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Directory Synchronization Protocol

The MS Mail (PC) directory synchronization protocol automatically synchronizes directories on all postoffices in an MS Mail (PC) system. The postoffices can be on the same LAN, connected asynchronously, or connected by a gateway. The MS Mail (PC) directory synchronization protocol is fault tolerant, which ensures directory integrity even if the network fails. Any changes or updates to addresses on one postoffice are automatically sent to other postoffices in the organization, which reduces address list maintenance and enables more efficient and frequent updates.

The MS Mail directory synchronization protocol uses two components:

Directory server postoffice   Acts as a central repository for directory changes.

Directory requestor postoffice   Submits directory changes to the directory server postoffice.

Each postoffice in the MS Mail (PC) system is either a directory server postoffice or a directory requestor postoffice. One postoffice in the organization must be designated as the directory server. The directory server collects the address updates for the group of requestor postoffices. These requestors can be located on any network in the organization that can communicate with the directory server. The process that distributes all this information is called the directory synchronization agent, which can be hosted on computers running MS-DOS®, OS/2, or Windows NT Server.

You need to set up a schedule for directory updates. At the scheduled time, the directory synchronization agent sends these updates to the directory server postoffice, which then sends each requestor postoffice any new global address list updates in the form of a message file. The MS Mail Dispatch program processes the updates into the requestor postoffices' address lists.

Each requestor postoffice sends a message to the server postoffice on a regular basis (typically once a day) to request updates. When the requestor postoffice updates its address list, it sends a verification message to the server postoffice, which ensures that the server does not send the same update to that requestor postoffice again.

The Microsoft Mail Connector and the MS Mail Dispatch Program
An instance of the MS Mail Dispatch program must remain on a LAN with MS Mail directory requestors. The Dispatch program launches programs necessary to carry out directory synchronization requests on the network.