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User Profile Replication Engine overview (SharePoint Server 2010)

Published: July 22, 2010

This article contains information about the User Profile Replication Engine. The User Profile Replication Engine is an optional component of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and is part of the SharePoint Administration Toolkit. The User Profile Replication Engine enables an administrator of a User Profile Service application to replicate user profiles and social data, such as social tags, notes, and ratings, between User Profile Service applications. This replication can be one-way or bidirectional.

In this article:

Components and installation

The User Profile Replication Engine is made up of two components:

  • Windows service

  • Windows PowerShell snap-ins

The User Profile Replication Engine can be installed on any computer that has access to the source User Profile service application and destination User Profile service application. However, we recommend that you install the User Profile Replication Engine on a computer that is part of the source farm or on a computer that is connected to the subnet of the source domain. The User Profile Replication Engine uses the SharePoint Server 2010 User Profile and User Profile Change Log to read and write data between user profile stores.

Prerequisites:

  • The account that is used to run the User Profile Replication Engine must be a service application administrator for the source and destination User Profile Service applications and have read access to the source and destination My Site Host.

  • You must be a member of the Administrators group on the server on which you install the Replication Engine.

  • If the source or target is running SharePoint Server 2010, that source or target server must be updated with the June 2010 Cumulative Update (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=197406) or a subsequent cumulative update.

For information about how to install the User Profile Replication Engine tool, see Installing the SharePoint 2010 Administration Toolkit (SharePoint Server 2010).

Important Important:

Source and destination User Profile Service applications should be set up and configured correctly for your environment before you use the User Profile Replication Engine.

Uses and benefits of the User Profile Replication Engine

Geographically dispersed deployments isolate user profile data and social data in domains. As a result, personalization features, such as User Profiles, Audiences, and People Search, might return inaccurate results within a domain. These inaccurate results include, but are not limited to:

  • Inaccurate and inconsistent user profile data (including properties, colleagues, links, and privacy data)

  • Inaccurate and inconsistent social data (such as social tags, notes, and ratings)

  • Inaccurate audience memberships

  • An incomplete and inaccurate people search data corpus and experience

The User Profile Replication Engine solves this problem by replicating both user profile information and social data between two or more User Profile service applications. This maintains consistent user profile data and social data throughout the enterprise.

The User Profile Replication Engine accommodates the service application model. It can perform either a full or incremental replication of both user profile information and social data from a source User Profile Service application to one or more destination User Profile Service applications.

Types of replication

The following table describes the differences between full replication, incremental replication, and recovery, all of which can be run by using the User Profile Replication Engine. For performance purposes, you can specify the maximum number of replication threads allowed on a server that is running the User Profile Replication Engine.

Type

When to use

Full Replication

  • When you want all user profile information and all social data replicated from an existing User Profile service application, such as with a new User Profile service application deployment.

  • Where user profile data or social data is lost or corrupted and a copy exists in another User Profile service application profile database or social database.

  • When incremental replication has stopped responding over time, full replication is used to update destination User Profile service application profile databases and social databases in order to catch up incremental replication.

Incremental Replication

After full replication is complete, start incremental replication within 14 days to make sure that individual changes are being detected and replicated.

Recovery

  • To fully replicate a specific user or set of users whose information did not replicate correctly. For profiles that fail to replicate fully, the user name is logged in a .rcv file located in the log folder in the User Profile Replication installation directory.

  • To replicate user profile information and social data for a user or set of users by specifying account names.

  • To replicate user profile information and social data for a user or set of users outside a regularly scheduled replication.

Remarks

Incremental replication also uses the trusted My Site host locations list to determine the My Site host location for a user. This identifies the primary profile for a user. The User Profile service that hosts the personal site for a user is also considered to have the primary profile record for that user. Audiences are used to identify and group related users and associate those users who have particular My Site hosts. For additional information about trusted My Site host locations, see Add or delete a trusted My Site host location (SharePoint Server 2010).

The incremental replication process depends on the trusted My Site host locations list to avoid cyclical replication. For example, if a user updates his or her AboutMe property in User Profile store A, the User Profile Replication Engine synchronizes that change to User Profile store B and the change log will capture that as a change. The instance of the User Profile Replication Engine running against User Profile Store B will attempt to replicate that same change back to the User Profile Store it came from (User Profile Store A) as something that changed since the last replication. However, before replicating it, the User Profile Replication Engine will check the trusted My Site hosts locations list to determine whether the user’s profile is the primary profile in the User Profile Store B. If it is, then the User Profile Replication Engine will replicate the change.

There is an exception to the previous example. If feed property names are provided using the FeedProperties attribute, the User Profile Replication Engine will ignore the trusted My Site hosts locations list when replicating changes for those properties. Typically, you will want to mark a property as a feed when the data is to be replicated regardless of where the primary user profile is located. Typically this is done when you only have Business Data Connectivity service imports running on one User Profile service application for all users and only want to feed those properties to the other User Profile service applications. Another example is when you have the primary People Search experience on a site connected to User Profile service application-A, which is, the source User Profile service application, and want the Add to my colleagues link to work for the primary user profile that is in User Profile service application-B, which is, the destination User Profile service application.

The User Profile Replication Engine does not replicate data that comes from Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS) because it would automatically be updated from AD DS during profile synchronization.

note Note:

To configure the User Profile Replication Engine and to perform any of the previous tasks, the account that is used must have Manage User Profile permission on the User Profile service application for the source and all destination farms. To replicate social information, the account must also have Manage Social Data permission on the User Profile service application for the source and all destination farms.

note Note:

The User Profile Replication Engine will not replicate distribution lists or security groups, but it will replicate site memberships (for example, My Sites).

note Note:

The User Profile service application Social Tagging database does not support log-shipping. Attempt to enable log-shipping for the User Profile service application Social Tagging database will result in user replication failure. For more information about the User Profile service application Social Tagging database, see Database types and descriptions (SharePoint Server 2010).

Configuring the User Profile Replication Engine

You must use Windows PowerShell 2.0 to configure the User Profile Replication Engine. The following Windows PowerShell cmdlets are available:

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