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How to Simplify the Outlook Web Access URL

 

Applies to: Exchange Server 2007 SP3, Exchange Server 2007 SP2, Exchange Server 2007 SP1, Exchange Server 2007

Topic Last Modified: 2011-11-23

This topic explains how to simplify the Microsoft Office Outlook Web Access URL in Microsoft Exchange Server 2007. By using Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager, you can simplify the Outlook Web Access URL that users use to access their mailbox. The procedures in this topic are divided into the following sections:

  • Windows Server 2003

    The first procedure in this section describes how to redirect an HTTPS request that is sent to the root of the Web server to the Exchange virtual directory. For example, a request that is sent to https://mail.contoso.com is redirected to https://mail.contoso.com/owa for an Exchange 2007 server or to https://mail.contoso.com/exchange for an Exchange 2003 server.

    The second procedure in this section describes how to redirect an HTTP request to HTTPS together with the Exchange virtual directory. For example, a request that is sent to http://mail.contoso.com is redirected to https://mail.contoso.com/owa for an Exchange 2007 server or to https://mail.contoso.com/exchange for an Exchange 2003 server.

  • Windows Server 2008

    The first procedure in this section describes how to redirect an HTTP request that is sent to the root directory of the Web server to the /owa virtual directory. For example, a request that is sent to http://mail.contoso.com is redirected to http://mail.contoso.com/owa. This procedure is appropriate in an environment in which Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is not configured on the Default Web Site or on the OWA virtual directory.

    The second procedure in this section describes how to redirect an HTTP request to HTTPS together with the /owa virtual directory. For example, a request that is sent to http://mail.contoso.com is redirected to https://mail.contoso.com/owa. This procedure is appropriate in an environment in which SSL is configured on the Default Web Site or on the OWA virtual directory.

    The third procedure in this section describes how to disable redirection for the other virtual directories that are under the Default Web Site. By default, all virtual directories that are under a Web site in IIS 7.0 inherit the redirection settings from that Web site.

To perform the following procedures, the account you use must be delegated the Exchange Server Administrator role and membership in the local Administrators group for the target server.

For more information about permissions, about delegating roles, and about the rights that are required to administer Exchange Server 2007, see Permission Considerations.

  1. In IIS Manager, navigate to Web Sites/Default Web Site, right-click Default Web Site, and then click Properties.

  2. Click the Home Directory tab, and then click the A redirection to a URL option.

  3. In the Redirect to box, type /directory name. For example, to redirect https://server name requests to https://server name/exchange, type /exchange.

    • If all the mailboxes that will be accessed by using Outlook Web Access are located on Exchange 2007 servers, you can replace /exchange with /owa. Doing this redirects all requests to https://server name to https://servername/owa.

  4. In the The client will be sent to: list, select A directory below URL entered.

    noteNote:
    To access other mailboxes, users must enter the full URL, including the user name.
    noteNote:
    The server name in the URL must be what users type into their browsers to reach Outlook Web Access. This name may differ from the host name of the Client Access server, depending on the topology of the network.

  1. Create the following file in Notepad, and save it to drive:\inetpub\wwwroot as SSLRedirect.htm.

    noteNote:
    In this path, <server name> represents the name of your Client Access server.
    <html>
    <head>
    <title>HTML Redirection to https:</title>
    <META HTTP-EQUIV="Refresh"
    CONTENT="1; URL=https://<servername>/exchange">
    </head>
    <body>
    This page is attempting to redirect you to <a href="https:// <servername>/exchange/">https:// <servername>/exchange</a><br>
    If you are not redirected within a few seconds, please click the link above to access Outlook Web Access.
    </body></html>
    
  2. Open IIS Manager, and then navigate to Web Sites/Default Web Site. Right-click Default Web Site, and then click Properties.

  3. Click the Home Directory tab, and then select A redirection to a URL.

  4. In the Redirect to box, type /Exchange.

  5. Select The client will be sent to: A directory below the URL entered above.

  6. Click the Custom Errors tab, and then find HTTP Error 403;4 in the table. Click 403;4 to select it, and then click Edit.

  7. Click Browse to locate the file that you created in step 1.

  8. Click OK to save your changes.

  9. Open a Command Prompt window, and then type iisreset /noforce to restart IIS.

  1. Start the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager snap-in.

  2. Expand the local computer, expand Sites, and then click Default Web Site.

  3. At the bottom of the Default Web Site Home pane, click Features View if this option is not already selected.

  4. In the IIS section, double-click HTTP Redirect.

  5. Click to select the Redirect requests to this destination check box, and then type /owa.

  6. Under Redirect Behavior, click to select the Only redirect requests to content in this directory (not subdirectories) check box.

  7. In the Status code list, click Found (302).

  8. In the Actions pane, click Apply.

  9. For the new settings to take effect, start a command prompt, and then run the IISReset command.

noteNote:
If you use this procedure, and if SSL is required on the Default Web Site or on the OWA virtual directory, users receive a "403 - Forbidden: Access is denied" error message when they try to access the OWA virtual directory without specifying the virtual directory. For example, users receive the error message if they use an http://mail.contoso.com Web address. In this scenario, you must redirect HTTP to HTTPS, and then also redirect the request to the /owa virtual directory. To do this, use the following procedure.

  1. Start the Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager snap-in.

  2. Expand the local computer, expand Sites, and then click Default Web Site.

  3. At the bottom of the Default Web Site Home pane, click Features View if this option is not already selected.

  4. In the IIS section, double-click HTTP Redirect.

  5. Click to select the Redirect requests to this destination check box.

  6. Type the absolute path of the /owa virtual directory. For example, type https://mail.contoso.com/owa.

  7. Under Redirect Behavior, click to select the Only redirect requests to content in this directory (not subdirectories) check box.

  8. In the Status code list, click Found (302).

  9. In the Actions pane, click Apply.

  10. For the new settings to take effect, start a command prompt, and then run the IISReset command.

When you configure redirection from a top-level directory in Windows Server 2008, the settings are propagated to lower-level directories. For example, when you configure redirection to the /owa virtual directory as shown in the previous procedures, the settings that you configured on the Default Web Site also appear on the HTTP Redirect page of all the virtual directories, such as /Autodiscover, /Exchange, and /Public. Therefore, you must remove inherited redirection from all the virtual directories, especially the /owa virtual directory if you are redirecting to the /owa directory from the Default Web Site.

  1. For a virtual directory that has a physical path, double-click the HTTP Redirect icon in the Features view of the virtual directory, and then click to clear the Redirect requests to this destination check box. Then, click Apply.

  2. For a virtual directory that does not have a physical path, such as /Exchange, /Exchweb, and /Public, the Redirect requests to this destination check box may be unavailable (dimmed). In this scenario, run a command that resembles the following from the %WINDIR%\System32\Inetsrv directory, as appropriate for the particular virtual directory:

    appcmd set config "default web site/exchange" /section:httpredirect /enabled:false -commit:apphost
    
  3. (Optional step) If you enable the redirection check boxes for virtual directories that do not have a physical path, run the following command from the %WINDIR%\System32\Inetsrv directory:

    appcmd unlock config "default web site" /section:httpredirect -commit:apphost
    

    Then, for each appropriate virtual directory, you can double-click the HTTP Redirect icon in the Features view, and then click to clear the Redirect requests to this destination check box.

For more information about how to manage Outlook Web Access, see Managing Outlook Web Access.

For more information about how to manage Client Access, see Managing Client Access.

 
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