Retrieve Active Directory Information from the User Profile Service – part 1

Very often in InfoPath, I need to query Active Directory for certain pieces of information just so that I can have some type of functionality within my forms.  One of the most used and easiest forms of this is the user profile service.  I use this to my advantage to query e-mail addresses, user account info, etc.  Also, this is a must if you use the Contact Selector control from within InfoPath.

Follow these steps and you will be on your way.  Stay tuned for part 2 as I will be showing how to query the display name for AD accounts in a later post.

GetUserProfileByName Data Connection

  1. Create a new data connection to “Receive Data” from “Web Service”.
  2. Click Next.
  3. Type in the following url:
  4. Click Next
  5. Select “GetUserProfileByName
  6. Click Next
  7. Leave the default value for Parameter
  8. Click Next
  9. Leave box unchecked

10. Click Next

11. Name the connection “GetUserProfileByName”

12. Check the box to automatically receive data

13. Click Finish.

14. The wizard will look like the images below.



Need to edit multiple items to kick off a workflow? No prob Bob!

I was faced with this task recently.  Let me paint the picture for you.

I have a document library with over 1,000 items in it.  I added a new column (Named) that needs to have the same information as an existing column (Name).  For whatever reason, the web part I am using for my list search does not recognize the existing column.  I created a SP Designer workflow to copy the contents from the ‘Name’ to the ‘Named’ on creation or edit.

To do this, there are a couple of options.

  1. The long drawn out option – Edit each file individually
  2. The best option for me – Content and Structure
  3. Power option – SharePoint Designer

I went with option 2 because I did not want to lag the server with a whole lot of who ha.  Here are the steps I followed to make this happen.

  1. Go to the site, Site Settings, Content and Structure
  2. Expand the library to perform this action
  3. Place a check into the ‘Select All’ check box
  4. Click on the ‘Actions’ drop down and select ‘Check Out’
  5. Once checked out (you may have to do this twice), click the ‘Actions’ drop down and select ‘Check In’

Make sure to check that you have performed this action for all items in your view.  Mine were in groups of 100, which is generally the standard view.  The fasted option for me would have been the SharePoint Designer route but I did not want to take a chance of checking out over 1,000 items at once and then check them back in.  We already have enough load on the servers from all of the other users accessing SharePoint.

The converter failed to save the file….well crap!

Have you ever seen this message before? Chances are, probably not but in my organization this might rear it’s ugly head from one time or another.

I received a call from one of my user’s and they said that they could not edit an Excel file from withing SharePoint. Since we have a mixed MS Office environment, I first verified what version of office was installed (2010). After that, I checked to see how my system performed (no issues). Then, I go through the process that most admins go through when troubleshooting; “Why is this working for me”, “What could it be”, “Maybe it’s just the user”, etc. Once that wears off, I sit back and think for a minute. Turns out, not a big issue at all, just a step left out in an upgrade process.

What happened was the user had Office 2003 installed on their computer and installed the compatibility pack to open newer versions. Eventually, the user upgraded to Office 2010. When this happened, the office compatibility pack was not installed, resulting in the error ‘The converter failed to save….’ blah blah blah.

The solution? Well, you guessed it…. Uninstall the compatibility pack. Simple. Done.