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  1. #1
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    Outlook-LDAP lookup dumb-down: Redmond Responds (O2k, OXP)

    About 6 weeks ago, I posted a question about a problem we were having with Outlook 2k/XP running in a mixed Exchange/LDAP directory environment. Here's the latest from Microsoft on the issue.

    to recap: Outlook IMO does a sophisticated search of any LDAP directories to which it connects, treating each portion of a name string as a separate object and doing its best to match as closely as possible. When running in MAPI mode, however, Outlook 'dumbs down,' and does an LDAP search so naive as to be largely useless: it puts the wildcard search character only at the end of the string, so that 'Chris Mackie' becomes 'Chris Mackie*'. That will find Chris Mackie and Chris Mackiewicz, but won't find Christopher J. Mackie (which happens to be how I'm listed in our LDAP directory). Effectively, you can't use multiple-word name lookups, unless you're absolutely certain that everything is typed 100% accurately. (e.g., searches for 'Christopher Mackie' and 'Christopher J Mackie' also both fail to find me in our LDAP directory, the first because it omits my M.I., the second because LDAP puts a period after my M.I.). Your only safe strategy for lookups is 'last name only'--and good luck if you're looking for John Smith, or someone named Kim in the Seoul office....

    Our support group opened a ticket with Microsoft; their support crew reproduced the problem. However, when the issue was forwarded to the hotfix team, they declared it a 'feature' and declined to patch it.

    We're trying to deploy Exchange in an iPlanet IMAP/LDAP environment. Exchange is the junior partner at the moment, and it's going to stay that way if we can't persuade users to switch. But nobody wants to switch while this brain-dead lookup capability is all that's available--you have to live with it for a day to to to realize just how unbelievably annoying it is. We can't figure out if MS Marketing doesn't know about this, or if they do know and they think it's an incentive for people to switch to an all-Exchange environment. If so, somebody has badly miscalculated: we've got people begging to be let out of the Exchange environment and go back to IMAP/LDAP, all over this lookup 'feature'.

    If anyone can offer any suggestions for how to kick up enough fuss to get the hotfixers to reconsider their decision, I'd be very grateful. Regards, --Chris Mackie

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Outlook-LDAP lookup dumb-down: Redmond Responds (O2k, OXP)

    If you have premier support, you can find out who your authorized internal contacts are and ask them to escalate the issue to your account manager (TAM) at Microsoft. Sometimes they can be effective advocates. Sometimes...

  3. #3
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    Re: Outlook-LDAP lookup dumb-down: Redmond Responds (O2k, OXP)

    Thanks--I will ask our support crew to give that a try.

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