This is rather a rant than a question, but I'm trying to find a best practice.

A Active Directory I'm working with is currently organized using LastName, FirstName for displayName. The distinguishedName is CN=lastName\, FirstNameOU=Something,OU=Something,DC=domain,DC=local

When trying to use these names with SharePoint 2013 there is a very unwelcome behavior: double commas.

Any DispForm.aspx will show Created on ... by LastName,, FirstName enter image description here

When I change the Display Name on the current web to something without a comma:

$web = Get-SPWeb http://spweb
$user = $web.AllUsers | ? {$_.DisplayName -eq "Last, First"}
$user.DisplayName = "First Last"

The name looks perfect:

enter image description here

When changing it back to something containing commas, I get the double comma: enter image description here

This only occurs on DispForm.aspx, Listviews display everything correctly: enter image description here

Double Commas are Problem one. Problem two is the comma in the displayName in General. MySites look very stupid with the comma in there. "About LastName, FirstName" looks very stupid - it should be "About Firstname LastName".

The admins like the LastName, FirstName scheme as everything is nicely organized alphabetically in AD, so I doubt they would like to change the displayName of all users. One can set the users' "Preferred Name", but that doesn't change all existing Webs and their respective users (I would have to iterate over all webs and change the Display Names).

What is your best practice to overcome this problem? Write a timer job which iterates over all webs and changes all Display names of all users to "FirstName LastName" every day? Write a PowerShell script which changes all "Preferred Names" to "FirstName LastName" instead of the comma approach?
Is there no way to tell SharePoint how to synch from AD with Synch rules or something like that?

  • 1
    Best practice dictates changing the Display Name in Active Directory to FirstName LastName. There are areas within SharePoint that are just incompatible with the LastName, FirstName format, e.g. Gantt charts and a few other Datasheet Views (in 2013).
    – user6024
    Aug 19, 2013 at 14:05
  • Just read about that incompatibility as well: sharepoint.nauplius.net/2013/03/… - could you find an authoritative link to this "best practice" besides word-of-mouth?
    – Dennis G
    Aug 19, 2013 at 14:17
  • That would be my site. I opened a Connect case (connect.microsoft.com/office/feedback/details/780881/…) as well as a PSS case 113030810272548. Both can be considered authoritative. If SharePoint is primary platform, then you want to validate that the systems around it fully support the platform.
    – user6024
    Aug 19, 2013 at 16:32
  • 3
    Here is the text: Thank you for submitting this request. The described behavior was already brought to the attention of our product team, however, due to the high risk of potentially destabilizing the product, a fix for the behavior cannot be offered. The workarounds that we can propose are: 1. Re-organize the AD architecture by using a "firstname lastname" convention for the display name attribute. 2. Enter the user's alias into the "Assigned to" field. 3. Use the "new item" form to add the items to the list. Thank you again, Victor Butuza [MSFT]
    – user6024
    Aug 19, 2013 at 17:51
  • 1
    Just to update this, this issue may be fixed in the October 2013 Cumulative Update for SharePoint 2013 - support.microsoft.com/kb/2825647. I have not installed it as I'm waiting for the Project Server CU.
    – user6024
    Nov 1, 2013 at 0:54

2 Answers 2


I would solve the issue through a custom user profile property mapping, by binding the Name property to a BCS .NET connectivity assembly.

See my sample solution here: http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Import-SharePoint-user-83c01e77 User profile sync. configuration is discussed here: http://pholpar.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/importing-sharepoint-user-profile-properties-using-bcs-net-connectivity-assembly/

  • Remember to set permissions on the BCS object - works flawlessly.
    – Dennis G
    Nov 26, 2014 at 15:56

This is a known issue that has been resolve in the June 2013 CU. Happy Patching! :-)

  • 1
    Robert, what is a known issue? The username comma issue? I have the August 2013 CU and the display names still have two commas.
    – Dennis G
    Oct 10, 2013 at 9:48

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