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Outlook Web Access 2003 configuration best practices

My company is implementing Outlook Web Access (OWA) for our mobile users. I am new to the IT industry and have never configured OWA. We have a D-Link DFL-800 firewall and Exchange Server 2003. Can you please help me configure OWA from scratch?

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If you are using a single-server installation of Exchange 2003, then Outlook Web Access 2003 does not require any specific customization in order to work. It will be installed on the server as part of the Exchange setup. However, here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  1. You will need to configure your D-Link firewall for port forwarding. Make sure that it forwards HTTP (port 80) and/or HTTPS (port 443) packets to the internal IP address of the Exchange server. Use either HTTP or HTTPS depending on your security requirements.

  2. Make sure that your users have an appropriate URL to use for Outlook Web Access. You can use a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) such as https://mail.yourdomain.com/exchange, or even an IP-based URL such as https://123.45.67.89/exchange. If you use the former, make certain that mail.yourdomain.com resolves to the appropriate IP address, which is 123.45.67.89 in my example.

  3. Look at the Exchweb, Exchange and Public virtual directories in Internet Information Services (IIS) and make certain that you don't have any IP address restrictions that would prevent authorized users from accessing the system.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.

Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Tip: Exchange 2003 tuning parameters for Outlook Web Access
  • Expert Advice: Configuring IIS to authenticate OWA users
  • FAQ: Outlook Web Access issues
  • Administration Guide: Outlook Web Access
  • Reference Center: OWA tips and resources
  • This was first published in September 2007

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