Outlook Web Access (OWA) allows any client with a compatible browser to access Exchange Server folders.
The "premium" version of OWA in Exchange 2003 looks and acts much like the Outlook 2003 desktop client, although it does not offer support for the Journal folder. The "basic" version looks more like previous versions. You may want to try both and see which is faster for the conditions your users are likely to encounter.
For Exchange 2000, you create applications using web forms. No conversion tool is available to turn Outlook forms into Exchange 2000 OWA forms. For resources and tools, see Microsoft Exchange Server Development Technologies. With Outlook 2002 and Exchange 2000, you can connect using OWA and Outlook 2002's support for HTTP mail servers (at least those that use WebDAV). The correct URL would be .
There are issues using OWA on Vista because the dhtml text editor control used by OWA is not supported in Vista. The Exchange administrator should have installed the security patch for this on the Exchange server months ago, but many have not. The patch will fix this and a similar issue that affects Windows XP users who've installed the security patch described in MS06-013. The hotfix installs a new editor for Internet Explorer which uses an iframe instead of an ActiveX control.
If you are an end-user, contact your administrator. If you are an administrator, see the following links for more information and the hotfix.
- You receive an error message when you try to perform any editing tasks, or you must click to enable the compose frame in Outlook Web Access
- MS06-013: Cumulative security update for Internet Explorer (July 2006)
- OWA Problems on Vista (Exchange Messaging Outlook Jan 4 2007)
OWA is built into Exchange 2003 and allows access to mail, contacts, calendar, and task folders, plus distribution lists. Still no support for journal items yet. See:
- Exchange 2003 OWA first impressions
- Outlook Web Access Does Not Use the Default Exchange Server 2003 User Interface When You View Public Folders
- Forms-based Authentication -- Explanation, with screen shots, of this new logon security feature for OWA
- HOW TO Troubleshoot the 503 Service Unavailable Error Message in Outlook Web Access 2003
- "Outlook Web Access Was Unable to Check the Spelling on This Item Due to an Error" Error Message When You Use the Spelling Checker
FileWay integrates with OWA to allow users access their Windows UNC file shares directly from their OWA window. Users simply click on the FileWay icon, and a new window allows direct access to their network file shares. The single-sign-on (SSO) between OWA and FileWay means that users do not need to re-authenticate to launch FileWay.
Messageware ActiveSend completely integrates OWA with the computer and desktop applications to provide users with increased Outlook-like convenience and productivity. With ActiveSend, it is possible to send email directly from within desktop applications and websites by enabling the "SendTo" and "Mail to" commands with OWA as the default email; two functions that are not natively available. Messageware ActiveSend integrates easily with On-Premise, Office 365, and Hosted Exchange environments.
- Exchange 2000 and 2003 - All Technical Articles and Books / Updated -- contains all Exchange 200/2003 technical articles and books published through Oct 2003. (57 MB)
- Server Tools for Mobile Access to Microsoft Exchange Server Data -- some offer additional alternatives to OWA for browser users beyond those in the Tools section above
- How to Use Outlook Table Views with Microsoft Exchange Client and OWA
- Microsoft Outlook Web Access Performance and Extensibility (Microsoft)
- Using Outlook Web Access to check your mail when you're away from the office
- Logging on to OWA with Only a Username