Publishing internal file servers through OWA

by Shijaz Abdulla on 24.08.2007 at 13:46

Outlook Web Access (OWA) on Exchange Server 2007 now supports direct file access, which means users can connect to internal file servers over the web using the standard OWA interface.

Readers of my earlier posting on Intelligent Application Gateway 2007 will agree that, if SSL is configured on Outlook Web Access (OWA) with internal file server access enabled, and it is published using ISA Server 2006, this gives you the equivalent of a browser-based SSL-VPN connection to the file server! Think about it.

This is good news for organizations who want to publish their file servers securely for home users but cannot afford a secure VPN solution.

Similarly, users can access internal Sharepoint sites from OWA if this is enabled on Exchange Server 2007. Certainly good news for organizations that tried to publish both OWA and SharePoint server over SSL on the same ISA Server installation — and then daunted away because it meant replacing the SSL certificate a wildcard certificate (which offers weaker encryption than a normal SSL certificate).

For step-by-step instructions on how to configure direct file access, see my article Configuring direct file server access from Outlook Web Access in Exchange Server 2007

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