Export contacts from a public folder and import as Active Directory contacts

I have a public folder called "UK Customers" on my Exchange 5.5 server. This contains a couple of hundred sub-folders which are named by company. Each of these company sub-folders contains several contacts.

What I want to do is export all of these contacts as a .csv file and then import them into Active Directory as contacts, thus making them accessible through the Global Address List on my new Exchange 2003 server.

If I export to a .pst file (copied the folders on to my Outlook contacts folder), I get a checkbox for exporting all sub folders as well. If I choose .csv or Excel, then I cannot get the sub folders to go as well.

I have looked through the solutions on this site, but I can't find one which gets me where I need to go.

Any ideas?

Who is Participating?
Are you sure that you want to do this?

I can tell you now that pollution of the GAL in this way is not very popular with the users. Everytime a client has asked me to do it, I have been asked to remove it less than 48 hours later.
If you have them split in to sub folders then that would make things a little more acceptable, but even so, if the company is quite small (ie there are less employees than the number of items you are importing in to the GAL) it will involve a lot of information being in the GAL that the vast majority of users will never use.

I would leave them in the public folders and just set the public folder as an Outlook Address Book. That also makes management of the contacts much easier. Remember - when you have imported the items as a mail enabled contact so that they appear in the GAL, it takes someone with ADUC and the Exchange system management tools installed on their workstation - plus the additional permissions, to make any changes to those contacts.

Did you check these KBs ?
1. http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=238773
2. http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=177123

Amit Aggarwal.
Ultimate Tool Kit for Technology Solution Provider

Broken down into practical pointers and step-by-step instructions, the IT Service Excellence Tool Kit delivers expert advice for technology solution providers. Get your free copy now.

MadrillenoAuthor Commented:
KB238733 - Looks at the GAL, not contacts in a Public Folder

KB177123 - Refers to Outlook 97/98 - I am using Outlook 2003. Will not export sub-folders as noted in the question.

KB327620 - Tells me how to get the .csv file into AD, or a .csv file out of AD. I'm aware of this bit of the solution, it's how to generate the CSV out of an Exchange 5.5 folder which I need. Remember, it's from a public folder with sub-folders.

Q23677 - Similar to above, different data format.

Technet link - same thing again.


when you export to a .pst file and copy the contacts to your outlook contacts folder. Do you get the hierarchy as well or contacts from all public folders (including subfolders) into a single Outlook Contacts Folder.
If yes, then from your Outlook Contacts Folder, you can export them again using .csv and put it in AD.

Amit Aggarwal.
MadrillenoAuthor Commented:
Think I will stick with the public folder, based on these comments.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.