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26 November 2009

Apple's Fooled Everybody With Address Book Server 10.6 Description

Read it, baby, read it real good!

So we upgraded to Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard 10.6 (can system software names get any longer?)... all nice and dandy. Starting up "Address Book Server", wonderful. Setting up Address Book on a Snow Leopard 10.6 machine to connect to Address Book Server to share an address book, then a second one to get the shared address book. But wait, something doesn't work... the 2nd Mac never sees the first's address book. What gives?

Re-read the description:

With the new Address Book Server in Snow Leopard Server, it’s incredibly easy to access and synchronize contacts across multiple computers and the devices you own.

Everybody on the Intarweb-thingy read this to the logical conclusion that you can set up an address book for your office group of people and people can share the addresses in that. But as has been pointed out in a couple of discussion threads that will probably soon disappear from Apple's support forums, the fine point is in the words you own. If you set up an address book with account "Adam", then only account "Adam" can share this address book, for example on two different Macs Adam owns. What people would have expected in a workgroup environment is that Adam can publish an address book for his team to share.

What you can do is make an account on the server only for use with the Address Book Server, then give that username/password to everybody for access of the shared address book. Crude. The other option is to set up a gateway to a LDAP "Global Address List" and go back to the big setup of LDAP.

Posted by betabug at 10:39 | Comments (5) | Trackbacks (0)
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Re: Apple's Fooled Everybody With Address Book Server 10.6 Description

What about page 12? There it says that you have to enter the account name to use. Wouldn't that work?

Posted by: simon at December 02,2009 17:53
Re: Apple's Fooled Everybody With Address Book Server 10.6 Description

Simon, yes, that's what I meant with "give that username/password to everybody".

Posted by: betabug at December 02,2009 18:11
Re: Apple's Fooled Everybody With Address Book Server 10.6 Description

Actually you can do this - but by using what appears to be an unfinished bit of the Snow Leopard Server configuration - perhaps it will appear in 10.7.

When you get the hang of it, you can do just what you are trying to do pretty easily. Hardest thing is following the steps required in Workgroup Manager - which involves finding things in not-obvious places on the UI.

Instructions on what to do appear in this thread - look about half way down in posts by Antti Huang (Re: Global Address Book Posted: 15-Nov-2009 11:37).


Posted by: glawrie at January 31,2010 08:41
Re: Apple's Fooled Everybody With Address Book Server 10.6 Description

Hi glawrie! I saw some instructions, but somehow things appeared different in Workgroup Manager - either because of different directory structure or more likely because I didn't look in the right place. For me the deduction is that Apple shipped an unfinished product (which is fine with me), but did fool everybody thinking that they advertised it as finished (which is not so ok in my book).

Posted by: betabug at February 01,2010 09:20
Re: Apple's Fooled Everybody With Address Book Server 10.6 Description

Several years before Apple I developed my own Address Book Server which via Sync Services synchronised Contacts between network Macs. Unlike Apple's offering which relies on DAV, my solution uses Sync Services and supports 10.4, 10.5 and 10.6. The server can be installed on Mac OS X, Linux or even Windows and can be used with most modern databases.

Address Book Server (my offering) supports the synchronisation of the entire Address Book or a set of selected groups. If only a selection of groups is desired, contacts can only belong to shared groups, but not shared and private ones.

I also have a solution to publish contacts to an LDAP directory called ABxLDAP. I no longer develop features on this product, as LDAP has significant limitations over Address Book Server.

It is a pity that Apple have opted to choose to call their offering by the same name as mine. I had used that name long before 10.6 was announced or even published. I guess : "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

Take a look at :

Have fun

Posted by: Alex at December 05,2010 15:41
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