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Create a Dynamic Distribution Group

 

Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2

Topic Last Modified: 2011-04-28

Dynamic distribution groups are mail-enabled Active Directory group objects that are created to expedite the mass sending of e-mail messages and other information within an Exchange organization. Use the New Dynamic Distribution Group wizard to create a dynamic distribution group in your Exchange organization.

Unlike regular distribution groups that contain a defined set of members, the membership list for dynamic distribution groups is calculated each time a message is sent to the group, based on the filters and conditions that you define. When an e-mail message is sent to a dynamic distribution group, it is delivered to all recipients in the organization that match the criteria defined for that group.

CautionCaution:
A dynamic distribution group includes any recipient in Active Directory with attributes that match its filter. If a recipient's properties are modified to match the filter, the recipient could inadvertently become a group member and start receiving messages that are sent to the group. Well-defined, consistent account provisioning processes will reduce the chances of this issue occurring.

Looking for other management tasks related to dynamic distribution groups? Check out Managing Distribution Groups.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Dynamic distribution groups" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

  1. In the console tree, click Recipient Configuration.
  2. In the action pane, click New Dynamic Distribution Group.
  3. On the Introduction page, complete the following fields. All fields on this page are required:
    • Specify the organizational unit rather than using a default one Select this check box to select an organizational unit (OU) other than the default (which is the recipient scope). If the recipient scope is set to the forest, the default value is set to the Users container in the Active Directory domain that contains the computer on which the Exchange Management Console is running. If the recipient scope is set to a specific domain, the Users container in that domain is selected by default. If the recipient scope is set to a specific OU, that OU is selected by default. To select a different OU, click Browse to open the Select Organizational Unit dialog box. This dialog box displays all OUs in the forest that are within the specified scope. Select the desired OU, and then click OK. To learn more about recipient scopes, see Understanding Recipient Scope.
    • Name    Use this box to type the name for the dynamic distribution group. The name cannot exceed 64 characters.
    • Alias   Use this box to type the alias of the dynamic distribution group. The alias cannot exceed 64 characters and must be unique in the forest.
  4. On the Filter Settings page, define the recipient filter for the new dynamic distribution group:
    • Browse   Click this button to open the Select Organizational Unit dialog box. Use this dialog box to specify the OU from which to select the recipients. A dynamic distribution group contains all recipients that are in the specified OU and any other OUs under it.
    • Select the recipient types you want to include. You can select All recipient types or The following specific types. If you select The following specific types, you can select one or more of the following recipient types:
      Users with Exchange mailboxes   Select this check box if you want to include users that have mailboxes. Users that have Exchange mailboxes are those that have a user domain account and a mailbox in the Exchange organization.
      Users with external e-mail addresses   Select this check box if you want to include users that have external e-mail addresses. Users that have external e-mail accounts have user domain accounts in Active Directory, but use e-mail accounts that are external to the organization. This enables them to be included in the global address list (GAL) and added to distribution lists.
      Resource mailboxes   Select this check box if you want to include Exchange resource mailboxes. Resource mailboxes allow you to administer company resources through a mailbox, such as a conference room or company vehicle.
      Contacts with external e-mail addresses   Select this check box if you want to include contacts that have external e-mail addresses. Contacts that have external e-mail accounts do not have user domain accounts in Active Directory, but the external e-mail address is available in the GAL.
      Mail-enabled groups   Select this check box if you want to include security groups or distribution groups that have been mail-enabled. Mail-enabled groups are similar to distribution groups. E-mail messages that are sent to a mail-enabled group account will be delivered to several recipients.
  5. On the Conditions page, define any additional optional conditions to further restrict the recipients that are included in this dynamic distribution group
    • Step 1: Select conditions   Use this section to select one or more conditions. If you don't want to set any conditions for the list, don't select any of the check boxes.
    • Step 2: Edit the conditions by selecting an underlined value   If you select any conditions in Step 1, each condition you select will append to the definition. For example, if you selected the Recipient is in a State or Province check box in Step 1, you will see the in the specified State or Province(s) condition in Step 2.
      For each condition, click the underlined term to create your condition. By default, the underlined term for new conditions will read specified. After you edit the condition, the underlined term will change to the value that you specified.
      importantImportant:
      The values that you enter in these dialog boxes must exactly match those that appear in the recipient's properties. For example, if you enter Washington in the Specify State or Province dialog box, but the Address and Phone tab in the recipient's properties lists the state as WA, the condition will not be met.
    • Preview   Click this button to view the recipients that will be included, based on the conditions that you specified.
      noteNote:
      If you want to specify conditions other than the ones available on this page, you must use the Exchange Management Shell to create a custom query for the dynamic distribution group. Keep in mind that the filter and condition settings for dynamic distribution groups that have custom recipient filters can be managed only by using the Shell. For an example of how to create a dynamic distribution group with a custom query, see Use the Shell to create a new dynamic distribution group later in this topic. For more information about recipient filters, see Creating Filters in Recipient Commands.
  6. On the New Dynamic Distribution Group page, review your configuration settings. To make any changes, click Back. To create the new dynamic distribution group, click New.
  7. On the Completion page, review the following, and then click Finish to close the wizard:
    • A status of Completed indicates that the wizard completed the task successfully.
    • A status of Failed indicates that the task wasn't completed. If the task fails, review the summary for an explanation, and then click Back to make any configuration changes.
  8. Click Finish to close the wizard.

You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this procedure. To see what permissions you need, see the "Dynamic distribution groups" entry in the Mailbox Permissions topic.

This example creates the dynamic distribution group Mailbox Users DDG that contains only mailbox users.

New-DynamicDistributionGroup -IncludedRecipients MailboxUsers -Name "Mailbox Users DDG" -OrganizationalUnit Users

This example creates a dynamic distribution group with a custom recipient filter. The dynamic distribution group contains all mailbox users on a server called Server1:

New-DynamicDistributionGroup -Name "Mailbox Users on Server1" -OrganizationalUnit Users -RecipientFilter {((RecipientType -eq 'UserMailbox' -and ServerName -eq 'Server1') -and -not(Name -like 'SystemMailbox{*'))}
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