An issue may be encountered during SMEX 12 installation, with Outlook 2013 SP1 or Outlook 2016, and Microsoft Exchange 2016:
- Outlook with MAPI over HTTPS protocol cannot connect to Exchange 2016 and shows status as disconnected.
- Creating a profile with a new account indicates an error:
The connection to Microsoft Exchange is unavailable. Outlook must be online or connected to complete this action.
This is a bug in Exchange 2016 when IIS CGI role service is installed. This service is an important requirement when installing SMEX 12. Both outlook versions use MAPI over HTTPS to connect to Exchange 2016 server by default. Installing SMEX 12 also installs IIS CGI role service, causing Outlook to have problems connecting to the Exchange server.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a bug in Exchange 2016, but it is already fixed in Exchange Server 2016 Cumulative Update (CU) 1. It is recommended to install this update to avoid the issue.
If the customer still uses Exchange 2016 without CU 1, Microsoft has provide the following workarounds for this issue:
- Workaround 1: If Outlook 2016 uses RPC mode, it can connect to Exchange 2016 successfully even if CGI module is installed.
- Workaround 2: Unlock “CgiModule” and “FastCgiModule” from IIS to get rid of the issue:
- Access the IIS Manager and click Server Name.
- Click Modules in the middle pane
- Right click CgiModule and choose Unlock. Do the same action for FastCgiModule.
- With the above steps, Outlook 2016 may work well with MAPI Over HTTPS protocol.