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How to use AD Attributes not represented in UserPrincipal, GroupPrincipal and ComputerPrincipal

By , 15 Oct 2010
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Using System.DirectoryServices.AccountManagement comapred to just using System.DirectoryServices is way much simpler just look at these samples Active Directory and .NET 3.5/4.0 and Active Directory and .NET 2.0 clearly from those .NET3.5/4.0 is straightforward than the other but one thing is missing, exposing other attributes that are not represented in UserPrincipal, GroupPrincipal and ComputerPrincipal.

Using the old way you can just do this go get and set the attributes, its really that simple.

/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><summary>
</span>/// This will retreive the specified poperty value from the DirectoryEntry object 
/// (if the property exists)
/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"></summary>
</span>/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><param name="oDE"></param>
</span>/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><param name="sPropertyName"></param>
</span>/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><returns></returns>
</span>public string GetProperty(DirectoryEntry oDE, string sPropertyName)
{
    if (oDE.Properties.Contains(sPropertyName))
    {
        return oDE.Properties[sPropertyName][0].ToString();
    }
    else
    {
        return string.Empty;
    }
}

/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><summary>
</span>/// This will test the value of the propertyvalue and if empty will not set the property
/// as AD is particular about being sent blank values
/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"></summary>
</span>/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><param name="oDE"></param>
</span>/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><param name="sPropertyName"></param>
</span>/// <span class="code-SummaryComment"><param name="sPropertyValue"></param>
</span>public void SetProperty(DirectoryEntry oDE, string sPropertyName, string sPropertyValue)
{
    //check if the value is valid, otherwise dont update
    if (sPropertyValue != string.Empty)
    {
        //check if the property exists before adding it to the list
        if (oDE.Properties.Contains(sPropertyName))
        {
            oDE.Properties[sPropertyName].Value = sPropertyValue;
            oDE.CommitChanges();
            oDE.Close();
        }
        else
        {
            oDE.Properties[sPropertyName].Add(sPropertyValue);
            oDE.CommitChanges();
            oDE.Close();
        }
    }
}

But with using System.DirectoryServices.AccountManagement the exposed attributes is limited to the following:

User Principal Properties Computer Principal Properties Group Principal Properties
AccountExpirationDate AccountExpirationDate Context
AccountLockoutTime AccountLockoutTime ContextRaw
AdvancedSearchFilter AdvancedSearchFilter ContextType
AllowReversiblePasswordEncryption AllowReversiblePasswordEncryption Description
BadLogonCount BadLogonCount DisplayName
Certificates Certificates DistinguishedName
Context Context GroupScope
ContextRaw ContextRaw Guid
ContextType ContextType IsSecurityGroup
Current DelegationPermitted Members
DelegationPermitted Description Name
Description DisplayName SamAccountName
DisplayName DistinguishedName Sid
DistinguishedName Enabled StructuralObjectClass
EmailAddress Guid UserPrincipalName
EmployeeId HomeDirectory
Enabled HomeDrive
GivenName LastBadPasswordAttempt
Guid LastLogon
HomeDirectory LastPasswordSet
HomeDrive Name
LastBadPasswordAttempt PasswordNeverExpires
LastLogon PasswordNotRequired
LastPasswordSet PermittedLogonTimes
MiddleName PermittedWorkstations
Name SamAccountName
PasswordNeverExpires ScriptPath
PasswordNotRequired ServicePrincipalNames
PermittedLogonTimes Sid
PermittedWorkstations SmartcardLogonRequired
SamAccountName StructuralObjectClass
ScriptPath UserCannotChangePassword
Sid UserPrincipalName
SmartcardLogonRequired
StructuralObjectClass
Surname
UserCannotChangePassword
UserPrincipalName
VoiceTelephoneNumber

And if you would compare that to the full attribute set of Active Directory I can safely say this is less than 10% of it, To view a full list you can visit this MSDN (http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms675090%28v=VS.85%29.aspx) or better yet this website (http://www.rlmueller.net/UserAttributes.htm) as it has a really good excel speadsheet that defines each all attributes in a default installation which you can download as well.

So the question is how do I expose the other attributes like UserPrincipals mobile, UserPrincipals facsimileTelephoneNumber, GroupPrincipals info, etc.

Thanks to Principal Extensions! With this, Principals mentioned above can all be extended to create custom objects that extend the object model. These extended classes have now the ability to add or remove properties from the extended class as long as the properties that are added or removed are supported in the directory schema. Now to get and set the properties of the extension class you will use the methods ExtensionGet and ExtensionSet and here
is a sample below on a Group Principal for the “wWWHomePage” attribute etc. Thanks to Principal Extensions! With this, Principals mentioned above can all be extended to create custom objects that extend the object model. These extended classes have now the ability to add or remove properties from the extended class as long as the properties that are added or removed are supported in the directory schema. Now to get and set the properties of the extension class you will use the methods ExtensionGet and ExtensionSet and here is a sample below on a Group Principal for the “wWWHomePage” attribute.

[DirectoryObjectClass("group")]
[DirectoryRdnPrefix("CN")]

public class GroupPrincipalsEx : GroupPrincipal
{
    public GroupPrincipalsEx(PrincipalContext context) : base(context) { }

    public GroupPrincipalsEx(PrincipalContext context, string samAccountName)
        : base(context, samAccountName)
    {
    }

    [DirectoryProperty("wWWHomePage")]
    public string wWWHomePage
    {
        get
        {
            if (ExtensionGet("wWWHomePage").Length != 1)
                return null;

            return (string)ExtensionGet("wWWHomePage")[0];

        }
        set { this.ExtensionSet("wWWHomePage", value); }
    }
}

We call our class GroupPrincipalEx which is the extended class of GroupPrincipal which then exposes the Directory Property “wWWHomePage”. So from the screenshot below you can see that the “wWWHomePage” now is exposed on intellisense.

You can use this in many scenarios and one of the most useful one is on searching, just imagine if you had extended your active directory schema and you want to search using that extended attribute, or even use the built in attributes but was not exposed by the base class. I have an example to let you do that, let say you had used the wWWHomePage attribute to store the AD Group Team Site address in Sharepoint and you want to search for all groups that have the parent site “http://sharepoint.com/mydepartment/“, now here is how its done

First extend your Group Principal by using the same code above then use PrincipalSearcher to use a Query Filter based on the exposed property.

ArrayList myItems = new ArrayList();

PrincipalContext oPrincipalContext = new PrincipalContext
    (ContextType.Domain,
    sDomain,
    sDefaultOU,
    ContextOptions.SimpleBind,
    sServiceUser,
    sServicePassword);
GroupPrincipalsEx oGroups = new GroupPrincipalsEx(oPrincipalContext);
oGroups.wWWHomePage = "http://sharepoint.com/mydepartment/*";

PrincipalSearcher mySearch = new PrincipalSearcher(oGroups);
mySearch.QueryFilter = oGroups;

PrincipalSearchResult<Principal> oPrincipalSearchResult = mySearch.FindAll();

foreach (Principal oResult in oPrincipalSearchResult)
{
    myItems.Add(oResult.SamAccountName.ToString());
}

Another good example would be setting a value on that attribute on creation of the AD Object

PrincipalContext oPrincipalContext = new PrincipalContext
    (ContextType.Domain,
    sDomain,
    sDefaultOU,
    ContextOptions.SimpleBind,
    sServiceUser,
    sServicePassword);
GroupPrincipalsEx oGroups = new GroupPrincipalsEx(oPrincipalContext);

oGroups.DisplayName = "My Group";
oGroups.SamAccountName = "My Group";
oGroups.IsSecurityGroup = true;
oGroups.Description = "Automatically Created by Your Code";
oGroups.GroupScope = GroupScope.Local;
oGroups.wWWHomePage = "http://sharepoint.com/mydepartment/mygroup";
oGroups.Save();

So I guess thats it for now.

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Raymund Macaalay
Technical Lead
New Zealand New Zealand
http://nz.linkedin.com/in/macaalay
http://macaalay.com/
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Comments and Discussions

 
Questionhow to use FindByIdentity, after deriving UserPrinciple Pinmemberjoph10-Feb-11 22:22 
AnswerRe: how to use FindByIdentity, after deriving UserPrinciple Pinmemberjoph14-Feb-11 1:52 

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