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In Exchange 2007 what is the best way to create a contact list and calendar all users share?

Posted on 2010-08-20
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
Originally I was going to try public folders, but I'm not too sure if that's the best way of going about this in 2007.  I need a global contacts and calendar all users share by default. It also needs to sync over activesync to iPhones, and offer them both the global contacts as well as their personal.

Also, directions on how to do this would be nice! Thanks guys
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Question by:TritechSolutions
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evanmcnally earned 500 total points
ID: 33492477
I am not sure that what you want can be accomplished in a neat and simple way, so here are some ideas that could get you where you want to be.

Microsoft seems to want to kill off Public Folders at some point (they think SharePoint should do what Pub Folders have always done).  I always setup a resource mailbox, and just give whomever rights to either the whole mailbox or just the specific folders.  This will work great for Outlook desktop clients.  You can attach to the shared Calendar and Contacts folders, or else add the resource box as a secondary in the MAPI profile.

For the iPhones - the problem is iOS 3.x does not support multiple Exchange accounts or secondary mailboxes.  iOS 4.0 is supposed to, but I personally have not had any hands-on with the new iPhone.  Presumably, that is not what your users have at this point.

You can query the Global Address List from inside the iPhone contacts application.  So if you are willing to add the shared contacts as Active Directory contact objects, you could search but not browse the GAL.  In this scenario, you mix the shared contacts into your GAL, which would not be acceptable at a lot of companies.

iPhone does support LDAP queries for contacts in additional to an Exchange account, so you could do something with a separate OU in Active Directory to search on Contact objects which could be hidden from the GAL.  Still not ideal, though.

Here is an interesting piece of software that allows presenting of Exchange data AS CalDAV and CardDAV or LDAP.  http://davmail.sourceforge.net/

I have not used davmail, but you could presumably present your resource mailbox's calendar as CalDAV which you can add as a secondary calendar in iOS 3.x. (under add account -> other type).

or you could buy iPhone 4's for everyone :P
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by:TritechSolutions
ID: 33500053
They actually just bought the iPhone4's.  Thanks for the advice, I'll take a stab at it this week and if it works as you say it will, award the points. But this sounds like a winner!
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by:evanmcnally
ID: 33500896
I would be curious to hear your results if the iPhone 4's handle the second Exchange account like they are said to.  If so then it should be an easy solution.

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by:TritechSolutions
ID: 33545931
Sadly I discovered today that only one user has the new iPhone, the rest are still on the 3g /3gs
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by:TritechSolutions
ID: 33546075
Happily I discovered iPhone OS 4 supports multiple exchange accounts even on older hardware! Wont finish this till monday though, I'll let you know.
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by:evanmcnally
ID: 33549678
Nice--that's the 3GS with iOS 4.0 update?  That should be the easiest route to multiple accounts I should think.
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by:TritechSolutions
ID: 33563243
The iPhone aspect works flawlessly.

The only gripe is when users create a new email and click "To" I don't think they can access the shared Contacts, only their personal contacts.  Is there any work around for this? Even if I go to the shared contacts list first and try to create a new mail from there the best I can do is create a new message to one contact but not multiple contacts
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by:evanmcnally
ID: 33571271
I do not have access to an iOS 4 device, but on my iPad I can compose a new email, hit the plus sign to pick a contact, and get a list of my personal contacts.  At the top of my personal list, there is a groups button which takes me up a level to see the various contacts areas (GAL, Personal, an LDAP account, etc.).

Do you see anything like this?
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by:TritechSolutions
ID: 33617333
Im Sorry, I was referring to Outlook 2007, not the iPhone.
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by:evanmcnally
ID: 33617969
Normally:   in Outlook 2007 you can right click on the secondary contacts folder, go to the tab called Outlook Address Book, and check the box for "Show this folder and an email address book".  This will cause it to be included in the drop down list of the address book window that displays when they click the To: button on a new email.

I have seen some problems where this tab is missing...still trying to figure out why this happens, but there is an annoying workaround I found that does work:

From http://www.outlookbanter.com/outlook-general-queries/1205-no-outlook-address-book-tab.html
1. Create an Outlook profile that connects directly to the other user's mailbox, not your own, and start Outlook with that profile.

2. On the Properties dialog for the other user's Contacts folder, make sure that it's set to display in the Outlook Address Book and give it a display name other than contacts, such as Joe's Contacts.

3. Close Outlook.

4. In Control Panel | Mail, edit the *same profile* (i.e. the one from Step 1) to change the mailbox from the other user's to your own.

5. Still working with the same profile, on the Advanced tab of the Exchange Server service, add the other user's mailbox as a secondary mailbox.

6. Restart Outlook, and you should see the Joe's Contacts in your Outlook Address Book as well as your own Contacts folder.
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Author Closing Comment

by:TritechSolutions
ID: 33809387
Sorry I forgot to award points!
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