ADExport 101 – Integrating On-premises AD with Xink
At Xink, our mission is to make your job easier. Whether you work in marketing or IT, our platform is designed around ease of use. For this reason, Xink allows users to integrate with their on-premises Active Directory when distributing emails. By integrating with your Active Directory, you can use the data from AD in email signatures that are generated and distributed by Xink.
To further help our users, Xink even allows users not currently logged on to AD to have fresh email signatures distributed with the latest updated information from AD. We can do this because data is exported to Xink via our ADExport tool, and the merge of email signature logic and data takes place in Xink’s servers. It may sound complex, but we’ve crafted it in such a way that it’s actually quite simple. Let’s delve deeper so you can see what we mean.
So, how does ADExport work?
It is very easy. ADExport is downloaded from Xink admin. You don’t need to install anything anywhere, as it is just a single set of files you can run from within your domain.
To make sure that you add data to your specific Xink account, we work with a secret token, which you simply use as a parameter to ADExport when you run it.
What exactly is exported?
Let me say first, ADExport does not export your whole AD!
In Xink we need user data to be able to provide an email signature with up-to-date information about the users. So the platform reads users in AD, and then exports basic user information to Xink, such as email address, name, display name, titles, etc. It doesn’t even read the object GUID because it is not needed. The key is the email address. Put simply, this is the most important information to have updated in AD for the export.
ADExport is completely safe to run. Check out these bald facts about ADExport:
- ADExport does not make any changes to your AD.
- ADExport only reads data.
- ADExport cannot write or update any data anywhere in your AD.
- ADExport does not grab any passwords.
- ADExport exports only the data for a user that you instruct it to export.
- ADExport means “Active Directory Export” which again means “export of data from AD” — there is no import or updates.
- ADExport doesn’t export anything else but user information — no schema information or anything deeper is exported.
Per default, all common fields are read for users and this information is exported to Xink with ADExport.
If there are certain fields you want to include, such as schema extended fields or custom attributes, then you can include these in the export (or you can limit the fields to only those that you need). You can even limit the export to a certain AD group, which is often helpful when using Xink during your trial period.
ADExport is Not a Two-way Sync
Just so we’re on the same page: ADExport is not a two-way sync, it is a one-way export. Just to make this very clear again.
Getting Help with Configuration and Use
ADExport comes with a bunch of switches that you can use for all kinds of different purposes. However, that is not the subject of this blog post, so we will tell you about that at a later date! In the meantime, read more about these details on our technical ADExport support article in Helpdesk.