SharePoint, My Site and Managing User Profile Properties – Part 1/2

Posted by on Jun 30, 2009 in SharePoint, SharePoint 2007

A couple of months ago I posted an article introducing My Site and social enterprise networking with SharePoint, and focused the discussion around tracking colleagues via the colleague tracker web part. If you missed that article, you can access it here.  I also promised that I would provide future articles discussing other My Site features so here is a two part series on My Site and Managing user profile properties with today’s discussion around populating Windows Active Directory (AD).  Some of the common question’s asked are what fields should be populated in AD and how does one populate the Organizational Hierarchy web part?  I will be providing answers to these questions in today’s post.

A lot of the information or metadata that a SharePoint user inherits comes from Windows Active Directory.  Depending on how much information is populated, this can be a little or a lot.  SharePoint by default includes 46 user profile properties, in which 21 of these are mapped to Windows Active Directory. In most cases, it’s best practice when setting up a new user in Active Directory  to try and populate as much of these 21 attributes as possible which is then automatically imported into the SharePoint User profile properties.  This should be relayed to your AD guys.  You also have the ability to create custom mapped properties in your SharePoint profile property store which can also be mapped to Active Directory.  I will expand on this in part 2 of this series which will also discuss how users can configure other user profile details such as interests, skills and responsibilities.

So let’s begin by creating a new user in Active Directory in which we will then begin populating the relevant AD fields.

Under the General Tab, Populate First Name, Last Name, Display Name, Office, Telephone Number and Email (this should be populated via Microsoft Exchange).  Please note that Web page is automatically populated when a user creates their My Site for the first time and clicks on “Set as default My Site”

SharePoint Set as default My Site

Active Directory User Properties

Navigate to the Telephones Tab and populate the Fax Number.

Active Directory User Profiles

Under the Organization Tab, populate Job Title, Department and specify the Manager.  This field is important as it build’s the organizational hierarchy which is displayed via the Organization Hierarchy web part.

Active Directory Organization

In order to specify the Manager, Click on Change and enter the Manager’s name as per the below screen shot.

Active Directory

The result is the below.

Organization Active Directory

The Direct reports field in Active Directory is the reciprocal of the Manager, i.e. If I navigate to Manager : George Khalil, my Test SharePoint User will be listed under Direct reports as per the below screen shot.

Active Directory Reports to

The Organization Hierarchy Web Part will be automatically populated as per the below example based on Manager and Direct reports information from AD.


The SharePoint User profile details that are mapped to Active Directory are also populated automatically based on your Active Directory Import Schedule.  As you can see below, Name and Title are non-editable fields and can only be changed in Active Directory.  More on SharePoint User profile details will be discussed in Part 2 of this series.

SharePoint My Site Edit Details

You will also notice that some of these mapped fields are also displayed as part of your public user site referred to as My Profile such as Job Title, Department, Office and Phone Number.

SharePoint My Profile

We have learnt that by populating Active Directory you are inadvertently populating SharePoint user profiles with meaningful information which is also made public to other users via My Profile.  The My Profile page also contains the organization hierarchy  web part which also draws it’s information from the Manager field in Active Directory.

In the next part of this series I will delve into creating and mapping custom fields with Active Directory and how users can contribute other personal information outside of Active Directory such as Interests and Skills and control how this information is being displayed through privacy controls.

If you would like to subscribe via email to be notified of future articles you can do so from here or via RSS here.


Articles in this series

  1. SharePoint, My Site and Managing User Profile Properties – Part 1/2
  2. SharePoint, My Site and Managing User Profile Properties – Part 2/2

No Comments


  1. SharePoint, My Site and Managing User Profile Properties | SharePoint George - [...] SharePoint, My Site and Managing User Profile Properties – Part 1/2 [...]