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I have a new requirement from client to insert AD details from the users into a Web Part within a site. I have read that the GetUserProfileByName web service is used for this purpose but when I made the request using jquery - ajax I got 401 Unauthorized.

Code:

function call2WS() {
    var soapEnv = "<?xml version='1.0' encoding='utf-8'?> \
        <soap:Envelope xmlns:xsi='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance' xmlns:xsd='http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema' xmlns:soap='http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/'> \
        <soap:Body> \
            <GetUserProfileByName xmlns='http://microsoft.com/webservices/SharePointPortalServer/UserProfileService'> \
                <AccountName>domain\\username</AccountName> \
            </GetUserProfileByName> \
        </soap:Body> \
        </soap:Envelope>";

    var call = $.ajax({
        url: "http://sharepoint/_vti_bin/UserProfileService.asmx/GetUserProfileByName",
        type: "POST",
        dataType: "xml",
        username: "domain\\username",
        password: "passwd",
        data: soapEnv,
        headers: {
            contentType: "text/xml; charset=\"utf-8\""
        }
    });

Is this the correct approach to accomplish the requirement? if anyone can give a hint on this would be appreciated.

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Try the demo below:

var personProperties;

// Ensure that the SP.UserProfiles.js file is loaded before the custom code runs.
SP.SOD.executeOrDelayUntilScriptLoaded(getUserProperties, 'SP.UserProfiles.js');

function getUserProperties() {

    // Replace the placeholder value with the target user's credentials.
    var targetUser = "domainName\\userName";

    // Get the current client context and PeopleManager instance.
    var clientContext = new SP.ClientContext.get_current();
    var peopleManager = new SP.UserProfiles.PeopleManager(clientContext);

    // Get user properties for the target user.
    // To get the PersonProperties object for the current user, use the
    // getMyProperties method.
    personProperties = peopleManager.getPropertiesFor(targetUser);

    // Load the PersonProperties object and send the request.
    clientContext.load(personProperties);
    clientContext.executeQueryAsync(onRequestSuccess, onRequestFail);
}

// This function runs if the executeQueryAsync call succeeds.
function onRequestSuccess() {

    // Get a property directly from the PersonProperties object.
    var messageText = " \\"DisplayName\\" property is "
        + personProperties.get_displayName();

    // Get a property from the UserProfileProperties property.
    messageText += "<br />\\"Department\\" property is "
        + personProperties.get_userProfileProperties()['Department'];
    $get("results").innerHTML = messageText;
}

// This function runs if the executeQueryAsync call fails.
function onRequestFail(sender, args) {
    $get("results").innerHTML = "Error: " + args.get_message();
}
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Below code will give you logged in user properties:

SP.SOD.executeOrDelayUntilScriptLoaded(getUserProperties, 'SP.UserProfiles.js');

var userProfileProperties;

function getUserProperties() {
var clientContext = new SP.ClientContext.get_current();
var peopleManager = new SP.UserProfiles.PeopleManager(clientContext);
userProfileProperties = peopleManager.getMyProperties();
clientContext.load(userProfileProperties);
clientContext.executeQueryAsync(onRequestSuccess, onRequestFail);
}
 function onRequestSuccess() {

 var WorkEmail=userProfileProperties.get_userProfileProperties()['WorkEmail'];
 var Phone=userProfileProperties.get_userProfileProperties()['WorkPhone'];
   }

function onRequestFail(sender, args) { alert( args.get_message());}

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