I'm looking for the best way to update our employee's information in Exchange.

I'm currently trying to modify employee information using the EWS API. I can modify contact information, but only for a user's own contact list.

What would be the best way to go about this? The reason I'm doing this is because we have a proprietary employee management app, and we want changes in the app to sync to Exchange.

To elaborate on this:

Our proprietary employee management system allows an administrator to manage an employees information, roles, and access to other systems. The administrators currently have to modify the employee info here, and then change it in Exchange as well. The solution is to have the application update the Exchange information automatically.

  • EWS is the way to go, but your goal is a little muddy. In general, just specify a different Identity in your EWS commands to change which user you're targeting. But, how exactly are you accessing EWS? What have you tried so far?
    – techie007
    Apr 10, 2014 at 17:16
  • So far (using the Java 1.2 wrapper), I've logged in, and grabbed the Contacts lists. I've been able to modify contacts this way. The problem seems to be that these changes only affect my local contact list, and not the global. The requirements I was given are vague, and my office doesn't have any Exchange experts to help me fill in the blanks. My main blank is how "users" are defined in Exchange? Will modifying their global contact effectively change the info associated to their account?
    – aglassman
    Apr 10, 2014 at 17:22
  • If you mean the GAL (Global Contact List), its just that, Global; it doesn't belong to any one user. Have you successfully managed to log in as yourself and grab a different users' contacts yet? I think you need to define your exact goal a little better for us to be able to help you, as "employee's information" is very vague. Exactly which employee information are you trying to update?
    – techie007
    Apr 10, 2014 at 18:10
  • Name, address, phone number, and manager.
    – aglassman
    Apr 11, 2014 at 15:13
  • So you'd say use EWS over directly modifying Active Directory?
    – aglassman
    Apr 11, 2014 at 15:14

1 Answer 1


First of all: Check with the vendor of your management application if they don't have an AD connector.

Second thing: Most information is stored in AD, and not Exchange, so you want to look at the AD angle. For programming advice/examples you should go to StackOverflow. You can achieve it with PowerShell, .NET, Java, and possible a ton of other Programming/Scripting languanges

  • I ended up using Java's JNDI API.
    – aglassman
    Apr 23, 2014 at 18:48

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