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The job I've been tasked with is to "import the users from Active Directory", which I think I can do with some of the tutorials I've found on here. What I'm unclear on is if I can link a second table that is "manually" populated by our HR department, containing more sensitive information that they do NOT want put into Active Directory (like emergency contact info, home phone number, etc).

I'm hoping to display accounts in particular AD containers in the directory, but then query a second SharePoint list to see if there is any "sensitive information" in it that should also be displayed.

Is there a way to "merge" the search results with the table (ugh...I mean "list" -- sorry, I'm still old school DB) of "sensitive info" and display it together?

Someone needs to write a book on just building employee directories with SharePoint.

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I beleive you are building the People Directory from the peopleresults.aspx using Search results webpart. The search results are rendered via display templates (SharePoint 2013 and Office 365), these display templates can be customized to inject/hide or data.

In your case, make a copy of display template under Site Settings ->Master Pages and Page Layouts -> Display Templates -> Search -> Item_Person.html and add a logic for each search result to query the custom HR list which matches first name and last name and add data.

Below article uses this approach to hide certain values in the people results, same concept can be extended to inject data

http://antclegg.blogspot.com/2013/09/people-search-with-work-number-in.html

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A different approach would be to enrich the SharePoint user profiles with additional data from your HR system using a custom BCS connector. Here is an article describing that for SharePoint 2010: http://blogs.technet.com/b/sharepointdevelopersupport/archive/2013/03/18/how-to-create-userprofile-synchronization-connection-to-bcs-and-map-user-profile-property-to-bcs-field-in-sharepoint-2010.aspx

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