A great bunch of new features coming soon for SharePoint Modern Experience !

SharePoint product team just revealed news about a fantastic set of modernization features which are planned to release in the 1st quarter 2019. Microsoft been aggressively improving the user experience of SharePoint, OneDrive, in fact the whole Office 365 umbrella for the past few years.

Some of these features are brand new while some are updates for legacy SharePoint capabilities. Nevertheless, each of them looks cool and would definitely great to have. The best thing everyone love about Office 365 is, there is no additional cost for any of these updates. Let’s find out what we are going to get soon.

Bulk Check In/Check Out


Microsoft previously released bulk edit for list and libraries and now with this update you will have the ability to check in/out multiple records/documents at once. Have a look at the following screenshot comes from Chris MacNulty.

Document Sets


Document sets group related documents together with shared metadata, routing and visual experiences. They’ve been available in classic mode previously, and now you can work with them in the modern experience starting March 2019 onwards.

Signal Icons


Isn’t that cool when you have a nice visual cue right next to each file as the status? Here are the new list of status signals that you will soon be able to see in your tenant. There will be more signals and the best news is its not going to just limit to SharePoint but also will be available on OneDrive, Teams, and Office Clients too. Wait no longer than February !

Column Totals


Custom views allow you to add calculated fields, such as totals or averages, to the footer of a group or the entire list. Now, totals will display in the modern view without forcing users back to the classic interface. Totals will also show in the modern web parts for lists and libraries.

Sticky Headers

SharePoint is known to have large repositories. Large lists and libraries always takes a scroll vertically and horizontally. With Sticky headers, you will have the column headers pinned at the top of the scrolling window so it helps you identify list values as you move vertically and horizontally through the view. And ! column headers will also remain in place inside the list/library web parts across any page you have added them.

Add Columns In-between Column


Soon you will be able to add a column in between another columns which cuts off the time it takes to reach the end of the column headers. Again, this will help a lot in wider lists/library views where you have lots of columns added in to. Just hover you mouse on the edge between two columns and you will immediately notice the (+) icon.

Column Drag and Drop


Guess what! You don’t have to dig in and modify the views anymore. Moving a column within a list or a library, simply drag it and drop to where you want it to be. Easier right ?

In a quick note: Microsoft always commits to deliver efficiency, reliability and usability across all products. Feel free to raise you voice if you have any idea you think worth actioning here – https://sharepoint.uservoice.com/forums/329214-sites-and-collaboration

Images: Microsoft (original post is here)


I’ll be speaking at aOS Conference Kuala Lampur

Manoj V Karunarathne-01[25650]







09.00AM TO 5.30PM

Registration starts at 8.30am




(Microsoft New Office)


**Register NOW! Seats are on first come first serve basis**


Who Is This For?

The content is suited to business people, managers, CIOs, executives, and end users.

There is also content for Technical roles (IT Pros, Developers and Hands on Power Users) to learn the how and why of many Office 365 (and SharePoint) apps.

If you are someone who sees the digital workplace as a way to improve the way you work, increase your team’s productivity and deliver better results – come and learn how.

· Business Decision Makers – what it can do?

· IT Pro – how to migrate or manage?

· Developers – how to build or configure it?





08.30 AM – 09.00 AM


09.00 AM – 09.45 AM

Opening & Key Note

10.00 AM – 10.45 AM

Transforming Your Organization into a Digital Workplace

A Deep Dive into Microsoft 365 Security

A Deep Dive into Microsoft 365 Security

11.00 AM – 11.45 AM

Delivering tangible business value with Office 365

Single Sign on and Multi Factor Authentication with Azure AD

Lean, Scrum and Low code approach of SharePoint and O365 projects

12.00 PM – 12.45 PM

Accelerate success and time-to-value for Microsoft 365 with best practices from the field

Data Leakage Prevention and Rights Management in Office365

Bot Framework with Microsoft Team

01.00 PM – 01.45 PM


02.00 PM – 02.45 PM

The 4th Dimensional Meeting

Migrating to SharePoint Online – Real-life Experiences

Accelerating development and business with Azure Containers

03.00 PM – 03.45 PM

Bots – Changing the way we engage with technology

How your SharePoint deployment can benefit from Azure capabilities

Microsoft Graph: Get the power of Excel functions into your Web Applications

04.00 PM – 04.45 PM

All about documents in O365 and SharePoint

IOT for Beginners and IT Pros

Using Graph API to read Outlook mail for Accounting

05.00 PM – 05.30 PM

Wrap Up & Panel Discussion

Share & exchange, Worldwide

In conjunction with our inaugural ASEAN tour, aOS is bringing its global experts to mingle with Malaysia’s Azure and Office 365 user’s community to exchange ideas on how to maximize your usage and ROI from Microsoft’s cloud technologies.

CONNECT: Meet like-minded people, make new connections, build your support network. See a whole range of products and demonstrations ALL in the one place!

LEARN: Whether it be training, up-skilling or starting from scratch, the opportunities to learn from the BEST in the field are here.

EXPERIENCE: New innovation and inspiring speakers. Walk away with ideas and momentum. We bring you LOTS of what is NEW in Microsoft Office 365 and Azure.

Technologies Content – Microsoft Teams (and Groups), PowerApps, Flow, Power BI, OneDrive, Microsoft Forms, Skype for Business, Azure, Yammer, OneNote, Office 365, many 3rd party tools and our awesome line up of SharePoint content.

Business and Productivity Content – Digital Workspace, Security, Governance, Information Architecture, Collaboration, Data Migration, User Adoption, Agile Development, Mobile and Paperless Workforce.

With 18 SESSIONS (MVPs and domain experts) coming from 14 INTERNATIONAL SPEAKERS, 7 COUNTRIES this event is THE Office 365 event for this year. With limited spaces available, it is on a first come, first serve basis. Be there or be square!…. (read more here!)

Speaking at SharePoint user group Houston USA #SPSHOU

As always, presenting to SharePoint community across the world is a priceless sensation. This time I’ll be talking about SharePoint and OneDrive for SharePoint Houston User Group (H-SPUG) people.


There are two parallel sessions organized for this event and you can find out the full details of HSPUG web site.


You can register here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/next-generation-collaboration-with-sharepoint-and-onedrive-tickets-48652812873?aff=erelexpmlt#tickets 


750 Town and Country Blvd #1000, Houston, TX 77024

I will be speaking at aOS Singapore Tour 2018 on 19th May–See you there !

aOS Singapore

aOS Singapore Tour 2018 is aiming to be educational & informative. Sessions will be conducted by respected SharePoint/Office 365/Azure professionals, covering a wide variety of topics. Sessions will cover Azure, SharePoint, and Office 365, including content for IT Pros, Developers, and Business Users.

Organised by technology enthusiasts and Microsoft MVPS (Most Valuable Professional), this is an event not to be missed. aOS is one of the largest and widely spread community for Microsoft SharePoint, Azure and Office 365 across the globe. In fact, the name of this global community is came out from the first character of these three products so that its easy to remember and more relevant.

In this session, I’ll  be talking about latest improvements of OneDrive and SharePoint as Microsoft have recently boosted their productivity stack when it comes to their capabilities.

Join us for a free full-day community event and learn more about the latest technologies and functionalities from respected experts!

Register here for free – https://aossg.azurewebsites.net/ 

OneDrive Making a Real Comeback


Have you heard about the virtual Collab365 Global Conference 2017 that’s streaming online November 1st – 2nd?

Join me and 120 other speakers from around the world who will be bringing you the very latest content around SharePoint, Office 365, Flow, PowerApps, Azure, OneDrive for Business and of course the increasingly popular Microsoft Teams. The event is produced by the Collab365 Community and is entirely free to attend.

Places are limited to 5000 so be quick and register now.

During the conference I’d love you to watch my session which is called : ‘OneDrive Making a Real Comeback’

OneDrive and OneDrive for business has been vital for collaboration context. Microsoft is making OneDrive better and better everyday with bunch of exciting and useful new features. Let’s discover the latest on OneDrive as its now acts as a more unified product with the latest capabilities announced.​

If you join me, you will learn:

  • Latest of OneDrive
  • OneDrive
  • Unified OneDrive for everyone


  • OneDrive

Audience :

  • End User
  • IT Manager
  • Power User

Time (in UTC) :

  • Thursday, November 2 2017 7:00 AM

How to attend :

  1. Register here.
  2. At the time listed above go here to watch my session. (you can also add me to your own personal planner from the agenda.
  3. Be ready to take notes!

First step towards your cloud adventure – SharePoint in hybrid mode deep dive


Have you heard about the virtual Collab365 Global Conference 2017 that’s streaming online November 1st – 2nd?

Join me and 120 other speakers from around the world who will be bringing you the very latest content around SharePoint, Office 365, Flow, PowerApps, Azure, OneDrive for Business and of course the increasingly popular Microsoft Teams. The event is produced by the Collab365 Community and is entirely free to attend.

Places are limited to 5000 so be quick and register now.

During the conference I’d love you to watch my session which is called : ‘First step towards your cloud adventure – SharePoint in hybrid mode deep dive’

With SharePoint 2013, Microsoft Introduced new Hybrid capabilities to transfer some of your workloads to the cloud using Azure and Office 365 in order to mitigate administrative and managing efforts of your on-premises farms. And now with latest SharePoint 2016 and bold cloud platform vision, Hybrid capabilities are massively improved to make your journey towards cloud smooth and right. This is a technical and business user mixed session suitable for IT Pros, Developers and Business Users. ​

If you join me, you will learn:

  • When and Why SharePoint has to be in Hybrid Mode
  • Requirements to Implement a Hybrid Setup
  • Latest SharePoint Hybrid Capabilities including Hybrid Search, Insights (Analytics), Hybrid Profiles, Hybrid Sites
  • Setting up Hybrid SharePoint Environment (Live Demonstration of a deployment of SharePoint Hybrid Scenario)


  • Hybrid SharePoint

Audience :

  • Business Analyst
  • Developer
  • End User
  • IT Pro
  • Power User

Time (in UTC) :

  • Thursday, November 2 2017 8:00 AM

How to attend :

  1. Register here.
  2. At the time listed above go here to watch my session. (you can also add me to your own personal planner from the agenda.
  3. Be ready to take notes!

I will be speaking at SharePoint Saturday Baltimore (#SPSBMore)

SharePoint community is always a great place to be and I am fascinated to be selected as a speaker for SharePoint Saturday Baltimore, Maryland. SPS Events are happening all over the world for many years at no cost for attendees.

If you are around Maryland, go ahead and register here –  http://www.spsevents.org/city/baltimore/baltimoretecc 


Setting up Load Balanced Office Web Apps 2013 Multi Server Farm with SSL (HTTPS)

It is hard to find a proper documentation on internet for this topic and that is where i thought of posting this article as i expirienced Office Web Apps 2013 Deployment in Production.

If you are not a browser fan, You can download PDF version of my Article from Microsoft Technet Gallery – https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Setting-up-Multi-Server-23e1f2ca 


1. Introduction

2. Server Environment

3. Requirements and Recommendations

4. Deployment

1. Introduction

Microsoft Office Web Apps 2013 is now a fully Isolated Far which supports multiple and various Integrations such as SharePoint, Lync, Skype for Business and other Third Party Applications. basically, your single Web Apps Farm will serve OWA Capabilities for Multiple applications so that is simple for you to manage and Integrate.

This Step by Step Guide will show you how to Setup an Office Web Apps 2013 Farm with High Availability and Security. The Naming and Certificates used in this scenario will be samples for demonstration purpose. You need to use meaningful names and obtain a valid SSL certificate for your scenario and environment.

This Guide will cover the following requirements.

  • Multi-Server Farm: Setup Office Web Apps with Microsoft NLB for High availability and Load balancing
  • Setup Office Web Apps Farm with Better Security using SSL for HTTPS. It is highly recommended to use HTTPS for Production Office Web Apps Deployments as HTTP meant only for developmental and testing environments only.

Before You begin with the Installation and Configurations, it is recommended to go through below references which may provide you all the basic information and knowledge about Microsoft’s Office Web Apps Server Product.

2. Server Environment


This Demo Setup will be using:

  • Two office Web Apps 2013 Servers with Windows NLB Enabled and Configured
  • SharePoint Server Farm with two WFE Servers and Single APP Server for Intranet Site Hosting with Host Header Site Collection (This SharePoint Farm is multitenant Environment where a Single Web Application shall contain multiple Host named Site Collections with unique URL)
  • Two Database Servers holds Always on Instance for SharePoint Environment.
  • Active Directory | DNS Server with Active Directory Certificate Service Enabled and Started
  • Two SQL Server Nodes with Always-on Instance hosts SharePoint Platform

Specifications of these servers are for Demonstration purpose only. Production Environments are highly recommended to meet Microsoft’s sizing requirements in order to get optimum performance and reliability.


3. Requirements and Recommendations

This guide uses windows NLB for demonstration purpose. In Production Environments, try to use a Hardware Load balancer which brings following capabilities if you are planning for more than one server for OWA.

  • Layer 7 routing
  • Enabling client affinity or front-end affinity
  • Enabling SSL offloading

Production Environments are always having firewalls in between different zones. Depends on the zone you are going to place OWA Servers; you need to open following ports in order to make OWA function properly.

  • Port 443 for HTTPS traffic
  • Port 80 for HTTP traffic
  • Port 809 for private traffic between the servers that run Office Web Apps Server (if you’re setting up a multi-server farm)

Topology Planning (Source: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj219435.aspx )

  • Plan for Server Level Redundancy. If You are using Virtual Machines to Host OWA, segregate them to separate Host Servers instead of Placing all in a one box (e.g. – OWA1 Hosted in Hardware Box A, OWA2 Hosted in Hardware Box B) so that if Hardware box A goes down in case, Yet the Box 2 Serves requests as OWA2 still runs there.
  • Stick to one data center. Servers in an Office Web Apps Server farm must be in the same data center. Don’t distribute them geographically. Generally, you need only one farm, unless you have security needs that require an isolated network that has its own Office Web Apps Server farm.
  • The closer the hosts, the better. The Office Web Apps Server farm doesn’t have to be in the same data center as the hosts it serves, but for heavy editing usage, we recommend you put the Office Web Apps Server farm as close to the hosts as possible. This is less important for organizations that use Office Web Apps primarily for viewing Office files.
  • Plan your connections. Connect all servers in the Office Web Apps Server farm only to one another. To connect them to a broader network, do so through a reverse proxy load balancer firewall.
  • Configure the firewall for HTTP or HTTPS requests. Make sure the firewall allows servers running Office Web Apps Server to initiate HTTP or HTTPS requests to hosts.
  • Plan for incoming and outgoing communications. In an Internet-facing deployment, route all outgoing communications through a NAT device. In a multi-server farm, handle all incoming communications with a load balancer.
  • Make sure all servers in the Office Web Apps Server farm are joined to a domain and are part of the same organizational unit (OU). Use the FarmOU parameter in the New-OfficeWebAppsFarm cmdlet to prevent other servers that are not in this OU from joining the farm.
  • Use Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) for all incoming requests.
  • If you have IPsec deployed in the network, use it to encrypt traffic among the servers.
  • Plan for Office features that use the Internet. If features such as clip art and translation services are needed, and the servers in the farm can’t initiate requests to the Internet, you’ll need to configure a proxy server for the Office Web Apps Server farm. This will allow HTTP requests to external sites.

Software Requirements for Office Web Apps

  • Office Web Apps Server/s Must Be Independent from other Applications and Services Such as SharePoint, Exchange, Lync, Skype4B. Do not try to deploy Office Web Apps on a sever which runs any of the above Applications and that is not supported.
  • Don’t Install Any Services or Applications depend on IIS 80, 443 or 809 Ports because OWA frequently removes web applications on these ports in order to bring up the OWA Web Applications.
  • Do Not Install any office Client applications on OWA Servers as it is not recommended to be. If any office Applications are installed on a server you are about to install OWA, you have to fully uninstall them prior to the OWA installation.
  • Do Not Install OWA on a Domain Controller or any Domain Server runs Critical Services such as DNS or AD DS.
  • Download the Office Web Apps 2013 with SP1 which is the latest version you can download. Also look for the recent Cumulative Updates prior r to go live in production scenarios.

4. Deployment

It is Assuming that you already have a SharePoint farm Prepared with an Accessible Site Collection. This guide will not go through the SharePoint Server Deployment but only the Integration of Office Web Apps for SharePoint in order to allow your end users to open/edit their Office Documents within the Browser.


  • Installing Prerequisites in OWA servers for Office Web apps
  • reating DNS Host Records
  • Configuring Windows NLB for Load balancing and High Availability
  • Configuring SSL Certificates using Active Directory Certificate Services
  • Installing Office Web Apps
  • Configuring Office Web Apps Farm
  • Joining Member Servers to the Office Web Apps Farm
  • Integrating with SharePoint Farm
  • Testing Functionality


4.1. Installing Office Web Apps Prerequisites

You must have a Domain User account (Such as SharePoint Farm Account) created in order to Install Office Web Apps.

After Creating your Virtual Machine, Login to the same and Prepare it with necessary Network and Domain Configurations such as defining IP addresses and joining it to the respective domain.

Then Login in to the server using local administrative credentials and add the User Account created for Office Web Apps in to the Local Administrators Group.

Run the following Scripts in Windows PowerShell in order to prepare your OWA servers with Prerequisites. You can define the SXS path to source files if your server doesn’t have the internet connectivity by simply passing the -Source Parameter (e.g. -Source D:\Sources\sxs)

It might prompt for restarting once finished.

For Windows Server 2008 R2

Install Following Software’s

o Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1

o .NET Framework 4.5

o Windows PowerShell 3.0

o Platform update for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 (KB2670838)

Right Click on Windows PowerShell and Run it as Administrator. Then run the following

Import-Module ServerManager

Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Static-Content,Web-App-Dev,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Net-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Includes,Web-Security,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-Filtering,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Mgmt-Console,Ink-Handwriting,IH-Ink-Support,NET-Framework,NET-Framework-Core,NET-HTTP-Activation,NET-Non-HTTP-Activ,NET-Win-CFAC

For Windows Server 2012

Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Static-Content,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Security,Web-Filtering,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-App-Dev,Web-Net-Ext45,Web-Asp-Net45,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Includes,InkandHandwritingServices,NET-Framework-Features,NET-Framework-Core,NET-HTTP-Activation,NET-Non-HTTP-Activ,NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45

For Windows Server 2012 R2

Install – NET Framework 4.5.2

Then Run the following in PowerShell

Add-WindowsFeature Web-Server,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Static-Content,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Dyn-Compression,Web-Security,Web-Filtering,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-App-Dev,Web-Net-Ext45,Web-Asp-Net45,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Includes,InkandHandwritingServices,NET-Framework-Features,NET-Framework-Core,NET-HTTP-Activation,NET-Non-HTTP-Activ,NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45

4.2. Creating DNS Host Records

Next to create the HostA Record for NLB Cluster Name (Which will be the ultimate Server Name of OWA Farm).

Direct to your DNS Server and Simply Create a Host AAA Record points to your Target NLB IP. You need a dedicated IP V4 address for this.

Open Up the DNS Manager Console in your DNS Server and Right Click on the Respective Zone and hit New Host (A or AAAA) to create a new Host record.


Provide the Name and IP It points to (which is the desired NLB Cluster IP) and hit Add Host to create.


Record is ready for you now.

4.3. Configuring Windows NLB

Then the next step is to Install Windows NLB for both OWA Servers in order to configure the Load balancing

Open up Server Manager and Click Add Roles and Features from the top. This has to be done in both OWA servers.


Just Click next on the first Screen


Leave the Default Selection here and hit Next


Default choice here too and hit Next to proceed


Select the Network Load Balancing from the Feature list and hit Next to Install the feature then restart the server if prompted.


That Installed NLB feature for us and now let’s Setup Load Balancing Cluster. Open up Windows NLB Console from the primary Machine (OWA1). Make sure both Nodes are now ready with IP, Host Names, NLB Feature.


Right Click on the top level and Create a New Cluster


Provide the Name or IP of the Primary Server which will host the Cluster (Local Server). It will automatically resolve the IP and display the interface for you. Simple hit Next to proceed.


Leave these settings as it is unless you need a specific configuration for IP and Network Interfaces


Next Step is to define the Cluster IP. At this scenario it will be



IP Address will be already selected and define the FQDN of the Cluster name here and choose Operation mode based on your network. This server only got a single Network Interface so it has to be Multicast. If you have Multiple Interfaces, you may choose Unicast Mode to make it function properly.

Hit Next to go ahead



You can edit the Port Rules to customize Ports or Protocols but not really necessary to get this function. Leaving the defaults will bring us what we need in this case.


If all went well, you can see the Cluster is created with the defined name and settings and Primary Host is added/Started with green health status.


Let’s go ahead and Add the second node here. Right Click on the Cluster Name and Add Host to Cluster


Type the Host Name or IP of your Secondary OWA Machine (OWA2 at this Case). Make sure it can communicate with the primary host and Windows Firewall Exceptions are added or Switched off so nothing will block the communication at this point.

If all good, it will resolve the IP over Name and Name over IP as below. Just Hit next to proceed.


Leave the Priority to Default (2) and State as Started


And then the Port Rules. Load Left as Equal and you can define if you need. Leave it as Default for better load Sharing.


Give it a moment


And Both nodes will come online and appear as Healthy if you have configured it properly.


To Verify the Availability of the Cluster, lets ping the Name. do it from one of the SharePoint Machine so you can identify any issues in the network.


So the NLB Cluster is All Set for us. Next is to Prepare the OWA Servers with SSL Certificates.

4.4. Configure SSL Certificates for OWA HTTPS

We are using Active Directory Certificate Service to Issue Web Server Certificates for our OWA Farm which will only be trusted and validated within the domain Network. For External Networks Such as Internet you need to purchase a Genuine SSL Certificate from a Third party vendor such as Verisign.

If you use Internal Certificates (Such as the one used in this scenario) your OWA WOPI URL will not be Valid for External Access and It Will Prompt the security Message with critical warning of content. So for Production environments, always use a valid Certificate.

Setting UP SSL

Open up Active Directory Certificate Services from your AD. At this point, our NORTHWIND AD will be the ultimate Certification Authority.


If you do not have this feature in your AD. You can Get it installed via Server manager Roles and Feature Installation Wizard.


This Server Already has it Installed so it’s just to go ahead. Expand the Server and hit Manage


Now the Certificate Templates Console will be Opened for you in Edit mode. Right Click on the Web Server Template and Direct to Properties.


Add the Computer Accounts (OWA1.Northwind.Int |OWA2.Northwind.Int) of your OWA Servers and the Service Account which will be using to setup OWA Farm for following Permissions. This will enable the Web Server Certificate Template to Enroll from these Two Servers.

Change Object types to following types.



Allow all three objects for Read and Enroll Permissions.


That’s all from the Active Directory Side. Let’s move back to the OWA Servers and Open up MMC.EXE to Obtain Certificates.


From the Console Root, Add/Remove Snap-In


Select Certificates





Expand the Certificates Root and Drill down to Personal. Right click on Personal and Request a New Certificate


New Certificate Enrolment Wizard will be prompted for you. Just Hit next to proceed


Active Directory Enrollment Policy will be selected by Default here so nothing much to do/ Hit Next here.


You will then see the Web Server Policy is highlighted with the Exclamation Mark. Click on the Message there.


That will bring you to the Certificate Properties where you will be providing all the details of this certificates. Select the Subject Name Type as “Common Name” and Alternative Name Type as “DNS”. Value for both of these field can be the same which is our OWA Farm Name. Basically this Certificate will be dedicated to the OWA Farm. It won’t validate any other purposes. Yet this may depend on your scenario and Environment.


Once Entered, Add them to the selection on the right side.


Direct to the General Tab and Provide the same Value for Friendly Name. Friendly name is the Name that you will use to recognize this Certificate at later time when you are pointing this Certificate from other Applications. Description Could be any.

Hit Apply to Complete


Then the Exclamation Message will be gone as you have successfully completed the Indexing of Information of the Certificate. Simply Check the Web Server Check box and Hit Enroll to obtain the Cert.



Give it a few seconds and If everything good, the certificate will be successfully enrolled. If you are getting an error here saying that “Server or Service Unavailable”, You might need to restart the Certificate Server Service at your AD Server.


We can now see the Certificate at the Certificate Store


Repeat the same for secondary OWA (OWA2) Server as well and then it completes our SSL Certificate Configuration Part.

4.5. Installing Office Web Apps Server 2013

Here Comes the real thing. As we have completed almost all the Prerequisites and Background Preparations for OWA Farm, we can proceed to the Installation and Farm Deployment.

Log in to the OWA Servers using the domain Account (Northwind\sp_farm_svc) you have crated. In this case it’s going to be the SharePoint Farm Account which will be used to Install OWA.

Map the Office Web Apps Server 2013 ISO (With Service pack 1) and Run it.


As Always, you have agree to the License terms and Continue to Proceed then.


The Success Message will be appeared in just Few Minutes If everything went well.


Now the Most Important Steps. Configuring the OWA farm is done through PowerShell. Best Tool for this is PowerShell ISE. From the OWA1 Right click on PowerShell Icon and Run ISE as Administrator


To Create the New OWA Farm. Run the Following Script. If you are using SSL Offloading the Parameters will be bit different.

New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -Verbose -InternalUrl https://OfficeApps.Northwind.int -CertificateName OfficeApps.Northwind.Int -ClipartEnabled -TranslationEnable -EditingEnabled


-Verbose (This Switch is to display the status)

-InternalUrl (This is the Internal Url referred from SharePoint Later)

-EditingEnabled (This will allow your users to Edit Documents in Browser itself)

-CertificateName (You can Define your SSL Cert using this Parameter. Or you can do it yourself manually via IIS Later)

-ExternalUrl (Can be Defined in addition to InternalUrl Swith if you are setting up an External Scenario)

If all went well, you will see the Result as above. And under the Machines it will show the OWA1 which is our Primary OWA Server in this farm.


Check the IIS to verify the Web Applications Creation and SSL Certificate Assignment

Open IIS manage and Check if These Two Web Applications are created


Note the Certificate Binding under the Site Bindings on the Right Panel and the Protocol is HTTPS.



4.6. Joining Secondary OWA machine to the Farm

Next step is to Join our Second Machine to the OWA Farm. Login to the OWA2 Machine using the same Domain credentials you used to Setup OWA1.

Open the PowerShell ISE as Administrator and run the Following from OWA2.

New-OfficeWebAppsMachine -MachineToJoin OWA1

-MachineToJoin (This switch is to Define your Primary OWA Server Name). basically this is the Master Machine.


That’s all from the OWA Farm Side. Next step is to Integrate OWA Farm to SharePoint but before that Let’s test our setup.


4.7. Testing the OWA farm

Simply try the Hosting Discovery URL from a Different Server (SharePoint Server Will do) https://officeapps.northwind.int/hosting/discovery

If you are Retrieving this XML Page as below with the parameters. It means you are all good to go.


Discovery URL working Means that your OWA Farm is accessible and Functioning well. so the next step is to Integrate OWA for SharePoint. Sometimes the Hosting URL may not work within the OWA Servers itself due to the loopback checking, best thing is you can check it outside the OWA Servers

The URL will not show any Warnings about the Certificate or Trust because it is valid internally within our Northind.Int Domain Environment. It will not be valid for Outside access unless it’s a valid External Certificate from a Vendor.



4.8. Integrate Office Web Apps with SharePoint 2013

SharePoint Environment is already done with a Host Named Site Collection which is also using HTTPS. This Scenario is fully setup for HTTPS in order to test the production level functionality. If you are using HTTPS for OWA Your SharePoint Site must use HTTPS too otherwise there is no point of using HTTPS on OWA.

Note: Recommended Way to Deploy OWA is Using HTTPS with a Valid SSL Certificate. HTTP is not recommended and it meant only for testing and Developmental Environments only.

In this scenario, we are using https://intranet.Northwind.Int Host header Site Collection for Integration testing. Below is the Default SharePoint Site which has some Sample documents uploaded and all good to go in SharePoint Side.

This SharePoint Farm also has two WFE Servers with NLB configured and this URL is fully load balanced with NLB.


Login to Your SharePoint APP Server and Run the Following in SharePoint Shell or PowerShell ISE.

From SharePoint Shell


From PowerShell ISE

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.Powershell -EA 0


-Server (This parameter to Define Your OWA Farm Name. Not the Name of any OWA Machines)


If all Went well, you will see the above result. With defined Inputs such as Zone, Server Name etc…

That’s all from the SharePoint Fram side.

Let’s test out the functionalities from SharePoint Side now.

Note: Do not use Farm Account to test OWA. You must use a Different user account to test this as SharePoint Farm account is not allowed to open Documents from browser for security reasons.

Preview of a Document in Browser in WOPI Frame


Opening a Document


Editing a Document in Brower


4.9. Glossary

Server Did Not Respond – Error when Adding WOPI Zone in SharePoint – If you already have some other WOPI Zones this could happen, Or else Due to an Invalid Certificate on OWA Server.

Hosting/discovery Doesn’t Load – Mostly this happens if you try to open it from the OWA server itself. Try from another server. Also try to add the secondary Server and then load the URL.

Issue the Certificate for the Relevant Name – IF OWA1 (OWA1) or if OfficeApps.Northwind.int: Cert has to be for the same Name if it’s a SAN Cert.

To Test the availability across the Nodes, Shutdown one of the OWA Server and Check the Functionality. If you have completed above steps properly, OWA should work with the remaining node without any issue.



p align=”justify”>I will post another article on Troubleshooting OWA 2013 ……………………………………………….