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Relationship Fundamentals

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Introduction to Relationships

A relationship is a connection between any two Outlook folders (public or mailbox) that allows you to include the contents of one folder in another.  For example, all of the contacts from a public folder may be synchronized to a folder in your own mailbox so you can see a corporate client list from your Blackberry or ActiveSync mobile phone.

While prior to Add2Exchange, most people accomplished this by using Outlook to drag and drop the entire contents of a folder to their mailbox, that information would quickly go stale.  Phone numbers got updated, email addresses changed, and in order to keep in sync, the folder would have to be copied weekly or even daily.  Personal edits got lost and large contact lists were slow to copy.  For time-sensitive items, such as meetings, it was simply not feasible to maintain a separate copy of a folder.

Add2Exchange not only makes it possible to handle these issues, it makes it easy.  Once a synchronization relationship is set up, synchronization happens seamlessly in the background without user intervention.  Relationships follow these rules:

1)Relationships may be built between any combination of folders in the public folder store and private mailbox stores, provided the folders contain the same type of items (e.g. contacts).
2)Add2Exchange can synchronize calendar events (one-time and recurring), contacts, distributions lists and tasks.
3)Relationships synchronize only the contents of the specified source and destination folders and do not synchronize the contents of sub folders.  Synchronization of sub folders requires a separate relationship.


Folders in an active relationship are referred to as active folders.  Items created by regular users (i.e., not created automatically as the result of an Add2Exchange relationship) in the active folders are called originating items or originals.  Synchronized copies created by Add2Exchange are called either copies or replicas.

Items that are subject to a relationship include both originating items in the source folder as well as the replicas in the destination folder.  The relationship monitors these items for changes.

Items originating in the destination folder are NOT subject to the relationship.  For example, contacts in a destination folder prior to a relationship being set up are not subject to the relationship.  A relationship does not monitor those items that it did not itself create in a destination folder, nor does it copy those items to the source folder.

Basic Relationship Behavior

The following behavior is common to all relationships.  In addition to the behavior described here, relationships have further configurable behavior described in the section Synchronization Profiles.

In the following example, two folders both containing their own items (originals) are made subject to a relationship.  The source is the public folder on the left side with blue contacts and the destination is a  folder in a user's mailbox with yellow contacts.

After synchronization, the user's folder contains the both the original yellow contacts and replicas of the blue contacts from the public folder; however, only the blue contacts are subject to the relationship, since there is no relationship treating the mailbox folder as a source.  The relationship from the public folder to the mailbox will not look for, nor copy the yellow contacts.

Original contacts in source (left) and destination (right)

Blue contacts are subject to the relationship and are copied.

Yellow contacts are not subject to the relationship.


In order to synchronize destination items such as the yellow ones to a source folder, an additional relationship must be configured from the destination to the source.  This is a separate relationship with the existing source and destination folders swapped.  This gives the folders a mutual relationship. See Folder Grouping.

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