Hiding Disabled Users in Active Directory Groups on the SLK Assignment Properties Page

7 June, 2009

Hiding Disabled Users in Active Directory Groups on the SLK Assignment Properties Page

I’ve just finished updating SLK for a UK school who had problems with learners disabled in Active Directory showing when they were assigning work through SLK. Firstly, I must say that this is a solution for a particular problem that they had and isn’t really a general purpose solution. If a learner is disabled, you should really be displaying them so you can assign then work. They may only be disabled temporarily, e.g. as puishment for computer misuse, but will still need to do the work when they are re-enabled. The situation this school was in, is that they are running the Sims Learning Gateway (SLG). Part of how that works is that there is a component to create AD users and class groups based on the data in Sims. However, the users created by SLG are then ‘consolidated’ with the ‘real’ AD users, so these can then use the Sims web parts. As part of the consolidation process, the SLG users are disabled and the real users are added to the class groups, however the disabled SLG users are not removed from the AD groups. Now the school were using these AD groups to assign SLK Learner permisssion to in order to assign work. So when the teachers came to assign work and selected their class group, each pupil was represented twice in the list which was a bit confusing. The solution was to update the SLK code so that there is now a setting to hide disabled users. This will mean that when SLK goes to get the list of all Learners on a site it will ignore users in Active Directory groups who are disabled. To get this set up you will first of all need to download and upgrade to the version with the setting in on the 1.3.2 build page . Then set the setting by: 

  1. Go to the Configure SharePoint Learning Kit page in SharePoint Central Administration.
  2. Make sure that the correct site collection is selected and then click ‘Click here to download the current SLK Settings file’ near the bottom of the page.
  3. This will open up the SlkSettings.xml file in a new browser window. Save this to disk.
  4. Open the saved file in a text editor e.g. notepad (do not use Word or similar)
  5. Add the attribute HideDisabledUsers=”true” to the file as indicated in the screen-shot

6.  Then upload the modified SlkSettings.xml file by adding it the page to “New SlkSettings  file:” and clicking OK. This will work for schools using Sims Learning Gateway with the same issues, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for anyone else. My personal preference is to give the individual users the appropriate permissions on the class sites rather than using groups. Groups will always cause issues when it comes to rollover and I just think it’s cleaner and more intuitive to have the direct permissions. I would also have removed the disabled users from the groups. Of course I’ve got the toolset to do all of this easily.

Richard Willis

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