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Nexus contacts using Address Book on Lion

Address Book is the calendaring application preinstalled on every Mac computer as part of Mac OS X. Mac OS X version 10.7 (also known as Lion) provides inbuilt support for connecting to Exchange servers. As a result if you are using Lion you are able to use the Oxford Nexus email, shared calendaring and address book facilities from your Mac via the inbuilt Mail, iCal, and Address Book applications.

So, Mac users who are running Lion can use Nexus contacts via Address Book on their Mac.

Nexus provides two distinct address books:

The Nexus Global Address Book
This contains the email address and department/college of each member of the University. It is updated centrally, and you cannot add to or change it. If your own details are incorrect, please inform the IT Services Help Centre.
Each user has their own address book, stored on the Nexus servers so that it is available from anywhere in the world via Outlook Web Access. You can use this to store the details of friends, colleagues, family, or anyone you want! You can also create distribution lists, which allow you to group together a set of people who you frequently email together, such as your research group, or housemates.

If you have already configured Mail or iCal to use Nexus the chances are that your Address Book application has already been set up for you to use with Nexus. That is because when you add an Exchange account to Mail or iCal the default behaviour is to also set up the other components that make up the suite of programs that can be used with Exchange at the same time. This can be seen in the Account Summary screen that you get, for example, when configuring Mail (note the "Also set up:" check boxes):


However, if you need to configure Address Book to connect to Nexus manually follow the instructions below.

1. Configuring Address Book to connect to Nexus

To configure Address Book to connect to Nexus, open the programme, either from the dock or by finding it in the Applications folder. If this is the first time you have opened Address Book, the Setup Assistant will start automatically.

Otherwise, you can add a new accounts by clicking on the [Preferences] from the Address Book menu, and then clicking the Accounts button on the Accounts window that appears.


Click the + at the bottom of the screen to start the process of adding a new account. You will then be taken to a screen that is identical to the initial setup assistant. You need to select [Exchange] from the Account type drop down menu. The screen then prompts you for your Full Name, Email address and Password. The Password you need to enter here is your Single Sign-On password.


Once you have entered your details, click Create.

Your computer will now try to connect to the Nexus server in order to match up the details that you have supplied with a Nexus account and after a moment you should see a message that says 'Trying to log in to the Exchange 2007 server “” failed. Make sure the email address and password you entered are correct, then click Continue.'. Simultaneously, a new User name field will appear indicated by with a white arrow within a red circle. This is because your Nexus username is not the same as your Nexus email address. Your username is your Single Sign-On username (aka the Oxford Username) whilst your Nexus email address will usually be of the form The setup assistant will supply the first part of your email address (in this case janet.mcknight) as its best guess in the new User name field. You will need to replace the contents of this new User name field with your Single Sign-On username (in this case oucs0037):


Once you have entered your username details, click Create.

Once you have supplied this information Address Book will be able to find all the details it needs from the Nexus AutoDiscovery server and the next screen you should see will be an Account Summary screen that confirms the account details. (If you've already set up Mail for Exchange, Address Book will skip the Account Summary screen and just create the account.)


When you click Create, the account will be created on your Mac and you will be returned to the Accounts screen where the details of the newly created account are displayed.


You can now simply close this window using the red button in the top left window corner. The new account now appears in the left hand pane of Address Book.


You are now ready to use the Nexus contacts with Address Book. Lion's inbuilt support for Exchange means that you can also use Mail for your Nexus email and iCal for your Nexus calendaring.

2. Searching the Global Address List on Nexus

Most applications that are configured to talk to the Nexus Exchange server will search the Global Address List (GAL) in order to autocomplete or offer a list of matches when you type in part of a name to an address field. If you want to search the GAL to find out the full information held for a particular person then the easiest way to do that is via your Address Book application.

Open Address Book and select 'Exchange Global Address List' from the 'Directories' section in the left hand pane. (NB you will also see another section called 'Exchange', with an entry under it called 'Contacts'; this is not the GAL, this is your personal address book stored on the Nexus server.)


To search within the GAL simply type the text you wish to search on into the search box in the top right hand corner of the Address Book window. As you type a list of possible matches will the appear underneath the search box on the right-hand pane of the Address Book window.


To see the full details for any of the possible matches simply double-click on the one you want to see:


Subsequent searches can be performed by typing new text in the search box.

3. Using personal contact lists on Nexus

In the section on searching the GAL we mentioned that when you open Address Book and select your Nexus account from the list of groups in the left hand pane you will see not only the 'Exchange Global Address List' (under 'Directories') but also 'Contacts' under 'Exchange': this 'Contacts' list is your personal address book stored on the Nexus server.

You can create and manage personal contact lists on Nexus in exactly the same way that you have always created and managed your locally stored contact lists in Address Book. The only difference is that if you store your personal contact lists in Address Book on Nexus they will be available to you however you are accessing Nexus. For example, if you are away from your computer and are accessing Nexus via OWA (the web interface) you would still have access to the personal contact lists that you created in Address Book under your Nexus account.

To illustrate this the figure below shows that we have created a contact in Address Book, in this case the contact is called Test Contact:


This figure shows that when we now login to Nexus via OWA and select the Contacts view we can see the newly created Test Contact (shown here as Contact, Test) within the OWA interface:


In summary, unless you specifically want a personal contact list to be only visible on your computer, it makes sense to store contacts on the Nexus server so that they are available to you however you are accessing Nexus.


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Written by IT Services. Latest revision 6 December 2017