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  • Syncing AD with HR database

    Hi All,

    At the company I work for we have two systems in use - a HR system that is used by (suprisingly!) HR for adding new employees into and recording information about them such as contact details etc, and the other system is Active Directory which also contains similar information and is maintained by IT.

    I have recently written an application that took a dump of the database data from the HR system and imported (where the data was different) into Active Directory to ensure that both systems contain the same information (we made the assumption that the HR system was more up-to-date than Active Directory).

    However, now I would like to be able to setup a process whereby a scheduled task can keep the systems in sync and also allow for a user to resolve any conflicts that may take place during this process.

    Does anyone know of any system that can already do this? Or any suggestions as to how best I should implement it if not?

    I was thinking along the lines of an application that takes a database dump from both systems and does a comparison of the two, but I don't want to reinvent the wheel if someone knows something like that already exists! (I took a quick look on Google but couldn't find anything useful, so I thought I would turn to the experts!).

    Many thanks in advance,

    AJ

  • #2
    Re: Syncing AD with HR database

    IMHO speak to the suppliers of the HR system and see if it is a facility they offer -- many applications do
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: Syncing AD with HR database

      Thanks for the reply.

      I have spoken to one of their "support operators" online this morning, and it appears that they do not offer that kind of functionality unfortunately

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      • #4
        Re: Syncing AD with HR database

        Try going higher and mutter darkly about looking into replacement options -- works wonders in many environments

        What is the database behind the HR system (in fact, which system is it?)
        Tom Jones
        MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
        PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
        IT Trainer / Consultant
        Ossian Ltd
        Scotland

        ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Syncing AD with HR database

          Haha I like your style!

          The system is HR.net, by http://www.vizual.co.uk/

          Ever heard of it? I'm not sure what backend db it uses, I just receive a database dump in an excel spreadsheet to process...

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          • #6
            Re: Syncing AD with HR database

            Well you receive a excel spreadsheet from them, what monthly? Automatically?

            You might just have to write a script to process the spreadsheet and call dsmod, or powershell/vbs/wsh/autoit script, to edit the users in AD.
            GoogleFu is strong with this one ^

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            • #7
              Re: Syncing AD with HR database

              I have a question and I'm not trying to be rude, I'm just trying to understand the thinking.

              Why is it important to have the same info in AD as exists in the HR database? AD is not an HR employee tracking program or an HR database and it's not meant to be. I understand there is a lot of info that can be set on a user object in AD such as telephone, office, etc., etc. but I've never understood why people want to keep all that info on their user objects. Frankly, I don't care who Suzy in the accounting department reports to. If there's a problem with how Suzy is using the IT infrastructure I'll look her up in the corporate directory or call the HR department. I'm not going to look up her phone number in AD. I'm not going to look up her bosses phone number and call him/her, I'm going to report to my boss, who will then speak to Suzy's boss so why the need to keep all the info in AD?

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              • #8
                Re: Syncing AD with HR database

                But in large environments you simply can't always know who the boss or manager is from a certain person.
                I work quite a lot with all kind of engineers from our company all over the Netherlands.
                When their needs to be management talk (about pricing for example), I simly can lookup the phone number, name and location of his manager.
                Marcel
                Technical Consultant
                Netherlands
                http://www.phetios.com
                http://blog.nessus.nl

                MCITP(EA, SA), MCSA/E 2003:Security, CCNA, SNAF, DCUCI, CCSA/E/E+ (R60), VCP4/5, NCDA, NCIE - SAN, NCIE - BR, EMCPE
                "No matter how secure, there is always the human factor."

                "Enjoy life today, tomorrow may never come."
                "If you're going through hell, keep going. ~Winston Churchill"

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                • #9
                  Re: Syncing AD with HR database

                  Depending on the structure and size of the organisation, IMO integrating any HR system with AD is always a good idea.
                  By doing that, you avoid potential problems such as, new employees added into AD quickly, leaving (Or sacked) employees accounts, updates etc.
                  I don't know in how many occasions I've come accross out of date accounts because the HR didn't inform the IT etc.
                  I would follow Ossian's approach and maybe their development team might come up with something like this: http://www.advtoolware.com/software/...ntegration.asp
                  Caesar's cipher - 3

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                  • #10
                    Re: Syncing AD with HR database

                    Originally posted by L4ndy View Post
                    I don't know in how many occasions I've come accross out of date accounts because the HR didn't inform the IT etc.
                    We're not the only ones then. We are also told 2 hours after the start of a new employee to then create a user account, yesterday.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Syncing AD with HR database

                      I understand what you're saying and they seem like valid points but here's a couple more points of my own:

                      1. You're using technology to compensate for something that is a human failing. If HR doesn't communicate promptly or effectively then that needs to be addressed. Pumping gobs of information into AD to compensate only makes more work in keeping all that info current and correct and it creates more potential for "whoops" moments, etc.

                      2. If you need to look up a phone number in order to contact someone then I'd say someone at an upper level has failed in providing an effective communication structure for the company. what do the people with no access to AD use to look up phone numbers?

                      The OPS people where I work used to have gobs of info in AD but I quickly removed that. My AD is not your HR database, customer tracking module, employee notes application, etc., etc. If you want to keep that info somewhere then I'll build a CRM or Sharepoint server for you.

                      As an example of people wanting to use technology to compensate for human failings, we have one large TS customer who often calls us to ask how many employees they have and who works in which office. I'm always stunned when they do. Why don't you know your own business?! If you think I'm going to count users and give you an OU by OU breakdown of who's where you're crazy.
                      Last edited by joeqwerty; 29th May 2009, 13:04.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Syncing AD with HR database

                        Well, we obviously have different views on this and there's no right or wrong way (This is one of the good things about AD actually, flexibility). It all depends on the type of business as I said.
                        The way I look at it is that AD is a directory service and it should be used if setup and configured properly not just by the Network Admin.
                        I would rather have one database (Or more if sync'd properly and can talk to each-other, MIS,AD Etc). That way different departments can query, update one database.
                        Caesar's cipher - 3

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                        • #13
                          Re: Syncing AD with HR database

                          You're right and I often overlook the fact that it's a directory service and is perfectly valid being used as such. I just tend to be opposed to it being used as a company directory.

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