Notes From The Field – Enabling GAL Segmentation in Exchange Online

Introduction

A few weeks back, I was tasked with configuring Global Address List (GAL) Segmentation for one of my clients. GAL Segmentation is not a new concept, and if you were to Google it (as you would do in this day and age), you will find numerous posts on it.

However, during my research, I didn’t find any¬†ONE article that helped me. Instead I had to rely on multiple articles/blogposts to guide me into reaching the result.

For those that are new to GAL Segmentation, this can be a daunting task. This actually is the inspiration for this blog, to provide the steps from an implementers view, so that you get the full picture about the preparation, the steps involved and the gotchas so that you feel confident about carrying out this simple yet scary change.

This blog will be focus on GAL Segmentation for an Exchange Online hybrid setup.

So what is GAL Segmentation?

I am glad you asked ūüėČ

By default, in Exchange Online (and On-Premises Exchange environment as well), a global address list is present. This GAL contains all mail enabled objects contained in the Exchange Organisation. There would be mailboxes, contacts, rooms, etc.

This is all well and good, however, at times a company might not want everyone to see all the objects in the Exchange environment. This might be for various reasons, for instance, the company has too many employees and it won’t make sense to have a GAL a mile long. Or, the company might have different divisions, which do not require to correspond to each other. Or the company might be trying to sell off one of its divisions, and to start the process, is trying to separate the division from the rest of the company.

For this blog, we will use the last reason, as stated above. A “filter” will be applied to all users who are in division to be sold off, so that when they open their GAL, they only see objects from their own division and not everyone in the company. In similar fashion, the rest of the company will see all objects except the division that will be sold off. Users will still be able to send/receive emails with that particular division, however the GAL will not show them.

I would like to make it extremely clear that GAL Segmentation DOES NOT DELETE any mail enabled objects. It just creates a filtered version of the GAL for the user.

Introducing the stars

Lets assume there was once a company called TailSpin Toys. They owned the email namespace tailspintoys.com and had their own Exchange Online tenant.

One day, the board of TailSpin Toys decided to acquire a similar company called WingTip Toys. WingTip Toys had their own Exchange Online Tenant and used the email namespace wingtiptoys.com. After the acquisition, WingTip Toys email resources were merged into the TailSpin Toys Exchange Online tenant, however WingTip Toys still used their wingtiptoys.com email namespace.

After a few years, the board of TailSpin Toys decided it was time to sell of WingTip Toys. As a first step, they decided to implement GAL Segmentation between TailSpin Toys and WingTip Toys users.

Listed below is what was decided

  • TailSpin Toys users should only see email objects in their GAL corresponding to their own email namespace (any object with the primary smtp address of @tailspintoys.com). They should not be able to see any¬†WingTip Toys email objects.
  • Only¬†TailSpin Toys users will be able to see¬†Public Folders in their GAL
  • WingTip Toys users should only see email objects in their GAL corresponding to their own email namespace (any object with the primary smtp address of @wingtiptoys.com). They should not be able to see any¬†TailSpin Toys email objects.
  • The¬†All Contacts in the GAL will be accessible to both¬†WingTip Toys¬†and¬†TailSpin Toys users.

The Steps

Performing a GAL Segmentation is a very low risk change. The steps that will be carried out are as follows

  • Create new Global Address Lists, Address Lists, Offline Address Book and Address Book Policy for¬†TailSpin Toys and¬†WingTip Toys users.
  • Assign the respective policy to¬†TailSpin Toys users and¬†WingTip Toys users

The only issue is that by default, no users are assigned an Address Book Policy (ABP) in Exchange Online (ABPs are the “filter” that specifies what a user sees in the GAL).

Due to this, when we are creating the new address lists, users might see them in their GAL as well and get confused as to which one to use. If you wish to carry out this change within business hours, the simple remedy to the above issue is to provide clear communications to the users about what they could expect during the change window and what they should do (in this case use the GAL that they always use). Having said that, it is always a good practice to carry out changes out of business hours.

Ok, lets begin.

  • By default, the Address Lists Management role is not assigned in Exchange Online. The easiest way to assign this is to login to the Exchange Online Portal using a Global Administrator account and add this role to the Organization Management role group. This will then provide all the Address List commands to the Global Administratos.
  • Next, connect to Exchange Online using PowerShell
  • For TailSpin Toys
    • Create a default Global Address List called¬†Default TST Global Address List
    • New-GlobalAddressList -Name "Default TST Global Address List" -RecipientFilter {((Alias -ne $null) -and (((ObjectClass -eq 'user') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'contact') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'msExchSystemMailbox') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'msExchDynamicDistributionList') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'group') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'publicFolder'))) -and (WindowsEmailAddress -like "*@tailspintoys.com") )}
    • Create the following Address Lists
      • All TST Distribution Lists
      • New-AddressList -Name "All TST Distribution Lists" -RecipientFilter {((Alias -ne $null) -and (ObjectCategory -like 'group') -and (WindowsEmailAddress -like "*@tailspintoys.com"))}
      • All TST Rooms
      • New-AddressList -Name "All TST Rooms" -RecipientFilter {((Alias -ne $null) -and (((RecipientDisplayType -eq 'ConferenceRoomMailbox') -or (RecipientDisplayType -eq 'SyncedConferenceRoomMailbox'))) -and (WindowsEmailAddress -like "*@tailspintoys.com"))}
      • All TST Users
      • New-AddressList -Name "All TST Users" -RecipientFilter {((Alias -ne $null) -and (((((((ObjectCategory -like 'person') -and (ObjectClass -eq 'user') -and (-not(Database -ne $null)) -and (-not(ServerLegacyDN -ne $null)))) -or (((ObjectCategory -like 'person') -and (ObjectClass -eq 'user') -and (((Database -ne $null) -or (ServerLegacyDN -ne $null))))))) -and (-not(RecipientTypeDetailsValue -eq 'GroupMailbox')))) -and (WindowsEmailAddress -like "*@tailspintoys.com"))}
    • Create an Offline Address Book called¬†TST Offline Address Book¬†(this uses the Default Global Address List that we had just created)
    • New-OfflineAddressBook -Name "TST Offline Address Book" -AddressLists "Default TST Global Address List"
    • Create an Address Book Policy called¬†TST ABP
    • New-AddressBookPolicy -Name "TST ABP" -AddressLists "All Contacts", "All TST Distribution Lists", "All TST Users", ‚ÄúPublic Folders‚ÄĚ -RoomList "All TST Rooms" -OfflineAddressBook "TST Offline Address Book" -GlobalAddressList "Default TST Global Address List"
  • For WingTip Toys
    • Create a default Global Address List called¬†Default WTT Global Address List
    • New-GlobalAddressList -Name "Default WTT Global Address List" -RecipientFilter {((Alias -ne $null) -and (((ObjectClass -eq 'user') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'contact') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'msExchSystemMailbox') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'msExchDynamicDistributionList') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'group') -or (ObjectClass -eq 'publicFolder'))) -and (WindowsEmailAddress -like "*@wingtiptoys.com") )}
    • Create the following Address Lists
      • All WTT Distribution Lists
      • New-AddressList -Name "All WTT Distribution Lists" -RecipientFilter {((Alias -ne $null) -and (ObjectCategory -like 'group') -and (WindowsEmailAddress -like "*@wingtiptoys.com"))}
      • All WTT Rooms
      • New-AddressList -Name "All WTT Rooms" -RecipientFilter {((Alias -ne $null) -and (((RecipientDisplayType -eq 'ConferenceRoomMailbox') -or (RecipientDisplayType -eq 'SyncedConferenceRoomMailbox'))) -and (WindowsEmailAddress -like "*@wingtiptoys.com"))}
      • All WTT Users
      • New-AddressList -Name "All WTT Users" -RecipientFilter {((Alias -ne $null) -and (((((((ObjectCategory -like 'person') -and (ObjectClass -eq 'user') -and (-not(Database -ne $null)) -and (-not(ServerLegacyDN -ne $null)))) -or (((ObjectCategory -like 'person') -and (ObjectClass -eq 'user') -and (((Database -ne $null) -or (ServerLegacyDN -ne $null))))))) -and (-not(RecipientTypeDetailsValue -eq 'GroupMailbox')))) -and (WindowsEmailAddress -like "*@wingtiptoys.com"))}
    • Create an Offline Address Book called WTT Offline Address Book¬†(this uses the Default Global Address List that we had just created)
    • New-OfflineAddressBook -Name "WTT Offline Address Book" -AddressLists "Default WTT Global Address List"
    • Create an Address Book Policy called¬†WTT ABP
    • New-AddressBookPolicy -Name "WTT ABP" -AddressLists "All Contacts", "All WTT Distribution Lists", "All WTT Users" -RoomList "All WTT Rooms" -OfflineAddressBook "WTT Offline Address Book" -GlobalAddressList "Default WTT Global Address List"
  • Once you create all the Address Lists, after a few minutes, you will be able to see them using Outlook Client or Outlook Web Access. One of the obvious things you will notice is that they are all empty! If you are wondering if the recipient filter is correct or not, you can use the following to confirm the membership
  • Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter (Get -AddressList -Identity {your address list name here}).RecipientFilter

    Aha, you might say at this stage. I will just run the Update-AddressList cmdlet. Unfortunately, this won’t work since this cmdlet is only available for On-Premises Exchange Servers. There is none for Exchange Online. Hmm. How do I update my Address Lists ? Its not too difficult. All you have to do is change some attribute of the members and they will start popping into the Address List! For a hybrid setup, this means we will have to change the setting using On-Premise Exchange Server and use Azure Active Directory Connect Server to replicate the changes to Azure Active Directory, which in turn will update Exchange Online objects, thereby updating the newly created Address Lists. Simple? Yes. Lengthly? Yes indeed

  • I normally use CustomAttribute for such occasions. Before using any CustomAttribute, ensure it is not used by anything else. You might be able to ascertain this by checking if for all objects, that CustomAttribute currently holds any value or not. Lets assume CustomAttribute10 can be used.
    #Get all On-Premise Mailboxes
    $OnPrem_MBXs = Get-Mailbox -Resultsize unlimited
    
    #Get all Exchange Online Mailboxes
    $EXO_MBXs = Get-RemoteMailbox -Resultsize Unlimited
    
    #Get all the Distribution Groups
    $All_DL = Get-DistributionGroup -Resultsize unlimited
    
    #Update the CustomAttribute10 Value
    #Since Room mailboxes are a special type of Maibox, the following update will
    #address Room Mailboxes as well
    
    $OnPrem_MBXs | Set-Mailbox -CustomAttribute10 ‚ÄúGAL‚ÄĚ
    $EXO_MBXs | Set-RemoteMailbox -CustomAttribute10 ‚ÄúGAL‚ÄĚ
    
    $All_DL | Set-DistributionGroup -CustomAttribute10 ‚ÄúGAL‚ÄĚ
  • Using your Azure Active Directory Connect server run a synchronization cycle so that the updates are synchronized to Azure Active Directory and subsequently to Exchange Online
  • One gotcha here is if you have any Distribution Groups that are not synchronised from OnPremises. You will have to find these and update their settings as well. One simple way to find them is to use the property¬†isDirSynced. Connect to Exchange Online using PowerShell and then use the following command
  • $All_NonDirsyncedDL = Get-DistributionGroup -Resultsize unlimited| ?{$_.isdirsynced -eq $FALSE}¬† ¬†
    
    #Now, we will update CustomAttribute10 (please check to ensure this customAttribute doesn't have any values)
     
    $All_NonDirSyncedDL | Set-DistributionGroup -CustomAttribute10 "GAL"
  • Check using Outlook Client or Outlook Address Book to see that the new Address Lists are now populated
  • Once confirmed that the new Address Lists have been populated, lets go assign the new Address Book Policies to TailSpin Toys and WingTip Toys users¬†It can take anywhere from 30min – 1hr for the Address Book Policy to take effect
  • $allUserMbx = Get-Mailbox -RecipientTypeDetails UserMailbox -Resultsize unlimited
    
    #assign "TST ABP" Address Book Policy to TailSpin Toys users
    
    $allUserMbx | ?{($_.primarysmtpaddress -like "*@tailspintoys.com")} | Set-Mailbox -AddressBooksPolicy ‚ÄúTST ABP‚ÄĚ
    
    #assign "WTT ABP" Address Book Policy to WingTip Toys users
    $allUserMbx | ?{($_.primarysmtpaddress -like "*@wingtiptoys.com")} | Set-Mailbox -AddressBooksPolicy ‚ÄúWTT ABP‚ÄĚ
  • While waiting, remove the CustomAttribute10 values you had populated. Using PowerShell on On-Premises Exchange Server, run the following
  • #Get all On-Premise Mailboxes
    
    $OnPrem_MBXs = Get-Mailbox -Resultsize unlimited
    
    #Get all Exchange Online Mailboxes
    
    $EXO_MBXs = Get-RemoteMailbox -Resultsize Unlimited
    
    #Get all the Distribution Groups
    
    $All_DL = Get-DistributionGroup -Resultsize unlimited
    
    #Set the CustomAttribute10 Value to null
    
    #Since Room mailboxes are a special type of Maibox, the following update will
    
    #address Room Mailboxes as well
    
    $OnPrem_MBXs | Set-Mailbox -CustomAttribute10 $null
    
    $EXO_MBXs | Set-RemoteMailbox -CustomAttribute10 $null
    
    $All_DL | Set-DistributionGroup -CustomAttribute10 $null
  • Connect to Exchange Online using PowerShell and remove the value that was set for CustomAttribute10 for nonDirSynced Distribution Groups
  • $All_NonDirsyncedDL = Get-DistributionGroup -Resultsize unlimited| ?{$_.isdirsynced -eq $FALSE}¬† ¬†
    
    #Change CustomAttribute10 to $null
    
    $All_NonDirSyncedDL | Set-DistributionGroup -CustomAttribute10 $null

     

    Thats it folks! Your GAL Segmentation is now complete! Users from TailSpin Toys will only see TailSpin Toys mail enabled objects and WingTip Toys users will only see WingTip Toys mail enabled objects

A few words of wisdom

In the above steps, I would advise that once the new Address Lists have been populated

  • apply the Address Book Policy to a few test mailboxes
  • wait between 30min – 1 hour, then confirm that the Address Book Policy has been successfully applied to the test mailboxes and has the desired result
  • once you have confirmed that the test mailboxes had the desired result for ABP, then and ONLY then continue to apply the ABP to the rest of the mailboxes

This will give you confidence that the change will be successful. Also, if you find that there are issues, the rollback is not too difficult and time consuming.

Another thing to note is that when users have their Outlook client configured to use ¬†cached mode, they might notice that their new GAL is not fully populated. This is because their Outlook client uses the Offline Address Book to show the GAL and at that time, the Offline Address Book would not have regenerated to include all the new members. Unfortunately in Exchange Online, the Offline Address Book cannot be regenerated on-demand and we have to wait for the the Exchange Online servers to do this for us. I have noticed the regeneration happens twice in 24 hours, around 4am and 4pm AEST (your times might vary). So if users are complaining that their Outlook Client GAL doesn’t show all the users, confirm using Outlook Web Access that the members are there (or you can run Outlook in non-cached mode) and then advise the users that the issue will be resolved when the Offline Address Book gets re-generated (in approximately 12 hours). Also, once the Offline Address Book has regenerated, it is best for users to manually download the latest Offline Address Book, otherwise Outlook client will download it at a random time in the next 24 hours.

The next gotcha is around which Address Lists are available in Offline mode (refer to the screenshot below)

GAL01

When in Offline mode, the only list available is¬†Offline Global Address List¬†. This is the one that is pointed to by the ¬†green arrow. Note that the red arrow is pointing to Offline Global Address List as well however this is an “Address List” that has been named¬†Offline Global Address List by Microsoft to confuse people! To repeat, the Offline Global Address List pointed to by the green arrow is available in Offline mode however the one pointed to by red is not!

In our case, the Offline Global Address List is named Default TST Global Address List and Default WTT Global Address List).

If you try to access any others in the drop down list when in Offline mode, you will get the following error

AddressListError

This has always been the case, unfortunately hardly anyone tries to access all the Address Lists in Offline mode. However, after GAL Segmentation, if users receive the above error, it is very easy to blame the GAL Segmentation implementation ūüė¶ Rest assured, this is not the case and this “feature” has always been present.

Lastly, the user on-boarding steps will have to be modified to ensure that when their mailbox is created, the appropriate Address Book Policy is applied. This will ensure they only see the address lists that they are supposed to (on the flip side, if no address book policy is applied, they will see all address lists, which will cause a lot of confusion!)

With these words, I will now stop. I hope this blog comes in handy to anyone trying to implement GAL Segmentation.

If you have any more gotchas or things you can think of regarding GAL Segmentation, please leave them in the comments below.

Till the next time, Enjoy ūüėČ

 

 

 

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Using Microsoft Identity Manager Synchronisation Server’s Global Address List Synchronisation feature to create a shared global address book across three Exchange Forests

Introduction

Over the life of a company, there can be many acquisitions and mergers. During such events, the parent and the newly acquired entities have their IT “merged”. This allows for the removal of redundant systems and the reduction of expenses. It also fosters collaboration between the two entities. Unfortunately, the marriage of the two IT systems, can at times, take a long time.

To enable a more collaborative space between the parent and the newly acquired company, a shared “global address book” can be created, which will allow employees to quickly look up each others contact details easily.

In this blog, I will show how we can use Microsoft Identity Manager (MIM) 2016 Synchronisation Server’s ¬†GALSync feature to extend the Global Address Book (GAL) of three Exchange Forests. The GAL will be populated with contacts corresponding to ¬†mailboxes in the other Exchange Forests, and this will be automatically maintained, to ensure the contacts remain up-to-date.

Though this blog focuses on three Exchange Forests, it can easily be adapted for two Exchange Forests, if you remove all reference to the third AD Forest, AD Domain and Exchange Forest

For reference, we will be using the following:

Name: Contoso Limited (parent company)
Active Directory Forest: contoso.com
Active Directory Domain: contoso.com
Active Directory Forest Level: Windows Server 2008 R2
Exchange Server FQDN: CEX01.contoso.com
Exchange Server Version: Exchange 2010 SP3
Email Address Space owned: contoso.com, contoso.com.au
Number of employees: 2000

Name: Northwind Traders (newly acquired)
Active Directory Forest: northwind.com
Active Directory Domain: northwind.com
Active Directory Forest Level: Windows Server 2008 R2
Exchange Server FQDN: NWEX01.northwind.com
Exchange Server Version: Exchange 2010 SP3
Email Address Space owned: northwind.com, northwind.com.au
Number of employees: 400

Name: WingTip Toys (newly acquired)
Active Directory Forest: wingtiptoys.com
Active Directory Domain: wingtiptoys.com
Active Directory Forest Level: Windows Server 2008 R2
Exchange Server FQDN: WTTEX01.wingtiptoys.com
Exchange Server Version: Exchange 2010 SP3
Email Address Space owned: wingtiptoys.com, wingtiptoys.com.au
Number of employees: 600

 

Contoso, Northwind and WingTip Toys are connected using a wide area network and it has been decided that the MIM Synchronisation Server will be installed and configured in the the Contoso domain.

Preparation

Before we start, some preparation work has to be done to ensure there are no roadblocks or issues.

  • Cleanup of “inter forest” email objects
    • This is one of the most important things that must be done and I can’t stress this enough. You will have to go through all your email objects (mailboxes, contacts, mailuser objects) in each of the three Exchange Forests (Contoso, Northwind, WingTip Toys) and find any that are forwarding to the other Exchange forests. If there are any, these must be removed. GALSync will create email enabled contacts corresponding to the mailboxes in the other Exchange Forests, with ¬†externalemailaddress¬†of these new objects set to the primary email address of the other Exchange Forest’s objects. If duplicates arise because there were existing objects in the local Exchange Forest corresponding to the other Exchange Forest’s objects, this will cause the local Exchange Server to get confused and it will keep on queuing emails for these objects and will not deliver them [if after implementing GALSync, some users complain about not receiving emails from a certain Exchange Forest, this could be a possible reason]
  • Creation of Organisational Units (OU) that will be used by GALSync
    • Create the following Organisational Units in the three Active Directory domains
      • contoso.com\GALSync\LocalForest\Contacts
      • contoso.com\GALSync\RemoteForest\Contacts
      • northwind.com\GALSync\LocalForest\Contacts
      • northwind.com\GALSync\RemoteForest\Contacts
      • wingtiptoys.com\GALSync\LocalForest\Contacts
      • wingtiptoys.com\GALSync\RemoteForest\Contacts
  • Service Accounts
    • The following service accounts must be created in the specified Active Directory domains. You can change the name to comply with your own naming standards
      • MIM Synchronisation Server Service Account
        • UPN: svc-mimsync@contoso.com
        • AD Domain to create in: contoso.com
        • Permissions: non-privileged Active Directory service account
      • Management Agent Account to connect to Contoso.com AD Domain
        • UPN: svc-mimadma@contoso.com
        • AD Domain to create in: contoso.com
        • Permissions
          • non-privilged Active Directory service account
          • Grant “Replicating Directory Changes” permission
          • Grant the following permissions on the GALSync OU in the Contoso AD Domain that was created above. Ensure the permissions propagate to all sub-OUs within the GALSync OU
            • Create Contact Objects
            • Delete Contact Objects
            • Read all Properties
            • Write all Properties
          • Add to the Exchange¬†Organization Management Active Directory security group in Contoso AD Domain
      • Management Agent Account to connect to Northwind.com AD Domain
        • UPN: svc-mimadma@northwind.com
        • AD Domain to create in: nothwind.com
        • Permissions
          • non-privilged Active Directory service account
          • Grant “Replicating Directory Changes” permission
          • Grant the following permissions on the GALSync OU in the Northwind AD Domain that was created above. Ensure the permissions propagate to all sub-OUs within GALSync OU
            • Create Contact Objects
            • Delete Contact Objects
            • Read all Properties
            • Write all Properties
          • Add to the Exchange¬†Organization Management Active Directory security group in Northwind AD Domain
      • Management Agent Account to connect to WingTiptoys.com AD Domain
        • UPN: svc-mimadma@wingtiptoys.com
        • AD Domain to create in: wingtiptoys.com
        • Permissions
          • non-privilged Active Directory service account
          • Grant “Replicating Directory Changes” permission
          • Grant the following permissions on the GALSync OU in the WingTipToys AD Domain that was created above. Ensure the permissions propagate to all sub-OUs within GALSync OU
            • Create Contact Objects
            • Delete Contact Objects
            • Read all Properties
            • Write all Properties
          • Add to the Exchange¬†Organization Management Active Directory security group in Northwind AD Domain
      • Service account used for the scheduled task job that will run the MIM RunProfiles script on the MIM Synchronisation Server
        • UPN: svc-mimscheduler@contoso.com
        • AD Domain to create in: Contoso.com (this can also be a local account on the MIM Synchronisation Server)
        • Permissions
          • non-privileged Active Directory service account
          • Grant “Log on as a batch job” user right on the MIM Synchronisation Server
          • Add to FIMSyncOperators security group on the MIM Synchronisation Server (this security group is created locally on the MIM Synchronisation Server after MIM Synchronisation Server has been installed)
  • SQL Server Permissions
    • MIM Synchronisation Server requires a Microsoft SQL Server to host its database. On the SQL Server, grant SQL SYSADMIN role to the account that you will be logged on as when installing MIM Synchronisation Server

Configuration

Provision a Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 in the Contoso.com Active Directory domain and install MIM 2016 Synchronisation Server. During installation, specify svc-mimsync@contoso.com as the account under which the MIM Synchronisation Service will run.

One thing to note is that GALSync will update the proxyaddress field for all mailboxes in its scope (mailboxes for which it will be creating contacts in the other Exchange Forests) with X500 entries.

Management Agent Configuration

  1. Once the MIM Synchronisation Server has been successfully installed, use the following steps to create the GALSync Management Agents. Open the Synchronisation Service Manager
    • Create GALSync Management Agent for Contoso.com AD Forest
      • From Tools¬†menu, click¬†Management Agents and then click¬†Create
      • ¬†In the¬†Management Agent drop-down list, click¬†Active Directory global address list (GAL)¬†
      • In the name type¬†GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
      • On the¬†Connect to an Active Directory Forest¬†page, type the forest name, the MIM MA account details (svc-mimadma@contoso.com) and the domain name
      • In the next screen, specify the OUs that GALSync will query to find mailboxes to create contacts for in the other forests. Also, place a tick beside contoso.com\GALSync¬†(this selects GALSync and all sub-OUs)
      • In the Containers screen, for
        • Target Container select Contoso.com\GALSync\RemoteForest\Contactsthis is the OU where MIM GALSync will create contacts corresponding to the mailboxes in Northwind and WingTipToys Exchange Forest
        • Source Container select Contoso.com\GALSync\LocalForest\Contactsthis is where MIM GALSync will create contacts corresponding to Contoso.com mailboxes. These will be sent to the GALSync/RemoteForest/Contacts OU in Northwind and WingTipToys AD Domain (personally, I haven’t seen any objects created in this OU)
      • In¬†Exchange Configuration¬†click¬†Edit and enter all the email suffixes that belong to Contoso.com. The email suffixes listed here are used to filter out which email addresses from the original email object are added to the corresponding contact in the other Exchange Forests. In this case the email suffixes will be @contoso.com and @contoso.com.au. Note the @ before the email suffix)
      • Leave everything else as default and proceed to the Configure Extensions¬†section.¬†One thing I would like to mention here is that in¬†Configure Connection Filter¬†section, the¬†Filter Type for¬†user¬†is supposed to be¬†Declared¬†(and is the default setting), not¬†Rules extension as stated in¬†https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc708642(v=ws.10).aspx
      • In the¬†Configure Extensions section, set the following
      • Click¬†OK
    • Create GALSync Management Agent for Northwind.com AD Forest
      • From Tools¬†menu, click¬†Management Agents and then click¬†Create
      • ¬†In the¬†Management Agent drop-down list, click¬†Active Directory global address list (GAL)¬†
      • In the name type¬†GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
      • On the¬†Connect to an Active Directory Forest¬†page, type the forest name, the MIM MA account details (svc-mimadma@northwind.com) and the domain name
      • In the next screen, specify the OUs that GALSync will query to find mailboxes to create contacts for in the other forests. Also, place a tick beside northwind.com\GALSync¬†(this selects GALSync and all sub-OUs)
      • In the Containers screen, for
        • Target Container select Northwind.com\GALSync\RemoteForest\Contactsthis is the OU where MIM GALSync will create contacts corresponding to the mailboxes in Contoso and WingTipToys Exchange Forest
        • Source Container select Northwind.com\GALSync\LocalForest\Contactsthis is where MIM GALSync will create contacts corresponding to Northwind.com mailboxes. These will be sent to the GALSync/RemoteForest/Contacts OU in Contoso and WingTipToys AD Domain (personally, I haven’t seen any objects created in this OU)
      • In¬†Exchange Configuration¬†click¬†Edit and enter all the email suffixes that belong to Northwind.com. The email suffixes listed here are used to filter out which email addresses from the original email object are added to the corresponding contact in the other Exchange Forests. In this case the email suffixes will be @northwind.com and @northwind.com.au. Note the @ before the email suffix)
      • Leave everything else as default and proceed to the Configure Extensions¬†section.¬†One thing I would like to mention here is that in¬†Configure Connection Filter¬†section, the¬†Filter Type for¬†user¬†is supposed to be¬†Declared¬†(and is the default setting), not¬†Rules extension as stated in¬†https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc708642(v=ws.10).aspx
      • In the¬†Configure Extensions section, set the following
      • Click¬†OK
    • Create GALSync Management Agent for WingTipToys.com AD Forest
      • From Tools¬†menu, click¬†Management Agents and then click¬†Create
      • ¬†In the¬†Management Agent drop-down list, click¬†Active Directory global address list (GAL)¬†
      • In the name type¬†GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
      • On the¬†Connect to an Active Directory Forest¬†page, type the forest name, the MIM MA account details (svc-mimadma@wingtiptoys.com) and the domain name
      • In the next screen, specify the OUs that GALSync will query to find mailboxes to create contacts for in the other forests. Also, place a tick beside wingtiptoys.com\GALSync¬†(this selects GALSync and all sub-OUs)
      • In the Containers screen, for
        • Target Container select WingTipToys.com\GALSync\RemoteForest\Contactsthis is the OU where MIM GALSync will create contacts corresponding to the mailboxes in Contoso and Northwind Exchange Forest
        • Source Container select WIngTipToys.com\GALSync\LocalForest\Contactsthis is where MIM GALSync will create contacts corresponding to WingTipToys.com mailboxes. These will be sent to the GALSync/RemoteForest/Contacts OU in Contoso and Northwind AD Domain (personally, I haven’t seen any objects created in this OU)
      • In¬†Exchange Configuration¬†click¬†Edit and enter all the email suffixes that belong to WingTipToys.com. The email suffixes listed here are used to filter out which email addresses from the original email object are added to the corresponding contact in the other Exchange Forests. In this case the email suffixes will be @wingtiptoys.com and @wingtiptoys.com.au. Note the @ before the email suffix)
      • Leave everything else as default and proceed to the Configure Extensions¬†section.¬†One thing I would like to mention here is that in¬†Configure Connection Filter¬†section, the¬†Filter Type for¬†user¬†is supposed to be¬†Declared¬†(and is the default setting), not¬†Rules extension as stated in¬†https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc708642(v=ws.10).aspx
      • In the¬†Configure Extensions section, set the following
      • Click¬†OK
  2. Enable provisioning by using the following steps
    • In the Synchronisation Service Manager, from¬†Tools¬†select¬†Options
    • Under Metaverse Rules Extensions¬†ensure the following have been ticked
      • Enable metaverse rules extensions
      • Enable Provisioning Rules Extension

Run Profiles Execution Order

Congratulations! All configuration has now been completed. All we have to do now is to run the synchronisation jobs to get the mailbox object information from the three AD Forests into the MIM metaverse, let MIM GALSync do a bit of processing to find out which contacts are to be created in the other Exchange Forests, and then carry out an export, to create those contacts in the other Exchange Forests. Unfortunately, MIM has no way of finding out if the exports were successful, and that is why we will have to do a confirming import on all the management agents, so that MIM can find out if everything had been exported as expected.

From my testing, I have found that when MIM GALSync does its processing, it compares the mailboxes that an Exchange Forest has with what is in the MIM metaverse. MIM then exports out, as contacts, all objects that are in the metaverse but not in that particular Exchange Forest. These are populated in that AD Domains GALSync/RemoteForest/Contacts OU as AD objects and subsequently mail enabled using the Exchange RPS URI (remote PowerShell url)

CAUTION! Before you continue, you need to find out if a synchronisation solution had previously been deployed in the environment.

If any of the AD Forests had previously had a synchronisation solution deployed, then we will need to follow the run profile execution order mentioned below. This is done to ensure no duplicate contacts are created during the initial GAL synchronisation.

  1. Full Import (Staging Only) on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  2. Full Import (Staging Only) on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  3. Full Import (Staging Only) on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  4. Delta Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  5. Delta Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  6. Delta Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  7. Repeat Delta Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  8. Repeat Delta Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  9. Repeat Delta Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  10. Export on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  11. Export on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  12. Export on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  13. Delta Import on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  14. Delta Import on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  15. Delta Import on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com

 

If there hasn’t been any previous synchronisation solutions deployed in any of the AD Forests, then use the following runprofile order for the initial run

  1. Full Import (Staging Only) on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  2. Full Import (Staging Only) on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  3. Full Import (Staging Only) on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  4. Full Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  5. Full Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  6. Full Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  7. Export on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  8. Export on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  9. Export on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  10. Delta Import on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  11. Delta Import on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  12. Delta Import on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com

 

Once the initial synchronisation has completed, you will see contacts in each AD Domain’s GALSync\RemoteForest\Contacts OU corresponding to mailboxes in the other two Exchange Forests. These will have been email enabled and will show in the Exchange console and the online Global Address List.

Outlook clients that use offline address books won’t see the new contacts until the offline address book generation process has run on the Exchange servers and the updated offline address book has been downloaded by the outlook client.

To ensure the GALSync generated contacts remain up-to-date, the following runprofile execution order must be used from hereon. This should be repeated every 1 hour (or as per your required interval. Keep in mind that if after one cycle of the following order, if anything is still pending an Export, then this will be run at the next runprofile execution, so changes might not be seen for at most two runcycle intervals)

  1. Delta Import (Staging Only) on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  2. Delta Import (Staging Only) on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  3. Delta Import (Staging Only) on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  4. Delta Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  5. Delta Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  6. Delta Synchronisation on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  7. Export on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  8. Export on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  9. Export on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com
  10. Delta Import on GALSyncMA for Contoso.com
  11. Delta Import on GALSyncMA for Northwind.com
  12. Delta Import on GALSyncMA for WingTipToys.com

I don’t imagine anyone would want to run the runprofiles¬†manually every hour ūüėČ So below is a script that can be used to do it.

Export all the runprofiles using the Synchronisation Service Manager as vbs scripts and place them in a folder c:\scripts\runprofiles on the MIM Synchronisation Server.

Copy the below script and save it as GALSync_RunProfiles.cmd in c:\scripts

@echo off
REM This script will run the MIM RunProfiles in the correct order
REM Author nivleshc@yahoo.com

set _script_dir="c:\scripts\runprofiles\"

REM Delta Import (Stage Only)
echo ContosoGALSyncMA Delta Import -StageOnly
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%ContosoGALSyncMA_Delta_Import_StageOnly.vbs

echo NorthwindGALSyncMA Delta Import -StageOnly
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%NorthwindGALSyncMA_Delta_Import_StageOnly.vbs

echo WingTipToysGAlSyncMA Delta Import -StageOnly
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%WingTipToysGAlSyncMA_Delta_Import_StageOnly.vbs

REM Delta Sync
echo ContosoGALSyncMA Delta Sync
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%ContosoGALSyncMA_Delta_Sync.vbs

echo NorthwindGALSyncMA Delta Sync
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%NorthwindGALSyncMA_Delta_Sync.vbs

echo WingTipToysGAlSyncMA Delta Sync
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%WingTipToysGAlSyncMA_Delta_Sync.vbs

REM Export
echo ContosoGALSyncMA Export
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%ContosoGALSyncMA_Export.vbs

echo NorthwindGALSyncMA Export
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%NorthwindGALSyncMA_Export.vbs

echo WingTipToysGAlSyncMA Export
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%WingTipToysGAlSyncMA_Export.vbs

REM Delta Import
echo ContosoGALSyncMA Delta Import
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%ContosoGALSyncMA_Delta_Import.vbs

echo NorthwindGALSyncMA Delta Import
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%NorthwindGALSyncMA_Delta_Import.vbs

echo WingTipToysGAlSyncMA Delta Import
CSCRIPT //B %_script_dir%WingTipToysGAlSyncMA_Delta_Import.vbs

 

Create a scheduled task on the MIM Synchronisation Server to run GALSync_RunProfiles.cmd script every 1 hour (or for an interval of your choice). Use the task scheduler account that had been created during the preparation stage to run this scheduled task.

Some Gotchas

I have found that sometimes some mailboxes fail to be imported into the MIM Metaverse and report an mv-constraing-restriction violation on the msExchSafeSenderHash attribute. This error occurs because the AD attribute msExchSafeSenderHash is much longer than what the corresponding MIM Metaverse attribute is. Since this attribute is not being used to create the contacts in the other Exchange Forests, it can be dropped from the attribute flow.

Use the steps outlined in the following article to resolve this issue. https://social.technet.microsoft.com/wiki/contents/articles/10733.troubleshooting-galsync-mv-constraint-violation-msexchsafesenderhash.aspx

 

I hope this blog helps those that might be wanting to create a shared “global address book” among multiple Exchange Forests.

As mentioned previous, the above steps can be used to create a ¬†shared “global address book” for two Exchange Forests as well. In that case, just remove any mention of the third AD Forest, AD Domain and Exchange Forest from the above mentioned steps.

Enjoy ūüėČ