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How do I change the external OWA URL in Exchange 2007?

Posted on 2009-02-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I am trying to setup OWA in Exchange 2007. I have the internal URL working just fine, but have ran into trouble with the external URL.

I have created an A record and can ping the name I have plugged into the external URL field in the Management Console, so I know all DNS is working properly. I have also allowed access through the firewall.

However, I still cannot open the webpage via the external URL.

What is the proper way of changing the external URL? After I installed Exchange 2007, I changed the external URL to reflect a more proper name. I wasn't sure if I needed to make any changes within IIS or not.

Any ideas?
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Question by:cwelectric
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Expert Comment

by:LeeDerbyshire
ID: 23602037
Where are you trying it from?  You can't always access external URLs from an internal location, because they often resolve to a public IP address.  From the LAN, this IP address usually ends up at the router, so that is where your OWA requests may be going, rather than to the correct server.
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Author Comment

by:cwelectric
ID: 23602075
I can remote into my machine at home and was trying it from there.

That's where I could ping it from and I could tell the URL was resolving to the correct outside IP.
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Expert Comment

by:LeeDerbyshire
ID: 23602149
The outside IP probably won't work if you're remoting into the LAN.  Most routers don't know how to reflect internal traffic back inside when they receive internal packets for their public facing interface.  If you want to use the external URL internally, you'll need to create internal DNS records that point the public name at a private IP address.
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Author Comment

by:cwelectric
ID: 23602181
I apologize if I am being confusing...

I want to enable the external URL for users when they are outside of the LAN, for example, when they are home or on the road.

I have no use at all for OWA internally.

I remoted into my PC at home via VNC so I was not on this LAN anymore, then tried accessing the Exchange Web URL.
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Expert Comment

by:LeeDerbyshire
ID: 23602241
Ah, right.  Sorry, I thought you were remoting into INTO the LAN.

Have you configured your router to forward the correct port numbers (80 for http, 443 for https) to your OWA server (not quite the same as allowing them through the firewall)?

You will need to check the IIS log files on the server to see if the requests are actually reaching it.
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Author Comment

by:cwelectric
ID: 23602372
No problem...I can be confusing at times!

I have configured our router to forward requests on those ports to the Exchange server, as well as allowed the traffic through the firewall.

Where would I need to look in the IIS logs?
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Expert Comment

by:LeeDerbyshire
ID: 23602426
Most recent file in C:\Windows\System32\LogFiles\W3SVC1 .  Double-click one, and it'll open in Notepad.  Note that the logged times are in GMT.
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Author Comment

by:cwelectric
ID: 23602432
I found the IIS log files, but I'm a bit unsure what I'm looking for...

Just a quick question. I can reach OWA from the LAN using the internal URL, no problem. That URL has stayed the same since I installed Exchange 2007.

Would modifying the external URL after installation cause this issue? Do I need to modify something in IIS to reflect this change?
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Expert Comment

by:LeeDerbyshire
ID: 23602497
Try removing the external URL value.  Most people don't need it.  You shouldn't need to do anything in IIS.

Every time IIS receives a request from a browser (the verb sent is known as GET), it logs the request in the log file, along with other information, such as the client's IP address, its own IP address, the resource name (which for OWA 2007 is '/owa').  You can therefore tell if the external requests are coming in okay.  You should certainly see the internal ones, since that is known to work.
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Author Comment

by:cwelectric
ID: 23602571
I see the internal ones, I think.

When you say try removing the external URL value, do you mean just leave the field blank? If so, what URL should I be using to access OWA externally?
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Author Comment

by:cwelectric
ID: 23602646
I suppose it ended up being a firewall issue that was denying me access...crap.

Anyway, I suppose this post wasn't in vain, because now I am prompted to accept the certificate, which I do. Then it just takes me to a page that says "Under Construction".

Any ideas?
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Author Comment

by:cwelectric
ID: 23602655

The site you are trying to view does not currently have a default page. It may be in the process of being upgraded and configured.
 
Please try this site again later. If you still experience the problem, try contacting the Web site administrator.
 
If you are the Web site administrator and feel you have received this message in error, please see "Enabling and Disabling Dynamic Content" in IIS Help.
To access IIS Help
 
   1. Click Start, and then click Run.
   2. In the Open text box, type inetmgr. IIS Manager appears.
   3. From the Help menu, click Help Topics.
   4. Click Internet Information Services.

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:cwelectric
ID: 23602661
Eh...didn't mean to use the Code Snippet. Here's the error.

The site you are trying to view does not currently have a default page. It may be in the process of being upgraded and configured.

Please try this site again later. If you still experience the problem, try contacting the Web site administrator.

If you are the Web site administrator and feel you have received this message in error, please see "Enabling and Disabling Dynamic Content" in IIS Help.
To access IIS Help

   1. Click Start, and then click Run.
   2. In the Open text box, type inetmgr. IIS Manager appears.
   3. From the Help menu, click Help Topics.
   4. Click Internet Information Services.
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Accepted Solution

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LeeDerbyshire earned 2000 total points
ID: 23602792
Are you defintely still putting /owa on the end of the URL?  If OWA works internally, you definitely should not see that error, as long as you are going to the same directory on the same server.
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Author Comment

by:cwelectric
ID: 23602862
You're making a fool out of me today.

That was the problem...I wasn't putting /owa at the end of it.

Thanks a lot!
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