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Addressbook X LDAP allows you to share the contacts from your Addressbook with others using a shared LDAP directory. ABxLDAP allows you to transfer your contacts seamlessly to a shared LDAP directory.

ABxLDAP supports several schema mappings, including it's own, Thunderbird and Active Directory. It has been localised into French, German and Italian.

What's New

Version 1.0: Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.


Mac OS X 10.4 or later, LDAP directory with permissions to modify and create entries

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Addressbook X LDAP User Discussion

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NaOH Member IconComment+133

This software appears to be the closest thing I have yet to see for something that I've been looking for.

Basically, a way to cache LDAP data from a parent LDAP server while offline.

At the moment there is no easy way to write emails to addresses which are on an LDAP directory while offline. I either have to sync up all the addresses into my address book in advance, or I have to guess the email addresses.

I'm not talking about an automated sync between the LDAP and Address Book.
Instead, I was hoping that LDAP lookups would happen in the normal way, but that they would go to a local copy of the LDAP data.

Also, in order to reduce the amount of data requiring to be cached, there could be ways of specifying the data to be stored.

It may seem like a bit of a niche feature, but I'm convinced that it would be taken for granted once it were available.

Reply0 replies
Version 1.1.2
schmultzburger Member IconComment+0

This is a downright awesome concept, and if the developer created even a single "average joe" install for a very specific case (say, LDAP for local machine only with easy access for Thunderbird) I think people would start considering this. There are many Mail.app users who would like to switch to Thunderbird but also want OS X's Address Book. The advanced LDAP stuff could still be accessible to the advanced users with some instruction.

Example of the problem... Look at Privoxy. Pretty darn easy to install; takes just a minute to modify the browsers to use it; works pretty well with no custom configuration. All this, yet only a small fraction of a percent of Mac users will ever consider using it because it is "too hard" to understand.

30 minutes for an install/setup (for highly advanced users) is simply unacceptable. Until that is dropped ten-fold, don't expect more that a smidgen of customers willing to even try it.

Reply1 reply
Version Version1.1.1
Addressbookserver.com (Developer)

You are absolutely right and a server installation would be very useful. Providing a server installation on the other hand is not as straight forward as one would think. Many environment already have some sort of LDAP server. OS X Server's Open Directory or CommuniGate Pro for example are not uncommon. Instructions for getting OpenLDAP enabled on OS X [non-Server] are included in the manual. Having done this a few times now it doesn't take long at all. One also has to consider the nature of the product. The client installation is fully automated. I would imagine that the typical Joe would not want to set-up a LDAP server to share contacts. I would see a network administrator however to install this at a small company.

This is not to say that this will always be the case. Up to now I have helped several users with the installation process, and I will continue to do so. Should users request for an easier server installation increase in numbers and the target environment would change form small businesses to home users, I will provide a server installation. So if you are really interested in this product, but find the manual (available on the web-site) a little daunting, please let me know.

Addressbookserver.com (Developer) Member IconDev+2
Addressbookserver.com (Developer)

Thanks for your comments. You are not the first person to bring up the topic of the installation. It is a little tricky to get working. I have however updated the manual with better instruction to get it going.

The updated manual can be found here:

Please let me know if you still feel that information is lacking, in particular which specific sections. I am more then happy to include additional information. I have added a section on getting Thunderbird to use the extra attributes offered by the custom schema extension, for example.

As OS X already contains all the software for OpenLDAP to run, only the configuration task is left for the user to complete. OpenLDAP provides many settings and options which make it difficult to include a generic (one-size-fits-all) solution. Many clients already have an existing service running or would like to make use of a specific schema mapping. Also the project is still in it's early stage and I am still gathering user requirements and suggestions. In the past I have assisted many users via e-mail and iChat to get a directory configured. Each time taking their individual needs into account. This process takes anywhere from 30mins to 3 hours depending on the users skill set.

In many cases the typical scenario is to have the LDAP directory on a separate server to the client installations. This would require 2 type of installations, one for the client and another for the server. There are also security considerations to be taken into account.

Up to now I have tried to produce as good as possible documentation, but I agree that there is always room for improvements.

The price of $30 (£15 GBP) covers a site license and is used to cover development / hosting costs. It is not intended as a per-client basis. Unfortunately Mac-Updated does not offer this option and it is not clear on their web site. It is however covered on the projects web-site and in the updated manual. The product is still available as a free download. I have spend a fair amount debating if making this product commercial would be a good option. In the end I decided for a mixed option. I would like to make this project as much community driven as possible and maybe even open source it as some point. Up to now I have been the only developer on it with little input from others. The general feedback has been positive.

Since giving users the option to "buy" the product I have been a lot more motivated to work on new features as I could see a direct response form the community. I just find that this works best so far, as the users tend to value the software more if they paid for it, and I am more eager to work on new feature and improvements. I am under no illusions and know that this will not make me rich, never mind rich quickly. Yet I do feel that my efforts should be rewarded.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.0rc1.14
Hendrik Hero Hamlet Wouters

Thanks for your reply!

I just saw it, but I will try your suggestions as soon as I have time.

Thank you for investing your time in this project!

Hendrik Hero Hamlet Wouters Member IconComment+1
Hendrik Hero Hamlet Wouters

I feel that this is an interesting app, but i find it too hard to get working properly.

I just want to have a shared Address Book with the system Address Book, NeoOffice and Thunderbird using the same database.

With this app it seems possible, but i cannot find out how.

I am willing to pay for good software, but for $30 I really expect a solution working out of the box. I would like the program/installer to setup a local LDAP database for me, and get it connected to the system Address Book.

(I am a programmer, but i don't know the slightest about setting up LDAP. The manual is lacking the info that I need to get it running quickly. I know that (with some googling) I would be able to get it working in the end, but I fear this would cost me the better part of the day, which costs far more than $30)

So: please automate all steps to setup a shared address book between LDAP-compatible applications, and I guess you have a goldmine!
(I would deploy it on my clients' macs to get them working woth NeoO, so you would at least sell a few licences to me)

Reply0 replies
Version 1.0rc1.14
user icon+0
Version 1.0
> 5 1


Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 6,966
Version Downloads 1,338
License Shareware
Date 03 Apr 2010
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / PPC 32 / Intel 32 / PPC 64
Price $30.00
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