[Okta Webinar] Learn how to a build a cloud-first strategyRegister Now

x
?
Solved

Advanced OWA Branding: Changing Default Virtual Directory, Cloaking, Changing Title of OWA Pages

Posted on 2004-09-05
9
Medium Priority
?
596 Views
Last Modified: 2008-01-16
Hi,

The first thing I am trying to do is to change the default virtual directory /exchange to the root directory "/" withouth adding a second exchange virtual server, if possible. MSFT lists http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;174707 this resource, but the files and registry edits to which it refers do not exist in Exchange 2003. Anyone know of a more recent update to this KB article that would enable me to modify the site such that the /exchange switch is no longer necessary? I have read through some EE articles on this but they focus around creating a second site, which I would prefer not to do.

Second, I'm trying to figure out where the actual OWA files are such that I can change the title (to MyCompany Outlook Web Access or some such). I have had good success in editing the login page (owalogon.asp) but can't seem to find the file to work on in order to change this.

Finally, and the expertise for this may lie more in the general web category, but I am trying to make it such that my users don't see all that garbage in the URL bar at the login screen (that is they simply see http://mail.xyz.com rather than https://mail.xyz.com/exchweb/bin/auth/owalogon.asp?reason=1). Of course I know the arguments have to present in some form--but do they have to be shown to the end-users?

Really looking forward to your help.

Jay
0
Comment
Question by:jbreg
9 Comments
 
LVL 104

Accepted Solution

by:
Sembee earned 1600 total points
ID: 11984357
Changing OWA to be in the root directory is very simple.

1. Start IIS Manager
2. Right click on the "Default Web Site" and choose "Properties".
3. Click on the "Home Directory" tab.
4. Change the first option to "A redirection to a URL".
5. Enter "/exchange" in to the box (minus quotes)
6. Change the entry below to "A directory below URL entered".
7. Click Apply/OK and close the IIS Manager.
8. Test.

As for you other questions - I personally don't see the value in making those types of changes. If you need to apply any patches or updates to OWA then you will loose the changes. Furthermore you could break OWA if you make a single change in the wrong place. OWA for Exchange 2003 is a complex application and is very easy to break.

For hiding the URLs, the only way I can think is a 100% frame. Don't make the change I have indicated above, instead replace the default page with a framed page that opens OWA from the default location.

Simon.
0
 
LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:BNettles73
BNettles73 earned 400 total points
ID: 11985536
To really accomplish what you want, it may take some registry hacks and customizing the CSS ... that being said, I have some links below which might help you.

Official Microsoft Documentation for Customizing OWA (was for E2K but most of it, if not all, is still relevant for E2K3)
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=6532e454-073e-4974-a800-1490a7cb358f&displaylang=en

Customize the logon page from Domain\Username to Username
- http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/OWA2003Forms-based-Authentication-default-domain.html

Managing OWA Access Features
- http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;%5Bln%5D;830827

Branding Exchange 2003 Outlook Web Access
http://www.pcquest.com/content/enterprise/2004/104063004.asp

Skinning OWA 2003
http://www.winnetmag.com/Windows/Article/ArticleID/41108/41108.html

OWA 2003 Administration Utility
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=4bbe7065-a04e-43ca-8220-859212411e10&displaylang=en (Download)
http://www.msexchange.org/tutorials/Outlook-Web-Access-Web-based-Administration.html (Tutorial)

Creating Custom Themes for OWA 2003 Tutorial
http://www.msexchange.org/articles/Exchange_2003_Outlook_Web_Access_Themes.html
0
 

Author Comment

by:jbreg
ID: 11985768
Simon,

I did as you said and it works such that https://mail.xyz.com redirects to https://mail.xyz.com/exchange. That's fine. However, I had previously set up a redirection so that http://mail.xyz.com would redirect to https://mail.xyz.com/exchange, following exactly the steps in http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;555126 . This no longer seems to function--any ideas?

The end goal of that portion of the project is such that http://mail.xyz.com and https://mail.xyz.com both produce the login page for OWA.

When i try http://mail.xyz.com it, strangely, brings up a domain prompt, which when I fill it nothing happens...
0
NEW Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 1.5

With Office 365, it’s your data and your responsibility to protect it. NEW Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365 eliminates the risk of losing access to your Office 365 data.

 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 11987550
Change the code on your HTTP to HTTPS error page so that it just redirects without the sub folder. That should fix both problems.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jbreg
ID: 12009482
On the latter point, I still cannot get http://mail.xyz.com to redirect to https://mail.xyz.com. Instead, it goes to a logon box. When I enter even valid logins it gives a page that says ERROR: access is denied and lists the url in the addy bar as http://mail.xyz.com/exchange/

I have tried editing the owahttps.asp file to redirect to / in both of the following ways:

Original

<%     If Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_PORT")=80 Then         Dim strSecureURL         strSecureURL = "https://"         strSecureURL = strSecureURL & Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_NAME")         strSecureURL = strSecureURL & "/exchange"         Response.Redirect strSecureURL     End If   %>

Attempt 1 (changing "/exchange" to "/")

<%     If Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_PORT")=80 Then         Dim strSecureURL         strSecureURL = "https://"         strSecureURL = strSecureURL & Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_NAME")         strSecureURL = strSecureURL & "/"         Response.Redirect strSecureURL     End If   %>

Attempt 2 (deleting "/exchange" completely)

<%     If Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_PORT")=80 Then         Dim strSecureURL         strSecureURL = "https://"         strSecureURL = strSecureURL & Request.ServerVariables("SERVER_NAME")         strSecureURL = strSecureURL   Response.Redirect strSecureURL     End If   %>

Also, is there an inherent delay in using redirects such as this--I noticed page loading time is a bit slow. For that reason I'd prefer to edit this in the registry as per the first KB article I mentioned that refers only to earlier versions of exchange...

Thanks for all your help!
0
 
LVL 104

Expert Comment

by:Sembee
ID: 12009597
The main issue you have here is that using the method you have used OWA requires authentication - even when on the redirect. The page will not load until authentication is complete.

I wouldn't touch the code - any changes that you make will be lost on the next service pack update. I also think you are trying to achieve too much before the basics are working. Before adjusting code get the default files and installation to work as required.

I would make the change to have /exchange as the default on that site. That is a change to the IIS configuration for the default web site.
Next I would enable the require SSL option in IIS.
Then adjust the IIS error page to redirect as per the MS KB article.
That should be all you need to do.

Simon.
0
 

Author Comment

by:jbreg
ID: 12011073
I actually got it working. I used Simon's comments about changing the home dir on the default ws directory to /exchange and a directory below the current directory. Then I created a second website which looks for the host header mail.xyz.com and redirects to https://mail.xyz.com/exchange, which covers both people who type in https://mail.xyz.com and http://mail.xyz.com.

However, what would have been ideal is for MSFt to update the KB article http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;174707  to support newer versions of exchange, which details how to edit the registry, etc to change the default virtual directory of exchange.

Many thanks for all your help!

Jay
0
 
LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:dbsiadmin
ID: 13290104
Thank you Simon and Jay,

The combination of your solutions worked perfectly for me.

-Devin
0
 

Author Comment

by:jbreg
ID: 13291337
Nice.

We are really happy with the implementation--it makes the OWA front end feel very in brand for us...
0

Featured Post

What does it mean to be "Always On"?

Is your cloud always on? With an Always On cloud you won't have to worry about downtime for maintenance or software application code updates, ensuring that your bottom line isn't affected.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

The main intent of this article is to make you aware of ‘Exchange fail to mount’ error, its effects, causes, and solution.
If you have come across a situation where you need to find some EDB mailbox recovery techniques, then here you will find the same. In this article, we will take you through three techniques using which you will be able to perform EDB recovery. You …
In this video we show how to create an Address List in Exchange 2013. We show this process by using the Exchange Admin Center. Log into Exchange Admin Center.: First we need to log into the Exchange Admin Center. Navigate to the Organization >> Ad…
To add imagery to an HTML email signature, you have two options available to you. You can either add a logo/image by embedding it directly into the signature or hosting it externally and linking to it. The vast majority of email clients display l…
Suggested Courses

873 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question