Create easier-to-remember URLs for OWA, RWW and even Sharepoint

If you are running SBS you must know by now that you need to type http://something.yourdomain.com/exchange or /remote to access OWA or RWW from the internet. One issue that I often encounter is that users forget those URLs are (specially if the are technologically-impaired J).


 


So, what about giving your users simpler URLs? Like http://webmail.yourdomain.com for OWA and/or http://remote.yourdomain.com for RWW


 


What about Sharepoint? Typing :444 at the end of an URL is really not cool at all. Wouldn’t it be great if you could use http://intranet.yourdomain.com to access your intranet directly? If this idea sounds appealing to you… then keep reading:


 


Method 1 –


 


If you have your DNS hosted with ZoneEdit, GoDaddy or any other DNS provider that provides URL redirection you can do this in less than 1 minute. Just open the DNS console and create those records. The great thing about this is that its easy, you don’t have to do anything on your end and you can even keep port 80 closed on the SBS box.


 


Method 2 –


 


If you are the kind of guy (or gal) that likes to do things themselves then this is for you. Here’s an example on how to do it for OWA:


 


1)      Create an “A” record on your public DNS for webmail.yourdomain.com that points to your server IP address. Remember that this is something you do to the public DNS so your SBS box is not involved (i.e. you probably need to call your ISP).


2)      Go to the SBS box and open the IIS console. Drill down to websites, right click and select “create new”, follow the wizard. Name it “OWA redirector”, on the host header box type “webmail.yourdomain.com” and finish the wizard.


3)      Right click on the newly created website and select properties. Go to the Home Directory tab, change it to “Redirection to a URL”, type “http://something.yourdomain.com/exchange” on the Redirect to box and click ok.


 


Now you should be able to type http://webmail.yourdomain.com and be automatically redirected to OWA. Do the same thing with RWW and Sharepoint. Heck, you could even go to Mapquest get the URL of your office location and then create a redirector from http://map.yourdomain.com to that. The possibilities are endless with just a little creativity J


 


BTW-> If you think about it, you could host the redirectors on your own server and then your clients can have port 80 totally closed. No reason why the redirector has to be on the same server as the target.