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Integration – A Historical Perspective

Historically, Exchange integration was originally tested running over a Netlet connection and accessing the Exchange Server using Microsoft Outlook native program. When Exchange provided Outlook Web Access (OWA) in Exchange 5.5, Exchange could be accessed using a web browser with a few caveats and configuration changes to the Portal Gateway profile. OWA was not as fully featured as its Outlook counterpart, but provided a nice remote access solution for Exchange messaging. Exchange 2000 OWA increased complexity significantly when accessed with an Internet Explorer User-Agent, and the portal rewriter had to be extended to rewrite XML content in addition to some corner cases such as URLs which appeared in clear text immediately following opening SPAN tags. The default OWA ruleset was included in the Sun ONE Portal Server 3.0 Service Pack 3 Hot Patch 1 (SP3HP1), and Exchange 2000 without any service pack continued to be tested against in future portal consolidated patch releases. Exchange 2000 SP2, and now SP3, have both continued to add technologies which alienate reverse proxies and middleware, and which adversely affect the manageability of URL rewriting technology. As a result, the complexity of the integration has increased and decisions must be made about what the method of integration best suits your business needs. The following recipes clearly explain the benefits and drawbacks of each method, as well as detail exactly what the integration requires.

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