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What's up with Exchange 2013 and Global Address Lists?

Posted on 2015-02-03
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Last Modified: 2015-06-27
First off, please believe that I have done a LOT of research first before putting this to the experts here.   I have learned a great deal, but also became more confused.   Microsoft has succeeded with Exchange 2013 in their apparent quest to create a mail server so difficult to administer that folks will HAVE to use their cloud services.

My new Exchange 2013 server had a Global Address List, which showed in each user's Outlook Address Book.  However, only two of the 20 users showed up in it.   Tried my darndest to "fix" it, but ended up creating a new Global Address List and making it the default.   Shouldn't that make it appear in the Outlook Address book instead of the former default one?   Apparently not.

Anyway, the new Default Global Address list, when I inspect it in the \ECP Exchange Admin Console, shows the users and Groups I wanted, so I created the list properly (even though my attempt to exclude one admin user failed - I can live with that).   However, even though I made it the default global list, it doesn't appear in the users' Outlook Address Book.

I am currently trying to receive it manually (in Outlook, Send/Receive, Send/Receive Groups, Download Address book).   It shows up as an address book to download, but I have been waiting for about 30 minutes already and the progress bar hasn't progressed 10% yet.  No idea if that's significant, but how long could it possibly take to download an address list with 20 entries in it?

Anyway, to get to this point, I have read so much on Address Lists, Global Address Lists, Offline Address Lists and their defaults that I am totally messed up.  I can't tell which is significant in which way, which is the one that's supposed to show up in my users' address books and what I have to do to make all this work.

Maybe someone has seen a good book on Exchange 2013 Administration they can recommend?   I don't buy a lot of books of this type, as they more often than not provide little more than the online documentation, but anything has to be better than Microsoft's manuals on this topic.

Thanks.
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Question by:RRPELLET
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weinberk earned 500 total points
ID: 40589241
I feel your pain...

If the GAL shows the user's you'd expect in ECP but Outlook doesn't, I bet your offline address books aren't updated.

To update right away, from Ems: Get-OfflineAddressBook | Update-OfflineAddressBook

Check the generation schedule:
Get-MailboxServer -Identity <<your server name>> | fl OABGeneratorWorkCycleCheckpoint

Setting schedule: (from this technet article: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb124719(v=exchg.150).aspx)

Use the Shell to configure OAB properties
In this example, the offline address book is generated every six hours each day on the Mailbox server, MBXServer01.
Set-MailboxServer -Identity MBXServer01 -OABGeneratorWorkCycle 01.00:00:00 -OABGeneratorWorkCycleCheckpoint 06:00:00
Hope this helps get you started
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Author Closing Comment

by:RRPELLET
ID: 40590237
That was exactly it, Weinberk.  I spent hours poring over MS documentation and learned a great deal, about creating amd reconfiguring lists, setting them as defaults, etc.

However, if any of those documents mentioned the Update cmdlet, I missed it.

Thanks for the quick but bang-on solution!
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by:zookeepa1
ID: 40854645
So how does one make a Global Address List the default on Exchange 2013?

After migrating from Exchange 2010 to 2013 we still have the old Global Address List that we can't modify within ECP.  Created a new one must have missed a switch because the new one is still not the default.
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