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Intranet Contacts Directory dynamically updated from Active Directory

Posted on 2010-09-21
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
Dear Experts,

I am looking to introduce a dynamically updated contacts directory on our company intranet.
As it is, the directory is updated once a month manually and it is massively tedious.

Can anyone please suggest a (either 3rd party or MS) solution I could use? We do not use Sharepoint, nor do I need/want to roll out weapons-grade solutions like MIIS.

I'm after a relatively simple system which queries AD user fields and maps them to the corresponding fields on the website form.

Our intranet is hosted on Apache2 by the way.

Any questions - please shout.

Thanks in advance,
Skielve
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Question by:skielve
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11 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:MisterTwelve
ID: 33724118
Hi
i have the script to update some contacts fields.
Please tell me what contats fields you need to make some changes on script.
my script read excel file and stamp new values on users
 
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ntype
ID: 33724270
In the AD snap in you can save a queryies for future reuse (and export under XML for example). From that point you could create an export file (once in a while) that will be then used by your web service to display an updated contact list.

Or you could use your web service to do LDAP queries against a specific zone of your AD so that people could search directly the active directory for the contacts who then will only be updated at one point.  Extending further there are specific rights that you could allocate to the record maintainers over the AD specific zone so you could outsource the management of said objects to a low level tech positition (secretary, intern...) through a simple web service or with the MMC snap in.
0
 

Author Comment

by:skielve
ID: 33725282
Thanks gents,

ntype: is this something you have done before? I'm not sure if AD query export can be scheduled and done automatically? Because this is what I would be looking for specifically: a scheduled query (say, once an hour) whichis then automatically exported to XML.

MisterTwelve: I'm not sure I understand. So, your script reads values in AD account properties fields or do thise have to be exported in to Excel first? And when you say it stamps values on users do you mean in AD properties or in Excel? Slightly confused, sorry :-)

Cheers,
Skielve
0
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:MisterTwelve
ID: 33725559
OK.
you need some tool to update contatcs fields montlhy, right?
if you have the contact information on excel, you only need to update excel and run script. Script write all contacts information from excel to AD user at once.
This is more simple than update user contacts manualy.
is this you want?
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:ntype
ID: 33726478
Honestly I never automated such request, in my mind the request would be run and the result file exported regularly. Manual process.

Now if you want to display the contacts or whatever else you could acheive that doing a LDAP query within a script page (asp, php...) against Active Directory then use it publish your page (you could store the requests so you don't hammer down the servers with too many requests).
0
 

Author Comment

by:skielve
ID: 33726702
MisterTwelve: thanks for your help, but no, not really. What I'm looking for is to export user contact details from AD so that they can be published on our intranet.

ntype: Manual process is what we have now so this would be simply just another way of doing things we are doing at the moment. Thanks anyway.

Not sure if any of you has ever worked with MIIS (Microsoft Identity Integration Manager), but what it did was basically coordinate specified user details and replicate them in a pre-determined order to various elements of infrastructure. So if you had an HR system, Access Card system, AD, Intranet contact list etc, you only needed to update one of them (usually AD) and the information would then be replicated across all the various systems.

Now, MIIS is, honestly, tough as nails to configure (properly) and I haven't got time to even inestigate this option. So my qiestions is - does anyone know a 3rd party solution, as light weight as possible, which would allow me to do what i have just described?

Please let me know if you do.

Thanks in advance,
Skielve

0
 
LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:ntype
ntype earned 200 total points
ID: 33735444
Microsoft provides two tools to do directory import/exports; CSVDE and LDIFDE. The first one producees csv files meanwhile the other one is directed toward interroperability with other directory systems. They could be a good way to provide data import/exports through scheduled jobs for example.
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LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Auric1983
ID: 33735468
Skeilve,

Do you have an MS SQL server in place?

You can always do an LDAP query to your AD and have it populate on your intranet.
0
 

Author Comment

by:skielve
ID: 33768190
Auric1983: Yes, we do have several SQL servers. I would probably need a helping hand with technical details of such a solution.

I'm wondering how the LDAP, SQL and Apache servers come "together" in this scenario, i.e. I take it the you can build an LDAP query on the SQL server but how would the results be published in Apache2?

ntype: I will read up on LDIFDE and get back to you.

Thanks,
Skielve
0
 
LVL 16

Accepted Solution

by:
Auric1983 earned 300 total points
ID: 33768990
skielve

Up to part three on this blog would get you an LDAP query that you could use to display on your intranet.  I'm not sure how you would get this into your Apache server,  really it all depends on what you are using to code the intranet. (PHP, html etc.)

http://vspug.com/wsspectacular/2008/01/10/how-to-display-an-ad-group-in-a-sharepoint-dataview/ 

0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:skielve
ID: 33769811
Thanks for your help gents.
Skielve
0

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