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Group Relationships, Lists and Templates

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Add2Exchange Enterprise

This feature is unique to the Add2Exchange Enterprise Edition.

Because it can be difficult to manage a large number of relationships for individual users, Add2Exchange Enterprise Edition includes the feature of group relationships.  Group relationships make it easier to manage relationships for a large number of users.

In earlier editions of Add2Exchange, if you wanted to synchronize a folder to a set of destinations, you had to either build multiple individual relationships or use the Relationship Cloning Module (for details on the cloning module, see the section Managing Relationships).  Either way, you ended up with separate relationships from the source to the destinations that could not be managed together after they were created.

Multiple Relationships from Public-to-Private

Add2Exchange Standard and Enterprise introduces the concept of group relationships.  Group relationships create and manage regular relationships as a bundle, allowing you to define the group relationship once and modify the settings for the relationships as a group later.  Your modifications take effect for all of the relationships defined by the group.  You can also add and delete  individual relationships from the group at any time.

Single Group Relationship from Public-to-Private

While group relationships synchronize like regular relationships, they are their own entity and can be modified through the Relationship Group Manager.

Group Synchronization Models

Group relationships can be made in one of two synchronization models: folder publication and folder aggregation. For full details on these models, see the section Synchronization Models in the User Guide.

A group relationship from a public folder to private folders observes the folder publication model.  In this model, a single source folder is synchronized to multiple destinations, effectively publishing the contents of the source folder.

In the case of a group relationship, this must be from a public folder to private mailbox folders.  You cannot publish from a private folder.

A group relationship from private folders to a public folder observes the folder aggregation model.  In this model, multiple source folders are synchronized to a singe destination, effectively combining the contents of the source folders.  In the case of a group relationship, this must be from private folders to a public folder.  You cannot aggregate to a private folder.

Group relationships cannot be made private-to-private nor public-to-public.

Templates and Distribution Lists

Group relationships are built by combining templates and distribution lists.  By distribution lists we mean the usual Outlook address lists. Add2Exchange is aware of the Global Address List and can use distribution lists from the GAL to create group relationships.  Membership in the group relationship is controlled and managed on an on-going basis by the membership of the distribution list.

Distribution lists used in group relationships should only be modifiable by Add2Exchange administrators.  Changes to the distribution list directly and immediately affect synchronization by Add2Exchange.  To create a distribution list, make it in the usual way through Outlook.  See the Outlook help section Create a Distribution List.   Add2Exchange does not create nor modify Outlook distribution lists.

Outlook Distribution List

A template, on the other hand, is the framework of a group relationship, a collection of relationship settings like those described in the section Synchronization Profiles.  As opposed to a conceptual collection of settings, however, a template is concrete, is stored in Add2Exchange and given a name.

All of the settings necessary for a relationship, except for the distribution list folders, are stored in the template.  This includes the relationship responses to event triggers, the relationship deletion action and the public folder of the relationship.

Group Relationship Template

To create a template, see the section Creating a Relationship Template.

In order to create a group relationship from a template, all that needs to be specified is the distribution list to complete the private side of the relationship.  Again, a group relationship is the combination of a relationship template and a distribution list:

Group Relationship Definition

Assignment of Templates to Distribution Lists

By themselves, templates and distribution lists don't do anything in Add2Exchange.  To create a group relationship, you have to assign a template to a distribution list.

A template may be attached to zero, one or more distribution lists.  Each attachment exists separately, but editing the template affects all attached group relationships.

Similarly, editing a distribution list directly in Outlook (or creating an exclusion in the Relationship Group Manager) affects all group relationships attached to the distribution list.  For more details on attaching templates to distribution lists, see the section Attaching a Template to a Distribution List.

Detaching a template from a distribution list effectively deletes that group relationship.  All relationship instances in the group will be deleted and will have their deletion action performed.  For more details, see the section Deleting Group Relationships or Detaching Templates.

Distribution List Exclusions and One-off Relationships

Distribution lists serve one purpose in Outlook (email) and another in Add2Exchange (synchronization).  Because the distribution list serves a dual purpose, the users who need to receive email from the list may not be exactly the same set of users who should participate in synchronization.

Rather than force you to create separate lists by virtue of such a difference, Add2Exchange allows you to specify exclusions to the distribution list when creating a group relationship.  A user may be in the distribution list who is excluded from synchronization.

Exclusions, like templates, are shared between multiple group relationships.  Editing the exclusion list for a distribution group changes the exclusions for all group relationships which rely on that distribution list.  The same is true for editing the distribution list directly in Outlook.

Users who are excluded from a group relationship won't have a relationship show up in the relationship list in the main console window.  Managing exclusions to group relationships is described in the sections Attaching a Template to a Distribution List and Editing Distribution List Exclusions.

A related concept is that of the one-off relationship.  A one-off relationship is an individual relationship (ie, user) which has been a part of a group relationship but, for whatever reason, now needs to have different settings from the template.

While the most straightforward answer for this may be to delete the user from the distribution list, thereby entirely removing the user from the group relationship, this may not always be feasible.  For example, the distribution list may be for email purposes from which you don't want to exclude the user.

If you need a one-off relationship, you must both add an exclusion for the user in the Relationship Group Manager as well as create a new regular relationship (the "one-off") in the console.

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