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Offline OWA

Posted on 2013-12-31
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Last Modified: 2014-07-03
I am looking to upgrade an existing OWA service based ion Exchange 2003 to a version that supports Offline OWA - i.e. the ability to view email messages and prepare new email messages without a connection to the internet.

I understand Exchange 2013 can do this but I wondered if there were more cost efficient ways of achieving the same thing with the existing server.  If I were to adopt Office 2013 and use Outlook 2013, would it be possible to use this offline with a local OST file and thus get access to historical email and be able to prep email for sending once a internet connection is available?

Thanks
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Question by:MikeDTE
11 Comments
 
LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Jeremy Weisinger
ID: 39748212
Outlook has always been able to work offline. I don't know of any 3rd party solutions for Offline OWA though.
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LVL 22

Assisted Solution

by:Nick Rhode
Nick Rhode earned 166 total points
ID: 39748273
As long as outlook is setup using exchange cache mode, all mail is available that has been retrieved from exchange offline and will update when connected to the internet (if outlook anywhere is setup otherwise the device would have to be onsite).
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Author Comment

by:MikeDTE
ID: 39748674
Thanks for the replies.  The information given is well meant but I knew this already.  I have been using Outlook over VPN for many years but I now need to use a more up-to-date version.

My question is in respect of Outlook 2013 which is normally Cloud based as I understand it.  What I want to do is run Outlook 2013 without an internet connection so that I can see historical email and prepare emails for sending once an internet connection is possible.  Typically this will be on flights to and from the UAE.  I can currently use OWA in the UAE but Outlook over VPN is not possible as IPSEC protocols are outlawed in the UAE.  Cloud is available in the UAE and therefore I plan to change from OWA to Outlook 2013.  I can only do this if Outlook 2013 can actually work without a Cloud connection.  I can will need to set-up my UK based Exchange 2003 server as the mail server for Outlook 2013 via the Cloud.

So this is going to be quite a difficult technical process to set-up I suspect but I want the best of both worlds - i.e. I want to avoid having to spend a lot of money setting-up a new Exchange 2013 server but have a flexible offline and online Outlook.
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Assisted Solution

by:Jeremy Weisinger
Jeremy Weisinger earned 167 total points
ID: 39748702
You do not need a VPN. As NRhode mentioned, configuring Outlook to use cached mode and having an Outlook Anywhere setup, you will have the ability to view your whole mailbox offline and no VPN connection is necessary. Outlook Anywhere tunnels the traffic over an SSL connection. It has been available since Outlook 2003 and Exchange 2003.

What version of Exchange are you running?
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Author Comment

by:MikeDTE
ID: 39748734
I am running Exchange 2003 as stated in my original post - it is however the SBS version (I suspect that has little bearing on the issue though) I am using a mix of Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010 on various PCs.  I have spent many hours trying to get Outlook to attach to my server via SSL without any success.  On this basis when in the UK I can use Outlook over VPN in static locations and then OWA when I am working away from bases.  OWA has served me well but the lack of offline access to email is not getting to be a major issue.

So is it possible to install Outlook 2013 on a PC based in the UAE and use a standard internet connection to get Outlook to connect over an SSL connection?  Is Outlook 2013 installable software or is it simply accessed over the Cloud - that is the crux of the question I have and an answer to that question will help enormously.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Jeremy Weisinger
ID: 39748742
Actually, Outlook 2013 is not supported on Exchange 2003.
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee624351.aspx#section10

If this is an SBS server then the configuration for Outlook Anywhere is very simple but it does require you have an SSL cert signed by a 3rd party.

Here's the step-by-step from MS: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb123622.aspx
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Author Comment

by:MikeDTE
ID: 39748759
I already have a SSL cert via Go daddy.

OK so Office 2013 is not the answer if I retain Exchange 2003

Perhaps the way forward is to go for Office (Outlook) 2010 and try again with Outlook Anywhere.  I can then use Office (Word & Excel) 2010 with the Cloud for documents that I need to be able to get from many locations in the UK and in the UAE.

I am beginning to see a way forward.  I will start experimenting with Outlook 2010 after NYE party is over and I've recovered from the after-effects.

Thank you for your help
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Jeremy Weisinger
ID: 39748766
I already have a SSL cert via Go daddy.
Excellent.

...after NYE party is over and I've recovered from the after-effects.
Have fun!
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Accepted Solution

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Thomas Qvidahl earned 167 total points
ID: 40092324
Just to clarify - Office (and Outlook) 2013 is the successor to Office 2010, just as 2010 was the successor to 2007. The addition of a subscription-based model is new however. So many people confuse the new "cloud connected" version of Office (aka Office 365) as a totally new thing, when it's really not. The online versions of Exchange, SharePoint, Lync that you get with the Office 365 subscription are cloud-based versions of Microsoft's previous on-premise products. However, Office 2013 remains an installable software product. As such, Outlook 2013 will utilize any cloud-based or on-premise Exchange Server, as long as it's a supported version, which 2003 is not, I believe.
You can still purchase Office 2013 as a stand-alone software product, just like before. Outlook 2013 has had offline capabilites since 2003, with the web-based OWA complementing it. OWA has gotten a lot better over the years, but "unlocking" it's features requires that you keep up with the Exchange Server versions. You may be able to gain some additional functionality by inserting an Exchange 2013 server as a Client Access Server in front of your 2003 server, but this is supported only for temprorary migration scenarios.

Just my 2c.. ;)

Thomas
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Jeremy Weisinger
ID: 40100596
Exchange 2013 cannot be installed in an Org with Exchange 2003 servers. They must migrate to 2007 or 2010 before introducing 2013.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa996719(v=exchg.150).aspx
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Author Comment

by:MikeDTE
ID: 40174509
Thanks for all the advice.  The project was abandoned but the information was useful as background knowledge for any future work.
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