Exchange 2010 SP2 Beta – Say Hello to OWA Mini

A new feature which will be (re)introduced with Exchange 2010 SP2 is OWA Mini or Outlook Mobile Access (OMA) which was the name back in Exchange 2003.

What is OWA Mini?

OWA “Mini” is a lightweight browser-based client that works very similar to the old OMA client we know form Exchange 2003. It provides the following functionality:

  • Mailbox access via simple HTML browsers (must support cookies).
  • Functionality includes:
    • Access to email, calendar, contacts, tasks and GAL
    • Access to all email folder hierarchy
    • Compose, reply and forward emails
    • Calendar, contact and task edit and creation
    • Meeting requests handling
    • Setting the Time Zone and Out of Office messages
  • OWA Mini is built on a set of OWA forms, it’s not a separate application
  • Built as a “Mini” experience to OWA leveraging all segmentation flags existing in OWA.
  • OWA “mini” is itself segmented out via the OWA Mailbox policies.

It’s important to note that although OWA Mini looks very similar to OMA we know form Exchange 2003, no code was reused.

Why was this functionality reintroduced?

Well there still seems to be a big demand from certain markets where browser phones still are used in a wide scale.

Accessing OWA Mini

OWA Mini exists as a vdir named OMA inside the OWA vdir.

Fig_1

This means that OWA Mini can be accessed using the following URL format:

https://mail.domain.com/owa/oma

Fig_2

There will not be a any client detection logic in the code that redirects certain devices or browser version to the /oma vdir automatically. Said in another way, the user must specify the full URL.

Enabling and Disabling OWA Mini

OWA Mini can be enabled and disabled using the “Set-MailboxPolicy” cmdlet with the “-OWALightEnabled” parameter.

Until later,

Henrik Walther
Technology Architect/Writer/MS Vendor
MCM: Exchange 2007 | MVP: Exchange Architecture

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