How Plumsail Org Chart communicates with SharePoint User Profile service and Active Directory

In this article is described how Plumsail Organization Chart communicates with SharePoint User Profile Service and Active Directory and what are prerequisites for Org Chart correct work.

Before we dive in, here’s where we are in my Org Chart series:

  1. Plumsail Org Chart for SharePoint 2013
  2. How Org Chart communicates with SharePoint User Profile service [this article]
  3. Org Chart Skins with touch support
  4. Advanced navigation for SharePoint organizational chart

Org Chart displays data directly from User Profile service, but if there are no user profiles, Org Chart will simply empty. You can always create user profiles manually, but importing them from Active Directory is a much more efficient way. Look at the picture for better understanding of this article. 


User Profile service


Active Directory accounts import is a standard feature of SharePoint User Profile service. There are a lot of guides describing in detail how to configure import. I would recommend this one written by Adis Jugo, you can also use guide from Microsoft.

Once you have configured import, it is enough to get started with Plumsail Org Chart. You can add web part to a page and choose User Profiles as a data source, your org structure can look like this:

Unfortunately employees data in Active Directory is not always well structured and actualized. When an employee changes department or job title, information about such changes could be simply lost or replicated with mistakes.

Fortunately Org Chart implements user-friendly profile modification interface. Look at Plumsail Org Chart general description for more details. Briefly, you can maintain employees’ information up to date right from Org Chart web part. You can drag and drop employees, edit employees information add and delete employees from the tree. Organization Chart can become the main tool for employees information management.

That is impressive, but what am I to do with changed employees information when data from Active Directory will be imported again? I need to configure Active Directory attributes mapping in user profiles service for correct work. There are two options.

The first and the easiest option is to remove import mapping for specific attributes. No data will be imported from Active Directory for those attributes, for example for Manager attribute. To remove import mapping you need to open SharePoint Central Administration, then navigate to Application Management -> Manage Service Applications -> User Profile Service Application -> Manage User Properties. Then find property, open it for edit, you will see Property Mapping for Synchronization section at the bottom of the edit page. Click Remove for mapped Active Directory attribute, that is it.

But what if  I want to sync the changed data back to Active Directory. The second option allows to do that. We can configure user profile attributes export from SharePoint to Active Directory. We can choose attributes we edited in Org Chart only and change attribute mapping from import to export. For more information about export configuration read guide from Microsoft, there are few prerequisites you need to do for correct export.

Finally we got a full cycle. Employees information was initially loaded to User Profile service, then displayed by Org Chart. Employees’ information could be modified and exported back to Active Directory if needed. This scenario has limitation, because SharePoint supports only one way synchronization for attributes, you can configure synchronization for specific attribute for import or export, but not both directions. We would suggest to load data initially from Active Directory, then control all employees information using Organization Chart.User Profile service is not only data source which supported by Organization Chart, SharePoint list also can be used as a data source.