Configuring Exchange Server 2003 Offline Address Books


Topic Last Modified: 2006-11-13

Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 users can download the Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 address book to their local computer. The resulting file is the offline address book. By using the offline address book, Outlook does not need to connect to the Active Directory directory service for common operations such as resolving names, browsing the address list, or retrieving address details. The available functions are limited, but they are similar to the global address list (or other address lists) when working on the network.

Traditionally, offline address books were used only when working offline. Outlook 2003 uses an offline address book when working in cached mode (the default mode). When you install Exchange Server 2003, it automatically configures the Default Offline Address List. This is an offline version of the entire global address list. If appropriate, you can create additional offline address lists to meet requirements such as the following:

  • If your organization has multiple languages, multiple sort orders, hosts different companies, or has multiple political or physical locations, you can create several offline address books to satisfy user requirements that may conflict.

  • You can use Active Directory filters to create address lists that include only subsets of the global address list. Then you can use those address lists in offline address books.

  • You can use permissions to restrict user or group access to specific offline address books.

Setting up offline address books involves the following basic steps:

  1. Set up servers to support the offline address books. When generating offline address books, Exchange Server 2003 requires access to both a global catalog server and a server running Exchange Server 2003 that supports the default Public Folders tree.

  2. Configure the offline address book, and create the offline address book object in Active Directory.

  3. Generate the offline address book files. By default, this process occurs when the Exchange mailbox maintenance process runs.

  4. Have users configure Outlook to download the correct offline address book. This process may vary depending on which versions of Outlook are available.