How to Fix Exchange 2010 OWA Chat Feature

December 28, 2009 by Thomas Foreman in IT Infrastructure

We’ve been working on enabling the OWA (Outlook Web Application) Chat feature of Exchange 2010 and ran into some issues involving GoDaddy certifications. To help others who may be using GoDaddy with Exchange 2010 and OCS we decided to post the following information.

For starters, the OWA Chat feature is pretty cool and allows you to use the Chat feature of OCS 2007 R2 from within OWA.  Here’s a quick screen capture from within OWA:

The OWA Chat Feature

This feature includes contact groups created in Office Communicator 2007 R2 and lets you communicate from OWA chat to OC (Office Communicator) or OWA chat to OWA chat:

Chatting within OWA

Compared to a regular CWA (Communicator Web Access) window, the functionality of chatting via OWA is much reduced.  For example, anonymous participants, desktop sharing, and setting call-forwarding features are removed, among others. Yet, even without those functions OWA Chat is still very useful.

You can even access chat from inside an email opened from OWA as shown below:

Chatting from an OWA Mail Message

Now that we’ve tantalized you with the new functionality, here are the instructions for enabling this feature, along with a couple of hitches we found on the way.  Note: none of this is new stuff but we had a hard time finding it all, so we thought we’d consolidate it in one place.

Instructions:

  1. Make sure you have Exchange 2010 and OCS 2007 R2 installed and configured
  2. Follow the Managing Outlook Web App and Office Communications Server 2007 Integration documentation provided on Technet. 
  3. Download the Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 R2 Web Service Provider from the Microsoft Download Center.
  4. Install the components of the download as shown below:

    Components of Download

  5. Configure Host Authorizations in OCS 2007 R2, as instructed in the documentation.
  6. Modify your web.config file located in C:\Program Files\Microsoft\Exchange\V14\Client Access\OWA, as follows:Application Setting Values

Note the following key values:

  • The IMPoolName entry needs to match your OCS 2007 R2 pool name, in our case wwocs.wadeware.net. 
  • The IMCertificateSerialNumber is the serial number of your certification, so make sure you put spaces after each octet as shown.
  • The trickier one for us was the IMCertificateIssuer value. Each of these values needs to be placed in quotes in the web.config file. The Subject Name for the issuer when using GoDaddy certs is very long and has quotes in it. So, the quotes in the issuer name screwed up this entry.

Keep in mind that OWA no longer works at this point. We couldn’t even use OWA ourselves.

The Hangup

It must have something to do with the quotes in the Issuer Name but didn’t know how to fix this. After talking with one of our programmers here at Wadeware he mentioned that you need to use a single quote at the beginning and end instead. This allowed our contacts list to show up in OWA.

Yay, right? Nope.  We were able to initiate chats from OWA to Communicator but weren’t able to reply, and we couldn’t initiate OWA to OWA chat.

After hunting around a bit we found Mike Stacy’s blog post about integrating OCS R2 with Exchange 2010 OWA and noticed we were missing the OCS 2007 R2 Hotfix KB 968802 mentioned in his post. So, we applied UCMARedist.MSP hotfix and voila! It worked. OWA to OWA chatting worked, so did OC to OWA, and OWA to OC.

Like I said, none of this information is new but the GoDaddy issuer name and the missing OCS 2007 R2 hotfix set us back. It took us a while to get past both of these roadblocks  we thought it might benefit someone else to post it here all in one place.

Special thanks to Mike Stacy and our awesome development team!