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OAB: Resolving mailbox name incorrectly (online works fine)

    Question

  • Hi,

    We are running a single Exchange 2010 server with CU16. All clients are Outlook 2010 on Windows.

    We just noticed a problem whereby when using Outlook in cached mode, if we type "rec" in the 'To:' field of an email and hit 'check names' it gets resolved to a users mailbox "Joe Bloggs", whereas it should get resolved to "Reception".

    When not using cached mode the issues does not appear and following the same steps above, it correctly resolves to the reception mailbox.

    "Reception" is a valid, normal mailbox which is shown in the GAL, and therefore part of the OAB. I cannot begin to work out what is going on.

    I created a new OAB, with a new name, along side the old one, set it to use public folder and web distribution, set it to pull addresses from the GAL, set it as default, restarted the Exchange SA and Exchange File Distribution services and restarted my test Outlook client, pulled down the new OAB, confirmed it is using this OAB, but the problem still exists.

    According to this article (https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/841273/administering-the-offline-address-book-in-outlook) the resolution of names works by checking against the LastName, DisplayName, Alias, OfficeLocation, PrimarySMTP & PrimaryX500 Address. I have checked all of these on both mailboxes and there is no similarity or overlap. 

    Any idea what's going on here?!
    Could it be a bug in CU16?

    Thanks in advance.

    PS: There is some correlation between the user that gets resolved and the Reception mailbox... "Joe Bloggs" is actually our receptionist. He (she) has her own mailbox, but also full access to 'Reception'. But around a half dozen other users also have full access to the same 'reception' mailbox.

    PPS: We turned off AutoComplete company wide some years ago, so AutoComplete is not interfering in this.

    Friday, April 21, 2017 7:20 AM

Answers

  • Ok, so I reverted the 'Description' and 'Job Title' AD fields back to "Reception Manager" for user Joe Bloggs and made sure my Outlook was using the latest OAB.

    When I now type 'recep' into the To field and click 'check names', I get prompted to choose between either Joe Bloggs or Reception. 

    This seems to confirm that either these fields are being checked when resolving names, which is not how it is documented by Microsoft.

    I may leave this issue here as this is good enough for my end users to check where their email is going to go.

    Thanks everyone for your help. If someone wants to suggest how to raise/escalate this to the MS Exchange team please then chip in.


    Tuesday, April 25, 2017 2:37 PM

All replies

  • Did you clear the client nickname cache?

    Did you look at Joe Bloggs's properties to verify that no searchable property begins with "rec"?


    Ed Crowley MVP "There are seldom good technological solutions to behavioral problems."
    Celebrating 20 years of providing Exchange peer support!

    Sunday, April 23, 2017 7:13 AM
  • Andrew,

    is this issue specific to a single user not able to resolve reception mailbox in Outlook cache mode or multiple users?

    when you send an email to reception mailbox, is that email received correctly by the reception mailbox or does it divert to Joe?

    does reception mailbox have a valid legacyexchangedn value? 

    Can you compare display name, Name, mailnickname, samaccountname attributes of both the mailboxes


    MCSA Office 365 | MCSA Exchange server 2010 | Red Hat Certified Engineer


    • Edited by Akabe Sunday, April 23, 2017 8:48 AM
    Sunday, April 23, 2017 8:47 AM
  • @EdCrowley - we are not using the nickname cache - as mentioned in my post, we has this feature disabled across the company for many years. Names are not collected in the Suggested Contacts either.

    @Akabe - The issue is happening for all Outlook users across the company. We all use Cached Outlook - I happened to test without Cached and the issue does not happen. Very odd.

    When we send an email to reception, it is received at the 'Reception' mailbox as expected.

    Yes, The 'Reception' mailbox has a valid and unique LegacyExchangeDN = ".../cn=reception"

    Using ADSIEdit I have compared all fields between the users. The only time the word "reception" is found in Joe Bloggs mailbox/account properties is;

    General Tab > Description
    Organization Tab > Job Description

    both values were "Reception Manager"

    I changed this to "Front of House Manager", rebuilt the address book, tested and now the problem has gone away. Very odd! According to the article I linked in my original post, these fields are not used when resolving names. Perhaps this changed/broke in CU16?

    Does anyone know how I feed this back to Microsoft?

    Regards
    Michael.

    Monday, April 24, 2017 10:51 AM
  • HI Michael,

    Well this is a really a odd one 

    Normally it is Name or display name attribute that are useful while searching for a user in GAL

    is your set up a single AD/Exchange forest or multiple forest? what type of recipient do u have (Usermailboxes or Linked mailboxes)?

    I assume you have recently patched the servers to cu16.


    MCSA Office 365 | MCSA Exchange server 2010 | Red Hat Certified Engineer

    Monday, April 24, 2017 11:24 AM
  • Yes, very odd. I have just reverted the two "description" fields back to what they were to prove the case. I'll wait for the natural OAB rebuild overnight and then 24hrs for Outlook to pull it in before confirming. 

    We are a single AD domain, no forest.

    Reception is a UserMailbox
    Joe Bloggs is a SharedMailbox
    (my predecessor created these mailboxes, years ago - I haven't changed these)

    Yes, the server was patched to CU16 around Jan/Feb 2017 as part of moving some users into O365 in a hybrid setup. That project is all done and working well, but should not have impacted the OAB behavior.

    Regards

    Monday, April 24, 2017 1:21 PM
  • Hi Andrew,

    You can create a new shared mailbox with another name and assign full access permission of this reception mailbox to this new shared mailbox then generate and distribute the OAB, after that search "rec" and check the results.

    Thanks for your effort.


    Regards,

    Jason Chao


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    Tuesday, April 25, 2017 3:04 AM
    Moderator
  • Ok, so I reverted the 'Description' and 'Job Title' AD fields back to "Reception Manager" for user Joe Bloggs and made sure my Outlook was using the latest OAB.

    When I now type 'recep' into the To field and click 'check names', I get prompted to choose between either Joe Bloggs or Reception. 

    This seems to confirm that either these fields are being checked when resolving names, which is not how it is documented by Microsoft.

    I may leave this issue here as this is good enough for my end users to check where their email is going to go.

    Thanks everyone for your help. If someone wants to suggest how to raise/escalate this to the MS Exchange team please then chip in.


    Tuesday, April 25, 2017 2:37 PM