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I have a personal GMail account, from which I frequently send e-mail to a great many various users of a specific business. The corporation has been kind enough to provide me with the credentials to access their LDAP server, with which I would like my GMail web client to be able to auto-complete partial addresses or names for which that LDAP server has an entry.

Is there any way I can get a personal GMail account (or it's corresponding entire Google account) account to incorporate an LDAP server into it's Contacts?

If I cannot get it to query dynamically and on-demand, is there an idiot-proof way (assuming the client permits, which they may not) to query the LDAP server for it's entire database, save it, and bulk import it to GMail? Perhaps, even, something I could set to repeat periodically (weekly, perhaps), without human interaction?

If I did the latter, I assume it would be trivial to import all of these contacts under a single category that could be easily manipulated from within the GMail web-based client.

I have been a staunch user and supporter of the GMail web-based client since it's instantiation, but this one is kind of a deal-breaker for me. If it's impossible, what do you suggest I do?

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I really doubt this can be done but don't you think you should be asking GMail support about this? –  John Gardeniers Apr 16 '10 at 4:39
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How can this be a deal-breaker if you've never had it before? Also, I don't think that yourself and Google have a contract that you can even have a deal breaker over –  Mark Henderson Apr 16 '10 at 4:52
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Developing a program to periodically sync your Google contacts with the LDAP server would be possible if you are a programmer. I haven't seen anything generic, but there are lots of hits about accessing the Contacts API. Your best might be to try and find a browser-based ldap extension. That way you could use the ldap contacts anywhere. –  Zoredache Apr 16 '10 at 6:38
    
@Farseeker I've been using the GMail web-client for a long time, never before needing to abandon it in favor of a fat client like Thunderbird. And if I can't do this thing, I'm going to end up doing exactly that. That's all I intended to express when I said "deal-breaker". Perhaps I chose my words poorly. –  Maarx Apr 16 '10 at 12:21
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I reopened this question because it was closed on all trilogy sites. I think it should get a chance here on Serverfault. Also, see: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/47028/… –  splattne Apr 17 '10 at 19:52

2 Answers 2

I don't know of a specific product that will do this for you, but I can envisage the rough process you'll need to go through:

  1. Extract the user SMTP addresses & Names from LDAP. This is most certainly possible and you probably want to try and get it into a CSV format. You could do this with VBScript (check this out) or perhaps PowerShell (see here).
  2. Transform this into a suitable format for GMail contacts. Since GMail accepts CSV, you might be able to do this with no or minimal alteration to your export data. Here's the skinny on GMail's acceptable CSV format.
  3. Load your data into GMail.

Once you've figured out your tool chain/process for this, you may find you can schedule it to run without your intervention. I would imagine many other people would be very interested in a writeup, too!

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I'm sure you can NOT set up sync with the LDAP on regular free gmail. I though you should be able to with Google Apps (paid gmail etc), but the only solutions seem to offer user and group sync, not pure contacts sync. I would recommend you try to follow Chris Thorpe's instructions. (+1). And I too think this would be of interest to others. –  Gomibushi Apr 16 '10 at 7:21

You should be able to use the GMail Contacts API v3 and a script to import the database onto your GMail contacts (presumably a group), which would allow you to essentially transfer all the contacts over.

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