Friday, July 18, 2008

Server Error in '/owa/auth' Application - Outlook Web Access

Server Error in '/owa/auth' Application.
Runtime Error

Among other error messages received while trying to get Outlok Web Access working on IIS6/Exchange 2007 , this one was the worste:
Server Error in '/owa/auth' Application. Runtime Error

The reason it was one of the worst ones was because I knew I was close. Close to getting the thing working and after already trying so many things to make Outlook Web Access work from the Internet or an external computer and on the internal LAN network, this was the final hurrah to the trouble.
I checked the web for answers and hit so many forums with guru after guru after wan-be guru. Even the forums that charge to allow you to see the answers. You know the ones. They want you to pay a yearly subscription to see answers to questions. Yes they have answers to a lot of things but so many times you can tell the guys answering are giving the quickest cheesiest answers they can and hope they score the points for the answer.
They didn't have the answer. The usual spay of links to Microsoft technet and other places were there but no one had the answer. I found it myself. Trial and error and yes this server was hot - there were people waiting to use it.
Outlook web access for Exchange 2007. IIS6 running the front end OWA. This is a recipe for trouble don't you think? Things don't change and people who've been around know that the more complex the OS and services get, the more complex the problem. There are times you can throw some old fashioned techniques into the problem and score a win.

Trouble shooting this OWA Exchange 2003 problem was a brute force attack. I knew that at some point the right combination of security and permissions settings would hit and they did. Struggling to get outlook web access to work from external or the Internet but see it working on the LAN or internal network then try this. Don't be scared. Exchange has some new features that will put things right as Exchange 2007 actually manages Outlook web Access directory security from the web browser. Also, it isn't working anyway that's why your reading this. IIS manages the web site but exchange is looking out on the Outlook web access folder and everything else structure underneath.
All the folders under OWA need to not have the cog look. They should look like folders. If your have the cogs, get rid of them. How? Right click them one at a time and then at the bottom of the default property page it should read OWA but greyed out. the next field should read script and executables not greyed out and the last field, application pool, should be greyed out too. Now each of the fields should have in them Application Name: OWA , Execute Permissions : Scripts and Executables and the last, Execute Permissions: MSExchageDefualtAppPool.

All the folders underneath OWA should say the same thing in these three fields. You may be asking, what about directory security? What do I put there? Put anything you like. Exchange is managing that portion of it and will change whatever you do there anyway.

This solution also fixed these errors too:

  • Outlook Web Access encountered an unexpected error and was unable to handle your request.
  • Page canot be displayed Internal server error .
  • Url:

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