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More Ways to Maximize SharePoint's Out-of-the-Box Features

  • September 17, 2008
  • By Daan De Brouckere & Raj Agarwal
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To map and import a custom field from AD, please follow these steps:

  1. Open the SSP within SharePoint 3.0 Central Administration.
  2. Note: The following instructions assume that you have already created the SSP and mapped the import connection (Configure Profile Import) to the company AD.
  3. Click on User Profiles and Properties within User Profiles and My Sites section.
  4. Figure 17: User Profile settings page

  5. Scroll down to User Profile Properties section and click on Add Profile Property.
  6. Figure 18: Existing user profile properties

  7. In the Add User Profile Property page, type the Profile Name and Description.
  8. In the Policy Settings section, select the property to be required, optional, or disabled (viewable to only SSP administrators) and select the Default Privacy Setting to the target audience of this property.


  9. Click here for a larger image.

    Figure 19: Add user profile property—Policy Settings

  10. Select the appropriate Edit, Display, and Search Settings based on the company policy. In the example, the "Show in the profile properties section of the user's profile page" option will be selected to display this property, as a Custom Property, in the users' My Site page.
  11. In the Property Import Mapping Setting, select Source Data Connection and Data Source Field to Map, the field to which the new property is mapped ("pager" in the example).


  12. Click here for a larger image.

    Figure 20: Add user profile property—Property Import Mapping settings

  13. Then, click OK.
  14. The new profile property will be displayed in the Custom Properties section of the View Profile Properties page.


  15. Click here for a larger image.

    Figure 21: New property on View User Profile Properties page

  16. Once the property has been added and "Show in the profile properties section of the user's profile page" was selected, a full crawl must be performed to display this custom field in the My Sites page of the users.

Taking It to the Next Level

Once the SSP has been created and configured, the Business Data Catalog (BDC) can be leveraged to retrieve users' profile information from the backend database. This is useful if users' information is stored and maintained in a database other than AD. To connect to the database, you will need to write custom connectors that connect and map fields from SharePoint 2007 to a custom database. Once the fields are mapped, they will be displayed in the Custom Properties section of the users' My Sites. Please note that BDC is a feature of SharePoint 2007 Enterprise Edition.

Conclusion

Microsoft SharePoint technology is a powerful platform. It provides scalable enterprise capabilities to meet and exceed the requirements of growing businesses. Understanding the requirements and knowing how to maximize and leverage SharePoint out-of-the-box capabilities will provide the highest ROI for a SharePoint implementation. It is important to understand the system from an end-user perspective. More importantly, it is vital to provide the users with information in both an efficient and effective way. Leveraging capabilities such as search, security, and My Sites can help address some of the needs of rapidly growing and geographically distributed organizations. Once again, as mentioned in "How to Maximize SharePoint Out-of-the-Box Features", it is beneficial to create a set of options for the given requirements and perform a cost-benefit analysis to understand the relative value of each option, including the cost of ongoing support and maintenance.

About the Authors

Daan De Brouckere is an executive with Crowe Horwath LLP in the Oak Brook office. You can reach Daan at daan.debrouckere@crowehorwath.com.

Raj Agarwal is a developer with Crowe Horwath LLP in the Livingston office. You can reach Raj at raj.agarwal@crowehorwath.com.





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