Introduction of Address Book Policies in Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Favad Qaisar 2 April 2012 0

Microsoft introduced Exchange Server 2010 SP2 on December 4, 2011. In addition to all the Exchange rollup fixes that came with Service Pack 1, SP2 is equipped with interesting features for its Exchange mail, contacts as well as calendar. Along with the customary bug fixes and enhanced stability, SP2 comes with new “hybrid deployments” support for partially on-premises and partially-Cloud installations.
An important add-on is the Address book policy feature. It enables users to determine the Offline Address Book (OAB), Global Address List (GAL), room lists, as well as address lists for the mailbox user assigned with the policy. The Address Book Policy (ABP) feature which can be managed both via the Exchange Management Shell and Console allows an organization to segment or provide custom GAL to different sets of users based on attributes such as custom attributes, company or department.
It is important to understand the address lists at this point! An address list is a collection of recipient and other Active Directory objects. Each address list can contain one or more types of objects (for example, users, contacts, groups, public folders, conferencing, and other resources). You can use address lists to organize recipients and resources, making it easier to find the recipients and resources you want. Address lists are updated dynamically. Therefore, when new recipients are added to your organization, they’re automatically added to the appropriate address lists.
In Exchange 2007 and earlier versions, Address List Segregation could easily be implemented through Access Control Lists or ACLs that made possible the use of several separated address lists. Subsequently, Exchange 2010 version introduced Address Book Service – which rendered the ACL method non-functioning on Client Access Server on Exchange Server 2010.
Fixing this issue, SP2 is implementing Address Book Policies to enforce the visibility of selected Address Lists to the mailboxes. Essentially, ABPs offer a less complicated mechanism to make GAL separation possible for on-premises organization. How it does this is the important question! When creating an ABP, user assigns a GAL, an offline address book (OAB), a room list, and one or more address lists to the policy. User can then assign the ABP to mailbox users, providing them with access to a customized GAL in Outlook and Outlook Web App. As mentioned earlier, the goal is to provide a simpler mechanism to accomplish GAL segmentation for on-premises organizations that require multiple GALs.
Another important thing in understanding the full advantage of Address book policies in Exchange Server is to realize that deploying ABP’s successfully is all about planning and understanding what they can, and cannot do! It is advised to use standard, built-in and existing custom attributes to represent company/division/class or whatever you want to divide upon. This holds a lot of significance because although address lists are useful tools for users but poorly planned address lists can cause frustration.
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Favad Qaisar (51 Posts)

I am a Unified Communications Engineer. Over the last 3 years, I have been working dedicatedly on OCS/LYNC and Exchange 2007/2010. I was responsible for getting my Company Microsoft’s Unified Communication Voice Certified Partner status. Occasionally, I like to share my experiences on the latest developments in the Unified Communications industry.

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