Force Sync to Office 365 with DirSync

Updated on 28 August 2015

IMPORTANT: AAD Connect has replaced AADSync and DirSync. Reference: Azure Active Directory Sync

AADSync Replaced


IMPORTANT! Azure Active Directory Sync Services (AADSync) has replaced DirSync. And eventually, when Azure Active Directory Connect (AAD Connect) is generally available (this year {fingers crossed}), it will replace AADSync.

Periodically, the DirSync tool is updated (version history here). Microsoft now calls it the Microsoft Azure Active Directory Sync tool and is available to Office 365 customers within their portal or here.

As of 31 July 2014, DirSync 1.0.7020.0000 is the most current version.

There might be occasion where a change in your on-premise Active Directory will need to be forcibly replicated to your Office 365 account.  Maybe it is for a new user or a change in a user attribute.  In any case, the standard scheduled sync occurs every 3 hours.  However, we have been given the tools to synchronize those changes on our terms.

The new version of DirSync provides us the ability to use an integrated PowerShell module for easier running of this task. We no longer need to perform this specific task…

“From your DirSync server, open PowerShell and navigate to C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Active Directory Sync.  Then enter, .\DirSyncConfigShell.psc1.  A new PowerShell console will open.”

Beginning with version 1.0.6862.0000, we now can simply open an elevated PowerShell console and run Import-Module DirSync

Now, we run Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync and press enter to begin our sync.  This command will begin a synchronization of the changes made in the on-premise AD to Office 365.  It is the same command that is automatically scheduled to run every 3 hours.

Once the synchronization is complete, the Office 365 Users management portal will show “Last synced less than an hour ago“.  The Application log in the Event Viewer on the DirSync server will show several events.  The primary one to watch for is Directory Synchronization Event ID 114–this shows us the “Export cycle completed. Tracking id: …

Microsoft Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 R2…

FIM is another way to check if the sync has completed successfully and, maybe even more importantly, check what users and attributes have been synced.  FIM is installed with DirSync.  FIM has a application know as the MIIS client that can be located in C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Active Directory Sync\SYNCBUS\Synchronization Service\UIShell.  In this folder, double-click miisclient.exe to open Forefront Synchronization Service Manager (FSSM).

From the Operations section of FSSM, we can monitor the sync process and granular changes.  In the Export Statistics section (bottom left of window) within Operations, we can see (and even double-click) the adds, updates, renames and deletes.  In the Object Details, granular information can be viewed by selecting the properties of a Distinguished Name.


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