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I'm looking for a way to share contacts on the Office 365 Exchange server. The goals are listed below:

  • Allow anyone to add/edit/delete a contact to the list
  • List must be accessible from their phones(iOS) and Outlook for seamless use
  • No one should have access the server admin functions
  • Changes to the list should be automatically shared with everyone

I have tried creating a shared contact list from a single use and sharing with everyone an this has worked great for the owner of the list as it allows both phone and outlook access but falls short for everyone else as there is no phone access.

The global contact list on the Office 365 admin requires admin access and does not allow the import of users as well as not allowing it to sync to iOS devices.

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There isn't anything built in that would allow you to overcome this statement:

•No one should have access the server admin functions

Even some RBAC roles would require them to access the Exchange admin portal.

The only other option is a Public Folder but the problem with that is it won't be accessible from mobile phones.

In short, there may be a 3rd party software option out there like ManageEngine or Cogmotive or others that would have a custom interface for the users to add contacts to and then proxy that info via API and an admin level account to your tenant. But there isn't anything built in to handle all of your requirements.

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  • I should reword to say that it is ok for them to have admin rights for contacts only but not to manage users or any other area of the server. – Radar5000 Oct 11 '16 at 15:51
  • @Radar5000 - I've never done it, and I don't know if it would work in O365 - but you can look here: blogs.technet.microsoft.com/rmilne/2013/08/07/… – TheCleaner Oct 11 '16 at 16:16
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I don't have a answer for you based on your requirements but I will say we have been struggling with this for 10+ years. Our only solution was to create a PST file with all the contacts and then we run a script that deletes out contacts from each user with our company name and then imports the contacts from the PST file for each mailbox. It works well 99% of the time, every so often a phone doesn't want to sync them and we have to manually delete and re-import. But at least we have a up-to-date cell phone list for everyone.

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The global contact list on the Office 365 admin requires admin access and does not allow the import of users as well as not allowing it to sync to i OS devices.

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The only way I have found to solve this is to create a shared group to hold the contact list and setup a password for the account and add it as a separate exchange account on their phones with only contacts allowed to sync.

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