Exchange 2000/2003 - Customize a URL for Outlook Web Access
This document discusses how to change the default URL for Outlook Web Access (OWA).
OWA is Microsoft's web-based client for Exchange, designed to look and feel like Microsoft Outlook. OWA
requires a server running both Exchange and Internet Information Server (IIS). By default, Exchange
creates a virtual directory /Exchange in IIS's default web site. For example, a user would type
the following URL to access OWA:
The URL works, but aesthetically and functionally may not be the best option. A better URL would not
include an additional directory. For example, an easier URL might look like the following:
The following instructions will explain how to change the default OWA URL to a customized URL.
(Note: The instructions will initiate an unsecure OWA interface. By default,
users will send their usernames and passwords as basic text over the Internet. To secure OWA, read
regarding installation of SSL for IIS.)
- The URL must first be advertised via DNS. In the example above, the primary zone for
sample-site.com should have a host (A record) or alias (CNAME record) entry for owa
that points to the IP address of the IIS server.
- Start Exchange System Manager.
- From the left pane, expand the tree from the root node.
- Expand the Servers node.
- Select and expand the Exchange server that will host OWA.
- Select and expand Protocols.
- Select and right-mouse click HTTP.
- Select New, then select HTTP Virtual Server to launch the Virtusl Server dialog box.
- In the Name field, enter a meaningful name. (ex. owa.sample-site.com)
- Click the Advanced button.
- From the Advanced dialog box, click the Add button.
- In the Host field, enter the customized URL, and click the OK button to close the Add dialog box.
- Click the OK button to close the Advanced dialog box.
- Click the OK button to close the Virtual Server dialog box.
- Start Internet Information Services.
- Verify that the new OWA website exists and is running.
- Using a web browser, enter the customized URL to visit the OWA interface.
- Enter a username and password for a user that has an Exchange account.
- If all goes well, the user's mailbox should display in the browser.
That is all that is required to customize the URL for Outlook Web Access. The procedure is the same for
both Exchange 2000 and Exchange 2003. The OWA interfaces will look and feel different, and is vastly
improved with the 2003 version.
Microsoft Support Page: How to Configure Certificate Server for Use with SSL on IIS (Article ID: 218445)
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