Tag Archives: Directory Sync

Resolve Error 012 when synchronizing Active Directory to Microsoft BPOS

I recently started implementing Microsoft BPOS (Business Productivity Online Suite) to take advantage of the Office Live Meeting accounts for internal use.  One of the first steps in the process was to setup the Directory Sync to synchronize our on premise Active Directory domain with the Microsoft Online Services directory.   The instructions for that process are very straight forward and easy to follow using the online web pages.

Shortly after the synchronization process started we started to receive the following error messages:

Error 012: Unable to update this object in Microsoft Online Services because the proxy address associated with this object in the local Active Directory is already associated with another object. Fix this in your local Active Directory.

This was happening with a number of the distribution groups associated with our Cisco Unity implementation like unad...@kkl.com and unad...@kraftkennedy.com.   After searching through our domain for identical ProxyAddresses (there weren’t any), it was time to bring Microsoft Online Service Tech Support in to troubleshoot the problem.

A knowledgeable support engineer answered the phone and we started looking into the normal solutions to this problem which have already been covered elsewhere.    We eventually narrowed down the problem to the length of the SMTP email addresses.  It appears that something in the Directory Sync process only looks at the first 20 characters of an email address (at least for the distribution groups that we were synchronizing).   For example, the email addresses were unad...@kkl.com and unad...@kraftkennedy.com, so both of these email addresses appeared to be identical in the first 20 characters “unaddressedmessages@” as far as Directory Sync is concerned.  Not until we turned off the RUS for these email addresses and removed the duplicates in the first 20 characters of the email addresses did the Error 012 error messages go away.

Also during our testing we were seeing some issues with similar duplication in the Display Name as well, so if you are continuing to get Error 012 messages you may also want to make sure the Display Name is unique in the first 20 characters.

Unfortunately the Microsoft Support Engineer wasn’t able to confirm that Directory Sync and BPOS actually worked this way, but hopefully this will help you resolve your own Error 012 messages going forward.

Note: This blog article also posted on my work blog here.