Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Forcing Offline Address Book Updates

Recently a client was having issues with their offline address book (OAB). It hadn't been updating for several weeks. In this case, the source of the problem turned out to be the System Attendant service was stopped. This prevented generation of the OAB. However, as part of the testing process, I attempted to force an update of the OAB and that is how I found the error.

To update the OAB, you need to follow a multistep process:
  1. Generate a new OAB.
  2. Distribute the new OAB to the client access server.
  3. Force the Outlook client to obtain the updated OAB from the client access server.
Normally the update process is done automatically and takes approximately 24 hours to complete. The detailed steps for forcing OAB update are below.

To generate a new OAB:
  1. In the Exchange Management Console,  browse to the Mailbox node in the Organization Management workspace, and select the Offline Address Book tab.
  2. Right-click the Default Offline Address Book and click Update.
  3. In the Update dialog box, click Yes to acknowledge that it may take several minutes.
To distribute the new OAB to the client access server:
  • Restart the Microsoft Exchange File Distribution service, or
  • Run Update-FileDistributionService ServerName -Type OAB
To force the Outlook client to obtain the updated OAB from the client access server:
  1. In Outlook 2010, click the Send/Receive tab.
  2. Click Send/Receive Groups and click Download Address Book.
  3. In the Offline Address Book dialog box, click OK to download the address book.
**If your Outlook 2010 client has multiple Exchange accounts the OAB that is updated is based on the mailbox you were in when you performed the update. You need to select a folder in the appropriate mailbox before downloading the OAB.

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