SFB Address Book Troubleshooting and Fixes

Hello All,


Let me begin by saying this Blog looks really boring to read. I am adding a Picture to the top so it looks more fun. I know it wont make it any more fun, but at least I feel like a better writer somehow.


This is a picture of a Tea Cup Pit Bull! Yes they do have those. Let me tell you, She is mean as can be as long as she stays near a Blanket !

Back to SFB- Address Books is it broken-> Lets see.

I have been troubleshooting some Lync address book failures this week. I thought I would sit down and write down some of the basic troubleshooting I do to isolate a potential problem. This post assumes you are not running UCS, but It may still be helpful. I would remove UCS for troubleshooting if your having Address Book Problems anyway.

Call Driver Scenarios

First I will put down some basic directions to go based on some early on questions:

  1. 1. Is text in the address book corrupt in some way? If yes, I have seen this issue occur only when UCS had been partially or fully Deployed. Then a migration occurred. If the UCS (unified contact store) had been deployed and you then migrated exchange or Lync Server, your best bet is to do a UCS rollback for Lync. Next Update your Lync Clients, so they are all current, to the version of Server CU. Next, redeploy UCS if your issue is not resolved. Now you will need to wait 24 hours or so for the corruption to be cleaned up.
  2. Is the customer using the ABSConfig tool? This is part of the resource tool kit. You will suspect this if the tool is installed in the environment and the address book is having issues. The first thing to check is if the tool matches the Lync server update version. If the ABSConfig tool is an older version, this is one reason for ABS updates having a problem. Second, Try putting the ABSConfig back to default, and see if that doesn’t help out the issue
  3.  Is there a problem with the way the Text is displayed? In other words are the phone numbers displayed wrong? Is the customer aware of a file called the Company_Phone_Number_Normalization_Rules.txt”? If this file exists in the Share of each pool of the Lync deployment. You may also find a default one created in the C:\Program Files\Skype for Business Server 2015\Server\Core folder. You will need to search the troubleshooting Documents on this, but if you have this file in place, you can over-ride it by using the command

set-csaddressbookconfiguration -identity -IgnoreGenericRules $true

You can also Delete the file, or edit the file as well. See point #4 below. Ken is now telling us this file is not used for Skype for Business If you need to go further here, you can start with his post

4.  So I get the feeling you can use the Company normalization file if you want. If you have to go down that road, I would use this AddressbookNormalizatoin.ps1 tool to do it. It appears to be written for SFB, but I am sure it works with Lync 2013 as well. Normalization tool

5. Contacts, Distributions lists, and presence does have real limitations. Please check out these limitations. You may find your issue may revolve around limits of the application – Application limits

6. The user has reached the Maximum amount of followers. This should not be changed. This is a Default behavior. It can be changed, but is not recommended


Now with those things out of the way, let’s do some simple test for the Address book service:

  1. Test-CSAddressBookService
  2. Test-CsAddressBookWebQuery

The other aspect to test is can your client get the web service URL? You will get a login pop up. It will fail. But if you don’t get a 401 or don’t get the prompt, then you know this issue is at the directory:

Does the Web Contacts work

  • The Address Book Configuration- Get-CsUserReplicatorConfiguration
  • Look for the LSABS files in the command below. You can delete these out of the folder to make sure they are being created. If they are then next…
  • Are the Files on the server being generated- run this command to see those files-

abserver -dumpfile “\\\SQL2012BE\hello\1-WebServices-1\ABFiles\00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000\00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000” c:Tempaddress-abs.txt

To check these things you may need to force initiate the address book replication:

  1. Update-CsAddressBook
  2. Update-CsUserDatabase -Force

You may also not be aware there are two mechanisms for the address book. One uses a file cache. The other users a live web search. You can use one at a time, or you can use both. The default is to use both. Here is how to force the use of only the web look up. This will tell you if the web look up is working.

The default value for SFB Client policy is WebSearchAndFileDownload

What your going to do is run the following command.

Get-CsClientPolicy | Set-CsClientPolicy -AddressBookAvailability WebSearchOnly

Once this is done, perform your update CS commands and wait. This may take a little bit for the policy to filter down. You can change the command back, but this will take a while to switch, either way.

Client Side

Now if you have checked the Server and you don’t see any failures there, you should next clear out the cache files on the client and try to initiate a new address book download. Do this by deleting the following files:

GalContacts.db and GalContacts.db.idx. In Lync 2013 this is a file called ABS__sipdomain.cache

Forrest Level

There is an unusual circumstance where contacts will not update if they are not in the correct Domains list.

More on this in another article.

# Add domains

Set-CsUserReplicatorConfiguration -Identity global -ADDomainNamingContextList @{Add=”dc=domainA,dc=local”,”dc=domainB,dc=Com”}

# Remove domain

Set-CsUserReplicatorConfiguration -Identity global -ADDomainNamingContextList @{Remove=”dc=domainB,dc=Com”}

To conclude, there is a lot here in just troubleshooting the Address Book Update. This is by no means an exhaustive document. However, It does give you a place to start, and hopefully with these commands I have used for a while now, you will get a foothold into the failure, and you may be able to get down to a possible solution.

In closing I will add that the Address Book service itself is not usually a problem. The one issue I run into over and over again was from Lync 2013 Updates, around the time SFB came out. There was a patch in there, where the update caused web services a bad time In IIS. The advice is just to make sure you are up to date on your Lync 2013 Updates. Also Skype for Business should not be RTM at this point. SFB needs to be at the current CU, and you should not have any issues, with the Address Book. This also means update your Client!!

Thank you,




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