Moving to Active Directory Replication

(This is a follow on blog from Wednesday’s article about Active Directory Replication)

Thank you to the anonymous emailer who pointed out that having employee data held within Active Directory offered the prospect of lots of 3rd party applications (like payroll or facilities management) using the same consistent data source ('enterprise wide employee data').

Thank you also to my colleagues here who pointed out that using replication from Active Directory also allows NT Domain logins to be used with SerioWeb (another advantage I missed).

If you are a Serio user that is not using Active Directory Replication, you are probably wondering how you start using it. I’ll use this blog to discuss the main challenges you face, but please remember that the process is documented in the HowTo guide which is part of your product documentation (search for Serio Directory Replication Roadmap) and you should read that as the definitive guide.

Here are your main challenges:

  1. Create Active Directory data. Easily said, but for most organisations probably quite challenging! You need rich data – not just a list of names. You need name, phone number, email address at the very least. You also need what Active Directory called Organisational Units. This is data about what companies or departments people work in, and where they are normally based. In effect, Active Directory organises data in a tree form, and you need branches for Companies, Departments and Users.
  2. The structure of the data is quite important, as is its quality. We provide you with tools to help, including an application to ‘preview’ your data.
  3. You then need to perform a reconciliation. This is where you link up your existing Serio customer database with the data you’ve created in Active Directory. This is so that Serio knows that the J. Smith you have in the Serio database is Mr James Smith in Active Directory, and that updates can be applied correctly. You perform a reconciliation just once.