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How To Configure RPC Over HTTP With Outlook 2007

Andrew J. Nelson
Published: 27 June 2011

Introduction

This article will demonstrate how to configure a Microsoft Outlook 2007 email client to use RPC over HTTP, allowing the user to access their Exchange server email from outside the office network without needing a VPN. There are two major components to this operation: ensuring that the client computer trusts the Exchange server's certificate, and configuring the Outlook client's settings.

Required Materials and Prior Knowledge

This instruction set was defined in a Windows Active Directory domain, with a Small Business Server 2003 domain controller and Exchange server. The client OS was Windows 7 Pro SP1 x64, running Microsoft Outlook 2007. With slight modification, this how to should work for any Windows OS after XP and Outlook client after 2003, inclusive.

This How To assumes that the email client has already been set up to work with the Exchange server. We will be modifying the client post-configuration, rather than setting it up fresh.

For the purposes of this How To, the FQDN will be widget.com, and the server name will be robot.

Disclaimer

WebGnuru takes no responsibility for any loss of data, hardware, time, hair, self esteem, or opportunities that may result from following the instructions in this How To.

Part 1: Confirm That The Client Trusts The Server Certificate

On the client computer, start Internet Explorer and navigate to https://robot.widget.com/remote. If the client trusts the server's certificate, no warning will appear. Skip ahead to Part 2. Otherwise...

If the server certificate is not trusted, a warning message appears that looks like this screenshot.

  1. Click on "Continue to this website (not recommended)".
  2. Select Tools ⇒ Internet Options.
    Tools Menu Screenshot.
  3. Click on the Security Tab ⇒ Trusted Sites Zone ⇒ Sites button.
    Security Menu Screenshot.
  4. Click on the Add button and then Close. Close out of the Internet Options menu.
    Trusted Sights Screenshot.
  5. Refresh the page, click the icon to view the security warning, then click on the option to View Certificates.
    View Certificate Options Screenshot.
  6. Click the button to install the certificate.
    Certificate Menu Screenshot.
  7. When the Certificate Import wizard starts, click Next.
    Import Wizard Screenshot.
  8. Click the radio button to Place all certificates in the following store, and then Browse.
    Certificate Store Screenshot.
  9. Select Trusted Root Certification Authorities and then OK.
    Trusted Store Locations Screenshot.
  10. Click Next and Finish to complete the wizard. A Security Warning will pop up. Click Yes.
    Security Warning Screenshot.
  11. Close out any remaining open menus.
  12. Once again go to Tools ⇒ Internet Options ⇒ Security ⇒ Trusted Sites ⇒ Sites.
  13. Click on the site you added earlier and then click Remove. Close the menu.
  14. Shut down Internet Explorer, then start it again. Browse to the site and it should now be trusted.

Part 2: Configure Outlook For RPC Over HTTP

  1. Open the Control Panel. Switch from Category View to Small Icons. Double click Mail (32 bit).
    Control Panel Screenshot.
  2. Click the Show Profiles button.
    Show Profiles Screenshot.
  3. Click the Properties button.
    Mail General Tab Screenshot.
  4. Click on the E-mail Accounts... button.
    Mail Setup Screenshot.
  5. Click on Change.
    Account Settings Screenshot.
  6. Click on More Settings.
    More Settings Screenshot.
  7. Click on the Connection tab, then checkmark Connect to Microsoft Exchange using HTTP. Next, click on the Exchange Proxy Settings button.
    Connection Tab Screenshot.
  8. In the following steps, substitute your server information:
    • Under connection settings, fill in robot.widget.com.
    • Make sure Connect using SSL only is checked.
    • Checkmark Only connect to proxy servers that have this principal name in their certificate:
    • Fill in that field with msstd:robot.widget.com
    • Under Proxy authentication settings, select Basic Authentication.
    • Click OK.
    • Proxy Settings Screenshot.
  9. The configuration is complete. Close out of all remaining menus.

When the user starts Outlook, they will be asked for their credentials. It is important to note that they must enter their username in domainname\username format.

Conclusion

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The user should now be able to transparently authenticate to their Exchange email account using Outlook from anywhere they have an internet connection, without having to use a VPN.

Copyright © 2008 - 2013 Andrew Nelson under the GPL v3 License except where noted.
Please see the README file for full licensing disclosure and credits.