Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exchange

Toddtamcsin

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Here's what we want: We have 3 different users of Outlook (in Exchange environment) within our organization that want to be able to work from a single contact folder containing shared contacts and distribution lists. We want full access and editing capability to these contacts for all three and we want to use them in the context of our individual email accounts - in other words we do not want to set-up a "departmental" shared email account. We all want to be able add contacts into the shared folder and add contacts from the shared folder to dist lists in that shared folder. We also want to be able to email contacts and dist lists from the shared folder using our indiv email accounts.

What we have done: We have enabled all of the sharing functions in Outlook with Publishing author access for the 2 additional users for the specific shared folder.

What is not working:

The publishing author users (PA) are not able to add an existing contact from the shared folder to a shared distribution list in that same folder.

Any new contacts added to the shared dist list go into the user's personal - not shared - folder.

When editing the shared dist list, the PA users cannot add members by browsing to the shared contact folder - the folder does not appear in the drop-down of choices.

When composing an email, the PAs cannot select shared contacts or dist lists - again they do not appear in the drop down.

What are we doing wrong - or not doing?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Re: Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exch

The folder is in a mailbox? A public folder might work better - it can be set as an address book.

Publishing author doesn't give them full edit capabilities, they can only edit things they create. They need to have Editor or better permissions. They won't be able to add the folder as an address book, therefore they can't browse to update DL or use it to send mail (by clicking on To). They need to open the folder and choose the contact, right click and send new mail to.

The new contact to user's personal folders is expected behavior. They need to use the Move to folder command instead of save & close. Or use a macro.

I use this to move contacts to a specific folder - created a button on an open contact form and hit it instead of save.

Code:
Sub MoveClientContacts()
   Dim objOutlook As Outlook.Application
   Dim objNamespace As Outlook.NameSpace
   Dim objSourceFolder As Outlook.MAPIFolder
   Dim objDestFolder As Outlook.MAPIFolder
   Dim objItem As ContactItem
  
   Set objOutlook = Application
   Set objNamespace = objOutlook.GetNamespace("MAPI")
   Set objSourceFolder = objNamespace.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts)

   Set objItem = objOutlook.ActiveInspector.CurrentItem
        
   Set objDestFolder = objNamespace.Folders("SharePoint Lists").Folders("SPS Sync")
   objItem.Move objDestFolder
            
   Set objDestFolder = Nothing 
 
End Sub
If a public folder is not an option, have you looked at sync tools or BCM? BCM might be a bit of overkill (it's clunky and heavy) but sync utilities will be able to keep folders in each persons mailbox in sync. See the tools section here - http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/sync-outlook/synchronizing-outlook-on-two-machines/#tools for a list of utilities.
 

Toddtamcsin

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Re: Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exch

The folder is in a mailbox? A public folder might work better - it can be set as an address book.

Publishing author doesn't give them full edit capabilities, they can only edit things they create. They need to have Editor or better permissions. They won't be able to add the folder as an address book, therefore they can't browse to update DL or use it to send mail (by clicking on To). They need to open the folder and choose the contact, right click and send new mail to.

The new contact to user's personal folders is expected behavior. They need to use the Move to folder command instead of save & close. Or use a macro.

I use this to move contacts to a specific folder - created a button on an open contact form and hit it instead of save.

Code:
Sub MoveClientContacts()
   Dim objOutlook As Outlook.Application
   Dim objNamespace As Outlook.NameSpace
   Dim objSourceFolder As Outlook.MAPIFolder
   Dim objDestFolder As Outlook.MAPIFolder
   Dim objItem As ContactItem
  
   Set objOutlook = Application
   Set objNamespace = objOutlook.GetNamespace("MAPI")
   Set objSourceFolder = objNamespace.GetDefaultFolder(olFolderContacts)

   Set objItem = objOutlook.ActiveInspector.CurrentItem
        
   Set objDestFolder = objNamespace.Folders("SharePoint Lists").Folders("SPS Sync")
   objItem.Move objDestFolder
            
   Set objDestFolder = Nothing 
 
End Sub
If a public folder is not an option, have you looked at sync tools or BCM? BCM might be a bit of overkill (it's clunky and heavy) but sync utilities will be able to keep folders in each persons mailbox in sync. See the tools section here - http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/sync-outlook/synchronizing-outlook-on-two-machines/#tools for a list of utilities.
Thank you for your response. Not sure what you mean by "in a mailbox." The folder is in the list of folders under the contacts section of Outlook in our regular Outlook accounts which includes email, calendar & contacts. I will research the public folder option. I doubt our admin will allow us to add any utilities for this - I was hoping it would be supported with Exchange functionality that is built in..
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Re: Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exch

Is the folder in one of the user's mailbox? A public folder should meet your needs better than a folder in one users mailbox.

- - - Updated - - -

Is the folder in one of the user's mailbox? A public folder should meet your needs better than a folder in one users mailbox.
 

Toddtamcsin

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Re: Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exch

The shared folder is in one of the user's email accounts (the owner)
 

Toddtamcsin

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Re: Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exch

The public folder option requires system admin to enable public folders option which they currently have not done. I can ask, but doubt they will do it. (We are in a large organization.) So Im still trying to do this with sharing and permissions.

The right click "mail to" option works so that is covered - thanks! And we upped permission levels to Publishing Editors. I am able to create a new contact in the shared folder - Yes!.

But I can't add that contact to a distribution list in the same shared folder. If you can help with that one I think I'll have it set!
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Re: Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exch

Adding the contact to a DL is a toughie. They'll need to add them manually, or use categories to create dynamic contact groups. If they have a lot to add, create a list view that contacts just the full name (or file as) field and the email address. select the rows you want to add to the Contact group and click Add Members, From Contacts (or from Address Book) - paste the list in the Add row. It will add them (and complain that "file as" can't be resolved :) (delete it). They won't be linked to the contacts but may update if the mailbox owner clicks Update.
 

Toddtamcsin

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Re: Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exch

What exactly do you mean by "add them manually?" What is the procedure for that? Thanks again for your help.
 

Forum Admin

Senior Member
Re: Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exch

Open the Contact Group, Click Add Members button on the ribbon, choose New Email contact and type in the name and address. However, if the contact is updated, the Update Now button won't update the contact because it's not linked (like it would be if they could use the Add from, Outlook Contacts or Add from Address Book).
 

Toddtamcsin

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
Exchange Server
Re: Auto synching a single contact folder for multiple Outlook users with Exch

OK Thank you - I will try that.
 
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