In previous articles, the general configuration and step-by-step procedures for setting up the Exchange RPC Server were discussed. It's time now to turn our attention to the client. This article covers the step-by-step procedures for configuring Outlook 2003 clients to connect to an Exchange RPC Server over the Internet. This is the final component for implementing the RPC over HTTP service for use with Exchange 2003 Server and Outlook 2003 clients.
Basically, for Outlook 2003 clients to connect to an Exchange RPC Server, they must meet have the following components installed:
- Windows XP with Service Pack 1
- RPC updates needed for Exchange Server 2003 patch
Once the components are in place, the following steps will guide you the rest of the way.
Step 1: Test connection to the RPC virtual directory
The procedure to test the connection to the RPC virtual directory is as follows:
- Access Internet Explorer from the desktop or start menu on the Windows XP client.
- Type the following URL in the address bar: https://[servername]/rpc and press Enter.
- If you are prompted for a username and password, type your network username and password and click the OK button.
- An error page should appear indicating the page you chose cannot be displayed. The error message says "HTTP Error 403.2 – Forbidden: Read access is denied." Receiving this message indicates the Windows XP client and the Exchange RPC Server/Windows 2003 Server possess the proper configurations.
If the certificate authority for the SSL certificate is not trusted by the Windows XP client, you will receive a dialog box flagging this problem before the error page appears. Follow the instructions to resolve the problem so that the dialog box no longer appears.
Troubleshooting the Exchange RPC/Windows 2003 server configuration
If you were not successful in testing the RPC virtual directory connection, check the following settings on the Exchange RPC/Windows 2003 Server.
- Make sure the RPC over HTTP service is configured correctly to use ports 6001 and 6004. In addition to checking the port settings in the registry, you can use the RPCCFG utility found in the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. Check the Windows 2003 Server tools page to acquire the kit.
- Confirm that registry keys associated with the RPC over HTTP service and Exchange RPC Server are configured correctly. Remember to back up the registry before making any changes. The keys are found at the following registry addresses.
- If any of these registry keys are not correct, set them up as indicated above. Back up the registry again before making any changes.
- Confirm that you have Windows XP with Service Pack 1 and the RPC Patch installed on the Windows XP client.
- Retest the connection to the RPC virtual directory.
Step 2: Configure the Outlook 2003 client
- Access the Mail configuration utility in the Control Panel on the Windows XP client. The Mail Setup – Outlook dialog box appears.
- Click the Show Profiles button to display the Mail dialog box.
- Click the Properties button for the selected profile – Outlook (or choose the appropriate profile). The Mail Setup – Outlook dialog box reappears for the profile.
- Click the E-mail Accounts button. The E-mail Accounts wizard appears.
- Choose View Or Change Existing E-mail Accounts if the Exchange Server settings for this user are already defined, and then click the Next button. The E-Mail Accounts dialog box appears.
- Select the name on the list of accounts for the Exchange Server Settings, and then click the Change button. The Exchange Server Settings dialog box appears.
- Turn off the Use Cached Exchange Mode until you finish testing the configuration, and then click the More Settings button. The Microsoft Exchange Server Additional Settings dialog box appears.
- Click the Connection tab. The Connection Setting screen appears.
- Choose Connect Using Internet Explorer’s Or A 3rd Party Dialer in the Connection section.
- Place a checkmark in the Connect To My Exchange Mailbox Using HTTP in the Exchange Over The Internet check box.
- Click the Exchange Proxy Settings button. The Exchange Proxy Settings dialog box appears.
- Type the URL for your Exchange RPC Server in the Use This URL To Connect To My Proxy Server For Exchange text box in the Connection Settings region.
- Place a checkmark in the check boxes for both On Fast Networks…and On Slow Networks….
- Select Basic Authentication in the Use This Authentication When Connecting To My Proxy Server For Exchange drop-down list in the Proxy Authentication Settings section.
- Click the OK button twice to close the Exchange Proxy Settings and Microsoft Exchange Server Additional Settings dialog boxes.
- Click the Next button to finalize configuration of the Microsoft Server Settings.
- Click the Finish button to exit the E-Mail Accounts wizard.
- Click the Close button to exit the Mail Setup – Outlook dialog box.
- Click the OK button to exit the Mail configuration utility.
These settings work well for mobile users and for testing the Outlook 2003 client configuration. If the user normally works on the corporate network, you can return to the Mail configuration utility to deselect the option for On Fast Networks….
You can also choose NTLM Authentication, which is stronger. However, over slow networks timeouts can occur. See the Troubleshooting the Outlook 2003 Client Configuration section below for more details.
Step 3: Test the Outlook 2003 client configuration
The procedure to test the Outlook 2003 client configuration for the Exchange RPC Server is:
- Access the command prompt or open the Run command.
- Type outlook /rpcdiag and initiate the command.
- Type your network username and password when prompted, and then click the OK button.
- HTTPS should appear in the Conn column in the Exchange Server Connection Status dialog box for a successful connection.
If you have completed the test successfully, you can return to the Mail configuration utility to enable Use Cached Exchange Mode and disable On Fast Networks…settings.
Troubleshooting the Outlook 2003 client configuration
Finally, I've included a small troubleshooting guide (with appropriate Knowledge Base article links) to help you though any rough spots you many encounter with this installation. The following issues may be encountered when working with Exchange RPC Server and Outlook 2003 clients:
- The Exchange Over Internet section on the Connection tab in the Mail configuration utility may indicate the RPC Patch has not been installed. If the RPC Patch is installed, configure or create this registry key – HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\RPC\EnableRPCtunnelingUI. The value type should be REG_DWORD and the value data should be 1.
- If the connection to the Exchange RPC Server fails, it may be due to the use of a proxy automatic script in Internet Explorer. See the Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 826486 for further details.
- If the connection to the Exchange RPC Server is slow or stops responding, it may be due to the Bypass Proxy Server for Local Addresses option being enabled in Internet Explorer. See the Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 331320 for further details.
- If you try to use the user principal name (UPN) for your account (e.g., email@example.com), it does not work. See Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 830355 for further details.
- If you are prompted to provide your username and password when connecting to the Exchange RPC Server even though your Exchange account is correctly mapped to your Windows account, the LMCompatibilityLevel value in the registry may be set incorrectly. See Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 820281 for further details.
- If you are having performance problems over low-bandwidth connections, this may be due to issues with NTLM Authentication (Windows Integrated Authentication). See Microsoft Knowledgebase Article 817322 for further details.