Wednesday, 07 December 2011 12:44

Understand Address Book Policies – Exchange Server 2010

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I hope every one of us was waiting for the Service Pack 2 for Exchange 2010 to be released, may be just for the ABP (Address Book Policies). This is one good feature I think will be greatly utilized by most of us, because even without the GAL segmentation or ABP we were doing it with permissions/ACLs.

In simple, GAL Segmentation/ABP means we are grouping few of the address lists to give a segmented or Customized GAL to the exchange users. When we create an Address Book Policy, we assign a GAL, an Offline Address List (OAL), room (conference) list and one or more address lists. This policy will then be assigned to the mailbox users to give them a customized GAL in OWA/Outlook.

Here I tried to show how you can create and assign your own customized address lists and Address Book Policies to the mailbox users.

Before you begin, decide on the way we are planning to filter the mailboxes/DLs/room mailboxes. Microsoft suggest using one of the CustomAttributes as a filtering criteria, however you may proceed with your own filtration.

I have updated the value “ED_GAL” to customattribute11 of all mailbox/DLs which are to be filtered for the new GAL.

Create new Address List/Room List/GAL and OAL(offline address list),

Address List

New-AddressList -Name "AL_ED_GAL" -RecipientFilter {((RecipientType -eq 'UserMailbox') -or (RecipientType -eq "MailUniversalDistributionGroup") -or (RecipientType -eq "DynamicDistributionGroup")) -and (CustomAttribute11 -eq "ED_GAL")}


Room List

As I have mentioned earlier, we need to have at least 1 room list for creating ABP, hence let’s create a room mailbox (if you don’t have room mailboxes, this will create a blank list)

New-AddressList -Name AL_Room -RecipientFilter {((Alias -ne $null) -and ((RecipientDisplayType -eq 'ConferenceRoomMailbox') -or (RecipientDisplayType -eq 'SyncedConferenceRoomMailbox')))}


If you are using room mailboxes, then create the filtering criteria, as mentioned earlier I am using customattribute11 for filtering,

New-AddressList -Name AL_ED_Room -RecipientFilter {(Alias -ne $null) -and (CustomAttribute11 -eq "ED_GAL") -and (RecipientDisplayType -eq 'ConferenceRoomMailbox') -or (RecipientDisplayType -eq 'SyncedConferenceRoomMailbox')}

GAL (Global Address List)

Next, create a GAL but ensure that the GAL includes all recipients from the newly created address lists for the ABP (address lists and room lists).

New-GlobalAddressList -Name "GAL_ED" -RecipientFilter {(CustomAttribute11 -eq "ED_GAL")}


OAL (Offline Address List)

Now, create an offline address book from the new GAL

New-OfflineAddressBook -Name "OAB_ED" -AddressLists "GAL_ED"


Create ABP using the above address lists,

Execute the below powershell command to create a new ABP (Address Book Policy) with address list AL_ED_GAL, offline address Book OAB_ED, global address list GAL_ED and room list AL_ED_Room.

New-AddressBookPolicy -Name "ABP_ED" -AddressLists "AL_ED_GAL" -OfflineAddressBook "\OAB_ED" -GlobalAddressList "\GAL_ED" -RoomList "\AL_ED_Room"

The above steps create the policy, and it is now ready to be assigned. We can assign the policy to the target users now.

Assign the Address Book Policy to Mailbox users

You may either use the EMC (Exchange Management Console), or the EMS (Exchange Management Shell) to assign the policy to mailbox users.

The below command will assign the policy to all users whose CustomAttribute11 is updated with

Get-Mailbox| where {$_.CustomAttribute11 -eq "ED_GAL"}| Set-Mailbox -AddressBookPolicy "ABP_ED"


If you wish to verify the result, execute the below command,

Get-Mailbox| where{$_.CustomAttribute11 -eq "ED_GAL"} | select Name,PrimarySMTPAddress,AddressBookPolicy (see the figure above, that shows the output)

If you wish to assign the policy using Exchange Management Console, go to the mailbox properties and the option is available under Mailbox Settings.

Thats it, we have finished creating and applying the Address Book Policies. Now the users to whom we have applied the policy can only see the address lists available in the policy. You may modify the address list later on to accomodate more address lists but ensure that the main GAL in the ABP accomodate the recepient from all address list that you are adding into the policy.

Let’s now see the Address Book of the user Ex2010Test1


You can see that, the address lists available to the user is restricted to the address list available in the policy. The offline address book will be available to the user when they configure the outlook.

Hope this post will give you an idea on how the GAL segmentation works in Exchange Server 2010 Service Pack 2. The process is just simple, you just need to decide on how you are going to segment the GAL and assigning the mailbox users.

Post your experience on ABP as comments……

Ref - Understanding Address Book Policies


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