One of the questions I am often asked in my role as Live@edu Deployment Specialist is:
The problem is that all the users of the same domain in Live@edu can either see everyone else who is in the Global Address List (GAL), or nobody at all. Users could abuse this access and end up spamming so it is useful to be able to limit access to, and membership of, the GAL.
One of the ways around this problem is to break your users down into logical groups (i.e. students, staff, alumni) and place each group on a different domain in a different tenancy (i.e. students.yourschool.ac.uk, staff.yourschool.ac.uk, alumni.yourschool.ac.uk). By separating users like this it means that only users within a tenancy can see each other.
Great – but what if I want my staff to be able to email my students; can I have them in the staff GAL?
The good news is there is a way to do this by creating “External Contacts” – contacts that appear in the GAL but don’t have an account in this domain. Individual contacts can be added through the Exchange Control Panel; however, the process can be made easier by using the CSV Parser PowerShell script and a CSV file containing all the relevant information.
Step By Step:
Now, in your staff domain, you should have a number of extra entries in the GAL with a slightly different icon next to their name:
These are your external contacts. They only appear in your GAL, you do not appear in theirs. Now you can create distribution lists incorporating these contacts with no issue, for example to email a year group or class.