auto sync Exchange Global Address list with personal contacts


S

SYaroslav

Is there a way to auto sync Exchange Global Address list with personal
contacts. We have an exchange + outlook 2007 + Bes environment. Since all
company user information is configured in AD I want them to be copied to end
user personal contact list, as well as removed whenever there are any changes
to personel.
 
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K

Karl Timmermans

Could you perhaps clarify exactly what the ultimate objective is?

To summarize understanding of your description:

#1 - You have all contact info in the GAL - to which all users already have
access to the latest info directly (also available offline when in cached
mode)
#2 - You wish to copy/update the entire GAL to each user's contact folder
duplicating the GAL (the purpose of this is what exactly especially given
item #1?)
#3 - You wish to delete contacts in all personal contact folders - that no
longer appear in the GAL (by <personal> assume you mean the default
Exchange mailbox contact folder - correct?)
#4 - By <auto-sync> - do you mean uni-directional (GAL to Personal folders)
or bi-directional updating? (if it's bi-directional - i.e. updating the AD
from personal folders is not an option)

In short - the above describes everything that happens when the GAL gets
updated on individual machines for offline (cached mode) use and the latest
info is always accessible if operating in direct online mode.

Karl
___________________________________________________
Karl Timmermans - The Claxton Group
ContactGenie - Importer 1.3 / DataPorter 2.0 / Exporter
"Power contact importers/exporters for MS Outlook '2000/2007"
http://www.contactgenie.com
 
D

Diane Poremsky [MVP]

There are utilities that can copy the GAL to contacts but I'm not aware of
any that can remove old ones. I'm not sure why its needed, since the GAL is
accessible to users. They easily can add the ones they need to their
contacts.

--
Diane Poremsky [MVP - Outlook]



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B

Brian Tillman [MVP - Outlook]

Is there a way to auto sync Exchange Global Address list with personal
contacts. We have an exchange + outlook 2007 + Bes environment. Since
all
company user information is configured in AD I want them to be copied to
end
user personal contact list, as well as removed whenever there are any
changes
to personel.

Whatever for? Since they're already available to everyone via the GAL, you
don't need them in the Contacts folders.
 
M

Mike Slomanski

I am going to go out on a limb here and say, he is probably running a
Blackberry Enterprise Server, which is a pain in the keester when it comes to
syncing anything. There is no easy way to sync the GAL with the BES and BES
users, the only way I have been able to accomplish anything remotely close is
to copy my GAL to a public folder and have the users sync via Desktop.
 
E

Eric P.

This is a very similar situation i am confronted with. I have users that
sync contacts to mobile devices which requires them to use their exchange
mailbox contacts folder. But, we need to maintain a centralized company wide
contacts directory that users can update. These updates need to sync back to
each ofthe individual users contacts folder. Any thoughts anyone? I am
currently looking into commercially available solutions, custom scripts,
and/or script templates.

Thanks,
Eric
 
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K

Karl Timmermans

Don't have a <finished> solution (yet......) that addresses this particular
scenario so can't offer anything tangible in answer to your questions.
However, certainly am very, very interested in the stats related to the
questions below for some fact gathering specifically as it relates to the
type of scenario you describe.

#1 - In your organization - how many users are you looking to sync back from
the primary contact folder (out of a total GAL population of...)?
#2 - How large is the central contacts folder in terms of #contacts?
#3 - What is the average number of contacts per "user contact folder"?
#4 - What's the frequency you're looking for in terms of updating the
individual mailbox folders?
#5 - Are you looking for uni-directional or bi-directional update
capabilities?
#6 - If the process was uni-directional (i.e. GAL or PF Folder -->
Mailbox) - is that something that is workable? (for GAL to Mailbox -
uni-directional updating is the only option regardless)
#7 - If relevant, # of Exch servers used to support your user population
across what geography?

Thanks in advance if you have a minute to provide the above info.

Karl
___________________________________________________
Karl Timmermans - The Claxton Group
ContactGenie - Importer 1.3 / DataPorter 2.0 / Exporter
"Power contact importers/exporters for MS Outlook '2000/2007"
http://www.contactgenie.com
 
E

Eric P.

Karl,

As a little background, the purpose of attempting to do this is to fulfil
two objectives:
1)Centralize contacts lists which are now individually managed by each user.
2)Create DL's (preferrably Query based DL's) that can contain a large number
of contacts (exchange DL's are limited to 8k or aproximately 125 users while
AD DL's do not have this limit).

So far, i have found the tool add2exchange enterprise which would potentiall
allow 2 way sync to AD contacts via GAL sync. QDL's can then be used to auto
create DL's based on contact field criteria. If this doesn't work (or if we
decide otherwise) my developer may end up coding a custom solution which may
or may not be based on the Microsoft Sync Framework that I just discovered.

In answer to your questions:

1) 6 sales people with 250-500 contacts each, plus any number of an
additional 12 users.
2) it is not centralized currently, but would end up being somewhere around
1500-2500 contacts.
3) Probably around 350 that need to be synced, plus maybe another 100 that
are truly personal and dont need to sync for the sales people, much less for
non sales except for maketing and admin which will need access to all DL's
but maybe not the contacts.
4) Hmm. Not exactly sure, but probably once per day; maybe only once per
week, but then the liklihood of sync conflicts due to two users editing the
same contact becomes a problem.
5) right now the plan is for bi-directional since multiple users will need
to update the same set of contacts and there isnt a single point of contact
management to have someone do it all at the GAL or PF level and contacts are
sometimes edited using mobile devices.
6) not likely for the reasons indicated above, but we will end up having to
deal with whatever solution we can find and our client is willing to pay for.
7)this is a single server environment.

Let me know if you have any ideas or would like additional info.

Eric
 
K

Karl Timmermans

Thank you very much for all the info - it really is much appreciated . As
mentioned originally, the questions were primarily for background info for
something coming up in the relatively not too distant future (certainly not
something in the <immediate horizon>). In any event, the numbers you
provided easily fall within the lower end of the spectrum but our upcoming
solution does not include support for updating the AD itself (users,
contacts or distribution groups).

All that said, and strictly as a side note which really is outside the scope
of your original request, having your contacts in the PF group would easily
allow de-centralized updating contact info by all users (whereas the GAL/AD
is managed by an admin). However, having multiple people update the same
contacts at any given time without a central point of ownership can make for
an interesting "bi-directiional sync" challenge for items that go beyond
just "basic" info (i.e. notes updated by multiple people for the same
contact in between "sync" sessions, how is a "contact deletion" ultimately
handled locally (as in mailbox) vs central store etc etc).

Karl
___________________________________________________
Karl Timmermans - The Claxton Group
ContactGenie - Importer 1.3 / DataPorter 2.0 / Exporter
"Power contact importers/exporters for MS Outlook '2000/2007"
http://www.contactgenie.com




Eric P. said:
Karl,

As a little background, the purpose of attempting to do this is to fulfil
two objectives:
1)Centralize contacts lists which are now individually managed by each
user.
2)Create DL's (preferrably Query based DL's) that can contain a large
number
of contacts (exchange DL's are limited to 8k or aproximately 125 users
while
AD DL's do not have this limit).

So far, i have found the tool add2exchange enterprise which would
potentiall
allow 2 way sync to AD contacts via GAL sync. QDL's can then be used to
auto
create DL's based on contact field criteria. If this doesn't work (or if
we
decide otherwise) my developer may end up coding a custom solution which
may
or may not be based on the Microsoft Sync Framework that I just
discovered.

In answer to your questions:

1) 6 sales people with 250-500 contacts each, plus any number of an
additional 12 users.
2) it is not centralized currently, but would end up being somewhere
around
1500-2500 contacts.
3) Probably around 350 that need to be synced, plus maybe another 100 that
are truly personal and dont need to sync for the sales people, much less
for
non sales except for maketing and admin which will need access to all DL's
but maybe not the contacts.
4) Hmm. Not exactly sure, but probably once per day; maybe only once per
week, but then the liklihood of sync conflicts due to two users editing
the
same contact becomes a problem.
5) right now the plan is for bi-directional since multiple users will need
to update the same set of contacts and there isnt a single point of
contact
management to have someone do it all at the GAL or PF level and contacts
are
sometimes edited using mobile devices.
6) not likely for the reasons indicated above, but we will end up having
to
deal with whatever solution we can find and our client is willing to pay
for.
7)this is a single server environment.

Let me know if you have any ideas or would like additional info.

Eric
 
E

Eric P.

Karl,

Thanks for your suggestion. I contemplated using the PF for synchronization
as you said which certainly would be easier, but as far as i can tell Query
Basd Distribution Lists will not query contacts in PFs. That is why I've
been leaning towards using AD/GAL. I dont really have to have an admin
manage that since i can simply create a separate OU for the central contacts
list and delegate control to users/groups of users as necessary.

As far as sync is concerned, i am aware of the issues of bi-directional
synchronization and upon discussing it with my developer and other team
members, i've decided that we can live with the potential issues and will
handle conflict resolution on a "server wins" basis. We are thinking that we
will notify user's with an email indicating the records that were in conflict
and include the primary fields from each contact. This way a user knows of
the conflict and can see what the differences are. Sometimes it is just two
different users making the same change.

In my case, i work with a number of very small businesses that have very
similar issues (centralized contacts lists, synch to personal contacts
folders to enable sync to mobile phones, etc). It has long been a thorny
limitation that I have to have multiple separate and disconnected contacts
list in an organization; each with their own features and limitations but
none that are cohesive and provide a full set of features.

Since this is a small business, there really are not a lot of records edits
in a given period of time (day/week), so the risk of sync conflicts is
somewhat minimal and conflict resolution only needs to be simple and the
solution in general should be fairly low cost.

I havn't quite pieced everything together, but the plan right now is to have
syncronization between individual mailbox contacts and the gal/ad occur on
the server as a server-side service/scheduled task. dependinging on resource
utilization, the sync process could be run often enough to virtually
eliminate the risk of sync conflicts between mailboxes and the gal by
shortening the window opportunity. The only real concern that exists then is
handlind sync conflicts with offline users and cached exchange. OL2007
already has conflict resolution built in and we may opt to just let that
handle conflicts between the offline and online mailboxes.

I am disinclined to have to run the sync process as a client-side app since
it will require additional modification of the clients (which i am trying to
avoid) and increases complexity and potential for chaos.

This is my thought process currently anyway. Do you work for MS?
 
K

Karl Timmermans

Hi Eric,

Nope don't work for MS. The reason for asking for the stats relates to the
next generation of ContactGenie (CG) products (best guestimate is still a
couple months away from first beta). Not going to go into any details other
than to say if all goes according to plan - one of product versions should
be of interest to anyone with a similar scenario as you've described (it
won't require any client side installation for Exch based scenarios).

In any case, feel free to respond to me directly if you wish. Will be more
than happy to provide some added details as to some of the upcoming new CG
features - don't have a solution for you today but just might have something
that may be of interest to you in future.

Karl

___________________________________________________
Karl Timmermans - The Claxton Group
ContactGenie - Importer 1.3 / DataPorter 2.0 / Exporter
"Power contact importers/exporters for MS Outlook '2000/2007"
http://www.contactgenie.com
 
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Exchange Gal Synch with BB

There are a couple of applications that will perform this for you.

Itresso
Epicenter

Not to pricy and they work.
 

Ana

Joined
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Karl,
Our company is in the same boat and I am seeing if there have been any solutions made in the past 2 years since this last thread.

· Is there a way to auto sync a personal contact list to the global contact list?
· Can only certain contacts designated by contact type be auto synced?
· Can this syncing be bi-lateral so when a contact is added to the global list by one employee it can be selected to be added to another employee’s personal contact list?
· Can all of these capabilities by managed on an iPhone?
· What programs are out there that offer this solution?

We are a small business that is looking for a solution to this problem. Thank you!
Ana
 
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This is a pretty old thread but it came back when I did a Google search about syncing the GAL to Outlook contacts.

I wrote this blog post a few months ago. Google:

"Best Practices to Sync the GAL to an iPhone or Android"

Although it's a hack, you can also sync multiple smartphones to a shared mailbox. Google this:

"Sync Shared Exchange Server Contacts or Calendar to many iPhone Users"
 

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