Sometimes you may see a corrupt email address for a Company Contact in your Outlook/OWA address book. The email address of the contact looks like firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you check the contact in CONTROL PANEL, it will show the correct email address.
We want to ensure you that even though the email address of the contact doesn't look right in email clients, all messages to the contact will be sent to the correct email address that you see in CONTROL PANEL.
This occurs because a Company Contact with the same email address already exists in the Exchange domain where your account is located. Exchange server doesn't allow two objects to have the same email address. Smarsh Hosted Services has come up with the following solution:
- One of the contacts is displayed in the address book with the correct email address. When someone attempts to create a second contact with the same email address, we automatically change the display email address to the one you may see in Outlook/OWA to make it unique.
- The correct email address is still used for delivering mail, so delivery is not affected. You also see the email address used for delivery in CONTROL PANEL.
In Active Directory, two objects cannot have the same “Email Address” within the context of the same Active Directory domain. This is a hard requirement imposed by Exchange. As a result, under normal conditions, two accounts in the same Active Directory forest would not be able to create mail contacts with an address such as "email@example.com". However, for contacts there is an attribute called ExternalEmailAddress. This attribute appears only on mail contacts and it behaves exactly like EmailAddresses. The only difference is that this attribute is not subject to the same restrictions as EmailAddresses. Two or more objects in the same Active Directory forest can have the same ExternalEmailAddress.
The solution to the hosted contacts issue is to create two mail-contacts with the same ExternalEmailAddress. At the same time, the system still requires having some email address that is unique in the EmailAddresses property. This is why we replace it with the GUID email address that you see in mail clients. From the point of view of mail flow, Exchange still uses ExternalEmailAddress to send mail for both of those contacts, so mail flow is not affected. What is affected, however, is user experience.
Most mail clients, including Outlook, Entourage, OWA, and ActiveSync, display the EmailAddress attribute in all address books. However, this does not affect functionality.