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corbywan
Feb 29, 2008, 06:03 PM
Is anyone out there using Directory as a shared contacts manager? Is that what's it's designed to do/be? Would it replace the functionality of something like a Now-Contact or SOHO Organizer as a server/client architecture for central contact management?

I'm looking for something for my church (if that messes you up, think in terms of small business office) that can be used to centrally manage contacts as well as sync with iPhone/other iSync compatible devices, form letter generation (think drag-and-drop from Address Book to Pages), etc.

I did do the free week of access to the lynda.com stuff recently and watched the videos on Shared Contacts, but it didn't look too easy to update/edit shared contacts once they were in. There was all this back-door stuff just to do something as simple as change a phone number. Or did I miss something?

Thanks in advance.



corbywan
Mar 2, 2008, 09:29 PM
Anyone? Is anyone doing this in production or at least playing with it?

gigganta
Mar 13, 2008, 03:59 PM
I work in k12 ed. We just cranked up the leopard server and I have been working on implementing shared contacts. We are running Open Directory and users are then able to authenticate to our AFP shares or use mobile accounts.

So far, I can keep updated contact info in WGM and then subscribe to the ldap server in Address Book.app. I have it set to automatically update LDAP cards.

I can then open up Mail.app and just start typing a users name in the to: field and it automagically populates the email address for me.

Voila. Its not perfect but it is a significant jump from what we were doing.


I think unless you have some sort of LDAP server you can't use directory to share contacts. Right? I like the potential I see in Directory.app, and I hear that it integrates well with iCal server. Too bad it seems that everyone is having issues with iCal server. The thread over on afp548 makes me want to just wait til another big update comes along before trying to implement it.
After reading up on google, you may be able to use a third party software to accomplish contact sharing without using a server.

lostinspace2011
Apr 9, 2008, 07:32 AM
Address Book X LDAP (http://www.addressbookserver.com) lets you transfer contacts from your Address Book to a LDAP directory. It also keeps the directory updated when changes are made to your local contacts.

There are some limitation on reading the contacts, as the Address Book does not make the best LDAP client. Several fields are stored in LDAP, but are not visible via the Address Book. For Thunderbird users, ABxLDAP has special support for their schema.

Have fun
Alex

UpLeft
Nov 20, 2009, 08:10 AM
@corbywan: did you ever find a good solution to your problem sharing address books among church. We (also a church) have the same issue. In our case, we have multiple staff working from different sites. New contact can be added at any site, and different staff people need to send different groups of mailings (e.g. youth group, evangelism, whatever).

corbywan
Nov 20, 2009, 08:51 AM
UpLeft - Yes, mostly.

The currently used workaround is to create a user on the system, call it Secretary or Hub of Info Central, and make it's address book the central one people can access. The only potential drawback is that anyone with the username and password for that account can read and write to it, which can be good and bad. So, a user can have their local contacts, their own account on he server with whatever contacts they want on there, and then this other account setup in Address Book.

The other problematic thing I'm experiencing is that the contacts from the server won't copy to my iPhone. They did for a time, but I think 10.6.2 goofed something up. Otherwise, it's a workable solution.

lostinspace2011
Nov 21, 2009, 02:32 AM
@corbywan: did you ever find a good solution to your problem sharing address books among church. We (also a church) have the same issue. In our case, we have multiple staff working from different sites. New contact can be added at any site, and different staff people need to send different groups of mailings (e.g. youth group, evangelism, whatever).

Maybe try out Address Book Server (http://www.addressbookserver.com). Besides ABxLDAP we also make a server product allowing you to sync your contacts with your own server as well as access them via a web interface. You can even select which groups you want to share. Until the end of the months there is a free 5 user license available.