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RE: OpenLDAP + Microsoft Outlook

I see several issues in this which need to be brought to everyone's attention. First, the Outlook LDAP service is a LDAP client which is purposely made to go slow. It also does not have a "show all" feature.

What most people do is get the full directory by clicking on the LDAP service in the address book or contact source list. Next they click on find and then the put a space in the search list, then click return and that gives them the directory.

If you watch the activity under a microsocope, the client binds and unbinds about every 100 finds and then binds again. So it's slow on large enterprises. That doesn't surprise you, does it?

The Global Address List (GAL) is also an LDAP client. The difference is that it is full featured and it uses DCE/RPC calls to Exchanges directory which is also a LDAP directory BTW. If you've used "GQ" to look at an exported directory from MS Exchange, you'll see that they've added Object Classes and altered attributes. It's still LDAP. 

So the issue is creating a client that first of all has "display all" features and secondly is able to download the directory instead of grabbing a few entires at a time.

Most companies have used the "check name" function to grab LDAP entires - at least for display name and email address. (I'm not going to get technical at this point and use the object class id's). It can be very fast even in large enterprises.

To speed up or increase performance on check names make sure that you disable reverse lookups, increase cache size to 100,000 and db cache size to 1,000,000. The defaults are too low.

Now, you'll also need to be able to alphabetise your LDAP list when you download it. OpenLDAP doesn't provide sorting. So, you'll either have to add an LDAP address book to Outlook that you can program to "sort" as well as show all or display all or display the LDAP directory. 

Currently, Microsoft LDAP service flushes the temporary cache you used to download the directory using a space for the search.

I don't know of anyone who has written an address book provider that works with LDAP except Bynari (http://www.bynari.net/downloads). It uses a local cache to maintain the directory list and mimicks the Global Address List (GAL) from Exchange. 

Also, OpenLDAP does not provide paging or VLV support so local caching is the only feasible way to maintain the LDAP directory when you open and close Outlook. Netscape and iPlanet (now Sun One) has VLV support but with Outlook they perform worse than one would consider reasonable.

Also, instead of using "*" to search the LDAP directory, consider using "=" with Outlook. That's not purely RFC compliant, but then again you're dealing with Microsoft and the "*" wildcard cause Microsoft LAP service to do very deep searches in all subcontainers.

Good luck

>P.S.  I've been looking for anything OPENSOURCE that could compete with MS
>Outlook.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.  I've looked at
>sourceforge and freshmeat with no luck.

Irving Carrion <icarrion@allinterior.com> wrote:

>Hello All,
>            Hopefully someone out there has experienced the same problem or
>limitation I'm dealing with now.  I have set up a basic LDAP installation
>running on a debian system and have imported all of our users.  I'm able to
>query it just fine from the command prompt and I can see all of the contacts
>/ users in MS Outlook when I perform a query.  The problem I'm having is
>that when I close MS Outlook and open it up again the users / contacts
>disappear.  In order to see them again, I have to re-query the LDAP database
>or add them 1 by 1 to my personal address book.  With MS Exchange the list
>appeared automatically with no user intervention.  Can't I have it query one
>time and keep the list without having to re-query every time I close MS
>I'm aware that this question is not totally related to OpenLDAP and its
>ability as an LDAP.  I'm also aware of it being a limitation in MS Outlook.
>It probably should be directed towards the folks at Microsoft.  I was just
>hoping someone from this list has experienced this and could give me a
>viable solution.
>Any help MUCH appreciated.
>P.S.  I've been looking for anything OPENSOURCE that could compete with MS
>Outlook.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated.  I've looked at
>sourceforge and freshmeat with no luck.

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