Dynamic Distribution Groups–Part 1

Hear, ye! Hear, ye!

mail letter emailFrom secondary schools to universities there are lots of reasons why you’d want to send email to lots of users at once. Maybe it’s the meeting request for the weekly staff briefing, or a project deadline to your tutor group. Dynamic distribution groups are a great way to manage communication with groups of users.

Amongst other things Live@edu allows you to populate any one of 15 custom attribute fields with information that you can use later when building a dynamic distribution group.

Some examples of uses of custom attributes in relation to Dynamic Distribution Groups:

  • Year of entry – a DDG to be able to send mail to all students in a particular year group.
  • Course codes – a DDG to mail everyone on a particular course
  • Tutor group code – a DDG for a form tutor to be able to share information with their tutor group.


As with many things in Live@edu we need to use PowerShell to configure DDGs, unlike a standard distribution group. If you’re unfamiliar with PowerShell I would look into some books or training courses because it’s an incredibly valuable tool when it comes to managing and customising Live@edu.

To create a DDG you can run the following commands:

New-DynamicDistributionGroup "All Staff" -IncludedRecipients MailboxUsers, MailContacts –ConditionalCustomAttribute1 Staff

This command creates a dynamic distribution group called “All Staff” and includes mailbox users, and mail contacts whose “customAttribute1” field contains “Staff”.

You can test to see who would be included in an email to this distribution group by running the following:

$DDG = Get-DynamicDistributionGroup "All Parents";
Get-Recipient -RecipientPreviewFilter $DDG.RecipientFilter

In the next post we’ll talk about how you can moderate and hide a dynamic distribution group. If you want to find out more about DDG’s take a look at Outlook Live Help.