Why is Microsoft exchange so difficult to install?

Microsoft seem to have made Exchange near on impossible to install and get working - why does it need to be so complicated.  We are a small business we have spent three days aready trying to get Exchange to talk to outlook.
So why do Microsoft make things so complicated?  Once upon a time if you needed a service you just had to install it and walk way.
One more day then we are hitting the delete key.
robc00Asked:
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rr1968Commented:
Sorry you are having issues with MS Exchange installation.
It is easy for me to say that it is straight firward, as I have been doing this for the past 10 years.
please let us know your problem and I am sure there are very experienced gurus here, who can help you.
let us know the error description
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AmitIT ArchitectCommented:
Hi robc00,

Can you let me know, what issue you are facing. It is not difficult, if you have working exp on Exchange. Any server requires some kind of skills.
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robc00Author Commented:
According to the documentation we could set up a standlane machine using AD LDS and install MSEx and then have machines connect to the service using outlook over VPN.

1

Exchange report that the domain cert is invalid - its configured for subdomains mail, OWA, autodiscover & services IMAP, POP, IIS & SMTP

2

Looking AD - no AD LDS instance was created, should there be one?.

3

TestExchangeConnectivity - passes the autodiscovertest, but fails on the RPC over HTTP last step. Testing HTTP Authentication Methods for URL https://mail.mydomain.com/rpc/rpcproxy.dll. An HTTP 500 response was returned from Unknown

4

OWA fails after the login page with a  HTTP 500 error (may be related to 3

5

Outlook autodiscovers and set us the user, but will not connect just complaining that we must connect to outlook at least once.  We set up a VPN connection and granted the user access to Exchange Server, but we cannot get the at least once to happen.
We are a small business we dont use AD here so dont have the depth of skill - all we wanted was to do share emails and calendars etc the management are already telling me to scrap it and find something else that works.
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robc00Author Commented:
amitkulshrestha: all our skill are 90% development  and 10% server admin.... we know how to get things workings but dont always know the hows and the whyswe do things... we have the servers and will have a good go at installing something and we dont normally fail.  As for exchange - we used SMTP/POP3 servers before- as we are moving to WS2008 these services are no longer available under II7 so the logical move was to exchange.
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robc00Author Commented:
If any one is interested they can perform our tests at testexchangeconnectivity using our test account - details here
 (account will be removed and the link disabled in successful installtion or on the removal or exchange)
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ts4673Commented:
I know people will say that you don't have to but in my experience you will never get this working correctly wothout a commercial SSL SAN certificate. they dont cost that much, go daddy has one for around 70/year. then you don't need a VPN and can just use outlook anywhere.

Pay a pro a couple of bucks to help you set it up  
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robc00Author Commented:
OK - I went for RPC-HTTP corruption, so....
I reinstalled the RPC-HTTP proxy via the Exchange Management Shell
1. Disabled Outlook Anywhere via the EMC Server Client Access
2. Removed Proxy
servermanagercmd -r rpc-over-http-proxy
3. Rebooted
4. Reinstalled Proxy
servermanagercmd -i rpc-over-http-proxy
5. Restarted the AD services
6. Re-enabled Outlook Anywhere, selecting Basic authentication
6. Waited 15 Mins for the RPC to cycle

OWA  signed in and sent and received emails.
TestExchangeConnectivity now is past the useless HTTP 500 message and now reports the following whe testing the RPCProxy.DLL
Testing SSL mutual authentication with the RPC proxy server.
  Verification of mutual authentication failed.
  The certificate common name www.engineersnetwork.net doesn't validate against the mutual authentication string that was provided: msstd:mail.engineersnetwork.net

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ts4673Commented:
mail.engineersnetwork.net and www.engineersnetwork.net both bring up your main defaut web site if you add a /owa you then get an outlook web access prompt. I can't see your setup but this is not a normal arrangement and could be causing problems.

try adding a global redirect in IIS for the domain name mail.engineersnetwork.net/owa to mail.engineersnetwork.net

Please refer the the following technet article:
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa998359.aspx



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robc00Author Commented:
Thanks ts4673
We have Outlook connected now and OWA working with RPC and VPN -
The issue was a corrupt RPC proxy - reinstallation fixed this.
There is also an outstanding issue with the cert, is an organisation exchange cert but is seems to be being reported as invalid in exchange - I dont think this is a SANs cert but Ill be on to this Monday.
Globalsign root and Intermediate certs have been upgraded to exchange certs.
The websites are due to move off this server once the replacement has been signed off. leaving this maching soley at the mercy of Exchange (the Devil within!)

Incidentally messages to outlook were being downloaded blank.... AVG the anitvirus was deleting the content - that was a fun one to find.

One remain issue is with the calendar and sharing dates etc... but that can be another thread for another day.

Thanks for all the assistance.... I inform you on the state of the cert and whether it fixed the final hurdle.
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