DotNet Development, SharePoint Customizing, Silverlight, MS Infrastructure and other tips and tricks

Introduction to User Properties in the SP Central Administration

Posted by PANVEGA on November 5, 2008

User profile properties define a portal user’s individuality. These properties store all essential information, such as contact details, distribution list memberships and colleagues. All can be retrieved from Active Directory and LDAP; from external data sources such as databases and legacy applications; and through the use of the Business Data Catalog (BDC) or from the SharePoint Profiles data store itself.

User profile properties are not limited to those that are created by default during the creation of the Shared Services Provider. Custom profile properties can be created in SharePoint and mapped to AD properties to accommodate situations when Active Directory is being used to track all possible information about a user. But they can be maintained independently of the AD account properties as well.

The set of properties that are included in the user profile might not contain all of the information about users in your organization that you want to include on the site. You can add new properties to enhance those included in the user profile.

You can also edit existing properties to change how those properties are displayed in the user profile.

You can also map properties to properties in Active Directory directory services.

Note When you add or edit a property mapping, you must run a full import before the changes take effect.

My Scenario:

I created a custom people picker field type, where I should retreive some User Properties into a SP List. By default only some fileds are shown in the PickerEntity properties. Hence I have to map some new fields to the user profile through the AD and have to make a full import after the changes (MOSS way). Down below I explained it a little deeper.


You see if your user profile import correctly configured, when you from the Welcome drop down list choose My Settings


Switch to your Central Administration.

Shared Services Administration: SharedServices1 > User Profile and Properties > View Profile Properties

If you look at the same account in the Shared Services Provider, it also has no properties.


Go to the user account in Active Directory


After having run a full import the MOSS profile is populated with the properties from Active Directory:



If you make a full or incremental import from AD you are going to loose all field content in the moss profile, which was not in the Active Directory Profile. However the field must be a Mapped Attribute to a specific datasource. So, if you want to add User property content, do this in AC rather than in MOSS Central Administration Profile store.

“There are actually 2 user profiles – one is a WSS profile and one is a MOSS profile. The WSS profile you access from Welcome user > My Settings page. The MOSS profiles are created when users are imported into the system from AD or LDAP. They are access from People Search or from a link off of your MySite.

The reason there are 2 is that you can install WSS without MOSS and they wanted a basic user profile. If you installed WSS without MOSS, you would see the profile (again, accessed through Welcome user > My Settings page) with about 3 properties.

If you install MOSS, do an import, and go to the WSS profile, you’ll see a bunch of properties added that MOSS adds. We now depricate the WSS profile. If you want to add property values to your profile, you need to go to your MOSS profile from your MySite (MySite > Details). You’ll be on the editprofile.aspx page. Add your properties. We then sync your properties to the WSS user list. You will see the values show up on the WSS profile after the sync happens.”

Under People and Groups in SharePoint you find the added User Profiles from the CA Profile store.

Well, two MOSS Timer jobs per Web Application apparently control the replication. If you take a look at the Timer Job definitions (Central Administration -> Operations -> Timer Job definitions), you’ll find jobs called Profile Synchronization and Quick Profile Synchronization. These jobs should sync the changes to the WSS profiles. Unfortunately simply wait for the jobs to run aren’t good enough. However, a server reboot will make the synchronization happen. It is a bit drastic to reboot the server simply just to force MOSS/WSS to update a property update!

To make a long story short, use stsadm -o sync to force the property sync:

  • -o -synctiming changes the Profile Sync job
  • -o -sweeptiming changes the Quick Profile Sync job

In a user’s public My Site, you can see their profile properties displayed. This example displays the user’s work phone number.

<SPSWC:ProfilePropertyValue PropertyName=”WorkPhone”
class=”ms-profilevalue” PrefixBrIfNotEmpty=”true” runat=”server”/>

More Information:

The “SharePoint 2007 Shared Services Provider User Profile Property Replicator” was designed to take custom user profile properties and export/import them into another MOSS 2007 server.,289483,sid1_gci1312658,00.html


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