Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) provides a new command, SEARCH, which lets a mobile-device user perform a Global Address List (GAL) lookup from a device. With SEARCH, you no longer need to move contacts into your device’s personal contacts area so that you can have them with you on the road. As with a number of other new mobility features in Exchange 2003 SP2, you need the Windows Mobile 5.0 Messaging and Security Feature Pack (MSFP) to use the GAL lookup feature.

The GAL lookup is well integrated into the mobile device’s UI and easy to use. GAL lookup is installed and enabled by default and can’t be turned off. You can perform lookups from within either the contacts or mail message areas. To do so, enter your search query and select Find Online from the menu. Try to define your searches as narrowly as possible since the lookup will return a maximum of 100 objects.

The query string entered on the device is used on the server to do a search on Ambiguous Name Resolution (ANR)–indexable properties for all the mail-enabled objects on the Exchange server. The response provides 10 non-customizable properties: first name, last name, display name, office location, title, company, office telephone, mobile phone, alias, and email address.

If you still have a Windows Mobile 2003 device, you might want to investigate the Microsoft Global Contact Access Pocket Outlook add-on, software that provides a similar capability to the GAL lookup for pre-Windows Mobile 5.0 devices. You can download Global Contact Access at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/downloads/global/default.mspx.