Mac OS X Panther/Entourage configured for EXchange Server 2003 - ldap server not found

I need to connect 6 Mac OS X panther workstaitons to my Microsoft 2003 Exchange server.   The local domain is ceilink.local
Windows DCdiags and Netdiags  pass.   I have configured IMAP, HTTP and SMTP virtual servers on the Exchange Server.
I can attach to my exchange server from the MAC stations using OWA. Active directory lookup work from the web interface.
I receive an LDAP server error when the MAC's are configured for Entourage 2001 or Entourage 2004.
Entourage 2004 states it can not find the exchange server.  

I have run nslookup on the MACs    It resolves the server address of to fs.ceilink.local properly.
I can not resolve fs

To connect to the Exchange server from the MAC's via OWA I must use the format\exchange    \\fs.domainname.local\exhcange  will not resolve.

I have attempted to configure the manually configure the active directory entries
defining the LDAP server as   and fs.ceilink.local

I have added   ou=CIE,dc=fs,dc=com  
   and combinations thereof

none of these parameters have resolved the problem.

The MAC all have two ethernet cards,  one NIC recieves it's IP via DHCP from the Microsoft 2003 DHCP server, the other NIC is configured for appletalk. There is also another complicating issue.  In-house email is via Exchange services, Internet email is via POP3 hosted by the ISP hosting their web site.   The 2003 Exchange DNS server is Active Directory integrated.

Do MACs have a "hosts" file I can edit, it appears to me to be a DNS resolution issue on the MAC stations.
Do I have to configure a "standard DNS server" ?

These station were operational with Entourage 2001 with an Exchange 5.5 server.   Exchange 2003 server was installed last week.   All Outlook funtions are opeational on the Windows side.

TIA for any insights into this problem you can provide.  

Since I have called Mircosoft's Paid Technical support line and they were not able to provide immediate support, stating it would take 24 to 48 hours to find an expert, I would rate this as a 500 point problem.
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brettmjohnsonConnect With a Mentor Commented:
The problem is the "*.local" subdomain, which interferes with the mDNS .local naming convention
used by Apple's Rendezvous.

Judging by the number times this problem is reported, I can only assume that there is some
Active directory tutorial out there that has users create .local subdomains.

I have several comments:

Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) really has no use for Appletalk.  It is Unix and prefers TCP/IP.
It emulates Appletalk protocols - poorly (well, better than Microsoft does).

These forums are filled with an endless stream of problems with Microsoft mail clients for the Mac.
The Panther version of Apple's connects to Exchange servers and is a much more stable mail client.

Mac OS X does have a "hosts" file in the standard Unix location  /etc/hosts, but I suspect you
just need to configure /etc/resolv.conf correctly to point to the appropriate local DNS service.
You could also install Apple's Rendezvous for Windows which should allow the macs to discover
the Exchange server.
I concur with brett. Get Entourage OFF OS X and use the built in OS X mail client. It's 100x better.
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If you add "ceilink.local" to the DNS search path in System Preferences->Network then you should be able to resolve fs.ceilink.local properly by just typing in fs
ccadsalesAuthor Commented:
I have eliminated appletalk, they are using Apple;  it will send and recieve exhange email but I can not browse the AD database.  What I do notice is that the apple stations can do a reverse DNS lookup but not a forward lookup.  
Thus the MAC can resolve  to fs.ceilink.local   but not fs.ceilink.local.

This must be the reason searching fails with the error LDAP server can not be found.

I am currently running active directory integrated DNS servcies.  The MAC are obtaining IP addresses from the Windows 2003 server.  

Would it be helpful for me to set up my accounting server with standard DNS server?

I have found and have attempted to configured the Directory Access information

I am defining the LDAP server as   search base  DC=ceilink, DC=local
I am using  as the Distinquished Username:

the user accounts are contained in OU=cei   I have included & not included it.

In the Active Directory secition
Active Directory Forest: fs.ceilink.local
Active Directory Domain: fs.ceilink.local
search base:  CN=computers,DC=fs,DC=ceilink,DC=local

I am authenticating with the administrator account.

What am I missing????

ccadsalesAuthor Commented:
The .local  is a Microsoft recommendation.  In fact it is the new default for Small Business Server.

Would it be "conspiracy theory" to imagine that Microsoft did that intentionally to hinder
Apple's improved SMB and AD support?

Microsoft?....nahhhhh....they'd never do anything *that* shady..........;P
Is the issue of Mac OS X binding to the AD? There is an app in Utilities called Directory Access. You can enable the services (Active directroy and LDAP v3) there. Your Address Book can be configured under Preferences to sync with the Exchange Server and there is an LDAP setup there too.

There are a number of sites and forums to have a look at.

There is also a 3rd party solution at:

Just a few breadcrumbs but I hope it helps

Maybe test your ldap
In Entourage create a account Exchange. Don't forget to indicate path server and public folder with domaine name ( or Check it's ok (retrieve and send)  after goto next Setup and indicate the ldap srv / search base: dc=ceilink,dc=com but don't forget to check "This srv required ..." and the last box with the port 3268

Good luck
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