Ask the Expert

Creating an active GAL on Outlook 2003 and 2007

How would l make a newly-created GAL active on Outlook 2003 and 2007? Also, what should I do to have Outlook update automatically when a new user is added?

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You can only have one GAL per MAPI client since Outlook is a MAPI client. It's very unusual for any organization to create multiple GALs -- except in hosting-type scenarios. If you absolutely need to create multiple GALs, then you need to set permissions on each GAL so that each user in your organization only has permissions to see one GAL. This can get quite unwieldy and require breaking inheritance at the GAL object level.

I suspect that what you're trying to achieve is actually best accomplished by using multiple Address Lists, which are different from GALs. An organization can have many Address Lists, and these are simply configured by creation of the AL in your Exchange Management Console. You can then configure an LDAP query that captures all the relevant users for the AL.

For example, you could create an AL for any user with "Department" set to "Corporate Services," then any user created in Active Directory provisioned with a mailbox and the "Department" attribute appropriately populated will show up when the Outlook user selects the appropriate AL. The Outlook client triggers the LDAP query whenever the user opens the AL, therefore, updates are immediate.

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This was first published in December 2009

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