribute. Where I left off, I had identified a certificate error on our SSL-secured MySite’s wildcard certificate. You may recall that the User Profile synchronisation exported the mobile number property successfully. Given that this mobile number was updated by the end-users though the same MySite host as the User Profile picture, you may wonder why one exported successfully if there were certificate errors that interfered with the other.
Fundamentally, it’s irrelevant that this data was updated by these users in their MySites. The property could have been updated by an administrator in the User Profile Service Application. However, it appears that the User Profile export is not just exporting the URL as a string, it is actually copying the image on export; the User Profile Service Application is browsing to the SSL-secured site to pick up the image and writes it to the user’s thumbnailPhoto attribute. In this post I’ll review the evidence and explain the additional certificate trust configuration required to export an SSL-secured User Profile picture.
Continue reading “User Profile Picture and Certificate Trusts”
Most IT Professionals with SharePoint 2010 experience will be familiar with the initial configuration complexities of the User Profile Service Application but it’s probably less well-known that there are additional requirements to set up profile property export, and that some properties have further requirements still. SharePoint 2010 allows properties to either be imported or exported (but not both, out of the box). The most basic of these requirements for Active Directory export are the Write All Properties and Create Child Objects permissions on the OUs where data will be written by SharePoint.
We initially followed Matthew McDermott’s Profile Image Export suggestions but in our case these steps were insufficient, as detailed below. That article was written while SharePoint 2010 was a beta product. The User Profile Service Application changed since that release and is now configured differently, so it doesn’t surprise me that our experience differs.
You might wonder why we spent this much effort just to get a picture in Active Directory (of all places). While we think it’s important to have this knowledge for our clients and delegating photo selection to end users can drive SharePoint adoption, it is also used by the Outlook 2010 Social Connector. When you start using this great new social computing front-end, it just feels incomplete without a photo.
Continue reading “User Profile Picture Export Permissions”