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I'm about to embark on a writing a project to allow my users to subscribe and unsubscribe from a subset of distribution lists. Before I start I did a little research and found an old Microsoft product for exchange 2000 called AutoDL (More).

It allowed people to join and leave groups based upon permissions and it let group administrators add and remove people from their group as well. All from a little web app.

Before I reinvent the wheel, does something like this exist for exchange 2007-2010?


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Exchange 2010 has this functionality already baked in. It's not entirely based on permissions like AutoDL sounds like it was, but I would argue it's comparable.

For each distribution list you can set group owners and set the membership type of the group to any one of the following.

  • Open. Anyone can join the group without being approved by the group owners.
  • Closed. Members can only be added by group owners. All requests to join will be automatically rejected.
  • Owner approved. Group owners must approve or reject requests to join the group.

Similarly, leaving the group is either "anybody can leave at will" or "group owners must remove users".

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How do users use this? – reconbot Dec 7 '10 at 21:15
It's in the Exchange Control Panel, which is ordinarily accessed at (obviously substitute your actual URL there). If you've changed your ECP URL, it is accessed via OWA and then on the Options screen. – Ben Pilbrow Dec 7 '10 at 21:21

I've never used AutoDL before (and looking over the doc you linked to it looks like a rather over-engineered and cumbersome solution), but I think you could give a shot to trying to install it in a test environment with a pretty good chance of success.

It looks like the AutoDL tool is simply a web-based application w/ an SQL Server back-end that generates scripts to manipulate groups in the AD. How Exchange 2007 - 2010 handles distribution list membership hasn't changed since Exchange 2000-- users are just members of mail-enabled security or distribution groups.

On the commercial offering front, two offerings that I am aware of (but have not used) include:

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