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The directory describes your organization's infrastructure and recipients. Each component in the system is represented as an object. For example, each user's mailbox is represented as a directory object. Each object has a set of properties. When you configure components of your organization, you assign values to these properties by using the Administrator program.

Most objects in the directory represent individual items in the organization, such as a particular server or recipient. In addition, there are objects called containers that hold collections of individual objects or other containers. The collection of objects that make up an organization is presented as a hierarchy.

The Address Book displays recipient names (mailboxes, distribution lists, custom recipients, and public folders) in the directory, and can contain one or more address lists. Using the Address Book, users can address messages and look up locations or phone numbers. It is organized into various lists, which contain mailboxes, custom recipients, distribution lists, and public folders. Users can access information in the same way they would use a telephone directory. The Address Book can contain one or more of the following address lists:

Global address list   Contains all recipient objects in the organization and is available to every user.

Custom address lists   Contains address lists that you, the administrator, define. For example, if you have a Recipients container (Public Folders) that contain all public folders in your organization, your users can send mail to those public folders by using either the public folder address list or the global address list.

Offline address books   Contain the recipient objects found in any Recipients container in the directory. You configure this address book so that remote users can access addresses when they are not connected to the network. By default, offline address books use the Recipients container for the local site.