Can Outlook Web Access and Microsoft Activesync co-exist without loss of OWA appearance?

Posted on 2012-09-14
Last Modified: 2012-09-25

We have one Exchange 2003 server in our school district and only one, no front end / back end type of setup.

I was having issues getting Activesysnc to work and finally disabled SSL and Forms Based Authentication and now it works like a charm.

The only problem is the web page users used to see when logging onto OWA is gone and now there is just a simple windows pop-up for username and password.  It still works fine, but doesn't look as nice.

They were both working for a while, but then suddenly ActiveSync stopped working and that has led me to where I am now.

Is there something I can do so that they both work?  As soon as I enable Forms Based Authentication OWA looks good again, but then ActiveSync doesn't work.

We are moving to Exchange 2010 in about 2 weeks and will have 2 servers so I guess it's a moot point really unless this same issue will occur with Exchange 2010.

I've heard about making 2 Exchange Virtual Servers to get both working, but it seemed like a lot of hassle when this is really just an issue of aesthetics, and they both worked before so I know somehow it had to be possible.

Thanks for any help.

Question by:mscalafasd
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    ... It sounds like you have a certificate issue. OWA is supposed to work nicely alongside ActiveSync. The two services are not mutually exclusive.

    Is your certificate properly signed by a trusted authority, and is it a proper Unified Communications certificate which can contain several Subject Alternative Names for each FQDN that your server uses? E.g. "", "", "", "exchangesvr1.yourcompany.local" and "exchangesvr1" ?

    Turn back on SSL, Forms Authentication, etc. so that OWA is working properly, and then check  for ActiveSync connectivity issues using the Microsoft Connectivity Analyzer. It should give you all green lights for the ActiveSync and for ActiveSync AutoDiscover tests.

    If the connectivity analyzer encounters problems, post the results here and we can help further.
    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    Please checked the Default Authentication Settings for Exchange-related Virtual Directories using the below link.

    Author Comment

    I will try turning those things back on... I believe everything would work fine during the test except the very last step, I think the error number was 500 in the ActiveSync test tool.

    Will let you guys know.  Thanks.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    I completely agree with Frosty555. Please post the complete error code

    Please check

    Author Comment

    As soon as I turn Forms Based Authentication back on I get this:

    ActiveSync detected, but not correctly configured. [HTTP 500: Forms-based auth enabled?]

    I'm using ActiveSync Tester by AccessMyLan

    I turn it off and all errors go away and my Iphone syncs up...

    Author Comment

    See below... I only have 1 server... so I think I'm stuck...

    Exchange Server ActiveSync and Exchange Outlook Mobile Access (OMA) use the /Exchange virtual directory to access OWA templates and Distributed Authoring and Versioning (DAV) on the Exchange back-end server. This is where the mailbox of the user is located. Server ActiveSync and OMA cannot access this virtual directory if one of the following conditions is true:

        The /Exchange virtual directory on an Exchange back-end server is configured to require Secure Socket Layer (SSL).
        Forms-based authentication is enabled.

    This issue does not occur when you enable these settings on the /Exchange virtual directory on a front-end server
    LVL 63

    Expert Comment

    by:Simon Butler (Sembee)
    This is easily resolved.
    You need to follow this KB article:
    However before you do, reset the virtual directories, including disabling forms based authentication:

    LVL 26

    Accepted Solution

    These two technologies have been working together seamlessly since Exchange 2003 was released.
    The only reason it wouldn't work is if something has been misconfigured.

    Save yourself the headache of going through all your settings by leaving this until the migration to 2010 has been completed.

    And yes, it works on one server setup too.
    You don't need the FE/BE setup for either of these components.

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