Qualifications in Exchange Signatures

Posted on Posted in 2013, active directory, exchange, Exchange Server, Global Catalog, IAmMEC, iQ.Suite

In a recent project I was working with iQ.Suite from GBS and specifically the component of this software that add signatures to emails. The client are an international organization with users in different geographies and we needed to accommodate the users qualifications in their email signature.

The problem with this is that in Germany qualifications are written in front of the name and in the USA at the end and in other countries at the start and the end. We were doing a Notes to Exchange migration and in Notes the iQ.Suite signature software read data from Notes that was originally pulled from Active Directory, and so the client had placed the qualifications in the DisplayName field in the Active Directory.

But when we migrated to Exchange Server the Global Address List listed the users DisplayName an so the German users where all listed together with “Dipl” as the first characters of their name. Also the name the email came from was written like this. The signature worked, but the other changes that became apparent meant we had to work out a different way to look at this problem.

So rather than using DisplayName for the users name and qualifications, we used personalPrefix in Active Directory to store anything needed before their name (Dipl in the above German example, and Prof or Dr being English examples) and the generationQualifier Active Directory attribute to store any string that followed the users DisplayName (such as Jr in the USA or BSc for qualifications etc.)

In iQ.Suite we created a signature that looked like the following. This has a conditional [COND] entry for personalTitle, displayName and generationQualifier. That is if each of these are present, then show the displayName with personalTitle before it and generationQualifier after it. If the user does not have values for these fields, do not show them. The [COND] control is documented in iQ.Suite.

[COND]personalTitle;[VAR]personalTitle[/VAR] [/COND][COND]displayName;[VAR]displayName[/VAR][/COND][COND]generationQualifier; [VAR]generationQualifier[/VAR][/COND]

What was not so well documented, and why I wanted to write this blog entry was that the personalTitle and generationQualifier attributes are not stored in the Global Catalog and so are missing in the users signature. In the multi-domain deployment we had at the client, iQ.Suite read the personalTitle, displayName and generationQualifier Active Directory attributes from the Global Catalog as Exchange was installed in a resource domain and the users in separate domains and so unless the attribute was pushed to the Global Catalog it was not seen by iQ.Suite.

To promote an attribute to be visible in the Global Catalog you need to open the Schema Management MMC snap-in, find the attributes of question and tick the Replicate this attribute to the Global Catalog field. This is outlined in https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc737521(v=ws.10).aspx.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.