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Adding a contact to a group using the "Net Group" command

Posted on 2008-10-07
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Last Modified: 2008-10-14
I have a script we use to add users to our DL's.
Net Group groupname Username /Add /Domain

I need to have an external person added to a DL. I thought I could create a "Contact" in AD and then use the "Net Group" command to add that contact to the DL. Is this possible? Has anyone done it successfully?
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Question by:ubsoc
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by:Shmoid
ID: 22663081
Unfortunately, NET GROUP does not recognize an e-mail address, contact display name, nor contact alias. As you know the NET GROUP command expects a username. Because of this I dont think you can use NET GROUP the way you want to with just a contact.

The only way I know of to make it work (but I dont recommend it) is to create a user, but do not create an Exchange mailbox. Once the user is created you can mail enable it, putting in the external e-mail address.

Now you have an actual username to use with NET GROUP but you also have a user account in your AD that really shouldnt be there. You can give the user no rights, make sure the password is strong, you can even disable the account but youd still wind up with a lot of user accounts that are really just contacts. No one is using them no one is monitoring them and it seems like an unnecessary risk. I'm not sure why I say that, it just "feels bad". There are probably plenty of other reasons, besides security, not to create user accounts that are not really users but Ill leave that to somebody else to expand on.

Im guessing that since you are wanting to use a script to add contacts to a distribution list that you are also automating the creation of user/contacts. Otherwise you would simply click the member of tab while creating the external contact and add the appropriate DL. Is that correct?  Perhaps a little more detail about your current method and what you are trying to accomplish will yield a different solution.
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by:ubsoc
ID: 22663180
Your answer is pretty much what I thought. I was just looking for someone to confirm what I thought. We use scripts to repopulate our "Big" DL's everynight from system extracts. Sometimes we need to override the extracts and add people that don't normally get into these extracts.
We use the Net Group method in our scripts and it works perfectly for what we do.
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Shmoid earned 2000 total points
ID: 22663223
Sorry I couldn't give you the, "Oh sure, just do this" answer.    :-)

I looked around a bit and couldn't find anything else on NET GROUP for external addresses. If you find anything I'd be interested as well.
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