OWA and public folder distribution lists

Posted on 2004-11-16
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
I'm using Exchange 2003 on a hosted provider (123together).  For shared distribution lists, I'm using a Public Folder of type contacts, and I add the distribution lists to that public folder.  Here's what DOES work:

1) Using Outlook client, can create/change/delete public folder distribution lists
2) Using OWA, can do the same
3) Using Outlook client, can add/remove contacts, as well as add/remove e-Mail addresses (with no contact associated)
4) Fro OWA, can do the same
5) From Outlook client, can address messages to the Public Folder distribution lists

You would expect me to add 6) From OWA, can do the same, right?


What does not work is that OWA seems to have no provision from sending messages to a distribution list that is in a public folder. There is no option...

X- within the public folde or the distribution list screen to make use of the distribtion list
X- within the Find Address dialog to select items from the public folder (only GAL or personal contacts)
X- if you just type the name of the list in the message, you get a fialure

This is really surprising given that 2 and 4 work -- I can use OWA to administer the distribution lists, just not use them.  I kind of feel like they gave me a fancy telephone with programmable buttons, but no handset.

Am I missing something?


Hey, it gets better.  I tried creating a distributon list containing other distribution lists in the public folder.  I then used teh Outlook client to move this uber-group into personal contacts.  When I open that list from personal contacts in Outlook client, it all looks fine.  If I open that list from personal contacts in OWA, it shows the names as being unresolved.

So, it really does look at if OWA doesn't understand how to use contacts OR distribution lists in public folders, only in personal contacts or the GAL.


I created a nice, simple distribution list in personal contacts.  The list contains no "contacts," just e-Mail addresses with no corresponding contact created.  I can use this distribution list in OWA, but only by typing the name in directly.  There seems to be no way to search for the list in teh find address dialog.

I'm beginning to wish I stuck with Domino and iNotes.
Question by:qwaletee
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    by:David Wilhoit
    Well, you nailed it :)
    Only the default contacts folder and the GAL are usable. Public folder contacts are available, but the icon is grayed out to send an email to it thru OWA. It's the OWA limitation, if you want to look at it that way;en-us;820280


    LVL 31

    Author Comment

    OK, that answers PART of the question:  You can search for personal contacts, GAL contacts, and GAL distribution lists, but not personal distribution lists.  Fair enough.  And, if you type in the name of the personal distribution list by hand, you can use your personal distribution list in OWA (ouch, painful) - or, you can open the list, and click the send mail icon.

    But what about the main problem?  Can it really be that OWA can't even send to a public folder distribution list at all?  Why the heck would they put all that code into OWA to edit such beasts, and then make them completely useless?!
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution

    Yup, it really is that way.


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