Monday, 16 September 2013

OWA 2013 Installation Notes

Overview:  There are a lot of posts on the InterWeb about installing OWA/WCA 2013.  This post shows my experience while installing OWA/WCA 2013 on a 2 Windows Server farm using Windows 2008 R2.  The process involves 5 ligh level steps shown below:
  1. Install pre-requisites and Windows roles on all VM's to be WCA servers.
  2. Install the WCA binaries, Language packs and updates on all VM's to be WCA servers.
  3. Create the farm on the 1st WCA server.
  4. Join additional servers to the WCA farm.
  5. Join the SP2013 farm to the WCA farm (this step could also be Lync 2013 (pptx sharing) or Exchange 2013 (previews) or any custom WOPI host).
  1. WCA 2013 does not require SQL database.
  2. WCA  2013 are now decoupled from SharePoint 2012.
  3. WCA 2013 farms need NLB server affinity.
  4. WCA 2013 integrates with SharePoint 2013, Lync Server 2013, and Exchange Server 2013.
  5. Install WCA on dedicated VM’s i.e. don’t install OWA on SharePoint, SQL or Domain Controller servers.
  6. Don’t Install Microsoft Office on the WCA VM’s.
  7. WCA 2013 installed in read-only mode is a free product (if you have editing you need licences).  "To enable users to edit (not just read) Office documents in a web browser, verify that you have the necessary editing licenses" from Technet and "Office Web Apps licensing offers two options:
    • View-only. By default, Office Web Apps is view-only. View-only functionality is provided for free.
    • Edit and view. You must purchase an editing license to use the editing features of Office Web Apps with SharePoint 2013. You enable editing when you create the Office Web Apps Server farm"
  8. The install of Office Web Apps 2013 with SP2013 is pretty easy, I have automated most steps.
  9. I have 2 VM's that make up my OWA farm.  It's pretty difficult to find hardware requirements for OWA 2013.  I have gone for 8CPU's, 16GB RAM, c drive is 90GB and D is 72GB on each VM.
  10. Create the WCA farm then on the SP2013 farm bind to the OWA farm.
  11. Location of the ULS logs on the WCA VM's: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\OfficeWebApps\Data\Logs\ULS
  12. SharePoint's link to OWA/WCA is farm wide.  You can only have 1 OWA per farm.  So you can't use different WCA/OWA per web application and you can't specify to use OWA on 1 Web App but have it excluded from a different web app.  It's farm wide.  You can specify the default behaviour at a library level i.e. tell the browser to use "the default application" will then not use OAW to open the document.
  13. Individual file types can be excluded from opening using WCA.  E.g. PS>Remove-SPWOPIBinding –Application “Excel” at the SP2013 farm level.
  14. SSL, WCA wants to use SSL and has some confusing switches, they make sense eventually so to summerise:  You have 3 options to install WCA with SP2013:
    • No SSL (not recommened),
    • SSL Certificates on the WCA servers
    • SSLOffloading (Hardware device such as an F5 or KEMP does the SSL decryption, this saves you distributing certs to the WCA servers but means that the traffic between the NLB and the servers is not encrypted.)
Test your OWA farm install using IE:  A Web app Open Platform Interface (WOPI)-discovery XML file will open.

References/More Info:


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