Microsoft Exchange Server is designed to work well with Microsoft Outlook. So how do you get Microsoft Office Outlook to work with Exchange Server? In previous articles and videos, I demonstrated how to connect to the Exchange Server using POP3 non-Outlook mail clients, like Windows Mail and Thunderbird, and we also connected to our mail with webmail, using Microsoft OWA, but what about Outlook? Since Exchange Server was designed to work with Outlook it should be straightforward right? Not necessarily, especially if you are a beginner like me. To be fair, Outlook should connect to your Exchange Server easily if your computer is on the domain. If you are already authenticated to the domain the ability to connect to your email user account should be automatic. What if you are not on the local network or domain? One solution is to first connect to the network using a VPN tunnel and then Outlook can easily connect to the Exchange server since it is: a) on the network; and b) on the domain. A more difficult scenario is to connect to your Exchange user mailbox, using Outlook, without a VPN tunnel, meaning you are not on the domain, and you are not on the local network. In order to do this, you will need to use Exchange Server 2010’s Outlook Anywhere feature.
In order to connect to your 2010 Exchange Mail Server, with Microsoft Outlook, using the “Outlook Anywhere” feature, you will need the following things configured and available:
- Outlook Anywhere
- Certificate of Authority (CA) or SSL Certificate – you will need to purchase an SSL certificate that matches your mail domain name and install it in your IIS Web Server
- RPC over HTTP – you will need to add this feature using the Server Manager
- Remote Connectivity Tester Tool – there is a link to this tool in the Toolbox in the Exchange Management Console
- DNS – you will need to create an “A Record” to point “autodiscover.<your domain name>” to your ip address
- Firewall – your firewall router will need to have port 443(https) open and forwarding to your mail server since Outlook Anywhere requires an SSL certificate.
Video Tutorials on Configuring Outlook Anywhere
Outlook from within the Domain
A good initial test of Outlook is to see if you can connect to your mail account with Outlook from within the domain. To connect Outlook to your Exchange Server email account you will access the following Exchange features:
- Certificate of Authority (CA) or SSL Certificate – Exchange will allow you to connect using the local server generated certificate
In our tests Microsoft Outlook 2010 and 2007 worked perfectly. Here are the steps to connect Outlook to your email account from within the domain:
- First join your computer to the domain.
Start menu > right click on “Computer” > click on “Properties” > click on “Advanced System Settings” (Windows 7) > the “Computer Name” tab > click “Change” > click the “Domain” radio button and add your domain name > Click “Ok”
- Now you need to add your email account information in Outlook by either going straight to Outlook or going to the “control panel”, clicking on “Mail” and inputting your email account and password information.
- Now that you have successfully connected to Outlook from within the domain you can try configuring Outlook Anywhere to connect from outside of the domain.