How to Use Network Directories with Address Book

Although you have to enter all your personal contacts in Address Book on your MacBook, you can also access five types of external directories from within Address Book:

  • Mac users working in a Windows network environment can use Exchange 2007 (or later) network directories.

  • If you’re a member of a company NetInfo network — and if you don’t know, ask your wizened network administrator — you can search network directory servers from within Address Book. These servers are available automatically, so no configuration is necessary. Sweet.

  • Mac OS X Lion Server offers an Address Book server feature for sharing directories across your network, using the CardDAV standard.

  • Address Book can share contact information using your Yahoo! and Google account.

  • You can search Internet-based LDAP directories. Suffice it to say that your network guru can tell you whether LDAP servers are available to you. (In another blazing display of techno-nerd acronym addiction, LDAP stands for Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.)

    With LDAP, you can search a central company directory from anywhere in the world as long as you have an Internet connection. To configure this feature, click Address Book from the menu and choose Preferences; click the Accounts tab; and click the + (plus sign) at the bottom of the Accounts list to enter the specific settings for the server that you want to access.

    Your network administrator or the LDAP server administrator can supply you with these settings.

To search any network directory, you need to create a corresponding directory account. Follow these steps to add a directory account:

  1. Click Address Book→Preferences to display the Preferences window.

  2. Click the Accounts tab.

  3. Click the Add button at the bottom of the Accounts list to launch the Add Account assistant.

  4. Click the Account Type pop-up menu to choose the desired species of network directory.

    Type the required information in the fields that appear. (Your network administrator should be able to provide you with the necessary values.)

  5. Click Create.

    You’ll see the blue network directory entry appear in the Group column.

The rest is easy! Click the desired directory link in the group display and use the Search field as you normally would. Matching entries display the person’s name, e-mail address, and phone number.

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