OWA access to files on server

Posted on 2007-10-04
Last Modified: 2010-04-18
i have server 2003 hosting exchange and file server. can i give a user access to their files through OWA?
Question by:jflynt
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    OWA Users could have access to files on the server if those files were stored in Public Folders. Otherwise, you would need to configure a different solution. SharePoint is one method and you could provide secure access to the SharePoint site using SSL and requiring authentication.

    There are SSL VPN appliances that allow you to create policies governing and providing access to protected network resources. There are several available and there are a slew of Open Source options. If you are running SBS, the Remote Web Workplace would allow you to provide this type of access.

    LVL 58

    Expert Comment

    Your users would need to have a login to access files through OWA, and the files would have to be stored in the Public Folders as DavidBCS says above.

    To be honest, Exchange is a secure solution for system users. For anonymous use (or storing large files or a tremendous amount of files) Exchange isn't the solution for you. I would look at something like Web Folders: You would need ports 80 (or 443 if you access your web folder over SSL) forwarded, then you just create a virtual directory in IIS pointing to the directory containing your files. Then add as a web folder and away you go.


    Author Comment

    thanks. our users currently logon with outloook  from there local computer and each user has a mydocument folder on the server. the server is a terabyte but exchange operates in the same environment. not how it should be but thats what we have so to speak. i thought i remember someone saying you could have your documents or at least a shortcut to them show up through OWA, or at least the headers, etc... i guess i am mistaken?
    LVL 58

    Accepted Solution

    Yes, you can store files in public folders and obviously access them the usual way through Outlook. In Outlook Web Access, you have to enable a feature falled freedocs, otherwise you will get a "403 Forbidden" error when accessing a file in a PF. This means the entire file is stored in the PF.

    First of all, configure FreeDocs as described here:,289483,sid43_gci1164259,00.html (You'll need to restart the MSExchangeIS service for the change to take effect)

    Once you've done that, to put a file into a public folder, you need to do it through Outlook. (I've not yet found a way of doing it through OWA) Simply open the PF in Outlook, find the file in Windows Explorer, and drag to the PF. It will then appear through Outlook there and you can get to it in OWA.

    Hope this is what you were looking for

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