OWA Issue accessing email internally via Internet IP address?

Posted on 2004-11-18
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I have exchange 2003 with SP1 installed on server 2003.

Anyway OWA works fine when outside of the office http://internet ip/exchange
However when you are in the office the only way to access the OWA is via http://servername/exchange

If i type in http://internet ip/exchange I get a HTTP 501 (Not implemented error message).

Okay the reason why I want to do this is because I am hoping that this will fix the below problem.

We have a lot of sales reps who are always ringing up the office and asking secretaries to check there email.
At present, the only way I can get this to work is by getting the secretaries to logoff there current pc, then logon as the reps name then open up IE and type in http://servername/exchange.  This is really troublesome and also if they then want to check another reps email, they have to logoff and then clear out all the cache in IE.

Surely there has to be a better way?  My theory was that if I could access the OWA via the internet IP in the office network, then it would ask for login details and this is what I want.  So then secretaries can simply enter a username/password and login as the rep on there own pc without having to logoff there current machine and logon as the new rep and then clear all IE cache out.

So if someone can answer this problem for me, that would be great :)
Question by:MysticX
    LVL 24

    Expert Comment

    There are a few things that you can do.  I will try to list the most common, from easiest to hardest (as well as my recommendation for the sales execs favorite tools...a CrackBerry):

    1)  The secretaries can type in http://servername/exchange/<useralias>
      Ex...  I am Bob Christian and my alias is bchristian
       1a)  Note:  You may want to talk to your ISP about entering the Internet IP into your external DNS.  That way you could use for the folks on the road rather than the IP.

    2)  If you have an SSL certificate setup for https:// take a look at enabling Forms Based Authentication.  I could type a page or two on this, but someone has already provided information regarding this feature of Exchange.  The nice thing is that you can turn it on and, if people protest, turn it off.  Another nice feature is that it is more secure, gives some peace of mind to IT folks that have people that travel a lot, utilizes an expiring cookie, has some customizations for idle expiration times, etc.

       2a)  If you do not have an SSL certificate, you may want to look at Geotrust or EnTrust over some of the other, more expensive, certificate vendors.
       2b)  The article above also has a great section regarding URL redirection, so that your users do not have to type in the /exchange.
       2c)  The certificate discussion may be nullified if you have a ISA firewall or something else that is providing https: abilities and proxying the connection to the OWA server.

    2.5)  Talk to your firewall folks and have them allow connectivity from Inside, to Outside, to back inside.  This is really not preferential.

    65535)  This one is just a Christmas wish:
    You may want to discuss, with management, bringing in a solution such as BlackBerry Enterprise Server or utilizing the Exchange built-in Outlook Mobile Access and getting the Windows Pocket PC smart phones.  Most of the salespeople I have met prefer the BlackBerry, but are warming up to the smart phones.
    Note that some of the new BlackBerry phones (not provided by BlackBerry, but by the cell providers) can be configured to pickup and send mail through Outlook Web Access.  It's not as fast as having a BlackBerry handheld and a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, but it might make your users happier.  Granted, this is just one for the whish list.
    LVL 2

    Author Comment

    Thanks flyguybob, that first thing you said worked, where if i put the username after it then brings up the login details each time.  But can you tell me how to change the setting in II's where sometimes when I get the login details, i get asked for:


    other times I just get

    But when I get the 2nd instance with no domain, the username HAS to be domain\username else it wont work.  I have been told you can change something in II's to fix this so you just enter the username everytime, do you know how to do this?

    Thanks :)

    PS we are investigating the user of blackberrys for all our reps, and this may be happening really soon as a huge promotion is going on atm with a local phone company giving away blackberrys plus the enterprise server if you sign up on 2 year contracts and get more than 5 which we would.
    LVL 24

    Accepted Solution


    I think that the authentication dialog box that is presented is due to different versions of IE.  With IE6 and above it should not.  I hate to cop-out by sending another link that has links to links within it...but;en-us;327843

    I will be honest...I was lazy and just configured Forms Based Authentication and used the code snippet in PCQuest's article.

    Prior to that I went to my directory security for Exchange web and enabled the first three checkboxes (did not do Basic) and then put the domain name in.  After that, however, I moved to FBA.  We had some requirements that employees not be able to save their passwords on an internet cafe' PC.  Long story....
       FBA was our only option...and I am glad that I had it.


    Featured Post

    The problems with reply email signatures

    Do you wish that you could place an email signature under a reply? Well, unfortunately, you can't. That great Exchange/Office 365 signature you've created will just appear at the bottom of an email chain. What a pain! Is there really no way to solve this? Well, there might be...

    Join & Write a Comment

    Granting full access permission allows users to access mailboxes present in their database. By giving full access permission one can open and read the content of any mailbox but cannot send emails from that mailbox.
    Set OWA language and time zone in Exchange for individuals, all users or per database.
    In this video we show how to create a Contact 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 Recipients >> Contact ta…
    The basic steps you have just learned will be implemented in this video. The basic steps are shown to configure an Exchange DAG in a live working Exchange Server Environment and manage the same (Exchange Server 2010 Software is used in a Windows Ser…

    746 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

    Need Help in Real-Time?

    Connect with top rated Experts

    15 Experts available now in Live!

    Get 1:1 Help Now