Prepare IIS on Windows XP/2003 for Sharing Calendars using Internet Publishing

Posted on January 8, 2009 by Daniel Petri in Exchange Server with 0 Comments

As I discussed in my previous article – “Share Calendars with Local Users using Internet Publishing“, Outlook 2007 has improved calendar sharing using Office Online. You can share your calendar with everyone, or with only designated people, by publishing your Internet Calendars to Office Online.

You can publish and share your calendars with others by publishing them to a WebDAV server. This server can be either on the local network, or on the Internet. If you prefer not to publish them on an Internet server and you have one machine running Windows Server 2003, Windows XP or Vista, you can publish the calendar to your computer and share it with other user accounts or anyone on your network who uses Outlook 2007 or Vista’s Windows Calendar. This article assumes you wish to publish the calendar to an internal server.

Tip: For Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) networks that do not have a central server, install IIS on a machine that will be turned on either 24/7 or on longer than the others for best results.

This article describes the first step in publishing the calendars, which is the IIS installation and configuration phase. When you’re done, follow the steps outlined in my “Share Calendars with Local Users using Internet Publishing” article.

Publish Calendars to a Windows XP computer

In order to publish a calendar to a Windows XP computer you will need to install IIS 5.1 on that computer. Follow these steps:   1. Go to Control Panel, click Add or Remove Programs.

2. Select Add/Remove Windows Components.

3. Select Internet Information Services (IIS).

4. Click Details.

5. Uncheck the SMTP protocol.

6. Click Ok then Next, and wait for the IIS installation to finish. You will need your Windows XP Pro CD, or the i386 source available on your computer or on a network location.

Publish Calendars to a Windows Server 2003 computer

In order to publish a calendar to a Windows Server 2003 computer you will need to install IIS 6.0 on that computer. Follow these steps:   1. Go to Control Panel, click Add or Remove Programs.

2. Select Add/Remove Windows Components.

3. Click to select Application Server.

4. Basically, by selecting the Application Server checkbox you’ve already automatically selected Internet Information Services (IIS), but in order to make sure click Details.

5. Click Ok then Next, and wait for the IIS installation to finish. You will need your Windows Server 2003 CD, or the i386 source available on your computer or on a network location.

Creating the Calendar Virtual Directory in IIS

Next you need to create the Calendar Virtual Directory in IIS. I will use screenshots based on Windows Server 2003, but XP procedures should be similar.

1. Open Administrative Tools, then double click Internet Information Services.

2. Expand the view so you can see Default Web Site.

3. Right click on it and choose New -> Virtual Directory.

4. In the Virtual Directory wizard click Next.

5. In the Alias box, type a descriptive name such as Calendar. You will use this name to access the calendar virtual directory.

6. In the Path box enter the path to where you want to store the calendar files on the hard drive. This needs to be a folder all users will have access to – I recommend creating a folder in the root of the hard drive, such as D:\Calendar.

7. You need Read and Write permission on this virtual directory, so select the Write checkbox along with the Read checkbox which is already selected.

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8.  Click Finish.

Enabling WebDAV on Windows Server 2003 IIS 6.0

IIS 6.0 installed on Windows Server 2003 IIS 5.0 blocks WebDAV by default. You need to enable it. Follow these steps:

1. Open Administrative Tools, then double click Internet Information Services.

2. Expand the view so you can see Web Service Extensions.

3. On the details pane click and select WebDAV. Now press on the Allow button.

4. Notice how WebDAV is now enabled for use.

Best security practice for the Calendar folder

IIS is now installed and the virtual directory in place. But there are several changes you should make.

1. First, right-click on the Calendar virtual directory you’ve created, select Properties.

2. On the Directory Security tab, click on the  Edit button in the Anonymous access section at the top of the window.

3. Remove the checkbox to allow Anonymous access.

4. Click to select Windows Integrated Authentication.

5. Click Ok all the way out. This prevents users outside your network from gaining access to the calendar through the Internet, if such access is enabled on the firewall.

You could further secure the connection by using SSL, but that’s for a different article. You can read my “On IIS 6.0, how do I configure my website to use SSL?” article for more information on that.

Creating user accounts

If users will access the calendar files from other computers on the network you must first create corresponding user accounts for each user that needs access.

Note: When publishing calendars on machines that are members of Active Directory domains you do not need to create local users, and instead work with domain users.

1. In Windows XP Pro, open Control Panel -> User Accounts

2. Create a new user account.

3. Assign a password to the account.

4. When other members of your network attempt to access this computer, they will enter the username and password you created above

Note: You can also perform the same action by using the NET USER command from the command prompt.

On Windows Server 2003, you need to create the user from the Local Users and Groups snap-in, located in the Computer Management console.

IIS is now installed and ready to use to use for publishing calendars. Now follow the steps outlined in my “Share Calendars with Local Users using Internet Publishing” article.

Links:

Microsoft: Share your calendar information – Outlook – Microsoft Office Online Microsoft: Publish a calendar on Office Online – Outlook – Microsoft Office Online

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