Josh Clark is a software engineer and a member of the Professional Services team tasked with training, deployment and managing customer system integrations.
He has extensive experience on integrating JobTraQ with Active Directory.
Active Directory, in addition to all the other things it can do, is primarily used as the authoritative source for an organizations network logins. JobTraQ, like Active Directory, contains a list of accounts with specific permissions and logins for each user. JobTraQ has the ability to directly integrate with Active Directory for user logins straight out of the box. However, JobTraQ does not update any information on the user’s contact record or create new contacts. For a fully automated sync, custom integration code is required and our Pro Serv team has developed this and it has been stable and working extremely well for several years.
Well, this removes the need for manual contact creation and updates in JobTraQ – enter in Active Directory and the sync replicates them in JobTraQ, saving time, money and the avoidance of errors. Typically, when a new employee is hired, an Active Directory account is immediately created for them, and it is this which gives them access to their computer and the organization’s network. Where the organization is also using JobTraQ, then JobTraQ also needs a record of the employee created too. A further complication is that while IT typically manages Active Directory, JobTraQ may be managed elsewhere in the organization. Automatically synching removes the need for manual re-entry and interdepartmental communications.
What other reason are there for a fully automated sync between Active Directory and JobTraQ?
An automated sync between the two systems also ensures that all employees in Active Directory have an updated contact record in JobTraQ (as we’ve seen above). This means the employee’s name, email address, and username are always in sync between the two systems. However, it is also possible to sync more than just these basic employee attributes, for instance, employee department or title. In addition, it is possible to sync other Active Directory attributes, such as an employee id. When a change occurs in Active Directory, the custom code will automatically update JobTraQ.
How is this accomplished?
Through custom integration code, developed by Swift Software’s Professional Service team, using both Active Directory and JobTraQ web service API. The custom code, located on the JobTraQ web server, runs throughout the day, syncing the two systems. The sync will add new users to JobTraQ, update existing users, and remove any users that no longer exist (enhancing security even further). The custom code always recognizes Active Directory as the authoritative source, which means that user accounts in Active Directory are never modified by JobTraQ. The users retrieved from Active Directory are usually filtered to specific departments that use JobTraQ, and this allows only for those specific department users’ information to be synchronized. If something does go wrong during the sync, JobTraQ administrators are immediately notified by the system.
What advantage does a sync with Active Directory provide?
A sync between the two systems has the primary benefit of only requiring a change in one authoritative source (in this case, Active Directory).
It removes the need for duplicate work, and ensures that no information falls through the cracks.
Access security is enhanced because as users are removed in Active Directory, so they are removed in JobTraQ.
Removing the need for manual creation of JobTraQ records removes the scope for the introduction of human error.