Why configure the user profile synchronization in SharePont 2010?

Hello,

I am wondering what are the benefits of having SharePont 2010 synchronize user profiles. In Active Directory, there is just basic account information. So, wondering what the feature will bring me, once I get synchronization for user profiles working.

Thanks.
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Justin SmithConnect With a Mentor Sr. System EngineerCommented:
I just finished a project with a client in which they wanted a way to have a "golden copy" of all user information.  All info in one place, and the ability for users to search against it.  We did most of it in SharePoint.  HR information for the users is pushed to AD from SAP.  Then SharePoint imports this data from AD into the User Profile Store.  We then have a Search Center site that allows users to search against all the Profile metadata.
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Ingeborg Hawighorst (Microsoft MVP / EE MVE)Connect With a Mentor Microsoft MVP ExcelCommented:
Hello,

as I understand your question, you want to know why to use User Profile Service, and not how to set it up, right? Just off the top of my head (there are most probably more examples):

1.) The data in AD changes constantly, probably on a daily basis. New employees start, employees leave, employees change their details, like job title, department, manager, location,  etc. If you have UPS running in SharePoint, all these changes in AD will be available to SharePoint upon each synchronisation.

2.) With UPS enabled and synching to AD, you can activate MySites for each user and enable the synch back of certain AD fields that you can specify. Users can then edit certain data in their SharePoint MySite profile, for example phone number, home address, expertise, interests, etc. and it can by synchronized back to AD. That way, your IT team might save valuable time because they don't have to change these entries but let the end user do it.

3.) With UPS enabled, you can use the synchronized data for SharePoint functionality. For example workflows that require that the user's manager approves something, like a training request or a leave application. Without UPS, SharePoint does not know who the user's manager is. With UPS up and running, SharePoint can look up the user's current manager and route approval tasks to the appropriate person. If that manager leaves the company, the IT staff will update AD with the data of the successor, you don't have to touch the SharePoint workflow. Just update AD and the next synch cycle will push that information into SharePoint.

4.) With UPS enabled, you can use the synchronized data to create global audiences based on AD data. For example all users in location X or department Y. These audiences can then be used to target content on a SharePoint page, so it is only visible to users of the specified location or department. This can be used in portal sites to filter the content that is served to the user. Instead of seeing every piece of news for every department in the whole company, the user will see only the news that is relevant to their location and/or department. That will reduce information overload and clutter and will aid the adoption of SharePoint as an intranet solution, for example.

There are many more examples of how to leverage UPS, but it's after midnight at my place and I'll leave it at that for the time being.

cheers, teylyn
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