Lync Contact Merge

It’s a great mystery to understand where a Lync 2013 client pulls data from to present to a user when viewing the Contact Card of another user.  While I haven’t found anything definitive on technet I was able to find some pretty good information from the Lync 2010 Resource Kit (Free E-Book).  I hope this helps others who are looking for this information.

From Chapter one the Contact Merge is explained:

Contact Merge

Lync aggregates contact information from multiple data sources and surfaces information in the Contacts list, contact card, and search results.

Lync performs duplicate contact detection by comparing the following properties of the Outlook contact and the GAL contact:

  • SIP URI or instant messaging (IM) address
  • Primary SMTP address
  • All secondary SMTP addresses

If any of the values of these properties match between the Outlook and GAL contacts, then Lync merges the contacts. All contact data shown in Lync honors the following fallback logic with the exception of the Call menu.
For each property shown in Table 1:
If source1 is not empty

Property = source1

Else if source2 is not empty

Property = source2


Property = source3


Where Property, source1, source2, and source 3 are defined in Table 1.

Table 1.

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

For properties not listed in the table, the property values come from the following sources:

  • Source 1 – AD DS
  • Source 2 – Lync Server
  • Source 3 – Outlook
  • Source 4 – Microsoft® SharePoint® (only for skill search results)*

*For skills search, the hit highlights shown in the third and fourth line of search results are returned from SharePoint Designer only.

For the Call menu, phone numbers from AD DS, Lync Server, and Outlook contacts are aggregated and displayed.

6 thoughts on “Lync Contact Merge

  1. Do you know if it’s possible to have the “Car” phone number from Outlook contact card be visible in the Lync/SFB client call menu. From what i can tell it’s not possible.

    Thanks for the post I found this info helpful even if it doesn’t solve my issue.


  2. Hey Ryan, I’ll have to double check the exact attribute in AD, not sure off the top of my head.

    But basically you open up a contact in outlook. In the phone numbers section, click the drop down menu and select Car. Like for a Car Phone I guess. I’m not sure many people use car phones anymore but I’ve got a user who does extensive contact management in outlook. Really he’s using this car phone field to store his contacts secondary mobile number. We noticed when that Car number field is populated in Outlook it doesn’t map over to the Call Menu in the Lync/SFB Client.


  3. Hi Matt,

    I now know what you’re talking about. I’ll see if i can find anything but i don’t think there is a way to tell Lync/S4B to present a phone number that is stored in the “car” filed within an Outlook contact. With that being said, with the same setup, if you find the contact within the S4B client right click the contact > Call > it will show you that car number but it will be labeled as “mobile”.

    Hope this helps.


    • Thanks Ryan, I appreciate the replies!

      I was not able to reproduce the experience you speak of in your last post. I have a contact with literally every phone number field available in outlook populated (fake numbers). Well all but Home Fax, ISDN, and Other Fax. If I right click the contact in my Skype client favorites list, click call I see 3 numbers labeled work, 1 mobile, 2 home, and then have the option for new number of skype call.

      If I open the contact card from the SFB client for the same user, and use the call drop down menu. I see all numbers listed above plus one that is not labeled that maps back to the Other phone number field in outlook.

      I basically told this client to not use the car field if he wants click to call in the SFB client. Use the 6 or so fields that do come over and don’t use the ones that don’t. He wishes Microsoft would let you customize these fields but he will or i will need to take that up with Microsoft. I also told him, If he has so many fields that he needs to populate with numbers, I suggested he goes into Outlook, select the contact, Right click the contact, select the call menu in Outlook and then he will see all phone numbers available that exist in Outlook. Using that method in my lab i see 16 available number options, all available to click to call. Not ideal but really who has 20 different phone numbers!!!!

      Thanks again!


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