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SharePoint Lover > Posts > Importing Images from Active Directory to SharePoint 2010
May 30
Importing Images from Active Directory to SharePoint 2010

There is saying that goes like this - A picture is worth of thousand words. In large scale organisations, it is nice to be able to put a picture to a face. Imagine arriving at a company with dozens of employees and you are trying to put a name to the face. Or, your new director asks you to go and look for the head of HR. You go to the HR office and shout out "Sally, Sally"...and everyone looks at you with disdain for breaking up their one minute of silence on rememberance day.

Being able to locate someone by an image helps effective communication in organisations, and SharePoint 2010 offers this capability. Outlook 2010 as well as it's Social Connectors also provide this capability, so that once images are stored in Active Directory, these images can be shared with Microsoft Outlook and SharePoint 2010. Clicking on a Users Profile will automatically display content and images  that has been added to Microsoft's Active Directory (AD) attribute known as thumbnailPhoto.


However, with SharePoint 2010, it's not as easy as this as additional configurations need to be made. However, here is the end to end process which can be used for Outlook 2010 - just in case you havent got any images in Active directory and you want to start fresh, and also SharePoint 2010. If you follow these steps to the book, you will have images in SharePoint 2010. All these steps assume that you already have a working User Profile service which has been succesfully syncrhonised and have set up synchronisation settings.


1. Prepare your images for importing.

The optimal dimensions for the photos is 96x96 pixels, and the maximum file size for the photos is 100K. So you would want to do this before hand. If you have loads of files to do, then you can use the free Picasa Image Editing program from Google which allows you to Batch edit documents. Download and install Picasa from here There is also a good guide on batch editing images here.

2. Add Images to Active Directory

There are various ways of achieving this, but the most simplist method is to download a very good free tool which is called Lepide Active Directory Bulk Image editor. I still don't know why this tool is free and it doesn't contain any adware etc, but it is by far the easiest to use and really works and does some other things where active directory is concerned. Adding on images is quite straightforward as you select the existing accounts in Active directory and add the relevant picture to the displayed users. It also will allow you to change images in future. Download and install it for free from here

3. Edit SharePoint 2010 User Properties

By now, your users would have pictures allocated to their users names and these images would be displayed and made available in Microsoft Outlook 2010. 

-For SharePoint 2010, log in to Central Administration using the SharePoint Admin account. (This account needs to be a site collection administrator for my sites). Navigate to Central Administration | Application Management |  Service Applications and then double click on the  the User Profile Service

- Navigate to the People | Manage User Properties

- The list of User Properties will be displayed. Scroll down till you locate the Property Name called "Picture", then click on it once and then click on "Edit"

- You will now be brought to the Edit User Profile Property screen. Scroll down all the way to the bottom till you get to the "Add New mapping" section. Click on the Attribute drop down menu and select "thumbnailPhoto" from the list of options. On the Direction drop down menu, click on "Import". On completion, click on the "Add Button". 


- The Profile property screen would now be populated with the import details. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on OK.


- If you go back to the Manage User Properties screen the Picture Property would now have the following details    Picture   |  URL   | thumbnailPhoto

4. Prepare UPS Synchronisation

In order for all of the pictures to be pulled through to SharePoint, a site synchronisation would need to be performed. However, before doing this, you would need to note the details of your mysite as this is needed in step 5.

-From the User Profile Service, Select My Site Settings | Set Up My Sites. Locate the My Site Host section and copy all of the details in My Site Host Location - including the port (I'd recommend you use your CTRL | Copy feature. Once you have done this, scroll to the bottom and click on Cancel.

- On the Synchronization section, click on Start Profile Synchronisation | Start Full Synchronisation

- Depending on your size of users, this should take about 5 mins or so and on completion will say "idle". You could refresh the screen to check the progress.

5. Run SharePoint Management Shell command to update

The final step in this is running the Update-SPProfilePhotoStore comamnd. If you don't run this command, you will not see the images in SharePoint 2010. In addition, you need to make sure that you are on the latest SharePoint patch including

- Launch SharePoint Management Shell by going to Start | All programs |  Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products and the right click on the icon that says SharePoint 2010 Management Shell and then select the option "Run as Administrator".

- Enter the following command Update-SPProfilePhotoStore -CreateThumbnailsForImportedPhotos 1 -MySiteHostLocation http://yourmysitehost:80/ (this is the the My Site Host location that you had copied and pasted in Step 4).

- Depending on the size of images, this should take about 3 mins or so.

- Naviagate to a My Site and the images will now be displayed


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