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I've installed SharePoint 2010 for my organization. When giving permissions to people I can find anyone on the organization's Active Directory easily, out of the box. No special steps are needed.

But when I tried to add a web part for searching these people it doesn't work, and any online guide I have found includes long and complicated steps to make this work.

How's it possible that when giving permissions there's simple connectivity with Active Directory but not when adding a web part?

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What webpart are you trying to use? And is it SharePoint Foundation or SharePoint Server? – Mike Apr 5 '12 at 14:00
If there's a "long and complicated" process to make it work, obviously someone else already went through the hassle of fixing it. Why don't you just take their advice? – RJ Cuthbertson Apr 5 '12 at 14:18
@rjcup3, sorry for the late response. I wasn't looking for a way to make it work. I wanted to understand why in one situation I get the data easily but not in another. But I figured it out by now. – user7424 Apr 23 '12 at 6:57

According to your description, you don't speak about user Profile... did you configure it? at least you should be able to find profiles in, before trying to play with webpart.

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Sorry for the late response. I wasn't looking for a way to solve it but I was trying to understand the cause for the difference. Thanks anyway. – user7424 Apr 23 '12 at 6:55
up vote 0 down vote accepted

After talking to a few people I realized the cause for the difference:
When giving permmisions I'm wearing the administrator hat and therefor have access to data on the Active Directory.
When using the people search web part I'm wearing the user hat which should only have access to data on the SharePoint site and therefor I have to import any data I wish to find there.

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