After a bit of research I’m giving up on this one.
What I want to do is map the sharepoint user profile property ‘assistant’ to active directory (AD). I could map it to 1 of 2 attributes in AD, either ‘assistant’ or ‘msExchAssistantName’. The assistant attribute in AD stores the DN of that user. Much in the same way as the manager attribute in AD. The msExchAssistantName attribute stores the displayname of the user.
Initially I was mapping assistant to assistant however the problem was that the profile page for a user would display the DN of the assistant. Very ugly!
So I change the mapping to msExchAssistantName hoping that might work but no it now shows the assistant displayname on the profile page however it does not fix the click through problem.
In both of these cases the assistant field is a hyperlink to what you would expect to be the user profile page of the assistant but in both cases sharepoint does not translate it correctly and returns an error page with ‘user not found’.
Now I’m pretty sure that the assistant attribute in AD is widely used and I think that this is a bug or a case of a not quite completed component by the sharepoint dev team. And if they can get it to work for the manager attribute why not for the assistant attribute? During my research I found little info related to the issue except for one post from Joris Poelmans on YASQ – AD Assistant field not correctly imported into SharePoint User Profile database. I have to agree with Joris that this is yet another sharepoint quirk.
If any sharepoint microsoft’y is reading this could they pass it along to the product team and have it fixed please.