SharePoint 2013 Active Directory Import (ADI) limitations

Below are the list of Pro’s and Con’s of Sharepoint Active directory import vs User profile sync.

  • Import operations that use this option are significantly faster than the same operations that use SharePoint profile synchronization.
  • The AD import option does not perform bidirectional synchronization. That means changes made to SharePoint user profiles will not be synchronized back to the domain controller.
  • Referential integrity among users and groups is only maintained within a single Active Directory forest.
  • The AD import option lets you configure and use only a single, farm-wide property mapping.
  • The AD import option does not automatically synchronize photos from Active Directory to SharePoint Server 2013. If you need to import photos you must use profile synchronization. For more information, see Synchronize user and group profiles in SharePoint Server 2013.
  • The AD import option does not support generic (non-AD) LDAP sources.
  • The AD import option does not support Source Schema Discovery.
  • The AD import option does not support multi-Forest scenarios such as:
    • If you have a trust between two forests, the trusted forest objects will not be imported.
    • If you need to import users from multiple domain, you must create multiple synchronization connections. If you have multiple domains to manage, using Profile Synchronization or FIM may be a better option.
  • The AD import option does not support Contact objects (also known as cross-object pointers).
  • The AD import option does not support custom object classes besides User and Group.
  • The AD import option does not filter user interface to create complex Boolean expressions.
  • The AD import option does not provide object filtering based on object property values (you must use simple LDAP filters).
  • The AD import option does not provide Logon and Resource Forest support. That is, custom joins of data from multiple sources.
  • The AD import option does not support Business Connectivity Services Import.
  • The AD import option does not support property mappings for complex types like pictures and special AD types.
  • The AD import option does not support exporting data from SharePoint to Directory Sources.
  • The AD import option does not support Upgrading/Translating FIM based connections or synchronizing configuration to AD import (or in reverse order).
  • The AD import option does not ensure single-master of each object property (currently, the last writer wins).
  • The AD import option does not perform per-tenant property mapping.

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