Problem solve Get help with specific problems with your technologies, process and projects.

Defining the relationship between Outlook, AD and Exchange Server

Find out how Outlook, AD and Exchange are connected and the roles each play for users.

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 us know.

This was last published in February 2010

Dig Deeper on Microsoft Exchange Server Mailbox Management

Have a question for an expert?

Please add a title for your question

Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.

You will be able to add details on the next page.

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.