Office 365 ends support for the 32-bit DirSync tool on January 1, 2013

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Office 365 logoThe world around us changes fast. Just 13 months ago, I wrote on the availability of the 64bit DirSync tool. Today, I’m relaying the message from the Office 365 team on their intent to end support on the 32bit DirSync tool to keep an on-premises Active Directory environment synced with Office 365 tomorrow


About the DirSync tool

The Directory  Synchronization tool is a preconfigured Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM) / ForeFront Identity Manager (FIM) installation with two Management Agents; one for on-premises Active Directory and one for Office 365.

The 32bit DirSync tool is based on Identity Lifecycle Manager (ILM) 2007, which is a 32bit-only server product. Hence, this version of the Directory Synchronization tool is a 32bit-only product. The 64bit DirSync tool is based on Forefront Identity Manager (FIM) 2010 and it is 64bit only.


What effectively changes?

After January 1 2013, you will no longer be able to open service requests with Office 365 Support regarding the 32-bit DirSync tool.

The 32-bit DirSync tool will continue to operate and synchronize your on-premises Active Directory with Office 365 after this date.


What’s Next

After October 1 2013, Office 365 will block connections from the 32bit DirSync tool. By that time, you should have migrated from the 32bit version to the 64bit version of the DirSync tool. Get the 64bit DirSync tool here.

Now, while transitioning between these two tools is not that hard (any jobs you have built with the 32-bit DirSync tool will continue to work with the 64-bit tool), a little planning goes a long way:

  • The 64bit DirSync tool can only be installed on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • The 64bit DirSync tool cannot be installed on Windows Server 2008 or Windows Server 2008 R2-based Domain Controllers.
  • The 64bit DirSync tool cannot be installed on Windows Server 2008 R2, when it’s running Active Directory Federation Services.

The transition process consists of uninstalling the 32bit DirSync tool completely and installing the 64bit DirSync tool on a 64bit box. Don’t worry about the work you’ve done and the state of the synchronization during the upgrade. The overall state of the objects in your on-premises and cloud directories, respectively, is preserved and the 64bit version matches objects in the cloud with on-premises objects, as long as you haven’t deleted any on-premises objects during the transition process.

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