You are hereUsing Outlook and Exchange on a Remote System

Using Outlook and Exchange on a Remote System

By steve - Posted on 27 October 2006

Often remote users need access to full exchange functionality. This can now be done with Outlook 2003 and Exchange 2003 by using RPC over HTTP.

Set up the exchange server to use RPC over HTTP and open your firewall to point to the exchange server. You'll need to setup an SSL certificate which can be installed on each client directly from the server.

On each remote outlook, do the following:

  1. Take the ssl certificate you created on the server and copy it to the remote pc. Right click and select Install Certificate. Install it into selected location: Trusted Root Certification Authorities. This is the .crt certificate, not the .cer certificate.
  2. Make sure you can access the secure server without being prompted for a certificate (if you are prompted, this will keep Outlook from syncing). Try accessing it like this using your domain information:

    If you are prompted with a certificate error (not from a trusted authority or whatever), then click View Certificate. Click Install Certificate... Follow the wizard and for certificate store, click "Place all certificates in the following store", then click Browse and selected Trusted Root Certification Authorities, OK, Next, then answer YES when it tells you windows can't validate it. Click OK, OK, Yes, then login. If you can now access the server without an error, Outlook should be able to work.
  3. In the E-mail Accounts wizard, click Add a new e-mail account, and then click Next.
  4. On the Server Type page, click Microsoft Exchange Server, and then click Next.
  5. On the E-mail Accounts page, do the following:
    1. In the Microsoft Exchange Server box, type the active directory domain name of your back-end Exchange server where your mailbox resides. This is in the form servername.activedirectorydomain.toplevel. For example, it might be something like: server.mydomain.local
    2. Click to clear the Use Cached Exchange Mode check box.

      Important: Temporarily turn off Cached Exchange mode to test your configuration. You can then enable Cached Exchange mode after you test your RPC over HTTP configuration.
    3. In the User Name box, type the name of the user account that you want to use.
    4. Click More Settings.

      Note: At this stage, the client application attempts to resolve the user name on the Exchange server. If you cannot access your Exchange back-end server directly by using TCP/IP, this operation will time out and present a dialog box that prompts you to confirm your user name and mailbox. Click Cancel on this dialog box. If this keeps coming up as you try and access email, see the tips at the end of this page.
  6. In the Microsoft Exchange Server dialog box, do the following:
    1. On the Connection tab, in the Connection pane, select either Connect using my Local Area Network (LAN) or Connect using Internet Explorer's or a 3rd party dialer. Select the connection type based on the method that you use to connect to the Internet. If using a permanent connect or normally broadband, choose LAN.
    2. On the Connection tab, in the Exchange over the Internet pane, select the Connect to my Exchange mailbox using HTTP check box.
    3. Click Exchange Proxy Settings.
  7. In the Exchange Proxy Settings dialog box, in the Connections Settings pane, perform the following steps:
    1. Enter the internet domain name of the RPC proxy server in the "Use this URL to connect to my proxy server for Exchange" box. The RPC proxy server is the Exchange server that users can connect to on the Internet. For example, type
    2. Check the "Connect using SSL only" check box.
    3. Check the "Mutually authenticate the session when connecting with SSL" check box.
    4. Enter the domain name of the RPC proxy server in the "Principle name for proxy server" box. Use the format:
    5. Configure Outlook 2003 to connect to your Exchange server by default by using RPC over HTTP. To do this, select the check box next to "On fast networks, connect to Exchange using HTTP first, then connect using TCP/IP".

      Note: Outlook defines a fast connection as a connection that is faster than 128 kilobits per second (Kbps). Outlook defines a slow connection as a connection that is slower than or equal to 128 Kbps.
  8. In the "Exchange Proxy Settings" dialog box, in the "Proxy authentication" settings pane, in the "Use this authentication when connecting to my proxy server for Exchange" list, select Basic Authentication.
  9. Click OK in the Exchange Proxy Settings box, click OK in the Microsoft Exchange Server box, click Next on the E-mail Accounts page, click Finish to close the wizard, and then click OK.

Start Outlook and it should setup and point to the server. If everything checks out, you'll want to go back and set the connection to use cache mode. Once you do and you restart Outlook, you'll see all existing mail and other folders show up as the local copy syncs with the server (this is best done locally, or at least on a high speed connection, if the user has a large message store already on the server).

Tip: When you start or configure Outlook, if you keep getting prompted for the user ID and password (once is normal), it is usually caused by one or more of the following:

  • You may have a problem with the certificate
  • You may have put the certificate the wrong folder
  • You may have entered the wrong name for the server in the "Microsoft Exchange Server" server prompt (here you'll usually use the active directory name scheme like this: myserver.mydomain.local, not the internet server name)
  • You must use the "domain\user" format in the user prompt

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