So you have decided to delegate Active Directory management to your end users, resolving that they know who should be in their AD groups better than the help desk ever will. The thing is, users keep lists: department lists, lists of people who help plan office parties, lists of department assistants, et cetera.
When giving the ability for these users to manage their own groups through web based AD self service, you have to give them the option to upload these lists into their new group. So, bulk loader it is. The user uploads a file (text, csv, excel or XML), gives it a key so that we can resolve it to the correct Active Directory user (usually email address) and then, boom, you have yourself a group.
Now your new group owner can email to it or, if IT says they can, make it a security group and have the party planning committee have its own special folder filled with secret party planning tips…heck, even give the committee its own sharepoint site that is secured by this AD group. Group management becomes easy and end users don’t have to keep that excel file any more.
But, wait, what if they still want a file? What if they have a distribution group on which they meticulously keep the membership accurate? Well, then let them do a bulk unload, err, export. Again, they can export to any of the usual culprits (text, CSV, Excel, or XML). IT chooses what AD attributes are available for export and the group owner decides which of those attributes should be in the excel file.
This feature is pretty powerful for that transition to AD self service, giving your end users the ability to go from their old way of managing groups to this new improved method without a lot of pain. If you would like to see a demonstration of just how simple it is, let us know and we can arrange a personalized demonstration of the AD self service bulk loader. We need a better name for that feature, don’t we?