I have to populate my autocomplete PeopleEditor-like control based on brililant ASPTokenInput with all people from my AD domain. Reflecting PeopleEditor shows a real mess in their Active Directory search engine and all potentially helpful classes are internal.

My test method works fine, but I need to get ALL users from AD(not sharepoint site ones) to populate my list: How it looks

public string GetUsers(string filter)
        var spWeb = SPContext.Current.Web;
        SPUserCollection allusers = spWeb.AllUsers;
        List<SPUser> users = allusers.Cast<SPUser>().ToList();
        var query = from spUser in users.Select(usr => new {id = usr.ID, name = usr.Name})
                        .Where(p => p.name.IndexOf(filter, StringComparison.InvariantCultureIgnoreCase) >= 0)
                    select new {id = spUser.id.ToString(), spUser.name};

        return new JavaScriptSerializer().Serialize(query);

How can I query active directory like this? Is it possible to retrieve all AD connection settings from sharepoint itself? I need just id and user name to fill my dropdownlist Converting this to SPUserCollection is another big deal.

It would be great to use some built-in SP methods like this:

 public static SPPrincipalInfo ResolveWindowsPrincipal(SPWebApplication webApp,      string input, SPPrincipalType scopes, bool inputIsEmailOnly)
    return ResolveWindowsPrincipal(null, webApp, input, scopes, inputIsEmailOnly);
  • I don't think you are getting all users from AD with this code, I think you only get the users from the sharepoint site Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 8:10
  • I know, I know. This method is test, and I really need to implement a real search in AD like PeopleEditor does.
    – Bassist
    Commented Oct 25, 2011 at 8:18

1 Answer 1


Actually, that was easy one. One thing I need to implement with AD search is SharePoint Group search(if specified). So, here is a solution if someone needs:

/// <summary>
/// Provides searching for AD or SharePoint group if specified in field setting
/// </summary>
public static class ActiveDirectorySearchProvider
    public static IList<SPPrincipalInfo> Search(string filter, string selectionGroup, string principalType)
        var site = SPContext.Current.Site.WebApplication;
        bool reachmaxcount;
        var scope = SPUtils.GetSpPrincipalType(principalType);

        if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(selectionGroup)) //search for users in SPGroup if present
            var rawSPGroupList = SPUtility.GetPrincipalsInGroup(SPContext.Current.Web, selectionGroup, 100,
                                                           out reachmaxcount).ToList();

            string lowerFilter = filter.ToLowerInvariant();

            var filteredGroupList =
                    pInfo =>
                    pInfo.LoginName.Substring(pInfo.LoginName.IndexOf('\\') + 1).StartsWith(lowerFilter) ||
                    pInfo.DisplayName.ToLowerInvariant().StartsWith(lowerFilter) ||
                    pInfo.DisplayName.ToLowerInvariant().Substring(pInfo.DisplayName.IndexOf(' ') + 1).StartsWith(

            return filteredGroupList;

       return SPUtility.SearchWindowsPrincipals(site, filter, scope, 100, out reachmaxcount); //Search in AD instead


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