Monday 31 March 2008

SBS - Reusing a user profile - Exchange and SharePoint changes needed

In some cases, a client wants a new employee to take over the old employee's profile.

One way to do this is to create the new user and migrate the old user's email settings, a PST export, and data to the new network based profile. In many cases, where the profile is task/position independent this works fine.

Sometimes, the employee's position and their network profile is position dependent. When a client goes through a change in employees and wants the new employee to take over the existing position profile, the shift is pretty simple to do.

We make the necessary changes to the user's profile in the User Management console on the SBS server:
  • User name
  • Name properties
  • Email addresses
  • Exchange x400 setting (E-mail Addresses tab)
  • Alias (Exchange General tab)
Once we have completed the changes and the user logs in, there are a couple of other changes that need to be made where the previous employee's name would still be reflected:
  1. The Exchange mailbox name that shows in Outlook
  2. The user's name that comes up on the SharePoint CompanyWeb site.
To change the user name that appears behind "Mailbox - User Name" in Outlook we need only run through the setup steps via the Mail icon in the Control Panel and choose the new user name on that user's machine. Outlook should not be running when we run through the process.

In Windows Vista x64 versions the icon can be found here:

View 32-bit Control Panel Items

The following screen shot is what one would see on XP and in this particular case, a 32bit install of Windows Vista:

Windows Vista Mail Icon

A step by step as per a Vista/Office 2007 install:
  1. Double click the Mail icon
  2. Click the E-mail Accounts button
  3. Double click the user's email Exchange profile
  4. Change the User Name field to the new user's name
  5. Click Check Name
    • The new user name should become verified. It will then appear underlined.
  6. Click Next and Finish.
Start Outlook and one should now see "Mailbox - New User" the correct name.

Send an email from the account to one of your test email accounts to verify that Exchange is properly tagging the email with the new user's name as well.

The above process is very similar for Outlook 2003 on Windows XP Professional.

To change the name that appears on any SharePoint Companyweb content:
  1. Open the CompanyWeb page while logged in as the new user
  2. Click on Site Settings near the top of the page.
  3. Click "Update my information" under Manage My Information" near the bottom
  4. Edit User Information
  5. Change the "Display Name" to reflect the new user's name.
  6. Save and Close
All posted content on the CompanyWeb site will now reflect the new user's name for all posted content via the original existing user profile.

One thing to let the new user know about: When all of the necessary name changes and profile shifts have happened, the local profile directory on the computer will not reflect their own name ... at least until that machine is replaced and they log into the new machine for the first time.

UPDATE 2008-05-16: Added the x400 change (thanks Tim) and the Exchange Alias change. Note that users with Exchange in Cached mode will not see the Alias change right away.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.


Anonymous said...

We have found there are MANY places to change the name. There is the Exchange alias and the X400 address as well as the ones you mentioned. The one thing we can figure out is that when internal users send an email to the new person, their name comes up as NewUserFullName {OldUserName}. We have not been able to change the OldUserName. There is also the issue of renaming the folder in "Users Shared Folders" and how that affects My Documents redirection. Any thoughts?

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


Thanks for the x400 tip. It has been added to the description.

There is also the Alias that we set for the original user that needs to be updated.

SBS automatically changes the User's folder for My Docs redirection. We have not had to change that one manually.

As far as the {OldUserName} situation, where do you see that? Is that in the Alias field?

Thanks for the comment.