OMA & ActiveSync Exchange 2003

Posted on 2004-08-30
Last Modified: 2010-05-18

I am 'trying' to get Outlook Mobile Access working with ActiveSync on a HP PDA, but am finding out that its not the easiest thing to configure. We are running with a single server solution, and implementing a front end back end system is not a feasible option.

I am not able to login to OMA from Internet Explorer, I get the following message:

  A System error has occurred while processing your request. Please try again. If the problem persists, contact your administrator.

Then an event is logged in the Application Log of the exchange server (the first line of the description):

An unknown error occurred while processing the current request:
Message: The remote server returned an error: (403)

OWA works fine and has been doing so ever since exchange was installed, it uses SSL, but I did find an old MS KB Article which explained how to setup another copy of OWA for OMA to use which didnt have SSL, i followed this but the problem still remains. The Pocket PC device has the correct SSL certs installed on it.

What else do I need to do to get this working, I can see im not far away, but trying to find that last step is proving difficult.



Question by:ttnetworks
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 11932949
make certain the user has rights to use OMA in the their exchange properties of their user accounts under protocls, then use domainnam\usernam as a login or set the default domain for OMA in IIS on the OMA folder properties under access.


Accepted Solution

ehammersley earned 250 total points
ID: 11934300
Nick MacKechnie (don't know who he is but here's his by line) posted a procedure for a single server solution that some have followed with success.  The article you need from MS has vanished for some time now.  The infamous 817379 :-)  

SSL on the default web site breaks OMA and Active-Sync... the reasons are debatable and unclear but avoidable with some crafty magic.  Try the procedure below and see if it helps.

Author Comment

ID: 11934648

Thanks for the responses, the MSDN Blog article is exactly the one I followed a few weeks ago whilst trying to set this up. I just dont understand where this 403 error is coming from when OWA works fine. Ive read that implementing a front end, back end solution will fix this problem, but i really cant justify the cost of the extra exchange license just to get OMA working!


Expert Comment

ID: 12239519
I realize that this message is old-ish and closed already, but I have a comment to add...

We just got our OMA up and running yesterday and ran into the same issue that you had -- "A system error has occured...", etc..  Just for the sake of testing, I disabled "required SSL" on the /Exchange virtual dir.  OMA began to work, as you might expect.  However, our firewall is still configured to *ONLY* allow SSL traffic to that box externally.  In other words, internally users could access their webmail via HTTP (Port 80), but externally they still have to use HTTPS.  Meanwhile, it appears that OMA still functions just fine under those conditions.  So perhaps the /OMA virtual talks to the /Exchange virtual behind the firewall (on the box itself) and not over a standard HTTP session?!  The mobile users accessing OMA are *still* required to use when making their connection.

Could this be a workable solution for most folks?  You must still use SSL when coming in from outside the network, but it allows for OMA to talk to the /Exchange virtual unhindered.  The only downside that I can see so far is that we are now allowing non-SSL sessions to our OWA from *inside* the network, but that seems pretty low on the danger scale.  Most users here would never even try that, nor do they really use webmail when they're in the office anyhow!

Any other thoughts on this?  Am I missing anything?



Expert Comment

ID: 12720030
OK. New revalation. On a whim (or Sembee's pushing), I went into my other web server on the network. I went thru all of the logs, and low and freaking behold I am hitting that server with the AS requests. I have checked DNS, and all seems well, but you know how that can go. What should I look for???

The other web server is hosting a couple of web sites for the company, so port 80 on the firewall from the outside points to that server. But that shouldn't matter, since I am VPN'd in, and the VPN server is the mail server even!!!

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