Lync 2010 Contact Merge – Search Shows the Wrong Name

by Jamie Schwinn on April 3, 2012

I was recently working on a issue where some users were reporting that Lync contact searches were showing contacts with the wrong name.  The issue was found to be a side effect of Lync 2010 Contact Merge. Contact Merge is a Lync client feature that looks at the SIP URI and SMTP addresses of a contact to determine if it is a duplicate. If contacts from different data sources match on any of these fields, Lync assumes that the contacts are the same individual and merges the data from all available data sources. The merge process gives preference to the data source shown in column Source 1, Source 2, and Source 3, in that order from the table below.

Contact Merge Precedence

Property Source 1 Source 2 Source 3
Display name Outlook contact Presence AD DS
Photo Presence AD DS
Title AD DS Presence Outlook contact
Company AD DS Presence Outlook contact
Department AD DS Presence Outlook contact
Office AD DS Presence Outlook contact
Organization (for example, Manager) AD DS Presence
Web Page (for example, MySite) AD DS
Alias (mail nickname) AD DS
Name Pronunciation AD DS
Location Presence
Calendar Free/Busy Presence
Presence Status/Activity Presence
IM address (SIPURI) Presence AD DS Outlook contact
Email (primary SMTP address) AD DS Outlook contact Presence
Work Phone Presence AD DS Outlook contact
Home Phone Presence AD DS Outlook contact
Mobile Phone Presence AD DS Outlook contact
Other Phone Presence AD DS Outlook contact

In my situation, a former employee had their email address added as a secondary SMTP address to a current employee’s user account. Some users had the former’s employee’s information stored in an Outlook contact. When searching for the current employee, an Outlook contact for the former employee will merge with Lync Address Book data and override the Display Name shown in the search results.


A user named Peter Piper has left the company and has been disabled in Lync and AD. Another user, George Washington is configured with Peter Piper’s email address as a secondary email address.

By using ADSIEdit.msc, we can see that adding a secondary email address in Exchange adds an smtp: entry to the AD proxyAddresses attribute of George Washington’s user object.

The default Address Book Service (ABS) configuration parses all proxyAddresses entries of a AD user or contact object and inserts them into the Lync Address Book.

The issue occurs when a third user has an Outlook Contact for the former employee, Peter Piper.

When searching for George Washington, the Lync 2010 client matches from George Washington’s proxyAddresses entry from the Lync Address Book to the E-Mail Address in the Outlook Contact and assumes they are the same contact. This invokes Lync Contact Merge which merges the data from three data sources. The highlighted value in the table below indicates the winning data in the merge result.

Outlook Contact Lync Address Book Contact Presence Contact Merge Result
Display Name Peter Piper George Washington George Washington Peter Piper
Photo YES From Presence
Title Musician Musician
Company Peppers LTD Peppers LTD
IM Address
Work Phone +15855551234 +15855551234 +15855551234


In this example, Lync Contact Merge overrides the Display Name in Lync contact search results with the Outlook Contact when searching for George Washington.


Client Side

Delete the Outlook Contact for the former employee or change the E-Mail Address so that it won’t match any addresses configured for current employees.

Server Side

The Lync Address Book Service can be configured not to parse SMTP entries in the proxyAddresses attribute. This requires modification of the Address Book Service with the ABSConfig.exe Resource Kit Tool or with direct manipulation of the Back-End RTC database. Expect a follow-up article in the near future with detailed instructions on configuration of the Address Book Service.

Refer to chapter 1 of the Lync Server 2010 Resource Kit for more information on Lync Contact Merge.

This post was originally discussed on the Lync TechNet forum thread
Lync contact showing wrong name after new email address was added to the his exchange account…

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