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RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTTP client article

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RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 27.Jan.2004 2:13:00 AM   
tshinder

 

Posts: 50013
Joined: 10.Jan.2001
From: Texas
Status: offline
Hi eegon,

Thanks! [Smile]

Well, you're seeing exactly what I've seen. However, I'm told by some Exchange experts direct from MS that RPC access is not required. Go figure. I'll have to test it out again and see if I can get it to work. I know the first time I checked it out, I spent days trying to establish a profile without having RPC access, and it just did not work. There is even an article in Windows magazine that says the same thing.

I wonder if its because I was working with a beta version of Office 2003?

Thanks!
Tom

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 21
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 27.Jan.2004 3:55:00 AM   
eegon

 

Posts: 4
Joined: 24.Jan.2004
Status: offline
Well, I'm not surprised about Microsoft. I went as far as to listen to one of those webcasts from MS to hear if the guy answering the questions would answer that one and he did - saying it would work. I am using the full release of Office 2003 as well as Outlook 2003 and have looked for updates or even other situations where someone has had this problem, and I am convinced you have to have port 135 to get it to work, even if it is only brief connectivity. I originally thought, okay, it will work if I finish the profile on-site, and then go back to the location with no port 135 and I'd be okay, but I just proved that wrong today. Thanks again - I know I'm not crazy if someone as yourself is in this boat also :-)

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 22
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 30.Jan.2004 4:03:00 AM   
Guest
Ok, I'm officially out of control at this point. I've read several howtos and who knows how many web pages regarding RPC over HTTP and after 8 hours of trying to get this working I'm losing my mind.

I'm not using a frontend ISA server, nor do I see the reason to use one considering I have a very capable FreeBSD firewall in front of the Exchange 2003 server. I've forwarded the necessary ports to the Exchange box and as long as I leave port 135 open it connects fine. When I close 135, it doesn't connect. I'm seriously thinking that it requires port 135 to be open. I'm willing to shoot someone $25 via paypal if they can get me through getting it to work without having port 135 open. [Big Grin]

If anyone has ANY advice or can help, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Elvar
-lick your wounds

(in reply to tshinder)
  Post #: 23
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 30.Jan.2004 11:41:00 PM   
tshinder

 

Posts: 50013
Joined: 10.Jan.2001
From: Texas
Status: offline
quote:
Originally posted by eegon:
Well, I'm not surprised about Microsoft. I went as far as to listen to one of those webcasts from MS to hear if the guy answering the questions would answer that one and he did - saying it would work. I am using the full release of Office 2003 as well as Outlook 2003 and have looked for updates or even other situations where someone has had this problem, and I am convinced you have to have port 135 to get it to work, even if it is only brief connectivity. I originally thought, okay, it will work if I finish the profile on-site, and then go back to the location with no port 135 and I'd be okay, but I just proved that wrong today. Thanks again - I know I'm not crazy if someone as yourself is in this boat also :-)

Hi Eegon,

Ha! Maybe we're both crazy [Smile]

I'm hoping I'll be able to figure this out in the next week or so. The person who told me this is pretty smart and reliable, so its a matter of trying to figure it out. I promise to let everyone know the trick once I get it defined.

Thanks!
Tom

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 24
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 30.Jan.2004 11:44:00 PM   
tshinder

 

Posts: 50013
Joined: 10.Jan.2001
From: Texas
Status: offline
quote:
Originally posted by <Elvar>:
Ok, I'm officially out of control at this point. I've read several howtos and who knows how many web pages regarding RPC over HTTP and after 8 hours of trying to get this working I'm losing my mind.

I'm not using a frontend ISA server, nor do I see the reason to use one considering I have a very capable FreeBSD firewall in front of the Exchange 2003 server. I've forwarded the necessary ports to the Exchange box and as long as I leave port 135 open it connects fine. When I close 135, it doesn't connect. I'm seriously thinking that it requires port 135 to be open. I'm willing to shoot someone $25 via paypal if they can get me through getting it to work without having port 135 open. [Big Grin]

If anyone has ANY advice or can help, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Elvar
-lick your wounds

Hi Elvar,

ISA firewalls add a significant amount of security to the RPC/HTTP connections. However, if you're willing to take the risk, the BSD firewall should make it work too.

The thing is, no one can seem to figure out how to make it work without RPC access, although I know several people who say they have been able to make it work. And these people are reliable. So, its a matter of figuring out what they've done to make it work.

I'll post a BIG update once I get the riddle solved!

HTH,
Tom

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 25
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 31.Jan.2004 4:52:00 AM   
Guest
Thanks for the quick response! I'll keep my eyes posted here for any updates in the future. Thanks for your time.

Kind regards,
Elvar

(in reply to tshinder)
  Post #: 26
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 5.Feb.2004 10:59:00 PM   
eegon

 

Posts: 4
Joined: 24.Jan.2004
Status: offline
I've given up and moved on to site to site VPN between ISA's -- works well, but is slow on the initial connection/login. Now I have to work that one out...

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 27
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 6.Feb.2004 10:56:00 AM   
Guest
Now I'm confused!

I have just installed Microsoft Small Buisness Server 2003 and now I'm trying to figure out how to get it all working.

Primarily I need to setup my Exchange Server, I want to be able to access the server from Outlook via the internet. So that I can have all my public folders and contacts and so on.

My server is only placed behind a router (with DHCP), so I need to figure out which ports I have to forward in order to make it work. I have read a lot of articles but can't really find a specific example for getting it done right.

Can't get VPN to work either, so need a complete list of the ports to open to get it working

Thanks!

/// Soeren

(in reply to tshinder)
  Post #: 28
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 7.Feb.2004 2:30:00 AM   
tshinder

 

Posts: 50013
Joined: 10.Jan.2001
From: Texas
Status: offline
Hey guys,

It will work without RPC access, you just need to configure DNS correctly. I was able to get it to work today. Check out today's article on how to configure the RPC over HTTP proxy to support this. I'll finish it up next week with the configuring the client side.

PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE DNS DISCUSSION. THAT IS THE KEY.

HTH,
Tom

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 29
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 10.Feb.2004 6:16:00 AM   
Guest
Hello,
I am just starting following this, but here is my scenario:

I have FE/BE server that initially worked setting up remote clients using RPC over HTTPS. In addition, it is noteworthy that the Microsoft Trial account allows you to setup RPC over HTTPS account without being on their LAN. That means it CAN work.

Like I said, it have made it work before, but now it doesn't and I don't know why. Most of my users are off the network and cannot come back into the office. I am interested to know any information. Thanks.

(in reply to tshinder)
  Post #: 30
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 15.Feb.2004 9:14:00 PM   
Guest
We're having the same problem here with a single Exchange server setup. I have successfully had RPC HTTPS working on the internal network and then moved the system off-site and was able to get through the firewall correctly and connect. I have not, however, been able to get a connection when setting up a new RPC HTTPS profile off-site.

The exchange server is listed in our internal DNS as "server01.domain.com" with a DNS alias of "mail.domain.com". Externally, our domain lists "mail.domain.com" to the external IP address of our firewall. The firewall is running IPCop and forwards 443 to the Exchange server (on the internal network).

I have done hours of troubleshooting on this problem and have yet to come to any solution. In my research, I've read conflicting reports of people who got it working or others who could not and just gave up.

Does anyone know if perhaps an ISA Server does something "extra" in proxying the inbound RPC-over-HTTPS calls that a normal port-forwarding firewall doesn't and that is why it is failing?

Has anyone successfully been able to create Outlook 2003 RPC-over-HTTPS Exchange Server profiles from outside a normal port-forwarding firewall with only port 443 forwarded to the RPC proxy server (which in my case is the single Exchange server as well)?

(in reply to tshinder)
  Post #: 31
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 16.Feb.2004 2:53:00 AM   
tshinder

 

Posts: 50013
Joined: 10.Jan.2001
From: Texas
Status: offline
Hi David,

I think the key in your situation is that you need to create a DNS record on your public DNS server for SERVER1.domain.com that resolves to the external address on the ISA firewall. I'm assuming that SERVER1 is also the NetBIOS name of the Exchange Server. In this way, the client is able to connect to the Exchange Server using the NetBIOS name over the Internet.

However, make sure that external clients are either members of the domain, or that you have configured a DNS suffix search list on the adapter so that the client fully qualifes SERVER1 with the correct domain name.

HTH,
Tom

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 32
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 16.Feb.2004 6:46:00 AM   
Guest
Tom,

I followed your suggestions and was still not able to get it working. I added server01.domain.com to my local HOSTS file with the correct IP address and added a DNS suffix of domain.com to my connection. Pinging SERVER01 caused the domain to get added automatically and it started pinging the correct IP address.

I created a new Outlook 2003 profile and used SERVER01.domain.com in for the exchange server name and for the RPC HTTPS proxy server. When I started Outlook, I was prompted for my username/password and then it just hung until I got a "Connection to Exchange Server unavailable error" and then "Can't open default mail folders" and then Outlook closes.

When looking at the Outlook Exchange Server Connection Status window, I see 4 entries:

Name: ---
Type: Directory
Conn: ---
Status: Connecting

Name: server01.domain.com
Type: Referral
Conn: HTTPS
Status: Connecting

(Last two entries repeated)

The server01 entries change from HTTPS to --- in the Conn column about 10 seconds after punching in my username/password.

The IIS server certificate I am using is a self-signed cert and I have imported the Root CA cert into my machine's Trusted Root Authority store. I can connect to https://mail.domain.com/rpc without seeing any security warning dialogs in IE. The server has two certs, each with a different cn, corresponding to the server's two DNS names (server01 and mail). The mail cert was loaded when I first tried so I tried to switch to the server01 cert and that still didn't work.

Again, this worked fine when I brought a laptop home from work that had already been set up with RPC HTTPS while on the local network. But I still cannot get my home computer (WinXP-SP1 w/ Outlook2k3) to connect correctly over RPC HTTPS.

Thanks for the help, in any case. Any more suggestions?

(in reply to tshinder)
  Post #: 33
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 16.Feb.2004 7:46:00 AM   
Guest
Finally got it working...

I had a bad value in for the ValidPorts key on the RPC Proxy and that was causing the problem. My ValidPorts key looks like this now:

server01.domain.com:6001-6002;server01.domain.com:6004;otherdc.domain.com:6004;

(otherdc is the name of my other AD domain controller, which is the global catalog server)

And everything seems to be happy. I removed the entries from my HOSTS file and deleted/re-setup the profile and it still worked so the external DNS publishing of the internal server names isn't strictly necessary.

When setting the options in Outlook 2003, I put server01.domain.com as the Exchange server name and used the DNS alias mail.domain.com for the proxy name.

Thanks for the help, Tom. I thought I'd never get this working. :-)

(in reply to tshinder)
  Post #: 34
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 17.Feb.2004 1:11:00 PM   
tshinder

 

Posts: 50013
Joined: 10.Jan.2001
From: Texas
Status: offline
Hi David,

Great! Good to hear you got it working and thanks for the follow up!

Tom

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 35
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 25.Feb.2004 9:26:00 PM   
zipper9

 

Posts: 2
Joined: 31.Dec.2002
From: UK
Status: offline
Tom.
i'm having the same problem as one of the first guys post
i can't configure my outlook to connect to the FE server, the FE server is in my LAN , and so is my outlook client, it's only the exchange BE server that is hosting the mailboxes and is connectable via outlook, however, i have no problem connecting to the FE via a broweser using https
( iv'e followed the 4 articles you have posted )
so what's the verdict?

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 36
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 4.Mar.2004 2:03:00 AM   
tshinder

 

Posts: 50013
Joined: 10.Jan.2001
From: Texas
Status: offline
Hi T,

Have you configured a split DNS yet?

Thanks!
Tom

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 37
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 9.Mar.2004 2:07:00 PM   
Guest
I have rpc over http working just fine on a profile I made while connected to our corporate VPN. But, if I try to make another profile while the VPN is disconnected it will not work, even if I bypass the check name and just continue making the profile. When I start outlook with the /rpcdiag option, it never shows any connections being established, but if I open tcpview, I see that my computer is waiting for a connection to the public IP of our mail server on port 135. This eventually times out and outlook closes. How do I get past this need for port 135? I read some discussion about DNS but cannot find that article?

(in reply to tshinder)
  Post #: 38
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 17.Mar.2004 9:24:00 PM   
Guest
quote:
Originally posted by tshinder:
Hey guys,

It will work without RPC access, you just need to configure DNS correctly. I was able to get it to work today. Check out today's article on how to configure the RPC over HTTP proxy to support this. I'll finish it up next week with the configuring the client side.

PAY VERY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE DNS DISCUSSION. THAT IS THE KEY.

HTH,
Tom

Tom,
What's the link for this article you mention

(in reply to tshinder)
  Post #: 39
RE: Discussion of Configuring Outlook 2003 RPC over HTT... - 22.Apr.2004 2:04:00 PM   
Maunder

 

Posts: 20
Joined: 14.Aug.2001
From: Adelaide South Australia
Status: offline
Hi guys,

I am fighting this issue right now. Tom's right in that I can get rpc over http to work IF I connect the client to the LAN & configure Outlook. Then, I can dial up & rpc over http works.

What doesnt work for me is the following; I have an employee located in the UK (I am in Australia). She can run Outlook 2003 fine if VPN'ed in. So, I got her to make the Outlook rpc over http changes while VPN'ed. (to simulate being connected to the LAN).

But then when she disconnects from the LAN & runs Outlook over the dialup &/or broadband, rpc over http doesnt work!

She gets the authentication box but after entering her a/c & p/w she keeps seeing the "cant connect to exchange server" message. She clicks Retry but it immediately reappears & no matter how many times she clicks Retry, it just reappears immediately (as if it has no affect at all).

Any thoughts/feedback would be welcome. Its pretty difficult to tell her to fly home so I can connect her to the LAN for 30 secs:)

Tom, I thought that you had solved the problem & you referred to your article of 'today' being 7th Feb but I couldnt find it. Can you point me to this please?

(in reply to tshinder)
Post #: 40

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