I'm trying to save a user profile field back to SharePoint using Javascript running within the portal. The request is kicking back a 400 error with no real descriptions of what the error might be. From what I understand, in SharePoint Online, using these older web services is the only way to save profile fields back to a user from a page.

Below is the code running....

function SaveUserProperty(accountName, propertyName, propertyValue) {

writeResult("Setting User Property for " + accountName);

// this variable contains the XML that is passed to the SOAP web service
//  about which account will have which property modified

var newData = '<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?><soap:Envelope xmlns:xsi="http://www.w3. xmlns:xsd="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema" xmlns:soap="http://schemas.xmlsoap.org/soap/envelope/"><soap:Body><ModifyUserPropertyByAccountName xmlns="http://microsoft.com/webservices/SharePointPortalServer/UserProfileService"><accountName>' + accountName + '</accountName><newData><PropertyData><IsPrivacyChanged>false</IsPrivacyChanged><IsValueChanged>true</IsValueChanged><Name>' + propertyName + '</Name><Privacy>Public</Privacy><Values><ValueData><Value xsi:type="xsd:string">' + propertyValue + '</Value></ValueData></Values></PropertyData></newData></ModifyUserPropertyByAccountName></soap:Body></soap:Envelope>'

// this is the actual call to the web service and method responsible
//   for modifying user profile property
url: '/_vti_bin/UserProfileService.asmx', 
beforeSend: function(xhr) {
        xhr.setRequestHeader("SOAPAction", "http://microsoft.com/webservices/SharePointPortalServer/UserProfileService/ModifyUserPropertyByAccountName");
type: "POST",  
dataType: "xml",  
data: newData,  
complete: completeSave,  
contentType: "text/xml; charset=\"utf-8\"" 
return false; 

2 Answers 2


There is a typo in SOAP message (newData variable). Bellow is valid SOAP message for ModifyUserPropertyByAccountName operation:

var msg = "<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><ModifyUserPropertyByAccountName xmlns='http://microsoft.com/webservices/SharePointPortalServer/UserProfileService' ><accountName>" + accountName + "</accountName><newData><PropertyData><IsPrivacyChanged>false</IsPrivacyChanged><IsValueChanged>true</IsValueChanged><Name>" + propertyName + "</Name><Privacy>NotSet</Privacy><Values><ValueData><Value xsi:type='xsd:string'>" + propertyValue + "</Value></ValueData></Values></PropertyData></newData></ModifyUserPropertyByAccountName></soap:Body></soap:Envelope>";

It is highly recommended to leverage SPServices library when working with SharePoint SOAP services since it hides all intricacies and complexity related with SOAP services in SharePoint.

How to use ModifyUserPropertyByAccountName operation:

var propertyData = "<PropertyData>" +
    "<IsPrivacyChanged>false</IsPrivacyChanged>" +
    "<IsValueChanged>true</IsValueChanged>" +
    "<Name>" + propName + "</Name>" +
    "<Privacy>NotSet</Privacy>" +
    "<Values><ValueData><Value xsi:type=\"xsd:string\">" + propValue + "</Value></ValueData></Values>" +
  operation: "ModifyUserPropertyByAccountName",
  async: false,
  webURL: "/",
  accountName: userId,
  newData: propertyData,
  completefunc: function (xData, Status) {
    var result = $(xData.responseXML);

Note: accountName parameter has the following format: domain\userId for on-prem and i:0#.f|membership|<federated ID> for SharePoint Online


The SOAP web services have been deprecated. Even if you did get it working there will come a point when it won't and Microsoft will no longer support it.

I am sure you have seen the articles that describe your options from JavaScript: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj920104(v=office.15).aspx

This is a great reference for common tasks: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/office/jj163800(v=office.15).aspx#bkmk_CommonTasks

In your case, setting a property (aside from picture) is not possible from the client.

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