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  1. #1
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    How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    Would like to be able to use the global address list to manage all my mailing lists. Thus we need to be able to include fields from the global address list into Word's mail merge function. The goal is not to require the administrator to export a list of address everytime a list needs to be created.

    A solution that would let Outlook/Access/or Excel be an interface for an end user would work if it can't be done directly from Word.

    Any and All help greatly appreciated we are stepping onto new ground for this one.

    Thanks
    H

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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    Hi, just in case you haven't received a response yet, here's a way to create a table in Access (2000) that is linked to the GAL:

    1. In Access 2000, click the "New" button on the "Tables" tab
    2. Choose the "Link Table" option
    3. The "Link" dialog box appears. Choose "Exchange" from the list box at the bottom labeled, "Files of Type"
    4. The "Link Exchange/Outlook Wizard" appears.
    5. Expand the "Address Books" node, and select, "Global Address List"
    6. Press the "Next" button, change the name of the linked table if you'd like, and then press the "Finish" button.

    Since it's a linked table, the data will reflect the real-time status of the accounts in the GAL.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    By the way, H, let me know if you happen to have Access 97 instead of Access 2000 -- there's a way to do it in Access 97, too.

  4. #4
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    That appears to be the ticket. <img src=/S/joy.gif border=0 alt=joy width=23 height=23> We'll be testing it soon. BTW do you know any 'permissions' issues on the GAL. As you say its a link and live does that mean that names could be added this way???

    Thanks again
    HR

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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    I know that the GAL at my place of employment is read-only for most users, so I've never been able to experiment with that one, although I know that for other data sources, it is two way, meaning that if changes made in the source file are reflected in the linked Access table, and vice-versa. Take for example an Access table that is linked to a Contacts folder in Outlook -- that's two way. Same with an Access table linked to an Excel file. Do you want it to be a two-way link? If the linked GAL ends up being two-way, the Exchange Administrator program should help you set up permissions to deny that capability. Anyway, if it is two way, let me know, I'm curious!

  6. #6
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    The Exchange server is used by a small non profit with about 10 employees. But like most non profits they want the GAL to contain a membership list with email and snail mail addresses as well as other contact info. I might(?) be nice if Access is two way and a form could be created to allow them to add contacts to the GAL so that an administrator (me as a contractor) need not be required. Edit checks and all could be placed on the form and the user would be kept out of the exchange internals where they could do much damage.

    Once I get onsite and get Access to access the GAL I will post back. I didn't have any luck on my corporate GAL with many thousands of listings but wasn't sure if it was a time-out issue or a permissions issue. I was able to create the link, but getting any data was an impossible wait.

    H

  7. #7
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    i'm not so sure the gal is the best place for that list. why not contacts in a PF?

  8. #8
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    The problem with using a personal folder with contacts is that only one person in the office can have access to it at a time. Sharing PFs can lead to all sorts of disasters, especially as they grow in size. I have seen servers brought to their knees by shared PFs. If access can link to the GAL then it "should" be a relatively easy task to write a macro that empties a table, runs a query against the GAL and appends the records in the local access table. That table can then be used to do a mail merge in Word. 'At the press of a button' it should be a repeatable process which is what the doctor(client) ordered. Being able to update the GAL thru Access sounds like risky business at best that will have to be done in a lab for awhile before I try it on site. Translated it will probably never happen.

  9. #9
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    personnal folders are not appropraite and i didn't suggest one for that reason. a public folder is appropraite for 10 users to share contacts.

    how often will the 10 users be accessing the shared items? if traffic is heavy, yes, it can bring the server to it's knees, but i doubt it for 10 users, unless it's woefully underpowered and all 10 are querying the same PF constantly.

    If load is a concern, why not just use access and forget about the GAL? If the access db is large, a SQL db would be better. They can use it as the data source for mail merges in word, can update it themselves and it can handle the load better.

  10. #10
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    I guess PF can stand for more than Personal Folder (oops). Hadn't thought about a public folder, will have to consider that. Most of the 500 or so addresses are already in the GAL which is why I was going after it.

    Why do you see it as an advantage to use a public folder instead of the GAL. Both are central repositories but how would you choose to put a 'contact' in one and not the other and why? Regarding how much its used I would say fairly constant, most of the 10 employees are working contacts, sending info either by email, fax or snail mail or they are soliciting donations from members etc. Not enough to cause the server a problem with a public folder but if it was a personal folder forget it!

    HR

  11. #11
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    At least in our firm, the GAL is used only for employee information and for employee distribution lists. At our site, a public folder would make a lot more sense for what you're trying to accomplish. It also makes a Word mail merge pretty simple, although some of the Contact fields are not accessible in the mail merge program.
    Karnie Moesenthin
    Technical Training and Development Professional
    Legal Industry

  12. #12
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    like karnie, i would only use the gal for employees or special people who are contacted often by email and who will continue to do business with us on a regular and ongoing basis. I'd use a public folder or a database for others.

    in your case, i would not put the normal membership (anyone who can say "remove me from your list" at anytime and won't be missed) in the gal, they come and go too frequently. it's not as easy for the employees to update as a database or public folder.

  13. #13
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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    <img src=/S/thumbup.gif border=0 alt=thumbup width=15 height=15> Thanks to all...
    MS Access is able to get to the info we need which currently resides in the GAL. And its easy enough to program the mail merge they want. I will look at migrating that info into a new public folder which will be easier for the user community to maintain. They say the list does not change that much (its a recent Exchange migration which we have inherited so its tough to make such a determination) but time will tell.

    If anyone has any tips on the best way to accomplish such a migration I would be interested in hearing from you or if you recommend that a new thread be started on that topic I will understand.

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    Re: How can I use the Outlook GAL in a Word Mail Merge

    As an adjunct to this thread: using the earlier posted process "...to create a table in Access (2000)..." this method brings in duplicate entries - caused by fax and em addresses; moreover it doesn't bring in Categories nor notes (not that I could find. Delving into Access 2000 you can run a specimen db called Contact.

    Whilst it doesn't import Categories or notes & other fields, it doesn't create duplicates. There's a trade-off between these two methods, the Contact db isn't linked :-( , but no duplicates, the linked and unlinked don't have Categories etc.

    Seems to be a general fudging on the Categories as I find then VIP.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/StephenElms_sig.jpg> Didn't think that I made my first post here on 5th February 2001...!

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