We are currently using SharePoint 2010 and are potentially looking at SharePoint 2013 for an upcoming project.


The article below suggests that user profiles cannot be created from sources other than AD:


An important detail you must understand is that only AD or LDAP can be set up as a primary (or master) connection. A BDC connection cannot be. A primary connection means that a SharePoint profile with an account name (e.g. domain\username) can be created from this source. BDC can only be a secondary connection, meaning that it is only able to fill in additional properties for an existing profile—in other words, it cannot create a profile.

If true, this presents an issue for us as some of our other data sources have users that don’t exist in Active Directory, so we’d want to create profiles from them.

One suggestion we've had is to implement a service application that could then integrate with the user profile service, however I'm not quite sure how this would work.

Is a service application a good fit for something like this and if so, how would it look?

If not, is there any other solution?

4 Answers 4


User Profile Sync has no way of creating user profiles from other sources that AD or LDAP, but you can still create the user profiles using the UI or programatically.

If you have users in other places that AD/LDAP that you need to add then creating a TimerJob looking for new accounts would be an option. Or even better if that other place could notify SharePoint about new users by calling a custom web service which then adds the user profile or use the standard web service and calls UserProfileService.CreateUserProfileByAccountName



As far as I know, if you don't want to use Active Directory for authentication... and want to use SQL Server for authentication [for example] then you need to learn Form Based Authentication in SharePoint...

If you have used ASP.NET Membership Provider before you will see it's exactly the same! There are many articles covering this information:

  1. Configure Forms Based Authentication (FBA) with SharePoint 2010
  2. Claims Walkthrough: Creating Forms-Based Authentication for Claims-Based SharePoint 2010 Web Applications Using ASP.NET SQL Membership and Role Providers

Also, there are codeplex projects available with source which you can deploy and use so you don't need to create everything from scratch!

  1. SharePoint 2010 Forms Based Authentication Management Tool & utility
  2. Community Kit for SharePoint

I hope this helps!


You can set up a user store in AD LDS and use a sync with that, similar to how the online process goes as long as you don't mind using an unsupported configuration for on-premise SharePoint.


Gives you all the advantages of AD management without cluttering up your real AD used for the network.


To use a supported way of importing AD LDS profiles, see http://thesharepointfarm.com/sharepoint-and-active-directory-lightweight-directory-services/ for configuration and http://sharepointadlds.codeplex.com for an user profile import process via timer job.

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