When I create a new mail address in Exchange 2000 Server—either by creating a new mailbox or adding a new proxy address to an existing object—the address takes a while to appear in the Global Address List (GAL). How can I speed up this process?

Exchange Server 5.5 writes an address to the object as soon as you create the object's address. However, this one-at-a-time updating method is inefficient, so for Exchange 2000, Microsoft replaced the process with the Recipient Update Service (RUS). The RUS is responsible for modifying several attributes on mailboxes:

  • The mail attribute, which contains the plaintext primary SMTP address for the recipient (e.g., paul @robichaux.net).
  • The proxyAddresses field, which contains all the proxy addresses available for an object, including the X.400 and primary SMTP address, as well as any proxy SMTP or foreign addresses.
  • The textEncodedORAddress attribute, which stores the X.400 OR address.
  • The showInAddressBook attribute, which controls the address books in which the target object appears. If you're populating this attribute yourself in a script, you must specify the distinguished name (DN) of the address list, not just its friendly name.
  • The homeMDB, homeMTA, and msExchHomeServerName attributes, which signify which Exchange server holds the mailbox. HomeMDB contains the complete DN of the mailbox store for the mailbox; homeMTA contains the complete DN of the Message Transfer Agent (MTA) on that server; and msExchHomeServerName contains the complete DN of the server itself. The values of these attributes must exactly match the values of the objects' names in Active Directory (AD). You can verify the existence of these attributes, and their values, manually with ADSI Edit.

The RUS runs on a schedule that you define (every 15 minutes by default). To change the schedule, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Exchange System Manager (ESM) console and navigate to the Recipients container, then select the Recipient Update Services node.
  2. Right-click the RUS instance whose schedule you want to change, and select Properties.
  3. Use the Update Interval drop-down menu to control when this RUS instance runs.

After the RUS has made its changes, you must allow time for the changes to replicate. If you want to immediately force the RUS to update itself, right-click the RUS object in ESM, and you'll see the appropriate command.