Today I decided to explore the functionality of the “Documents” button in OWA. The initial screen says:
“You can use this window to access Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services server or Windows file servers from Outlook Web Access. Click Open Location or follow one of the favorites on the left side of the screen to start.”
I don’t have any desire to setup a SharePoint server, so I’m thrilled to read it’s compatible with regular Windows file shares. I click “Open Location” and try “\\server\public”. I get an error message reading:
For security reasons, Outlook Web Access is configured to prevent access to this type of document or folder. For more information, contact technical support for your organization.”
I’ll take that over a “Doesn’t Exist” error any day. So I try something silly to see if I get a different error, “\\ridiculous\stuff”. It’s the same error, and that’s disappointing, but I’ve found out how to enable the shares and it’s very easy. Just open the Exchange Management Console and browse to:
Server Configuration -> Client Access -> Outlook Web Access Tab -> owa (Default Website) -> Properties
Remote File Servers Tab -> Click “Allow…” -> Add the hostname of the machine with file shares you’d like to enable.
I added “server” to the Allow list and I can access it through OWA pretty much like a regular Windows share. Best of all, since I’ve setup NTFS permissions with these shares for domain users, all my permissions and in effect. This is truly a great feature!