WSS UserInfo versus MOSS Profile Q & A (The Basics)

What happens when manually adding a user to a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Site Collection, who previously did not have a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 profile?

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 userinfo and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 profile are not hard-linked; what this means is when a new user is created in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 it does not get created in the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 profile store; the opposite of this is true as well – Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 -> Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.

What information about users is stored?

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 stores the information about the user local to the site collection in the userinfo and user lists; this is site collection specific and as a result when creating another top-level Site Collection it is required to add the information about the individual again. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 will make an attempt to get as much information about the individual from the directory when you add them to the Site Collection, including the inviduals’ name, username, SIP address, email address, title, etc.

How are name changes managed?

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 has more information about users than Windows SharePoint Services 3.0.  This information is regularly updated through the import job – Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 has a synchronization job (profsynch) that enumerates every user record in every Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Site Collection and will make any updates as discovered.  Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 leverages the profile store to manage changed values in the profile store, to include directory, Business Database Catalog or user applied changes such as personal site photographs, etc; the Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 process will update every Site Collection where this individual is referenced.

Can Profile Import be configured to import from multiple OU’s from the same domain?

Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 does not allow more than one connection to a domain; if you’d like to configure a custom import, such as a specific user filter (&(objectCategory=Person)(objectClass=User)), you can create a single connection with the common search base (DC=foo,DC=bar) and add a more restricted user filter to limit the users imported.

What happens when a users profile is deleted in SPS.

Typically there is no real impact in the event a user profile is removed from the SharePoint profiles database; the profile will be restored during a full or incremental import. Though the statement is true for the most part when only considering Windows SharePoint Services sites, the behavior varies considerable when including My Site sites in the scenario. Since Windows SharePoint Services content is stored as a table in the sites database, the content can be easily recovered and archived; however, though My Site/Personal site content is similar in this respect many of the end-user facing customization exists as a shared service within SharePoint Portal Server. This content can include, but is not limited to, ‘My Links, My Alerts, etc’. Recovery of the shared services content is more detailed and will require a backup of the profile, sites and services databases to successfully restore the end-users My Site/Personal site to the condition it existed in prior to their profile being removed. The solution includes scheduling an AD import to recreate the missing user profile, recreating the users My Site/Personal site and restoring the contents from the sites database to this site, this will include documents, lists, images, etc. The shared services content can be restored by first learning what content the user had prior to the deletion; this can be achieved from associating the deleted site and user profile in the profile, sites and services backup databases, once determined, the shared services content can be mapped to the new user profile and site.