Managing GAL via OWA

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Outlook version
Outlook 2010 32 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server

(Exchange 2010 and all clients are using Outlook 2010)

I'm slightly frustrated and now getting to the end of my tether. I sure would appreciate any assistance with this problem we have.

We have a Global address list which we would like some of our users to manage

We do not want them to have this ability via the back end exchange server to create/modify contacts

By all accounts our best option is to have our contact management people using OWA

We have setup these people so that they have correct access and we can now create/amend contacts as necessary (A horrible process never, I wish, to repeat)

We are so close..... yet now so far.

Not all the contacts that they create will have an email address - we use the GAL, now centralised after removing all the public address lists, for ALL contacts.

I cannot create a contact through the OWA without an email address. We decided to use a bogus email address, have a rule at exchange, to send back a message to inform them that this contact has no valid email address (

However, now I find that I cannot create multiple contacts with the same email address.

How can I get people to manage contacts? Something simple would be outstanding.

Many thanks, in advance,

I'm not so sure the GAL is best for contact management - if you don't have many users or contacts, its not bad, but thousands of contacts to a GAL that has thousands of employee isn't always pretty. :)

How about entering addresses in the format of first.last@noemailforcontact.local and configure exchange to bounce all mail to that domain?

Do you use Sharepoint? I think it would make a better public contact list - you can configure it so some users can read/write and others just read. They can link the contact list to outlook and edit within outlook. It will then be available as an address book in outlook.
Hi Diane,

I agree - we're reluctant to use the GAL, however, unless my understanding is correct, getting public folders onto mobile devices causes some issues - as in, you can't draw contacts from public folders onto the companies BlackBerry, Androids and IPhones of which we have a mix.

A great idea about the address, late last night it struck me that this was an easy fix and have done exactly that. I have a rule which is catching all '' and sending it back to the sender with an appropriate message.

Intrerestingly enough, and this could be the clincher, we are currently deploying SharePoint as we speak. It's getting branded and over the next month or 2 will be deployed. It does still beg the question - can we have the contacts, public folders, available on mobile devices?

Many thanks for the reply by the way,


Yuck... it sounds like the GAL is probably the best option.Sharepoint will be as bad as public folders, if not worse, for syncing.
Yes - Yuk is has been the catch cry here for some time now :)

Our initial idea was to continue to use the public folders as we had done pre 2010 exchange, however, sync with mobile devices isn't an option. I had a look at purchasing a third party package (CodeTwo Exchange Sync) which would allow sync from Public folders to mobile devices but was sure that, as MS are so reluctant to promote public folders but rather insist on having you use GAL, that MS would have had a suitable solution out of the box. All my avenues have led to dead ends and I am now convinced that GAL shouldn't be used and that Public Folders are the way to go - just be prepared to pay for the 3rd party interface.

I'm just surprised that we are one of the few who are faced with this dilema. So many people don't use or have a need to Administer GAL? Or use Public Folders without Mobile Devices? The administration of the GAL is woeful to say the least and don't get me started on the exporting of the contacts into the GAL from the public folders using CSVDE because what an absolute nightmare that turned out to be. I could write a book on the problems that I encountered there - just rediculous oversights on behalf of MS.

All in all - an unpleasant taste in the mouth and yet another example of MS forcing the migration to a 'newer' platform without the support infrastructure needed to support it.


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