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Importing contact lists from Active Directory

Posted on 2009-07-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-05
I would like to populate MS Outlook contact lists (name, email, some other fields) using the information contained in Active Directory maintained for a MS Server domain and kept on a Server 2003 R2 box.  Is there any simple way to do this or any 3rd party programs with simple GUI interfaces that let you do this?  I don't want to get involved in programming to do this.  This seems like something that would be commonly done to populate Outlook contact lists.
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Question by:dakota5
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Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 24872844
Hi, dakota5.

You can do it all using Outlook's native GUI.  Are you saying you don't want to do that?  If so, why?
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Author Comment

by:dakota5
ID: 24875560
Great!  I searched Outlook help and did a quick Google search and did not see this.
I've opened file | import and export and don't see anything about Active Directory on the list of options from which to import contacts.

Please give me the specifics--- how does an administrator on a domain import information from Active Directory into a local MS Outlook contact list.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 24876728
First, let me make sure we're both talking about the same thing.  I'm talking about creating a contact list with members from Active Directory/Exchange.  Contact lists only contain an email address and I notice that you mention "name, email, some other fields".  So, are we talking about a list or individual contacts?
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Author Comment

by:dakota5
ID: 24882647
If you look at the properties of a domain user in Active Directory, there are 13 tabs, each with several fields.  All of the data is accessible programatically.
Some of the tabs (General, Address, Telephones, Organization) have information that could be used to populate a contact list in MS Outlook.
I'm assuming that Outlook has a method for accessing this data from Active Directory to populate a contact list.
If not, I would expect there is a third party solution to do this.
Exchange Server is not involved-- we don't use it.

So I'm speaking about querying Active Directory (with an easy to use GUI) to populate a list of contacts (with a variety of addess, phone number and email info) in MS Outlook
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LVL 76

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by:David Lee
ID: 24883537
I need to know what you mean by "list of contacts".  As I noted above a true contact list can only store the email address of each member.  It can't store any other properties.  
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Author Comment

by:dakota5
ID: 24884320
In Outlook you create folders that contain multiple contacts.  Each contact in the list has many fields and is a common way of organizing contact information (email, phone numbers, addresses) and the list of contacts in a group has selectable fields for display.
There is a large overlap in the information contained in the contact lists in Outlook and in Active Directory.

I know that CSVDE and LDIFDE are command line programs that can export information from Active Directory.  I was looking for a GUI based way of accessing the data from Outlook.

I should probably withdraw this question and resubmit it to the Active Directory section.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 24885916
Got it.  My confusion was over the use of the word "list".  Now I understand how you mean it.

You can create a contact from an entry in AD directly form Outlook via these steps.

1.  Click the Address Book icon on the Outlook toolbar.
2.  Find the AD entry you want to import.
3.  Double-click the entry and select Properties
4.  When the properties appear click the "Add to Contacts" button in the lower left-hand corner.

This copies the contact from AD to Outlook.  
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Author Comment

by:dakota5
ID: 24886408
OK.  Sorry about not being clearer.
When I click the address book icon in the Outlook toolbar,  I see only the existing entries in the local Outlook contact list.
There are no entries from Active Directory.  I'm doing this on a client workstation in a Server 2003 Domain (no MS Exchange server;  we use an external email system).
I don't know how to get Outlook to see the information held in Active Directory on the server.
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Accepted Solution

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David Lee earned 250 total points
ID: 24886509
Well, that's different.  This only works if you have an Exchange server.  The alternative is to do this via some scripting.  Do you have a list of fields that you want to import each time?
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Author Comment

by:dakota5
ID: 24887170
Yes I do.
last name, first name, description, email, user login name,
title (from organization tab) , department.

Is there a way to create dynamic user info tables (MS Access or Excel) with the above fields, based on queries against an AD service? (like you could if AD were a standard database.)

If not, is there a way to get Server 2003 (not Exchange Server) to run an ldap service and point Outlook to search for contacts against that?

If there is no way to query against AD, then I'll have to go with scripting.  If you can help me through either (either dynamic queries if possible or static scripting if dynamic is not possible), I'd be happy to increase the point value to 500.  This seems like a lot of effort on your part.

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