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If you set the Manager for a User object in Active directory, it creates a clear relationship between the user and their manager. This is reported in Exchange's Global Address List amongst other things.

For a Group object, the Manager is able to edit members of the group via the Address List in Outlook, if you enable it.

The same Manager field exists for computer objects in Active Directory. Does this relate to any functionality anywhere?

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For a Group object, the Manager is able to edit members of the group via the Address List in Outlook, if you enable it. I had no idea about that. Have a +1. –  MDMarra Sep 27 '12 at 17:17
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A nice feature for distribution groups - it needn't be an IT task to do this. It also provides some opportunities to overcome some of the nasty permissions functionality in SharePoint 2007 since you can use AD groups to assign permissions in SharePoint, and then delegate permissions assignment to non-IT staff with an interface they will understand. –  dunxd Sep 28 '12 at 11:03
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1 Answer

It doesn't inherently do anything, unless you have an application that acts on the data in some way... and I can't think of any application that cares about the manager attribute of computer objects.

It's there because both user objects and computer objects inherit from the same parent class, which is confusingly named User.

User
 |
 +- user
 +- computer

You could write an LDAP-enabled application that did something useful with the relationship between a computer object and its manager if you wanted to, though.

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You might also choose to use it to identify who the primary user of that computer is, which would be useful for troubleshooting. –  SturdyErde Sep 28 '12 at 1:12
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