Understanding the Mini Version of Outlook Web App
Applies to: Exchange Server 2010 SP3, Exchange Server 2010 SP2
The mini version of Outlook Web App is a lightweight browser-based client, similar to the Outlook Mobile Access client in Exchange 2003. It provides access from simple HTML-compatible browsers that support cookies and it’s designed to be used on a mobile operating system.
Functionality in the mini version of Outlook Web App
The mini version of Outlook Web App provides functionality that lets users:
Access e-mail, calendar, contacts, tasks, and the global address list.
Access e-mail subfolders.
Compose, reply, and forward e-mail messages.
Create calendar, contact, and task items.
Handle meeting requests.
Set the time zone and automatic-reply messages for when they’re out of the office, away, or not available to respond to e-mail.
The mini version of Outlook Web App is based on Outlook Web App architecture. Because it’s an application within Outlook Web App, it uses all the segmentation flags that exist in Outlook Web App.
Authentication and Security Concerns
In order to be compatible with the widest array of mobile phone browsers, the mini version of Outlook Web App is designed to use Basic authentication. Basic authentication allows the credentials to be exchanged within the header of the HTTP request. The request should always be sent using a secure socket layer (SSL) encrypted channel.
Different browsers handle passing credential information differently. Some request that the user type the information for each new session. Others only request the information if it has changed.
If a user’s mobile phone is lost or stolen, the user’s password should be changed immediately.
The mini version of Outlook Web App uses the same public session time-out value used by Outlook Web App. Users who don’t complete operations such as the creation of a new e-mail or calendar item might see blank items created in their drafts folder, Calendar folder, or Contacts folder.
There is no logoff functionality in the mini version of Outlook Web App because there is no guarantee that the mobile device browser will forget the stored password after the default time-out value.
Accessing the mini version of Outlook Web App
The mini version of Outlook Web App is implemented as a virtual directory named
OMA, which is created below the Outlook Web App virtual directory. You can access the mini version of Outlook Web App by appending /oma to your Outlook Web App URL. For example, if your Outlook Web App URL is https://mail.contoso.com, the URL for the mini version of Outlook Web App would be something like https://mail.contoso.com/owa/oma. There is no client detection logic or configurable redirection on the virtual directory for the mini version of Outlook Web App. The user must specify the full URL to access it.
When you use the mini version of Outlook Web App, the same segmentation flags that are used for Outlook Web App are leveraged. For example, if access to the user’s calendars is disabled, the mini version of Outlook Web App won’t provide access to the user’s calendars. For more information about segmentation flags, see Understanding Segmentation for Outlook Web App.
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