Microsoft Exchange server 2003 sports a feature called Outlook Mobile Access which is a mobile access solution offering a user experience similar to Microsoft Outlook Web Access. Exchange 2003 includes Microsoft® Office Outlook® Mobile Access application which enables people to use mobile devices to access their email, contacts, tasks and calendar. OMA can be used with any mobile device that has a mobile browser. The only condition being that the mobile browser must support one of HTML, cHTML or xHTML markup languages. When using mobile operators that use WAP 1.x gateways there is a security issue if your corporation is not hosting its own gateway within the perimeter network. The gateways translate traffic from secure internet protocol SSL over TC/IP to wireless protocols WTLS (Wireless Transport Layer Security) over WSP (Wireless Session Protocol). During this translation all data is briefly unencrypted.

Configuring Exchange 2003 front end server for OMA


By default OMA virtual directory is installed with Exchange 2003. This allows users to access Exchange from a mobile device. The configuration for OMA virtual directory is similar to the one for Outlook Web Access directory.

Enabling OMA on the Exchange Server


There are different steps to be followed to configure OMA at the user level ( ) and at the organizational level( ). After configuring your front end server for OMA, you need to enable your exchange servers for the same. The following software components are required for OMA in Exchange server 2003:

  • ASP.NET device update 2
  • .NET framework 1.1

These components are automatically installed by the Exchange server setup program.

Spread the word among users

To access OMA from mobile devices the users may point their mobile web browsers to http://server-name/oma where server-name is the name of your exchange proxy server. After a user completes the first successful synchronization from a Pocket PC the device is automatically presented the tree of the user’s mailbox folders. Each folder can be selected for an up-to-date notification which will register an event on the folder to look for new mail. When new email arrives inside the Exchange server mailbox store an SMTP notification configured by the OMA provider in Exchange System Manager.

Outlook Mobile Access for Exchange 2003 supports WAP 2.0 devices, however, it is possible to use certain devices with the WAP 1.x gateway.  Ideally you should choose to provide only WAP 2.0 devices that use only carriers that have WAP 2.0 deployed. This eliminates the security loophole as SSL sessions can be passed through directly to WAP 2.0 devices. In conclusion, Outlook Mobile Access creates browse capabilities for mobile devices for Exchange Server 2003. It made possible deployment of mobile services to allow users to access their Exchange information from Mobile Devices.