Active Directory Groups


Microsoft Active Directory has several different types of groups determined by the GroupType.

Generally there are either

Each of these can be further classified as one of the following:


The member Attribute on Group which is the FDN of the users (and nested groups) that are members of the group and is referred to as a Forward Reference.


The memberOf Attribute on the user (on a group in case of nested groups) is the FDN of the Group the user is a member and is referred to as a Virtual Attribute.

Nested Groups#

Microsoft Active Directory supports nested groups. (ie a group can be a member of another group

Sending Email to a Active Directory Groups#

You can use Security Groups for sending email. Like Distribution Groups, Security Groups can also be used as an e-mail entity. Sending an e-mail message to a Security Groups Distribution Groups sends the message to all the members of the group.

Memberships Of Groups#

Group TypeMembershipMemberOfGroups in Global CatalogMembers in Global Catalog
Domain Local GroupUser entries From any Domain
Universal Groups From any Domain
Global Groups From any Domain
Domain Local Group From Same Domain
Domain Local Groups From same DomainYESNO
Global GroupUsers From Same Domain
Global Group From Same Domain
Universal Group From any Domain
Domain Local Group From any Domain
Global Group From Same Domain
Universal GroupUser From Any Domain
Universal Group from any domain
Global Group From Any Domain
Domain Local Group from any domain
Universal Group From any Domain

Active Directory Groups and Global Catalog#

The GroupType of the Active Directory Group determines how the group and their Members are listed in the Global Catalog

Microsoft says this reduces the size of the Global Catalog and the replication traffic associated with keeping the Global Catalog up to date. You can improve network performance by using groups with global or domain local scope for directory objects that will change frequently.

More Information#

There might be more information for this subject on one of the following: