Exchange 2003: Outlook 2003 caching issue involving Global Catalog and .oab file

Posted on 2006-03-20
Last Modified: 2010-04-08
Hi all,

I have run into an issue that I need to resolve. The question I have is, how can I prevent the global catalog cache from updating on a users outlook 2003 until I force it to?  

Basically, I am running a programming process on the active directory.
                         The program 1. delete a group of contacts in the active directory and then
                                             2. Insert Contacts into the active directory and finally
                                             3. Completes the exchange task of assigning an email address to the contact.

The problem I am running into is that during step 2, users  are loading and caching the global catalog, which does not yet have the exchange task of assigning and email address to the contact.  This leads to users who are cached, unable to send email.

I am wondering is it possible to either
1. Force the users who are cached to update their .oab upon completion of ALL three programming steps on the exchange server


2.  Stop the cached users from updating their .oab until I have completed all three programming steps?

Does this make sense? If not will will quickly answer any questions you might have.

Question by:gnosticgnowledge

    Author Comment

    Hmmmm. I guess my question should be.

    If I run all the programming process of updating the active directory at 1:00 am, will the users, who are cached, and leave their computers on over night, automatically be updated to all changes made to the active directory?  Or will they will have the previous day's updates?


    Author Comment

    Question continued:

    What causes the Exchange .oab to update completely?  Can I trigger this step programmingly?


    Author Comment


    Let me refine this question again.

    I want to run all programming steps on my side.(all working)
    2.At this point I want the .oab on the exchange server to update(how do I do programmingly)
    3. When users come in morning both starting up their machines and using machines they left on overnight, I want to update date with the .oab that the exchange server created when I triggered it to do so.
    LVL 76

    Expert Comment

    by:David Lee
    Greetings, gnosticgnowledge.

    What you're asking for isn't possible.  You can't stop the clients from updating because that's a client-side task not something controlled at the server.  With Outlook set to use cached mode the client checks every so often to see if the OAB has been updated.  If it has, then it synchronizes its copy with what's on the server.  


    Author Comment

    I was reading over the MS paper "Administering the Offline Address Book in Outlook 2003".  I indicates that

    1.  Exchange generates the .oab file for distribution at 4:00am.

    This seems not totally correct.  I ran a test around 10:30pm.  At 10:30 I inserted contacts into the active directory.  At 10:45 I ran a vbs script which completed the exchanges task of assigning an email to each of these email accounts.

    For some reason between 10:30 and 10:45 cached users seemed to have grabbed a copy of the global with only the non exchange enabled email contacts.  

    I don't understand why.  Any explainations?
    LVL 76

    Accepted Solution

    By default Exchange generates the OAB at a set time.  But the Exchange administrator can configure a custom schedule.  We have ours set to generate a new OAB hourly.  

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