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Sync User Profiles' Picture URL with Active Directory images (thumbnailPhoto / jpegPhoto)

As you know, the SharePoint 2010 User Profile synchronization features sync up all your people data as stored in Active Directory (or other LDAP service) — except your profile pictures, if your AD uses the jpegPhoto or thumbnailPhoto properties for those.

The main reason for this is quite simply that the PictureURL property is a URL field (storing only the HTTP address pointing to a picture file), whereas AD stores the entire image itself as a "binary large object" (blob). So any synchronization will involve downloading the pictures stored in AD, putting them somewhere HTTP-accessible, and then setting the PictureURL user profile property to the address of this copied image file.

We wanted a sync-all, batch solution — you launch it and it just runs — so we wrote a free tool to help you with this, greatly assisted (thanks again, Robert! :) by a User Profiles Web Part user who had a vested interest in such a tool.

We packaged this up with PeopleZen but you won't even need a license to keep using this free sync tool indefinitely. If you need the source code for more sophisticated customizations, simply contact us and we'll send it to you.

Don't be the product, buy the product!