An early start to Day 3 was always destined to be a battle as it followed an evening of drunken shenanigans at the eagerly awaited third-party vendor bashes (thanks again to those fine folks from Axceler and AvePoint!) Fortunately, a bucket-load of Red Bull and a Bacon Sandwich provided the perfect remedy for soaking up the remains of a 4am Mojito, although things weren’t so straight forward for a unnamed colleague of mine who decided to ‘decorate’ the Copenhagen dual-carriageway on route to the conference out of a taxi window!
Session: 10 Things I like in SharePoint 2013 Search
Agnes Molnar, MVP, Hungary
No SharePoint conference would be the same without Agnes Molnar showing us what’s what with her expertise on everything Search. And since the copious amount of Red Bull I had consumed were starting to dwindle (and subsequently, the hangover was starting to kick-in) I’m a little worried the notes I took will not do the session justice. Therefore, the link below is to Agnes’ Sky-Drive which provides the slides for the presentations. And just for the record, this ‘Sky Drive’ link has absolutely nothing to do with SharePoint’s ‘Sky Drive Pro’ – great effort from the MS marketing folks J)
Session: 10 Steps to Creating a SharePoint Support Model
Geoff Evelyn, MVP
Finally someone decided to tackle a subject which has never previously been aired at a SharePoint conference; that of the SharePoint support model. Geoff Evelyn really did nail the subject and in many ways, I found this more informative and useful than some of the IT Pro tracks I attended over the four days. One of Geoff’s opening line’s summed-up the presentation perfectly; “User adoption does not work without a support model”. All of the slide decks are available on Geoff’s site which focuses heavily on the ‘SharePoint delivery’ workspace.
Session: User Profile Synchronization Best Practices in SharePoint Server 2013
Spencer Harbar, MCM, MVP
Doing battle with the User Profile Service in SharePoint 2010 is not something which should be taken lightly. We’ve all wasted countless hours trying to unpick its ridiculously complex architecture which uses the scaled-down, pre-release version of Forefront Identity Manager. Fortunately, Spencer Harbar’s excellent guide to tackling UPS (‘Rational Guide to implementing SharePoint Server 2010 User Profile Synchronization’ – http://www.harbar.net/articles/sp2010ups.aspx) provides all the information required to ensure your Synchronization Service doesn’t hang on ‘Starting‘ (yes, we’ve all been there!)
Spencer was therefore the ideal person to provide the nuts and bolt to the SP2013 iteration of UPS, which finally offers a direct ‘AD Mode’ import…..and thankfully, it has absolutely zero reliance on FIM!
- There is an increased dependency on UPS with SP2013. One of the new Service Apps, ‘Machine Translation’ requires user profiles to be populated
UPS in SP2013 now provides three different synchronization modes; Active Directory Import (ADI), User Profile Synchronization (UPS) and External Identity Manager (EIM)
Active Directory Import (ADI)
This is the lightweight LDAP import into SharePoint which doesn’t rely on FIM service and will probably fulfil most company import requirements. This mode is ‘Import only’ and is essentially the most straightforward option.
User Profile Synchronization (UPS)
Provides the same approach as SP2010 with a number of improvements under the hood (includes some significant SQL enhancements). FIM is required
External Identity Manager (EIM)
New addition to the User Profile Service which provides greater flexibility and allows for custom code. This is the most complex out of the three import modes.
- Your dedicated Synch account still requires the ‘Replicate Directory Changes’ ADD setting
- If your NetBios domain name is different to that of your the fully-qualified domain name (FQDN), you still need to enable ‘NetBiosDomainNames’ for the User Profile Service App – this setting is set to ‘False’ by default
- If you’re using Powershell to manage UPS, some SP2010 ‘cmdlets’ are no longer supported
- Try to avoid switching back and forth between ADI and UPS modes as you will run into problems (some associated bugs)
- New LDAP query filters are available (even in the UI) which provide great flexibility. You can also use ‘ADSI Edit’ to build LDAP queries
- The UPS ‘default schema issue’ still exists in SP2013 unfortunately (see below)
- Since the conference, Spencer has blogged an article on the varying speeds of an ‘AD Import’ versus the ‘User Profile Synchronization’. And the outcome was a resounding victory for the AD Import! http://www.harbar.net/archive/2013/02/18/Quick-and-dirty-test-results-Active-Directory-Import-versus-User.aspx