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Understanding Hierarchical Address Books

 

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

Topic Last Modified: 2010-09-30

The hierarchical address book (HAB) is a feature in Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and the Microsoft Outlook 2010 address book that enables end users to browse for recipients in their Exchange organization using an organizational hierarchy. In most Exchange 2010 deployments, users are limited to the default global address list (GAL) and its associated recipient properties. Additionally, the structure of the GAL often doesn't accurately reflect the management or seniority relationships among recipients in your organization. Being able to customize an HAB that maps to your organization's unique business structure provides your users with an efficient method for locating internal recipients.

In an HAB, your root organization (for example, Contoso, Ltd) is used as the top-level tier. Under this top-level tier, you can add several child tiers to create a customized HAB that's segmented by division, department, or any other organizational tier you want to specify. The following figure illustrates an HAB for Contoso, Ltd with the following structure:

  • The top-level tier represents the root organization Contoso, Ltd.
  • The second-level child tiers represent the business divisions within Contoso, Ltd: Corporate Office, Product Support Organization, and Sales & Marketing Organization.
  • The third-level child tiers represent departments within the Corporate Office division: Human Resources, Accounting Group, and Administration Group.
Hierarchical Address Book dialog

You can provide an additional level of hierarchical structure by using the SeniorityIndex parameter. When creating an HAB, use the SeniorityIndex parameter to rank individual recipients or organizational groups by seniority within these organizational tiers. This ranking specifies the order in which the recipients or groups are displayed in the HAB. For example, in the preceding example, the SeniorityIndex parameter for the recipients in the Corporate Office division is set to the following:

  • 100 for David Hamilton
  • 50 for Rajesh M. Patel
  • 25 for Amy Alberts
noteNote:
If the SeniorityIndex parameter isn't set or is equal for two or more users, the HAB sorting order uses the PhoneticDisplayName parameter value to list the users in ascending alphabetical order. If the PhoneticDisplayName parameter value isn't set, the HAB sorting order defaults to the DisplayName parameter value and lists the users in ascending alphabetical order.

Detailed instructions for creating HABs are included in the topic Configure Hierarchical Address Books. The general steps are as follows:

  1. Create a distribution group that will be used for the root organization (top-level tier). If desired, you can use an existing organizational unit in your Exchange forest for the distribution group.
  2. Create distribution groups for the child tiers and designate them as members of the HAB. Modify the SeniorityIndex parameter of these groups so they're listed in the proper hierarchical order within the root organization.
  3. Add organization members. Modify the SeniorityIndex parameter of the members so they're listed in the proper hierarchical order within the child tiers.
  4. For accessibility purposes, you can use the PhoneticDisplayName parameter, which specifies a phonetic pronunciation of the DisplayName parameter. To learn more about the PhoneticDisplayName parameter and speech recognition, see Understanding Automatic Speech Recognition Directory Lookups.
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