Bring on the Enterprise. Sueetie Now Supports Active Directory

Mark off another item on the Sueetie v4.0 To-Do List.  Sueetie now supports Active Directory!  With the recent announcement of running Sueetie in a subdirectory along with Active Directory Support, Version 4 is shaping up to be a pretty rockin’ Enterprise Social Media Platform.

Here’s how Sueetie Active Directory Integration works. Sueetie doesn’t talk directly to Active Directory Domain Services since every company approaches the user data they store in Active Directory differently. Like most web integration approaches, Sueetie works with the Authenticated Windows Logon Username when the site is configured for Windows or Basic Authentication.

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When the user is authenticated through Windows he or she is logged into Sueetie with all user roles applied. You have the option of creating a new user account if the user does not exist in Sueetie or create the user’s Sueetie account before they login to Sueetie for the first time. We’ll discuss both shortly.

Sueetie Active Directory Step-by-Step

To setup your Sueetie Site for Active Directory,

  1. Login with "admin" or another Sueetie Administrator account.
  2. You’ll next create a user account with Sueetie Administrator Permissions. Be sure the username is the user’s Windows Username.
  3. Set the Sueetie Registration Settings for Active Directory (see below).
  4. Restart Sueetie (Sueetie Administration -> Settings -> Restart Sueetie)
  5. Configure the site in IIS for Windows Authentication if in a domain, or Basic Authentication if a standalone server for development.
  6. DONE! Login with the Windows account with the username of the account you just created. You’ll be greeted with "Welcome, Display Name!" and full administrative permissions.

Configuring Sueetie for Active Directory

Configuring Sueetie to use Active Directory is simple. Below are the new Site General Settings options for configuring Active Directory.

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Select Active Directory – Select the Active Directory Registration Option

Create Account From Active Directory Login – Check this if you want to automatically create user accounts if they do not exist in Sueetie when the user logs in the first time. We recommend pre-populating the Sueetie User account so they can enjoy their full name displayed instead of "Welcome, username as well as view their avatar.

Active Directory Email Domain – This is the domain appended to their username to create the user’s email. This is a long-standing convention of Active Directory-enabled applications. If your company uses another email address logic, you’d obviously want to use the pre-populate user account approach.

Using the Account Pre-Population Approach

Sueetie will create user accounts automatically, so once you setup Sueetie for Active Directory you can set it and forget it. We advise our enterprise clients to use a user account pre-population approach to managing user accounts. This way users will be greeted with their full names and avatars to give them a stronger sense of being a member of the company’s online community. Here’s an example of how the Display Name is not available through automatic account creation. (The username becomes the DisplayName property.) Wouldn’t you rather see "Dave Burke?" You bet!

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Using code from the Enterprise Edition these accounts can be created in batch without using the Sueetie Administration User Account form. Talk to us if you want to know more about automating the process of pre-populating user accounts.

If a user logs in to the site with the Account Pre-Population setting and no account has yet been created, the user is shown a message you can customize. Here is the default message.

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Customizing Sueetie Login and Register Link Display

If using Active Directory, Login and Register Links are irrelevant and should not be displayed. So they aren’t! The control of Login and Register links is performed by the Sueetie LoginPlaceHolder and RegisterPlaceHolder controls. Below you see them in action in the UserMenu.ascx menu.

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SQL Script Bonus

We tried to think of everything when it comes to Active Directory Support, along with making implementation as simple as possible with site configurable options. We even included a bonus SQL Script for development purposes. This saves you from creating a number of test Windows Accounts. The SQL Stored Procedure is SuSystem_RemoveUser and is included in Sueetie v4.0.

Article written by

A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.