Sharing Outlook Contacts within Workgroup



Im looking for the most reliable and stable method to share a group of contacts (approx 3000 names, size:3.2mb) with 5 users within a Workgroup.

It needs to be able to be updated by at least one user, and those changes will be seen on the other computers.

Current Systems:
Windows XP
Win2k Server (in workgroup - only running DNS and DHCP and Serves files)




Have already tried Netfolders, with not so pretty results. The computer sharing the Folder kept crashing, with outlook closing unexpectantly. i was unable to google a resolution for that problem.

Any other suggestions?
ive heard of local LDAP servers and other software solutions but have not wittnessed any working.


What about a bat file that copies the address book over to the other computers? If you use robocopy, then it will check the size, time stamps and copy it over only if there something new. If the file is the same size, time stamp then it will not copy it over.
Schedule the bat to run each hour, then you know that everybody has the newest address book.

If I may ask, why dont you run a domain when you have so many computers?


My client does not wish to endure the expense of configuring a domain + purchasing Exchange or SBS.
Contacts and word documents are the only items the office requires shared.

Robocopy may run into problems while users have outlook open.



this page -

suggests “An LDAP server – especially if you have a Windows 2000 server running Active Directory, which is Outlook can access with its LDAP service”

i dont use office/outlook myself, so i cant mess with much that this site offers, but it appears to be decent information. its a good central reference for lots of different options.


He cant use AD as he is not running a domain. AD need a DHCP, DNS, Domain server…and so on. AD cant run in a workgroup.

What about a local address book? you can do the robocopy thing with their logon script. I know this is very basic, but it´s kinda hard working with a workgroup.