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“No exact match found” when using People Picker in MOSS with Forms Authentication

This week I’ve been working with a customer to implement Forms Authentication for their MOSS site. Actually, it’s mixed authentication since they’ll have part via AD and part via a database. There are some great tutorials out there, but some people run into the problem I did – after modifying the web.config files, you have to add the user in the database to your SharePoint site. But when you enter the user into the People Picker, you get “No exact match found” and it won’t let you continue.

What I found was that if I switched the Central Administration site to use the provider I set up, I got an “Unknown Error”, which let me to think something bad was going on. Thinking through it more, I had in the back of my head that SharePoint would be accessing the database in the context of the current user, which is, of course, wrong. It access the database as the user you told SharePoint to use to access the database. So looking at that user, it didn’t have access to my authentication database, and once I granted it access, everything worked like a charm!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • vivekthangaswamy April 4, 2007, 10:29 am

    can tell me the steps to overcome that problem

  • Peter Brunone May 18, 2007, 1:45 pm

    Hi Cory,

    Thanks for the post; we’re seeing something very similar here. However, we can’t seem to get rid of the problem. The Central Admin site seems to be running under the local machine’s NETWORK SERVICE account (at least that’s what the corresponding w3 process shows in Task Manager), but adding that to the members full control role in our auth db doesn’t change anything.

  • Cory Foy May 20, 2007, 9:31 pm

    Peter – contact me off-list and we can see if we can troubleshoot this. Send an email to my first name dot my last name at gmail dot com and I’ll see what I can do.

  • Wouter Copepns July 4, 2007, 8:57 am

    Hey Guys,

    I have the same problem, I’ve already tried to do everything (now for 3 days …) I’m hopeless, hopefully someone can help me?

    I’ve checked the Application Pool, grant al the rights to the user I’m accessing the db …

    The web.config files are configured right, everything is OK, only if I try to add users to the FBA-website in Sharepoint I can’t find them.

  • Anonymous September 12, 2007, 2:29 pm

    Ouch. I should read better. In the last sentence you tell me to check if the user running the administration page actually has access to the membership database. Hey Presto!

    That did the trick. Thank you very much.

  • Adil A. Baig March 24, 2009, 8:15 am

    I am greatly impressed by your posts. I have this problem of people picker. this is the prob in brief:

    we initially had single server deployment with 8 web app on WSS 3.0.
    due to load, we now moved them to a new farm with 3 servers with following configuration:
    1. all having wss 3.0 SP1
    2. all patched with search server express 2008
    3. search and query bieng served by server3

    also not worthy here is that due to budget constraint and stuff, we dint had load balancing so we are doing context switchin with
    4 app on server1 and 4 app on server2..
    each of this app is turned off in IIS in other server and each app has own IP and DNS.
    so the NIC of each server has 4 IPs

    backup restore happened like a charm. the expected context swithcing happens like a charm. but now people picker goes in infinite “query bieng processed” and never fetches anything

    this problem has become a red flag as this the 4th day and i could find nothing that worked.

  • sandrar September 10, 2009, 3:28 pm

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

  • Patrick Markiewicz June 3, 2010, 12:18 pm

    Thank you so much for this tip. For others reading this blog, the more detailed instructions would be to ensure that your SQL Server configuration matches your SharePoint authentication strategy for the Web Application Pool Identity or the Primary Site Administrator of the Central Administration Site. Basically I added my SharePoint Admin to the SQL Server Users for the aspnet membership database, and then I was able to find my users.