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How can we add tabs or fields to Active Directory schema?

We would like to add additional tabs or fields in Active Directory so that we can better use query-based distribution lists. What does it take to extend the schema of AD to add these additional fields? We would like to have a box for users to check if they have a Blackberry or not.

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The most common way to extend the AD schema is by using LDIF files (see this Windows IT Pro article for more details). However, I'm going to caution you against extending the AD schema left-and-right, as any scheme extensions you make are going to be (even in Windows Server 2003) relatively permanent and hard to excise if you need to make any later changes or deletions. You might want to look at Active Directory Application Mode (ADAM) as a way to store information of the sort that your user base is requesting, without needing to permanently extend the schema for each addition.

This was first published in December 2005

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