Is Outlook Web Access down right now?

What is the Outlook service status?

Is Exchange down?

You’ve come to the right place.  We can help you determine the answers to these questions before your users have a chance to ask them.  We will show you how to monitor Exchange Outlook Web Access.

Dotcom-Monitor has all the tools you need to perform Web monitoring for Exchange Outlook Web Access, including OWA, ActiveSync, SMTP, POP3 and IMAP4.  While the last three protocols mentioned are fairly common and straight-forward, the first two, Outlook Web Access and ActiveSync are a bit more unique to Dotcom-Monitor.

This article focuses on monitoring Outlook Web Access (OWA) performance.  There are two different ways to monitor OWA.  One is to simply load the portal at specified intervals, verifying that the portal is online and available.  The second, more thorough method is to actually log into the web portal using a legitimate username and password, and then to perform several actions in the account, verifying that not only is the portal online, but that it is properly communicating with the Exchange server.

Monitor Exchange Outlook Web Access Server

Using the Dotcom Monitor ServerView Platform, you can quickly and easily setup the first type of monitor.  Simply select httpss monitoring, enter the url of the site and set your monitoring parameters such as frequency of test and locations to test from.  ServerView allows you to monitor both the basic availability of the OWA portal as well as the functionality of the related protocols such as ActiveSync, POP, IMAP and SMTP.  You can use ServerView to automatically send and receive messages via these protocols just as easily as you can monitor the uptime of the portal.

The second type of monitoring, a scripted path through the OWA site is a little more complex to set up, but much more thorough in terms of verifying that your Outlook Web Access portal is working properly.  To perform the UserView monitoring of your website you can use the EveryStep scripting tool to record your interactions with the website by simply pointing, clicking and typing while on the site.monitor-exchange-outlook-web-access

Setting Up OWA Monitoring

Now we will show you how to set up web monitoring on an outlook web access server for Microsoft exchange.

A sample script might start with entering the url of your OWA portal.

Once the portal has loaded, click on and type in the username and password fields, then press the login button.

Once the inbox has loaded you may click on the “compose new mail” button.  From here you can enter a test message to yourself and hit send.  You can even add in unique ID variables after you record the script so that you verify each specific email was sent successfully. Note that the Unique IDs need to be added after the script has been recorded, and may require some help from support to properly setup.

Now you may wish to inject a 45 second delay into the script to allow your exchange server to process the message and send it back to you through the OWA interface.  The time delay is up to you, depending upon how quickly your server tends to process email.

Using the Rich Internet Application (RIA) tools, you can then perform a keyword validation on the inbox until you see that the email has arrived.  When the email has been detected you can click to delete the email and then log out of OWA.

Once the scripted walkthrough has been recorded, you stop recording and replay the script to verify that no errors were detected.  After the script has been verified simply upload it to your Dotcom-Monitor account and begin monitoring your Outlook Web Access Server.

Troubleshooting slow Outlook Web Access

Not only does this method of scripting access to OWA tell you if something is broken, but it records the amount of time it takes to access each portion of the site.  Even if you inject delays to wait for the email to process, you can set thresholds to send you an alert if the entire process ever takes a longer time to complete than normal.

In addition to the thresholds, any time an error is detected there are additional metrics recorded such as:

  • the details of each step recorded including error codes and descriptions
  • a traceroute of DNS lookup
  • a waterfall chart
  • a video capture of of the walkthrough of the OWA portal

Exchange OWA Availability and Performance

Do you know the availability of your outlook web access url?  Even if it looks like OWA is online from your location, are you sure it is available from different locations around the world?  Setup OWA monitoring from dozens of locations around the world using the globally distributed Dotcom-Monitor network.

In fact, Dotcom-Monitor has the logic to monitor your entire infrastructure with one set of tools.

Try testing your exchange server right now with the free testing testing tools at  Sign up for a free trial to see how you can also monitor your Outlook Web Access as well.




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