Overview of Exchange 2007 Outlook Web Access WebReady Document Viewing

One of the biggest feature requests we had in Exchange 2003 OWA was a way to let users view attachments without having to save them to disk or open them in a locally-installed application.  In Exchange 2007 OWA, we are introducing WebReady Document Viewing, which lets users do just that.  WebReady Document Viewing allows users […]

One of the biggest feature requests we had in Exchange 2003 OWA was a way to let users view attachments without having to save them to disk or open them in a locally-installed application.  In Exchange 2007 OWA, we are introducing WebReady Document Viewing, which lets users do just that.  WebReady Document Viewing allows users to view certain attachments as a web page.  Exchange 2007 does the conversion, so the user doesn't need anything other than a web browser.  Currently, we support Word (.doc), Excel (.xls), PowerPoint (.ppt), and PDF (.pdf) documents.  This is a big win for corporations and users.  Corporations don't need to worry about their IP being left in caches on public machines, like airport kiosks.  Users don't need to download the attachment and then fire up an application to view it.  They can just click on the "View as Web Page" link and the WebReady Viewing version will open.

Of course, having a different way to get to attachments makes creating an attachments policy a little trickier.  I'll explain how administration of attachments and Webready Document Viewing works in OWA2007 in this blog post.

The most important thing to understand is that WebReady Document Viewing is a method of accessing attachments.  This means that you need to decide how to grant access to attachments.  It is perfectly valid to prevent users from opening or saving attachments, but still allow them to see the WebReady version of the supported types.

The following screenshots show the OWA properties page (Server Configuration/Client Access/Outlook Web Access/owa (Default Web Site)) in the Exchange Management Console. I'll explain each option along with the corresponding Exchange Management Shell properties.

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Microsoft, Exchange, Server, Outlook Web Access, Exchange 2007, WebReady, Document, Viewing