Defining the relationship between Outlook, AD and Exchange Server
I am new to Exchange Server and am using Exchange Server 2007 with Microsoft
Outlook 2007. I'm having difficulty understanding the relationship between Outlook, Active
Directory and Exchange. How is AD connected to Outlook and what is Exchange's role?
A user's identity is stored in Active Directory. A user's mailbox resides in Exchange. When
the user authenticates, they authenticate against Active Directory and Exchange then determines
what rights the user has within the messaging environment.
The address lists (GALs and ALs) are all managed by Exchange by querying Active Directory
attributes. Outlook is simply a client that handles the authentication against Active Directory and
manages the data returned by Exchange.
Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let
This was first published in February 2010