Adding external contacts to GAL in Exchange 2003

5 pts.
Distribution Lists
External contacts
Microsoft Exchange 2003
We are a school and want to start e-mailing parents with information. We have their e-mail addresses in another application so presumably I would have to export these as a CSV file but how can I have them showing as a Distribution List in the GAL without creating individual accounts for each parent address in Exchange? Thanks in anitcipation of some help on this. Anne

Answer Wiki

Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.

You don’t want to do this. The GAL is just a representation of Active Directory – to simply add people will mean you need to create mail enabled contacts for them all, and while that can be scripted, it is a pain to administer (and a nightmare to use).

What you may be able to do, is to instead use a public folder. Export your data to CSV (or whatever) and import these into outlook as contacts. Drag them over to a public folder, and now all users will be able to get at it (and anyone you choose can administer it.)


Discuss This Question: 5  Replies

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.
Thanks. We'll let you know when a new response is added.
Send me notifications when members answer or reply to this question.
  • Wrobinson
    This is not the optimal solution. The reason that contacts exist is for this precise purpose. With respect to administration, using contacts is more controllable than Public Folders. It also ensures accessibility anytime, anywhere -- as Public Folders are not always accessible. It is also worth pointing out that Public Folders is going away in Exchange soon. In fact, it was more of an after-thought in Exchange Server 2007 because it is still relied on heavily. I would not count on it being in the next version. To do this, simply import the contacts into a separate OU (e.g., Parents). You can also control how they appear in the GAL by prepending each with a "p-" or "e-" (external); that way they all show up in a group, rather than throughout the entire GAL.
    5,625 pointsBadges:
  • Amac
    Many thanks for your help - Can I ask for specific instructions as to how to import the contacts into a separate OU. Also where exactly do I put the "e". Many thanks Anne
    5 pointsBadges:
  • Wrobinson
    The following Web site ( gives great coverage on using CSVDE and LDIFDE. In this case, I recommend using CSVDE so that you an automate some of the data manipulation in Excel prior to import.
    5,625 pointsBadges:
  • Abhijitsangle
    Hello Sir, I am looking for a similar solution for linux sendmail. We are educational institute and want to add external users in dl. dl will include our domail users as well as internet users. Please help me on this.
    10 pointsBadges:
  • Exchange 2003
    [...] 2 threads will get you in the right direction: Adding external contacts to GAL in Exchange 2003 Importing External email addresses into the GAL (Exchange 2000) [Archive] - MCSE regarsd bio.. [...]
    0 pointsBadges:

Forgot Password

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an e-mail containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

To follow this tag...

There was an error processing your information. Please try again later.

Thanks! We'll email you when relevant content is added and updated.


Share this item with your network: