As discussed at our OU Admin Day event, OWA 2007 has the ability to offer read-only access to campus Windows file-servers from a web browser. This is a handy alternative to Webfolders, FTP and RAS and of course is accessible from anywhere.
This feature is only available with OWA 2007 Premium and subsequently Internet Explorer is the only supported browser. Hopefully Microsoft will remedy this with the next version of Exchange Server.
We need to enable any file-servers in an ‘allow list’ on the Exchange Client Access servers before users can access them. We can add school file-servers within reason. Please speak to your School Computing Officer and get them to contact helpline with a request.
At present the following servers are enabled:
All Tower servers
All Turret servers
campus.ncl.ac.uk – This is a DFS name space allowing access to towers/turrets/software and high availability servers.
Log on to OWA 2007 as normal
From the left hand menu buttons, Select ‘Documents’:
Select ‘Open Location’ from the left hand menu:
A Box will appear where you can enter a path to a file server. As an example I have included the correct format for access to your home directory. Replace the ‘X’ with whichever tower and home share that your home directory resides.
It is important that the location you want to open is prefixed with the two forward slashes in standard UNC format and the server name is fully qualified with .ncl.ac.uk
If you have the appropriate permissions to open that location, you should be presented with the contents of that file-share in the right hand pane:
Item 1: ‘Open in Windows Explorer’ will only work whilst on campus, but will open a Windows Explorer window to the directory that you currently have selected.
Item 2: Lets you go up the directory structure, if you have permission to do so.
Item 3: Adds the current location to the ‘Favorites Menu’ as depicted in item 5.
Item 4: Is a breadcrumb style link to your current location. Click on any of the parts separated by slashes to go to that level, if you have permission to do so.
Item 5: Lists ‘favorite” places that you have added.
Double clicking on a folder will take you to the contents of that folder.
Double clicking on a file will try to open that file natively on your computer, should you have the application that can open it.
If you right click a file a context sensitive menu will appear:
Selecting ‘Open’ will try and open the file as if you have double clicked it.
If you select ‘Open as Web Page’, OWA will try and interpret the contents of that file and display it in a web-page. This is particularly handy if you are on a computer without Microsoft Office, but need to read an Office Document. The supported file types include (doc, pdf, pps, ppt, rtf and xls).
Selecting ‘Send by E-Mail’ opens a new mail message in OWA and automatically includes the file as an attachment.
‘Copy Shortcut’, copies the UNC path of the file to the computer clipboard.