Constructing Exchange Store HTTP URLs

Constructing Exchange Store HTTP URLs

This content is no longer actively maintained. It is provided as is, for anyone who may still be using these technologies, with no warranties or claims of accuracy with regard to the most recent product version or service release.

When you construct a URL using The HTTP: URL Scheme, you follow the same procedure as when you identify a resource accessible through the HTTP protocol. The structure of the URL is:



This is the name of the Web server. This name must resolve to the IP address of the host through the mechanism that is provided, for example Domain Name System (DNS), Microsoft® Windows® Internet Naming Service (WINS), LMHOSTS file, and so forth.


This is the Microsoft Exchange HTTP Virtual Server virtual directory mapped to the public folder. The following table shows the default virtual directory names for all private stores and the default public folder "Public Folders".


This is the virtual path to the item. The path is virtual because multiple Exchange virtual directories can exist as a hierarchy below the first Exchange virtual directory. Each virtual subdirectory can map to a non-contiguous public folder housed in any public store. If the subfolder is not an Exchange virtual directory, the path is identical to the physical hierarchy below the public folder.

Virtual directory name Description
exchange All private mailboxes in any private store are available through this virtual directory.
public This virtual directory is mapped to the top public folder in the default public folder tree. The default public folder name is "Public Folders".

Each virtual path starts with an Exchange Virtual Server virtual directory.

The URLs in the following examples use The HTTP: URL Scheme:

Using an SMTP Address to Access a Mailbox

Note  This information applies to Exchange Server 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or later.

In Exchange 2000 Server and Exchange Server 2003, a user's mailbox can be programmatically accessed using part of the user's SMTP address in the mailbox Uniform Resource Identifier (URI). For example, the mailbox of Jyothi Pai could be accessed using this URI:


The Exchange server combines the SMTP Address-Left-Hand-Side (LHS) specified in the URI and the SMTP Address-Right-Hand-Side (RHS) from the Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) metabase VRPath attribute for a virtual directory to form an SMTP address to uniquely identify the mailbox.

The current approach limits virtual directories to support a single SMTP domain, requiring every user to have a (primary or secondary) SMTP proxy address with a matching domain. High-volume Exchange customers are forced to create multiple virtual directories on the front-end Exchange server and required matching virtual directories on the mailbox server, usually one for each hosted company. This exceeds practical manageability and IIS scalability limits when there are hundreds or thousands of virtual directories on every IIS server.

Starting in Exchange Server 2003 SP1, the full SMTP address can be used to access a user's mailbox, as in:


This URL provides access to the mailbox that has "" as a primary or secondary proxy address, regardless of the VRPath of the /exchange virtual directory. Using this approach allows virtual directories on a front-end server to support multiple SMTP domains and eliminates the need for matching virtual directories on the mailbox server.

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This topic last updated: December 2004

Build: June 2007 (2007.618.1)

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