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Managing Exchange Server 2013 clients : Configuring mail support for Outlook (part 1) - Understanding address lists, offline address books, and autodiscover

5/20/2015 3:55:57 AM
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Unless specified otherwise, the procedures in this section work with desktop computers running Windows 7 or later as well as server operating systems running Windows Server 2008 R2 or later. Additionally, unless noted otherwise, the procedures work with Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2013.

Understanding address lists, offline address books, and autodiscover

Address lists are collections of recipients in an Exchange organization. Offline address books (OABs) are copies of address lists that are downloaded and cached on a computer so an Outlook user can access the address book while disconnected from the Exchange organization.

Every Exchange organization has a global address list and a default OAB. In the Exchange organization, address lists reside in Active Directory. If mobile users are disconnected from the Internet, they are unable to access the address lists stored on Exchange Online. If mobile users are disconnected from the corporate network, they are unable to access the address lists stored on Exchange 2013. To allow users to continue working when disconnected from the network, Exchange 2013 and Exchange Online generate offline address books and make them accessible to Outlook clients so that they can be downloaded and cached for use while working offline.

Although Exchange 2013 and Exchange Online continue to support public folders, public folders are not required for access to the global address list or the OAB. Exchange 2013 and Exchange Online provide these features through a web-based distribution point. Outlook clients use the web-based distribution point to obtain the global address list and the OAB automatically.

Exchange Online largely manages the default address lists and OABs automatically. On-premises Exchange, however, includes many configuration options, as discussed in the remainder of this section.

A designated Mailbox server, referred to as the generation server, is responsible for creating and updating the OABs. OAB data is produced by the Microsoft Exchange OABGen Service and stored in a special arbitration mailbox with the persisted capability “OrganizationCapabilityOABGen.” When a client initiates an OAB distribution request, the request is directed through a Client Access server that routes the request to the Mailbox server hosting the OAB data. The OAB data is then distributed directly from the Mailbox server to the client.

Outlook 2007 and later as well as some mobile devices use the Autodiscover service to automatically configure themselves for access to Exchange. Outlook relies on DNS lookups to locate a host service (SRV) resource record for the Autodiscover service, then uses the user’s credentials to authenticate to Active Directory and search for the Autodiscover connection points. After retrieving the connection points, the client connects to the first Client Access server in the list and obtains the profile information. The connection point uses the globally unique identifier (GUID) for the user’s mailbox plus the at symbol (@) and the domain portion of the user’s primary SMTP address. The profile information includes the user’s display name, the location of the user’s mailbox server, connection settings for internal and external connectivity, Outlook Anywhere settings, and the URLs for Outlook features including those for free-busy data, the OAB, and Unified Messaging.

When you install a Client Access server, an Autodiscover virtual directory is created on the default website in Internet Information Services (IIS), and an internal URL is set up for automatic discovery and other features, such as the OAB (which can be automatically discovered as well). Typically, the Autodiscover URL is either https://domain/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml or https://autodiscover.domain/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml, where domain is your organization’s primary SMTP domain address, such as https://autodiscover.pocket-consultant.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml. When you deploy multiple Client Access servers, a connection point is created for each. This connection point stores the server’s fully qualified domain name (FQDN) in the form https://servername/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml, where servername is the FQDN of the Client Access server, such as https://server18.pocket-consultant.com/autodiscover/autodiscover.xml.

The OAB virtual directory is the web-based distribution point for the OAB. By default, when you install a Client Access server, this directory is created on the default website in IIS and configured for internal access. You can specify an external URL as well. Typically, the internal URL is set as https://servername/OAB, where servername is the FQDN of the Client Access server, such as https://server18.pocket-consultant.com/OAB.

For Outlook Anywhere to be automatically configured by using the Autodiscover service, external users running Outlook 2007 or later clients must have a valid Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate on the Internet-facing Client Access server that includes both the common name, such as mail.pocket-consultant.com, and a Subject Alternative name for the Autodiscover service, such as autodiscover.pocket-consultant.com. Also, the external URLs for the offline address book, Exchange Web Services, and Outlook Anywhere must be configured.

To configure the external URL for the OAB, you can use the -ExternalUrl parameter of the Set-OABVirtualDirectory cmdlet. In the following example, you set the OAB external URL and configure it for use with SSL:

Set-OABVirtualDirectory -identity "CASServer01\OAB (Default Web Site)"
-externalurl https://mail.pocket-consultant.com/OAB -RequireSSL $true

To configure the external URL for Exchange Web Services, you can use the -ExternalUrl parameter of the Set-WebServicesVirtualDirectory cmdlet. The following example sets the Exchange Web Services external URL and configures it for use with basic authentication:

Set-WebServicesVirtualDirectory -identity "CASServer01\EWS (Default Web
Site)" -externalurl https://mail.pocket-consultant.com/EWS/Exchange.asmx
-BasicAuthentication $True

To configure the external host name for Outlook Anywhere, you can use the -ExternalHostname parameter of Set-OutlookAnywhere. The following example sets the external host name and configures authentication:

Set-OutlookAnywhere -Server CASServer01 -ExternalHostname
"mail.pocket-consultant.com" -ExternalClientAuthenticationMethod Negotiate
-InternalClientAuthenticationMethod NTLM
-IISAuthenticationMethods Basic, NTLM, Negotiate
-SSLOffloading $False

Once you’ve configured Autodiscover, OAB, and EWS, you can test these services by using Test-OutlookWebServices. Here is an example:

Test-OutlookWebServices -ClientAccessServer "CASServer01"
 
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