Wednesday, September 22, 2010

How to Pre-Populate MySites with Pictures in SharePoint

Allowing MySites in a SharePoint environment is good.  But you have to put some governance into it.

Maybe one of the requirements from the HR department is to have only official taken pictures of all employees.  Make this easy to update, but do not allow the employee to change that information.

It's not me, nor you... ;)

Maybe, we need to avoid employees from uploading pictures on reflectives surfaces (bing keywords: ebay pictures kettle).

Anyways, the solution is to give control where control is needed.  In our case, we want the HR department to control what pictures are displayed and we want this process to be painless for them.

I have seen another solution in which they store the picture inside the AD.  But that solution is very cumbersome and not very user friendly.  Not to mention, that it will make the size of your AD database grow exponentially.

Here is an easier way.  Store the pictures in a picture library and then just store the url inside a custom field in your AD. There are 5 easy steps.


Step 1:  create a picture library to hold pictures (duh.)

Step 2: Modify your AD to put the url of the picture into the ExtensionAttribute1 field


Step 3: Map your AD field to the SharePoint field, and don't forget to set this field to Read-Only mode


mapped the field.


Step 4: import your user profiles from AD

Step 5: crawl through the user profiles to populate the information.

To test this, perform a search


there, Picture is display correctly.!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Doing the right thing

It’s been almost 2 months since I have left the independent life to become a full time employee.  I have found a small consulting company that shares most of the personal goals that I have in mind.  This company name is Halcyon. The main message is “to seek happiness for our customers and employees”.

Before entering into negotiations with them, I thought they were just another consulting company.  However, after meeting with the owner of the company and see his passion for charity work I’ve change my mind.

image It is very refreshing to find a company with such high ideals. While most companies I have come in contact with, have a few individuals that are very dedicated to help others, this company is different.  We are obligated encouraged to do community service.  As a good citizen, you are to do the right thing for others.  You know that, and I know that. But, when that command comes from the owner of the company, it trickles down to the all of the employees, and you can feel the effect.

Of course there are other perks like YOGA classes every other week. (which I have yet to attend one… ;)  So, in short, Halcyon is trying to bring a balance between your work and your personal life.  The fulfillment that comes from helping others is very different than the one you get when you get your paycheck.

Mohan latest project is to help integrate war veterans back into IT. Not just office work training, but actual programming training.!  I am just happy to be a part of this initiate of giving back to those that put their lives in danger for us. If all of us took the time to do a good deed every day, the world would be a different place…

Another aspect that I enjoy is the dogfood.  We are not only preaching SharePoint, but our CEO firmly believe in this technology.  We have BPOS as the technology for our intranet connecting both of our offices (US, India).  Also our website is built on SharePoint (soon to be SharePoint 2010).  Find out if your company uses SharePoint or just claiming to use SharePoint how to tell if a site is running SharePoint?

In all I am excited to start a new phase in my life and in my professional career.