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One of my clients is running an Exchange Server 2010 in their company. On this server, a public address book folder is stored, which can be accessed and edited by various people.

Now, since there is a problem with the integrity of the contact records, they asked for a solution to enforce some rules when contacts are created. For example the first name, company name and phone number fields have to be filled.

Since I am only moderately experienced with Exchange (I'm a developer) I'm asking for your help: Is there a way to set such a kind of constraint in Exchange? If not, could it be possible to enforce this rules on client side (with a custom outlook plugin or a macro)?

thanks for any help, Emi

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Just to be clear, are these contacts in a public folder, or are they contacts records in LDAP? – Zoredache Apr 16 '12 at 20:50
Those contacts are located in a public folder on the exchange server, yes. – Emiswelt Apr 16 '12 at 20:55
up vote 1 down vote accepted

If you are talking about a contacts in a Public folder then you can Create a no ContactItem Form by copying the existing from, and then setting that new form as the default for a given Public Folder. You need to distribute the form by publishing it to the Organization Forms Library, which is a hidden public folder. In your new form you can use VBA to modify a lot of the behavior of the standard forms.

The form associated with an item is stored as part of the item. So once you get a new form created and working you will have to perform another step to convert all the existing contacts over to use the new form.

Keep in mind that Microsoft has been predicting the demise of public folders for several years now. They strongly want you to be looking at Sharepoint based solutions instead. It might not be wise to be building something on Public folders that may not work in the next version.


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P.S. I played around with this a bit trying to change how the Categories control worked for a ContactItem in Outlook 2003, it was a pretty big PITA. – Zoredache Apr 16 '12 at 21:01
Thank you. I will try to implement this solution and let you know if it worked. – Emiswelt Apr 16 '12 at 21:13
Accepted, as the solution worked well. – Emiswelt May 12 '12 at 19:52

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