Exchange 2003 Address List comprised of Distribution Groups

Posted on 2009-12-16
Last Modified: 2012-05-08
SBS 2003 with Exchange 2003.  Clients are using outlook 2003 and windows xp/vista/7

Is it possible to have a address list in microsoft exchange that is comprised of distribution groups that are within a specific OU within active directory?  I have tried creating address lists with every filter I can imagine,  that points to that OU container, but it never lists the contents, just the folder.  

The end result would be that users can browse their outlook address books (global, personal, etc) and have an entry there for a newly created address list.  Within that new address list, is a list of distribution groups (would appear as users do in the global address list)

Sorry if my description is confusing, or if it needs more information to qualify.  Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Question by:Armet
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment


    Author Comment

    Thank you SatyaPathak

    These articles describe how to create the mail enabled groups, and publish them to outlook, which is helpful in getting this list to show up in users outlook.  However, I am still stuck at creating the proper content for the Address book.  

    I cannot seem to get the filters for the Global address list to only provide the members of a certain OU within Active directory.  I have it trimmed down to the overall groups in the domain by checking "Mail enabled groups" and "Query Based Distribution Groups".  Since I have two different OU's that I want to create addresses lists from, without better filtering they will all fall into the same Address list.

    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    You cannot do this directly:
    First create a Query-Based Distribution Group that includes the objects in the OU within AD
    Second create the address list based on the membership of that group in Exchange
    LVL 7

    Accepted Solution

    Unfortunately, you cannot filter based on an OU directly ... nor have I found a way to set or change the BaseDN for the Address List LDAP query.

    The easiest [and safest] way to do what you want is to set one of the custom attributes for each Distribution Group [DL] object. You would then build the Address List LDAP query to filter against that custom attribute in AD. Also, you could use a common field such as "Description" attribute to query against. If an object has the same value in the attribute you filter against, the object will show in the Address List.

    Set a custom attribute for each DL object in the OU of interest:
    Note: The Group needs to be email enabled (Establish E-mail Address on Group) before you can access the extensionAttribute## properties.
    Note 2: You must have Exchange 2003 tools installed along with the ADUC tool [or use one of the E2K3 servers to perform this procedure].
    1. open ADUC, find and right-click the distribution group, select Properties
    2. click Exchange Advanced
    3. click Custom Attributes
    4. set one of the "extensionAttribute##" values to something; i.e. set extensionAttribute1 to the name of the OU. This does not need to be a friendly name as it is not visible to the user.
    5. click ok
    6. repeat for each distribution list/object in that OU - Note 3: be sure to set the *same value* using the *same extensionAttribute field* for each DL (yes, CaPs does matter!) !

    In the ESM, build your new Address List/query:
    1. Open ESM, browse to Recipients | All Address Lists
    2. rt-click All Address Lists | select New | select Address List...
    3. give the new address list a friendly name - this name is visible to the Users!
    4. click Filter Rules; leave Find = Exchange Recipients
    5. under the General tab: uncheck everything except Mail-enabled Groups
    6. under the Advanced tab: click Field | Group | Custom Attribute ## (the extensionAttribute## you used above); Condition = Is (Exactly); Value = [the exact value you gave extensionAttribute## above]
    7. click Find Now, you should see a list of your DLs, ok
    8. click Finish
    Note: Your query should look something like this: (&(&(&(& (mailnickname=*) (| (objectCategory=group) )))(objectCategory=group)(extensionAttribute1=MyOU1234)))

    Check using Outlook:
    1. Now Rebuild and Update your Recipient Update Services
    2. Open Outlook | Click Address Book | click the Address Book drop-down | find and select your new Address List
    3. You should see the DLs listed in the new Address List!

    There is a way to set the custom attribute automatically using a script if you have a large number of objects in that OU or if you have an ever-changing OU. Just let me know and I will post it.

    Author Closing Comment

    Excellent Response, Greatly Appreciated!

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