All Kinds of Things You Can Do With SPUser Objects

The SPUser object is a really useful tool, but sadly not very intuitive. Here are some of my favorite SPUser snippets.

People picker list columns don’t return a user object, which is frustrating, but not foreign to those of us with picker experience. An ID is generally returned by a lookup field. Not so for people pickers, which return a domain\user string that is frequently pre-pended by nonsense.

This is how you get a user directly from the list item:

protected SPUser GetUserfromItem(SPListItem userItem)


SPFieldUser userField = (SPFieldUser)userItem.Fields.GetField(“User”);

SPFieldUserValue fieldValue = (SPFieldUserValue)userField.GetFieldValue(userItem[userField.Id].ToString());

return fieldValue.User;


Now let’s look at a neat little method that grabs some properties by current user! As a side note, there are a lot of issues that are purportedly resolved by setting the context to null – I have never found this helpful. Never. In my lifetime.

//User Properties by user

private bool GetProperty(string userName)


//Your return value is a bool

bool found = false;

//Create a profile manager

UserProfileManager profMan;

//Get your site in a “using” so there’s no disposing

using (SPSite site = new SPSite(SPContext.Current.Site.ID))


//Make everything unsafe. Just kidding. This is so that you have permissions to edit the profile property.

//If you don’t plan on making changes, you can access the property without this.

Web.AllowUnsafeUpdates = true;

//Okay. Get your web on!

using (SPWeb newWeb = site.OpenWeb())


//Get the context and set the profile manager

SPServiceContext context = SPServiceContext.GetContext(site);

profMan = new UserProfileManager(context);

//Get your user profile object

UserProfile prof = profMan.GetUserProfile(userName);

//This is important. Remember to check the Property.Value. Otherwise you are checking to see

//if the property itself is null. And since you know it exists – guess what? It isn’t null.

if (prof[“Property”].Value != null)


_property = prof[“Property”].Value.ToString();

found = true;




found = false;




//Do this last, or even in a “finally” since you really want this set to false at the end of execution

Web.AllowUnsafeUpdates = false;

return found;


//And one more

//User properties by property

FullTextSqlQuery query = new FullTextSqlQuery(SPContext.Current.Site);

//Create the SQL query. The scope is important if you want it limited to people. Note that each item you select

//(Here WorkPhone, WorkEmail, DisplayName) has to be a managed property that a. has the same name and b. is

//Set to work in scopes

query.QueryText = “SELECT WorkPhone, WorkEmail, DisplayName FROM SCOPE() WHERE (\”Scope\” = ‘People’) AND (\”Property\” = ‘” + propertyValue + “‘)”;

//Set result type

query.ResultTypes = ResultType.RelevantResults;

//Set result limit

query.RowLimit = 5000;

//Execute to a result table collection

ResultTableCollection results = query.Execute();

//Parse to a single result table

ResultTable resultTable = results[ResultType.RelevantResults];

//And a regular DataTable if you need it

DataTable dt = new DataTable();

dt.Load(resultTable, LoadOption.OverwriteChanges);

There you go! Be a SPUser expert! Goodnight and goodluck.

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