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I noticed today that on our setup the UPSS is stopped on our farm.

What is this service responsible for? Is there a whitepaper or some documentation that describes it?

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    I call this method of troubleshooting "Ghost hunting": You have a problem (workflows) and you have a second problem (UPSS). You connect those two problems together without providing information why you think they relate to each other. Would be great if you provide Error-Logs and why you think both errors are related. Thank you for improving your question!
    – MHeld
    Aug 29, 2017 at 5:58
  • I agree, but we don't have enough intel yet to create a proper question on our workflow issues yet. But at least now I can eliminate the service being stopped as a potential issue.
    – Jane Panda
    Aug 29, 2017 at 15:09

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what about the Overview of profile synchronization from technet? Second paragraph "Synchronization components" should give the information you're looking for.

If you use active directory (AD) you normally don't need this service. And the workflow errors should be examined considering with which user the workflow runs or trying to manipulate data. If this user has valid credentials it's more a question of permission on the list and workflow process and not a question of user profiles.

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  • Thanks! I think that's what I needed to know. It was confusing me because a lot of troubleshooting for workflows mentions this service and I wasn't sure whether it was or wasn't started until recently.
    – Jane Panda
    Aug 29, 2017 at 13:33
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This service synchronizes various user profiles properties mainly from AD. This is based on old version of FIM and is depracted in SharePoint 2016. In SharePoint 2013 you can use also just AD Import if this is good enough for you. User Profile Synchronization can be usefull when your AD structure is more complicated. But as it is depracted I would advise to use MIM (newer version of FIM) with SharePoint agent or something else. Either way you probably need some user profiles synchronization service, especially if you want to get more user attributes like e.g. manager.

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