As part of setting up a hybrid configuration between Exchange on-premise and Exchange online (or when configuring Exchange Online Archiving), you also need to setup DirSync.

In these scenarios DirSync fulfills an important role as it will also configure the write-back of some attributes in your local Active Directory. This “write-back” is required for Hybrid/EOA to work. For a list of attributes that are sync to/from Office 365, have a look at the following article: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2256198

As part of the best-practices when installing DirSync, you should always run the Office 365 Deployment Readiness tool which will scan your local Active Directory and search for incompatible objects. The tool will create a report in which incompatible objects are mentioned. This will allow you to modify these object before configuring DirSync.

However, sometimes object can still contain incompatible object attributes, which might cause issues for DirSync. In such case, you’ll likely be presented with the following error in the application event log. Please note that this example mentions an issue with the “TargetWebService” Management Agent. It could very well be that you’ll encounter an issue in the SourceAD Management Agent.

The TargetWebService Connector export cycle has stopped.  Object with DN CN=<guid> failed validation for the following attributes: proxyAddresses. Please refer to documentation for information on object attribute validation.

This error contains 2 important items:

  1. The Distinguished name (CN=<guid>)
  2. The attribute that is causing issues

However, matching the guid to a user-account isn’t very easy. The best way to go about is to open the MIIS Management Interface and work from there. Usually, the client can be found in the following directory:

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Online Directory Sync\SYNCBUS\Synchronization Service\UIShell

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After opening the client, navigate to Management Agents, right-click the management agent mentioned in the error message and select Search Connector Space:

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In the “Search Connector Space” window, select DN or Anchor from the drop-down list under Scope and specify the Distinguished Name from the error message. Afterwards, click Search:

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The search should return a single object. Double-click it to view additional information. Search for the attribute that was mentioned in the event log entry to review its value(s):

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In this particular case, one of the proxy addresses contained an illegal character which caused the Management Agent to fail. Once you determined what the issue was, correct the value in AD and re-start synchronization. Normally, synchronization should happen successfully now.

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