Directory Services

The Import API is commonly used to establish an integration with Microsoft Active Directory or another LDAP directory service. Most organizations already maintain their employee information in a directory service. It therefore makes sense for an organization to integrate its directory service with 4me to avoid having to maintain this information manually in two systems.

Important Some directory services also support SCIM Provisioning, which makes it possible to send user data to 4me without the need to roll your own integration.

Integrating With Directory Services

Most organizations only have one directory service from which data need to be extracted for the maintenance of the Person records in 4me.

Even though information about organizations can be obtained from a directory service, it is normally easier to maintain the Organization records, and the hierarchical relations between them, manually in 4me. That is because the structure of an organization does not change very often. When organizations have tried to automate the maintenance of their organization structure using the data from a directory service, the result is often that too many organization records get generated because of inconsistencies in the way that organization names have been written in the directory service.

When a People import file is prepared, however, it is still important to detect and address such inconsistencies in the naming of organization in the directory service. If the Organization that is specified in the People import file does not exist in 4me, then the generation or update of this Person record will fail.

To import a Person record, only a few field values are required in the import file (see People API - Fields. The example below shows how the columns could be populated using data from a directory service.

Primary Email			Source			Name		Organization	Job Title		Site			Location	Locale	Time Zone			Time Format 24h	Active Directory	Frank Williams	Widget USA	Sales Executive		Chicago Sales Office	Room 202	en-US	Central Time (US & Canada)	0	Active Directory	Pierre Lefèvre	Widget France	Account Manager		Paris Sales Office	Room 312	fr	Paris				1

Note that in the example above the Primary Email is used as the unique identifier for the people in the import file. This makes it possible for the directory service to update a Person record without knowing its ID (see Create or update).

After the People have been imported, the CSV or TSV file with the contact details of these people can be imported. Before starting the People Contact Details import, however, use the polling feature to make sure that the People import has completed and that it was successful.

The example below demonstrates how the Primary Email is used in the Person column of a People Contact Details import file to ensure that People can be identified uniquely using data only from the directory service.

Person				Contact Protocol	Contact Label	Contact URI		Address Label	Address Address		Address City	Address State	Address Zip	Address Country		Integration	telephone		mobile		+1 (713) 441 8299															1	telephone		work		+33 (1) 4703 5144															1									home		14 Rue de Seine		Paris				75006		FR			1

If one or more rows of contact details are defined for a Person in the import file and the Integration value is set to true (or 1), then all existing contact details of that Person, which Integration value is also true, will be removed during the import. Any contact details that were manually added for this Person (i.e. contact details which Integration value is false) will not be removed during imports.

Note that contact details which Integration value is true cannot be modified manually. It is possible, however, to use the Import API to change the Integration value of contact details from true to false or vice versa.

Important: Make sure all contact details for a Person are grouped together in the import file. Otherwise the last row of contact details in the import file will cause the previous contact details, which were added during the import for that same Person, to be removed.

If needed, it is also possible to specify the ID column to update existing contact details.