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  1. #1
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    What' s the diffence? (2003)

    What are the differnces between Outlook Address Book, Contacts, Active Directory and Personal Address Book? When to use what?

    Merrill

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: What' s the diffence? (2003)

    Let me differentiate between a place addresses can be stored, and a method of accesses that place.

    Places Addresses Can be Stored
    ===
    A Personal Address Book (PAB) is an old file format that I believe predates Outlook. In Outlook 97, the Contacts folder and the PAB file had roughly equal importance. However, starting in Outlook 2000, Microsoft tried hard to get rid of PAB files and migrate personal address book data into the Contacts folder. In fact, in Internet Mail Only mode I don't think you could even use a PAB if you wanted (you had to use Corporate/Workgroup mode).

    The Contacts folder is just what it looks like.

    Active Directory is a network-wide directory of users that, at a minimum, stores information needed to log onto the network. It also can be used to store a lot of other information. I have never configured an active directory database, so I couldn't tell you the details.

    You don't mention the Global Address List (GAL), but if you have Exchange Server, this often is the list that contains all in-house addresses. There may be some interaction between the GAL and Active Directory. I wouldn't know.

    Ways to Access Stored Addresses
    ===
    An Outlook Address Book is a service that allows you to use your Contacts folder as an Address Book. After turning on Outlook Address Book for your Contacts folder (this may be on by default in new installation of Outlook using a new PST file), Contacts usually will be the default Outlook Address Book. The Address Book dialog also will show any PAB that you have set up to appear there and, presumably, the GAL.

    To access Active Directory, you use LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol), a standard commonly used with Internet-style mail servers. I have no idea how this integrates with the Address Book dialog.

    What Should I do?
    ===
    Unless you especially like PABs, use the Contacts folder for your addresses. To access company-wide information, use the GAL or Active Directory, whichever has been set up for this purpose.

    Hope this helps.

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