Applies to: Exchange Server 2013, Exchange Online
Topic Last Modified: 2012-11-01
A group naming policy lets you standardize and manage the names of distribution groups created by users in your organization. You can require a specific prefix and suffix be added to the name for a distribution group when it's created, and you can block specific words from being used. This helps you minimize the use of inappropriate words in group names.
A group naming policy:
- Enforces a consistent naming strategy for groups created by
- Identifies distribution groups in the shared address book.
- Suggests the function or membership of the group.
- Identifies the type of users who are likely members of the
- Identifies the geographic region the group is used in.
- Blocks inappropriate words in group names.
How does a group naming policy work? When a user creates a group, they specify a name in the Display Name field. After the group is created, Microsoft Exchange applies the group naming policy by adding any prefix or suffix that you've defined in the group naming policy. The full name is displayed in the distribution groups list in the Exchange Administration Center (EAC), the shared address book, and the To:, Cc:, and From: fields in email messages. If a user tries to use a word that you've blocked, they get an error message when they try to save the new group and are asked to remove the blocked word and save the group again.
Here are some examples of a group naming policy. In each, <Group Name> is a descriptive name provided by the person who creates the group. Exchange adds the prefixes and suffixes defined by the policy to the display name when the group is created.
- Text strings, with underscore characters, used for a single
prefix (DG) and suffix (Users):
- Multiple prefixes (DG and Contoso) and one suffix
(Users), using text strings:
- An attribute (Department) used for the prefix:
For example, say that your school populates the Department attribute for faculty members. Here's an example of a group name created by a faculty member in the Psychology department:
In this example, the underscore character (_) is provided as the only text string in a second prefix to separate the department name from the group name.
What do you need to know before you begin?
- Estimated time to complete: 5 minutes.
- You need to be assigned permissions before you can perform this
procedure or procedures. To see what permissions you need, see the
"Distribution Groups" entry in the Recipients
- The maximum length for a group name is 64 characters. This
includes the combined number of characters in the prefix, the group
name provided by the user, and the suffix.
- The group naming policy is applied only to groups created by
users. When you or other administrators use the EAC to create
distribution groups, the group naming policy is ignored and not
applied to the group name.
- Group names are created without spacing. We recommend that you
use an underscore character (_) or some other placeholder between
text strings, attributes, and the group name.
- You can use Windows PowerShell to override the group naming
policy when you create and edit a distribution group. For more
information, see Override the
Distribution Group Naming Policy.
- For information about keyboard shortcuts that may apply to the
procedures in this topic, see Keyboard Shortcuts in
the Exchange Admin Center.
Use the EAC to create a group naming policy
- In the EAC, select Groups > More > Configure group naming policy.
- Under Group Naming Policy, configure the prefix by
selecting either Attribute or Text in the pull-down
- Attribute Select the attribute and then
- Text Type the text string and click
- Attribute Select the attribute and then click OK.
- Click Add to add additional prefixes.
- For the suffix, in the pull-down menu, select either
Attribute or Text, and configure the suffix.
- Click Add to add additional suffixes.
After you add a prefix or suffix, notice that a preview of the group naming policy is displayed.
- To delete a prefix or suffix from the policy, click
- Click Blocked Words to add or remove blocked words.
- To add a word to the list, type the word to block and click
- To remove a word from the list, select it and click
- To edit an existing blocked word, select it and click
- To add a word to the list, type the word to block and click Add .
- When you are finished, click Save.
How do you know this worked?
To verify that you’ve successfully created a group naming policy, do the following:
- In the EAC, select Groups > More >
Configure group naming policy.
On the Group naming policy page, the group naming policy that you defined is displayed under Preview of policy.
- In Windows PowerShell, run the following command to display the
group naming policy.
Get-OrganizationConfig | FL DistributionGroupNamingPolicy