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Use an LDAP branch to store external users

If you store your external users in a separate LDAP branch, you can use that branch to populate the Profiles database with those users.

In this procedure you create a separate TDI solution directory for the LDAP branch that contains the external users. When you have a separate TDI solution directory, the process of synchronizing the Profiles database with your LDAPs is easier.

Important: Be sure to complete Step 1 in the procedure. If you do not complete Step 1, you will delete all users when you run the sync_all_dns command.


  1. If you use a scheduled task or script to run synchronize commands, use a separate scheduled task or script for each directory.
  2. Any changes or fixes that you make to one TDI solution directory must be made to the other directory.

  3. Open and verify that sync_store_source_url is set to true. If sync_store_source_url is set to false, you must change the value in accordance with the following instructions:

    1. Set sync_store_source_url to true.

    2. Run sync_all_dns.

    3. Critical: Locate sync_source_url_enforce in the file and set it to true.

      If you do not set sync_source_url_enforce to true, you will most likely delete all users.

  4. Create a copy of the existing TDI solution directory parallel to the existing directory and name it TDI_external.

  5. Rename the existing TDI solution directory from TDI to TDI_internal.

  6. In the directory TDI_external, edit the file Specify the LDAP branch by updating the following properties:

    • source_ldap_url (required)
    • source_ldap_search_base (required)
    • source_ldap_search_filter (optional)
    • In the directory TDI_external, edit the file to set the visitor properties.

    The following visitor properties must have values that are identical to the LDAP branch values that you set in the previous step.

    • source_ldap_url_visitor_confirm
    • source_ldap_search_base_visitor_confirm
    • source_ldap_search_filter_visitor_confirm The visitor properties are referenced by the func_mode_visitor_branch function in profiles_functions.js to determine if the current LDAP branch is a visitor branch. If the value of the visitor properties is empty or if the properties are commented out, then users are added as employees instead of as external users.
  7. In the directory TDI_external, edit the file

    1. Comment out the line mode= if it exists.
    2. Add or uncomment the line mode={func_mode_visitor_branch}. The func_mode_visitor_branch function is in the file profiles_functions.js.
    3. Append a string to an external user's display name that differentiates them from users who are part of your organization.

    For users that rely solely on a screen reader, adding this string helps them to identify which users are external users. The only other indication of external users is how their picture displays on the site. The default string that is appended to a name is - External User.

    1. In the file, comment out this line: displayName=cn
    2. Add or uncomment these three lines:

      decorateVisitorDisplayName= - External User
    3. Customize the string that gets added to the display name. Modify the value of decorateVisitorDisplayName by replacing the string - External User with your custom string.

      Note: The string is not translated into other languages. If your installation of Connections supports more than one language, use a string that works in all languages.

  8. Populate the Profiles database with external users. In the directory TDI_external, run the following commands, in order:

    1. collect_dns.bat or
    2. populate_from_dn_file.bat or For more information about the collect_dns and populate_from_dn_file commands, see Manually populating the Profiles database.

To keep your Profiles database synchronized with changes to the LDAP directory, run the sync_all_dns command in each TDS solution directory on a regular basis. For more information about synching, see Synchronizing source changes such as LDAP with Profiles. Also, make sure that sync_source_url_enforce remains set to true in both places.

Parent topic:Registering external users with Profiles

Related information

Synchronizing the Profiles database with your organization's user data

Manually populating the Profiles database