Information about user profile synchronization in SharePoint Online

Introduction

This article describes the User Profile Active Directory Import timer job, which is known as AD Import. The Active Directory Import timer job is part of a larger user synchronization pipeline in Office 365.

Procedure

Office 365 user synchronization pipeline

SharePoint Online uses the Active Directory Import timer job (AD Import) to import users and groups into the User Profile Application. AD Import syncs changes from the SharePoint Online (SPO) Directory Store to the User Profile Application. The timer job requests changes from the SPO Directory Store and then copies the values to the user profile properties that are configured for synchronization. AD Import syncs a subset of the Azure Active Directory attributes that are synced by Azure AD Connect. The profile properties that are synced by AD Import aren't configurable.

Graphic depiction of the Office 365 User Synchronization Pipeline

Breakdown of the processes in the pipeline

There are four processes in the user synchronization pipeline in Office 365:

Sync process

Description

Azure AD Connect

Azure AD Connect syncs data from your on-premises Active Directory to Azure Active Directory. For more information, see: Integrating your on-premises identities with Azure Active Directory.

AAD to SPO Sync

Azure Active Directory syncs data from Azure Active Directory to the SPO Directory Store.

AD Import

Active Directory Import syncs data from the SPO Directory Store to the User Profile Application.

WSS Sync

WSS Sync syncs data from the User Profile Application to the SharePoint Online site collection.

Profile properties that are synced with AD Import

AD Import syncs the following Azure Active Directory attributes to the User Profile Application: 

Azure Active Directory attribute

SPO User Profile property

Notes

UserPrincipalName

DisplayName: User Name
Name: UserName

The value in this property is used to create the path of a user’s OneDrive for Business site collection.

For example:
gherrera@contoso.com and /gherrera_contoso_com/

This property is replicated to the site collection by WSS Sync.

UserPrincipalName

DisplayName: Account Name
Name: AccountName

This property stores the claims-encoded User Principal Name for the user.

For example: i:0#.f|membership|gherrera@contoso.com

This property is used to look up the user profile.

UserPrincipalName

DisplayName: Claim User Identifier

Name: SPS-ClaimID

This property stores the user’s claims identifier. The identifier is the User Principal Name.

For example: gherrera@contoso.com

UserPrincipalName

DisplayName: User Principal Name

Name: SPS-UserPrincipalName

This property stores the User Principal Name of the user.

For example: gherrera@contoso.com

GivenName

DisplayName: Manager

Name: Manager

The manager property is used to determine colleagues and will be used in the user profile and OneDrive for Business deletion process. 

For more information see: 3042522 How user profiles are deleted in SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business.

DisplayName

DisplayName: Name

Name: PreferredName

This property is replicated to the site collection by WSS Sync.

For example: Gabriela Herrara

telephoneNumber

DisplayName: Work phone

Name: WorkPhone

This property is replicated to the site collection by WSS Sync.

For example: (123) 456-7890

proxyAddresses

DisplayName: Work email

Name: WorkEmail

Processed in this order when it's added to the profile: 

WorkEmail if the value in proxy address is prefixed with SMTP: (Must be in CAPS)

WorkEmail if the value in proxy address is prefixed with smtp: (Must be lowercase)


This property is replicated to the site collection by WSS Sync.

For example: gherrera@contoso.com

ProxyAddresses

DisplayName: SIP Address

Name: SPS-SIPAddress

SPS-SIPAddress if the value in proxy address is prefixed with sip:.

This property is replicated to the site collection by WSS Sync.

PhysicalDeliveryOfficeName

DisplayName: Office

Name: Office

This property is replicated to the site collection by WSS Sync.

Title

DisplayName: Title

Name: Title

This property is replicated to the site collection by WSS Sync

Title

DisplayName: Job Title

Name: SPS-JobTitle

SPS-JobTitle contains the same value as Title. SPS-JobTitle is connected to a Term Set.

This property isn't replicated to the site collection.

Department

DisplayName: Department

Name: Department

This property is replicated to the site collection by WSS Sync.

Department

DisplayName: Department

Name: SPS-Department

SPS-Department contains the same value as Department. SPS-Department is connected to a Term Set.

This property isn't replicated to the site collections.

WWWHomePage

DisplayName: Public site redirect

Name: PublicSiteRedirect

PreferredLanguage

DisplayName: Language Preferences

Name: SPS-MUILanguages

SPS-MUILangauges is used by SPO to determine which language a site is displayed in for the user when MUI is enabled. 

msExchHideFromAddressList

DisplayName: SPS-HideFromAddressLists

Name: SPS-HideFromAddressLists

msExchRecipientTypeDetails

DisplayName: SPS-RecipientTypeDetails

Name: SPS-RecipientTypeDetails

ObjectGuid

DisplayName: Active Directory Id

Name: ADGuid

Internal

DistinguishedName

DisplayName: Distinguished Name

Name: SPS-DistinguishedName

Internal

ObjectId

DisplayName: msonline-ObjectId

Name: msOnline-ObjectId

Internal

UserType

DisplayName: SPS-UserType

Name: SPS-UserType

Internal

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q1.When should I expect to see my changes in the User Profile Application?

A1. AD Import syncs changes from the SPO Directory. The changes are processed in batches, and the timer job runs until the changes from the SPO Directory are synced to the User Profile Application. The time that's required depends on the number of changes (work) the AD Import Job has to process. If there are many changes, the timer job has a lot of work to do, and it will take longer for the changes to be reflected in the User Profile Application. If the timer job has a small volume of work to do, the changes will be reflected in the User Profile Application much faster.

AD Import is one of the synchronizations that make up the overall time for a user to be fully synchronized. The AD Import timer job processes changes from the SPO Directory continuously. AD Import processes changes for every tenant in a SharePoint Online server farm.

The Service Level Agreement (SLA) states that a change to a user in the SPO Directory will be reflected in the User Profile Application in 24 hours. This is the maximum period of time under ordinary conditions that we would expect a change to take to sync to the User Profile Application. For more information, see Manage SharePoint Online user profiles from the SharePoint admin center.

Note Tenants that have an Office 365 Education SKU won't have all their users imported by default. A stub profile for the user will be created upon first access to SharePoint Online. When the stub profile is created, the profile will be imported as part of the next AD Import Job.

Q2.Does the AD Import sync always overwrite the properties in the SharePoint Online user profile?

A2. For the properties that are synced by AD Import, expect them to be overwritten with the values from Azure Active Directory.

Q3.Does AD Import update only properties that have changed?

A3. AD Import is driven primarily by changes that occur upstream. But it may run a full import as necessary. It's possible that all properties for a tenant or a user could be synced.

Q4.Why isn't it possible to map additional properties for AD Import to sync from Azure Active Directory to the User Profile Application?

A4. AD Import is limited to a preconfigured set of properties to guarantee consistent performance of the timer job.
 


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