This article describes two methods that you can use to customize the Web interface of Microsoft Outlook Web Access (OWA) for Exchange 2000.
In Microsoft Exchange Server 5.5, the OWA component was a series of Active Server Pages, HTML, and Jscript. In Exchange 2000, the OWA component is tightly integrated with the Exchange 2000 server itself for increased performance and functionality, and you cannot customize OWA for Exchange 2000 in the same way as you customized OWA under Exchange Server 5.5.
However, because of the new capabilities of OWA in Exchange 2000, you can still customize your OWA experience by using one of the two methods described in this article.
Method 1: Create an HTML Front End
In Exchange 2000, you can use named Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) to link directly from a Web page to any object stored in the Exchange 2000 database, including mailboxes, individual mail folders, and even individual e-mail messages.
For example, you can use your Exchange 2000 alias to access your mailbox by typing either of the following URLs in your browser:
You can also open a specific folder by typing the name of the folder after your mailbox name. To open your calendar, type the path to your mailbox followed by /calendar:
You can also access your Contacts folder directly by typing the path to your mailbox followed by /contacts.
Additionally, you can use named URLs to open any item and perform many functions. You can add option and command verbs to the end of the named URLs to perform a wide range of actions.
- To access a personal mailbox:
- To access a personal calendar:
- To access a user-created personal folder that is named Xyz:
- To access a user-created personal folder that is named Xyz without the Outlook bar (the frame on the left side of the browser window):
- To display only the Outlook bar for a user-created personal folder that is named Xyz:
- To display an e-mail message in the OWA Inbox that has the subject "Hello There":
- To create a new e-mail message in the Drafts folder:
- To change user options for OWA:
- To display the monthly view of a personal calendar:
- To display the weekly view that starts on Jan 1, 2000 of a personal calendar:
- To display a public folder named Company Contacts that is located in the root of the public folder tree:
: Spaces in folder names are represented in the URL by the characters %20. If the name of the item that you want to view contains a space, you must replace each space with %20 in your named URL. For example, you must translate Deleted Items to Deleted%20Items.
When you take advantage of the functionality of OWA 2000 and Exchange 2000, you can use your favorite HTML editor to create HTML Web pages that have URLs to the appropriate areas in Exchange 2000.
For more information and some basic examples on how to create HTML Web pages that have URLs to the appropriate areas in Exchange 2000, download the Exchange 2000 Server software development kit (SDK) at the following Microsoft Web site:
Method 2: Use HTML and WebDAV to Create a Customized Web Program
The Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) protocol is an extension to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) that you can use to build Web programs. You can use HTML and WebDAV protocol methods to read, create, copy, delete, move, or search for resources in the Exchange Information Store. You can also use HTML and WebDAV protocol methods to read, set and search for properties on resources in the Exchange Information Store.
When you type a URL that points to an item in the Exchange Information Store in a Web browser, an XML-formatted WebDAV protocol request is created and sent to the Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server. When the server receives the request, it verifies the credentials of the client and automatically parses the XML for the requested data. The server builds an XML WebDAV protocol response that contains the appropriate properties and their values, and then sends the response back to the client. If the Web browser can parse XML, the server also sends an Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL) style sheet to tell the browser how to display the data. If the Web browser cannot parse XML, the information about how to display the data is sent in HTML.
You can use the Microsoft.XMLHTTP
Component Object Model (COM) class to send and receive WebDAV requests to the Exchange Information Store. The Microsoft.XMLHTTP
COM object is part of the Microsoft XML (MSXML) 2.0 COM component that is included with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5.
You can use this information to build a Web program that mimics the features and capabilities of OWA 2000. For more information and some basic examples on how to do this, download the Exchange 2000 Server SDK at the following Microsoft Web site:
: WebDAV is a specification from Request for Comments (RFC) 2518 that defines extensions to the Hypertext Transfer Protocol 1.1 (HTTP/1.1), which is defined in RFC 2616. The extensions include a new set of protocol methods and request headers that you can use to move, copy, delete, and create collections of resources. Additionally, clients can set and get properties about resources and the resource content itself.