Relation of Global Address List to Active Directory

I am having a hard time figuring out what the Global Address List (GAL) really does for me.   What is GAL?  Where does it come from?  Is it stored in the NTDS.DIT and is formed by a running memory process somehow?    I find all kinds of references for understanding the Global Catalog but nothing directly for GAL.  Any help would be appreciated.
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Pete LongConnect With a Mentor Technical ConsultantCommented:
The GAL shows anything that is mail enabled in the Active directory (unless you diable it on an abject by object basis)

Its NOT stored in active directory - its built by the exchange server and kept in the public store (its hidden by default) its dynamically rebuilt periodically
and only 1 exchage server is taked with building it (the first one built usualy)
Netman66Connect With a Mentor Commented:
GAL comes from Exchange.  All mail-enabled objects will be run through Recipient Update Services and posted to the GAL unless specifically set not to show up.

techbnjcompAuthor Commented:
Is the GAL some kind of File in Exchange then or is it buried in the public.mdb structure?
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I would imagine (and I'm not 100% sure) that it's pulled from the index of priv.edb.

Sembee is the Exchange expert.  Perhaps, posting a link to this Q in Exchange forum with PING Sembee in the titlemight yield a better response.
techbnjcompAuthor Commented:
I am going to post this in Exchange to see if I can get better clarification.  Thanks for getting me pointed in right direction.
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
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