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What You Always Wanted To Know About NAB

Novell Cool Solutions: Tip
By Dave Muldoon

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Posted: 12 May 2005

What is NAB?

NAB stands for Novell Address Book. This is a feature of GroupWise that is often overlooked by users and administrators alike. It seems no matter who I talk to, the Novell Address Book is never quite exploited to its fullest potential. With this article, I will hopefully provide some incite into the full potential of the Novell Address Book.

Exporting the Address Book

Why would you ever want to export the Novell Address Book? There are many reasons, some administrators may want to do this to create a corporate directory, gather lists of users with the many other fields that are available in the Novell Address Book. Other users may simply want a copy of their Frequent Contacts or other personal address books to use at home, take with them on the road, or even to import into other email clients. By exporting address books, you can take your contacts with you wherever you go, no matter where you go.

From within the Address Book application window, Novell offers the File - Export menu sequence. This by default prompts to save the select address book entries, or the address book in NAB format. At first this may seem like an un-useable format as it cannot be double-clicked to open the file. However, spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel will allow you to import or open the address book and manipulate the data for usage in other programs, for printing, etc. Some examples of usage would be to create a paper copy of a corporate phone book, or to share addresses with another email system (through additional formatting).

To open these files in MS Excel, choose file - open and change the file types dropdown to all files *.*, this will allow you to locate and begin the open/import process. Locate the NAB file, choose open and at the next screen that appears click on the comma delimiter and then click the finish button to display the address book.

Filtering the Novell Address Book:

Depending on the fields that are provided to the Novell Address Book by your administrator, there are a number of things that can be filtered on. The Novell Address Book can be filtered on First Name, Last Name, Phone Number, Department, eDirectory Container, Post Office, title and the list goes on and on. By using the filtering capabilities of the Novell Address Book, you can enhance any exporting done that was described above.

In order to filter, there are two methods that you must understand. The first method is the simplest. This method involves using the predefined filters that Novell has provided. To access these, click on the interlocking rings icon on the right-hand side of the Address Book application window. The default filters are shown in the below figure (filter for Groups, Filter for Contacts and Filter for Resources). By selecting any of these filters, the Novell Address Book will only display items that match the criteria specified in the filter. NOTE: Once you are finished using a filter, you should turn off the filter through the same process that was used to turn it on.

The second method for filtering is by defining a custom filter. This is slightly more complex but has many more capabilities. For example, say your organization had a department called Network Computing Services and you wanted a list of all of the employees within this department. To filter on this information do the following from within the Address Book application:

  1. Click on any other address book; just not the Novell Address Book. The reason for this is the Novell Address Book filter options are less when defining them but they can be created under other address books and used against the Novell Address Book - which makes this process slightly confusing.

  2. If the Department field is not shown in the window, right-click any of the label headers (i.e. Name) and choose the Department option to display this field.

  3. Click the interlocking rings icon in the top-right to initiate the filter process and click on the Define Custom Filter.

  4. From the Build a filter menu, click on the first drop-down arrow and select the Department field.

  5. Click on the next dropdown arrow and select begins with.

  6. In the black field, for this example you would type Network Co* and click the OK button (Notice that you can use the * - wildcard instead of typing out the entire name). This will now display the matching users from within the address book that was selected in step 1.

  7. To display all of the users that match this criteria in the Novell Address Book you can simply select that address book that this time.

Once you have located the users that you were looking for you can export them, or select them all and send an email to them, or whatever other process you require. Once you've completed that work, click on the interlocking rings icon and select the Filter Off option. As this remains the last filter used, it will display in the filter list for re-use from either the Novell Address Book or the other address book used to create the filter originally (from step 1).


Hopefully this article has provided some ideas as to how to further enhance your GroupWise experience by getting more out of the Novell Address Book (as well as other address books). What I have found is that the more experience that users have with these types of processes within the Address book, the more they get out of GroupWise as a whole, so have some fun and try out some of the features of your address book.

For more of Dave's exciting tips and tricks or Dave's book; GroupWise Administration Made Easy, check out:

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