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Configure Outlook 2003 over HTTP


This is a method to access your exchange mailbox, using Outlook, outside of the LAN network of the mail server, using HTTP. The setup was done using MS Exchange on Small Business Server 2003 and MS Outlook 2003. It will most likely work on other versions as well.

In order for RPC over HTTP to work, you will need to install the Secure Access Certificate on your computer. Installing the certificate will allow the entire certificate authority chain to be trusted.

Note: this step is not required if you have paid for a real certificate.

Install the Secure Access Certificate:

  1. Open Internet Explorer

  2. Go to the OWA site, using HTTPS (eg )

  3. When the certificate warning comes up, click on View Certificate

  4. In the certificate box click "Install Certificate"

  5. The "Automatically select the certificate store …" line should be selected already, click "Next" to continue

  6. A confirmation screen will come up, click "Finish"

  7. An encryption key box will come up labeled "Root Certificate Store", click "Yes"

  8. Click "OK" to close this box

  9. Click "OK" to close the certificate window

  10. Exit Internet Explorer

You can confirm that the certificate is properly loaded by launching Internet Explorer and opening up the OWA website (eg You should immediately get the login box without a dialog box prompting about a certificate. If you are able to log into OWA without the certificate warning, then you are ready to create an outlook profile on your computer.

Now that you have installed the certificate, you can configure Microsoft Outlook for the RPC over HTTP connection.

Create an Outlook Profile to Use RPC over https:

In Microsoft Windows XP:

  1. Click on your Start button and then select Control Panel.

  2. In Control Panel, do one of the following tasks:

    • If you are using Category View, in the left pane, under See Also, click Other Control Panel Options, and then click Mail.

    • If you are using Classic View, double-click Mail.

  3. In Mail Setup, under Profiles, click Show Profiles.

  4. In Mail, click Add.

  5. In New Profile, in the Profile Name box, type a name for this profile, and then click OK.

  6. In the E-mail Accounts wizard, click Add a new e-mail account, and then click Next.

  7. On the Server Type page, click Microsoft Exchange Server, and then click Next.

  8. On the Exchange Server Settings page, do the following steps:

    • In the Microsoft Exchange Server box, type the name of the back-end Exchange server - LAN-DOMAIN (this should be the domain name is used within your LAN network)

    • Select the check box next to Use Cached Exchange Mode (Note - although it is optional, it is recommended that the user accounts that you are configuring for RPC over HTTP use Cached Exchange Mode)

    • In the User Name box, type the user name.

    • Click More Settings

    • In the Connection tab, in the Exchange over the Internet pane, select the Connect to my Exchange mailbox using HTTP check box.

    • Click Exchange Proxy Settings.

      Please note: When prompted to login, you must login using LAN-DOMAIN\login name. The initial connection can be a little slow and doesn't reflect the operational speed. So if Outlook states that it cannot find the Exchange server, just click Retry.

  9. For increased security, you will need to specify Connect with SSL only. On the Exchange Proxy Settings page, under Connections Settings, do the following steps:

    • Enter the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the RPC proxy server in the section that states Use this URL to connect to my proxy server for Exchange:

    • Select the option for Connect using SSL only.

  1. As an optional step, you can configure Outlook 2003 to connect to your Exchange server using RPC over HTTP. By default on a fast network, Outlook attempts to connect by using the LAN connection first. On a slow network, Outlook attempts to connect by using HTTP first. You can override default behavior in either case by changing the following settings:

    • On a fast network, connect using HTTP first, then connect using TCP/IP
      To change the default behavior for fast networks (example: High Speed Internet Connection), select this check box.

    • On a slow network, connect using HTTP first, then connect using TCP/IP
      To change the default behavior for slow networks (example: Dialup Internet Access), clear this check box.

  2. On the Exchange Proxy Settings page, in the Proxy authentication settings window, in the Use this authentication when connecting to my proxy server for Exchange list, select Basic Authentication.

  3. Click OK.

Users running a personal firewall may have trouble connecting to the Exchange server from Outlook 2003 – if you have this problem, it is recommended to disable your firewall and try again.

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