Configuring RPC over HTTP for access to Exchange Server

Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) is great for occasional access to e-mail but if you’re using a non-Microsoft browser (as I often do) then it degrades to a rather sorry state. Consequently, for a couple of years now, I’ve been meaning to get RPC over HTTP (aka. Outlook Anywhere) working so that I can use a full Outlook client to access my Exchange Server mailbox when I’m on the road (iPhone access to Exchange Server via IMAP or Outlook Mobile Access from my Nokia 6021 are useful for checking for messages throughout the day but I need to run the full Outlook client to filter out the junk e-mail). After doing most of the preparation work some time ago, I didn’t get around to testing it fully – mostly because a lot of my access is from behind an authenticated proxy (and I’m told that Outlook doesn’t like anything getting in the way).

Tonight, I’m in a hotel, and the iBahn connection has no such restrictions, so I finally got around to testing the connection, using Outlook 2007 to communicate with an Exchange Server 2003 (SP2) server.

Full details may be found in Microsoft knowledge base article 833401 but, as ever, I found Daniel Petri’s articles on the subject more useful:

For me, the process was simplified as I already had OWA working over HTTPS but, as Daniel highlights, Harry Bates’ RPCNoFrontEnd utility can save a lot of time in checking that the registry keys are correctly set for the RPC proxy server ports and the Windows Server 2003 resource kit rpccfg /hd command is useful to confirm their operation:

Using rpccfg to confirm the RPC proxy settings

Secondly, running outlook /rpcdiag gave some useful diagnostic information for confirming that the connection was indeed using HTTPS:

Using the Outlook 2007's RPC diagnostics to check connection status

Ironically, I’ve finally got this working with Exchange Server 2003 just before I’m about to move my mail over to a new server running Exchange Server 2007!

One thought on “Configuring RPC over HTTP for access to Exchange Server

  1. Hello,

    I used the cookbook from Daniel and it is great resource. OWA, Outlook Anywhere is working great – do you have any tips for iPhones to work directly with Exchange and not only via IMAP?

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