The default interval for Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (DirSync) synchronisations is 3 hours. If for instance, your Active Directory has lots of changes you probably want to consider shortening the sync interval.
The schedule can be modified by changing the “Microsoft.Online.DirSync.Scheduler.exe.Config” configuration file. Before proceeding to make any changes to the sync interval you should evaluate how long it takes to complete synchronisation. You can do this by reviewing the application event log for entries that indicate when sync has started and completed.
To modify the configuration file open “C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Active Directory Sync\Microsoft.Online.DirSync.Scheduler.exe.Config” in Notepad. You will then need to modify the value of the “Synctimeinterval” key – the notation of this is Hours:Minutes:Seconds.
Save the configuration file and restart the “Windows Azure Active Directory Sync Service” Windows Service (via PowerShell Restart-Service MSOnlineSyncScheduler) to apply this change.
When configuring Windows Azure Active Directory Sync (or DirSync as it was previously known) it’s useful to be able to run various synchronisation tests. The default synchronisation schedule is 3 hours so unless you want to wait you will need to force a full synchronisation using PowerShell.
To do this you need to load the Windows Azure Active Directory Sync PowerShell module and run a cmdlet. Start by navigating to “C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Active Directory Sync” in PowerShell and then run “.\DirSyncConfigShell.psc1” from this directory. This will launch a new PowerShell console with the Windows Azure Active Directory Sync PowerShell module loaded (Add-PSSnapin Coexistence-Configuration). Then to force a full synchronisation you need to run the Start-OnlineCoexistenceSync cmdlet.
You can verify that synchronisation has occurred by reviewing the application event log on the server running DirSync – there should be several items in the log such as “Directory Synchronization, Event ID – 114, Export cycle completed”. There is also a status of the Active Directory Synchronisation on the “Users and Groups” page in the Office 365 admin portal. There are also two other ways to see the status of synchronisation jobs which I will go into in more detail in a later post but these include using the Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) client and Fiddler web debugging proxy.
You can create a shortcut to “C:\Program Files\Windows Azure Active Directory Sync\DirSyncConfigShell.psc1” on the desktop for ease of administration. I, however, take this one step further and create a shortcut to perform a synchronisation as well. Create a shortcut with the following target below.