Active Directory

Self-Service Updates for Active Directory and the Global Address List

Directory Update – Update your Active Directory and Global Address List (GAL) information

One of the most annoying daily tasks that help desk personnel and user account administrators face each day is keeping their user’s information updated in the Active Directory. The time involved in making just a few changes a week for a small organization will quickly add up to a lot of time spent each year just to make sure basic information in the Active Directory is current.

Daniel’s recommendations
If you are looking to really master Active Directory (or other Networking skills), I strongly recommend that you try Train Signal. I’ve discovered this company a few months ago and I always send people their way because the training is so good. You can see more HERE.

Sponsored Content

What is “Inside Microsoft Teams”?

“Inside Microsoft Teams” is a webcast series, now in Season 4 for IT pros hosted by Microsoft Product Manager, Stephen Rose. Stephen & his guests comprised of customers, partners, and real-world experts share best practices of planning, deploying, adopting, managing, and securing Teams. You can watch any episode at your convenience, find resources, blogs, reviews of accessories certified for Teams, bonus clips, and information regarding upcoming live broadcasts.

Daniel Petri

Keeping Active Directory information correct and current is important for organizations that use Microsoft Exchange Server for a couple of reasons. The first and most important is for organizations that use their Active Directory as a corporate white pages service. Users depend on the Global Address List (GAL) to retrieve information (telephone numbers, fax numbers, department, title, address, etc…) about their co-workers.  Users can now easily retrieve the Global Address List from not only all versions of Outlook, but Outlook Web Access and Windows Mobile devices. User frustration and support calls results when the information they require is no valid.

The second reason that up-to-date information in the Active Directory is essential is that Exchange address lists (which allow the directory to be sorted or viewed by a certain criteria) use information such as Department, City, Office, State, Country, Title, etc…  when generating the address list.  If this information is incorrect or even has typographical errors, then the address list is incorrect or incomplete.

In order to improve the accuracy and timeliness of their Active Directory and Exchange Global Address List information, many organizations are turning to self-service directory tools such as ITCS Hawaii’s Directory Update, developed by Microsoft MVP Jim McBee and his company. Directory Update allows you to easily keep track of your AD updates. Directory Update is a easy to use web-based application that allows a user to update or edit their own information in the Active Directory. The administrator controls the attribute labels, which attributes are visible, and which attributes are editable. Important data can be configured such that the user can only select information from a drop-down list or the drop-down list fields can be switched to text box fields.

Directory Update does require some customization in order to make it work with your organization, though. All customization of the interface and drop-down lists is performed through the application’s XML file.  The XML file comes pre-formatted with some sample data. While this file can be edited in any text editor such as Notepad, using an editor that can interpret XML will make it a bit easier to keep your open and close tags set correctly.

[XML File Screen Capture]

Once the application is installed, the user connects to the server’s /directoryupdate virtual directory and is challenged for their credentials. When the user logons on, they are presented with the User Information form.  The default form contains the most commonly used attributes. These attributes include:

  • Office
  • Department
  • Company
  • Department
  • Office Phone
  • Fax Phone
  • Cell Phone
  • Home Phone
  • IP Phone
  • Street Address
  • City
  • State / Province
  • Zip / Postal Code
  • Post Office Box
  • Country

[Default User Information form:  Fields that are visible on a default installation]

Some of the more important fields (such as City, Department, and State) default to drop-down lists, but these can be changed. The attribute labels can also be changed. Additional fields are not visible by default, but can be unhidden. The additional fields include:

  • Employee ID
  • Employee Type
  • Employee Number
  • Custom Attributes 1 through 10

The interface can be customized to suite the needs of a particular user community. Even the logo, screen colors, and title bar information can be customized using either the APPSETTINGS.XML file or the application’s style sheet.

[Customized User Information form: Adding some additional fields that are not visible by default and hiding a few unnecessary attributes.]

The application is easy to install and for a small to medium sized organization can be customized in just a few minutes. The requirements are as follows:

  • Windows 2003 and Internet Information Server 6.0
  • Microsoft .NET Framework v2.0
  • ASP.NET Component enabled under Application Server
  • A service account for the application to use

This application was designed to replace less friendly and flexible applications such as Microsoft’s GALMOD (MS KB 272198). An evaluation version and more information is available via the company’s web site at http://www.directory-update.com.

Links

Directory Update

How to use the GAL Modify tool – 272198

Related Topics:

BECOME A PETRI MEMBER:

Don't have a login but want to join the conversation? Sign up for a Petri Account

Register
Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

External Sharing and Guest User Access in Microsoft 365 and Teams

This eBook will dive into policy considerations you need to make when creating and managing guest user access to your Teams network, as well as the different layers of guest access and the common challenges that accompany a more complicated Microsoft 365 infrastructure.

You will learn:

  • Who should be allowed to be invited as a guest?
  • What type of guests should be able to access files in SharePoint and OneDrive?
  • How should guests be offboarded?
  • How should you determine who has access to sensitive information in your environment?

Sponsored by:

 
Office 365 Coexistence for Mergers & Acquisitions: Don’t Panic! Make it SimpleLive Webinar on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 @ 1 pm ET

In this session, Microsoft MVPs Steve Goodman and Mike Weaver, and tenant migration expert Rich Dean, will cover the four most common steps toward Office 365 coexistence and explain the simplest route to project success.

  • Directory Sync/GAL Sync – How to prepare for access and awareness
  • Calendar Sharing – How to retrieve a user’s shared calendar, or a room’s free time
  • Email Routing – How to guarantee email is routed to the active mailbox before and after migration
  • Domain Sharing – How to accommodate both original and new SMTP domains at every stage

Aimed at IT Admins, Infrastructure Engineers and Project Managers, this session outlines both technical and project management considerations – giving you a great head start when faced with a tenant migration.the different layers of guest access and the common challenges that accompany a more complicated Microsoft 365 infrastructure.

Sponsored by: