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sharing address books

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DN123ABC
 
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Post Posted August 15th, 2017, 1:39 pm

How do I share an address book between users?

I can export it in .txt or .csv format from our Courier email server's web interface, but the tools for importing to Thunderbird are horrible. I cannot seem to get things to match in the selection/sorter thing.

Any other ideas? I think in the long ago past, I used to be able to import to Outlook Express as an interim step, but that isn't really an option to me any more.

Thanks.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted August 15th, 2017, 1:47 pm

Assuming you have some contacts already entered into Thunderbird, export the data from the Personal Address Book to a CSV format file: Tools->Export->Address Books->give the output a name and select "save as type" Comma Separated (CSV).
Load the exported file into Excel or some other spreadsheet program and do the same with the data CSV file you want to import to Thunderbird. Reorder and rename the columns in the file from which you intend to import so that it matches the order and column names in the export from Thunderbird. Save the data back to CSV format and import that to Thunderbird.

DN123ABC
 
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Post Posted August 15th, 2017, 2:25 pm

I am taking it from another (Courier) system. I'm able to output the .csv just fine, it is this part that is giving problems: "Reorder and rename the columns in the file from which you intend to import so that it matches the order and column names in the export from Thunderbird. "

It is just so painful. Move one, and everything moves, and vice versa. I would just create a dummy account to import them into, and then I can go in and out of Thunderbird more quickly to pass around this company address book. It is the manipulation of info that is problematic.

DanRaisch
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Post Posted August 15th, 2017, 6:56 pm

What is it you are moving? If you mean the data, you should be able to add blank columns to the spreadsheet in places required to duplicate the Thunderbird layout (yes, that moves everything to the right) and then copy data from any out of position column into that new empty column. Eventually everything is lined up by you'll have those empty columns from which you moved the data. Just delete those. Keep in mind this is a one time requirement.

wsmwk
 
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Post Posted August 17th, 2017, 4:14 am


tanstaafl
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Post Posted August 17th, 2017, 6:36 am

DN123ABC wrote:How do I share an address book between users?

The best solution depends upon how many users you have and who gets to edit the contacts. A LDAP server works well if you have many users, but is a bit of work to setup and doesn't support a Thunderbird user adding/modifying contacts. You'd have to have an admin maintain the contacts. So each user would probably also have some personal contacts (outside of the organization) that they don't share.

If your mail server supports the CardDAV protocol you can use the CardBooks add-on. See https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/thunde ... /cardbook/ .

Another approach would be to export contacts as vCards on a file share and sync them using the thundersync add-on. That might work well if you already have a file share to remotely store profiles etc. It appears to have problems with UTF-8 characters and interoperability with vCards exported from Android smartphones.

Then there are add-ons that let you sync your local address books against a master copy stored on a IMAP/WebDAV server, using an add-on such as the Addressbooks Synchronizer or SyncKolab. It can get awkward merging updates from multiple users though. It doesn't seem to scale well.

See http://kb.mozillazine.org/Sharing_address_books for some other solutions. Some of the solutions also let you share calendars. Take a look at using some of the commercial CardDAV services mentioned in that KB article if you have a lot of users and don't want to have a LDAP admin.

DN123ABC
 
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Post Posted August 17th, 2017, 6:40 am

I never found vcards useful, and they are often are a hindrance.

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