Word, PDF, PPT Cannot be Opened but Excel, OneNote | Resolving an Extremely Strange Behavior of Office Web Apps 2013

This Scenario is a brand new Office Web Apps 2013 (With SP1) Farm Configured with Two Nodes. Load Balanced with Windows NLB and Secured via SSL as HTTPS.

After all the Configuration on OWA Farm and WOPI binding on SharePoint, Excel Files Opens perfectly on browser but Word,Excel,PPT,PDF file types are fails with below Errors which is a strange behaviour.

1. OWA Servers are communicating Very Well across each other and Port 809, 810 can reachthrough Telnet.

2. No Issues on the SSL or Load Balancer because Excel is Perfectly Working (Excel Calculation Service not running in the farm at all).

3. SharePoint WOPI Binding doesnt seems to cause any issues because, again Excel is functioning Perfeclty.

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Hanging up for more than 4 miniutes and Error Prompts

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PowerPoint and PDF also the same. of cource the PDF Uses Word Viewer to Display Files on Broswer in 2013.

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As same as the error on screen, Event Log had few errors too whenever the files were being tried to access but most of them did not give a spot on hint relates to this behaviour.

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So Yes, Very Strange but Hold on, We are going to solve this !

After lot of Struggle, The reason was discovered and below are the steps taken.

Demoted Entire OWA Farm and Uninstalled the Product. then Reinstalled OWA in Each Server newly in C: Drive. The Issue was with the Additional Drive (D:) Which I used to locate Program files in OWA Servers which caused the issue.

All file types started working robustly right after the provisioning.

It is a Well-known practice that we normally follow on production environment to Isolate Program files, Logs etc… in to a Dedicated Drive as a best practive but with OWA it doesnt seems to be a good move yet !. Lets wait for a response from Microsoft and till then you better have your whole OWA Located to C Drive which is simple and hassle free.

The Bottom-line Is: WAC must be installed to the same drive letter as the render cache location.

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p align=”justify”>You can Download my TechNet Whitepaper to Setup Office Web Apps 2013 in a Multi-server Environment with NLB and SSL here – https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/Setting-up-Multi-Server-23e1f2ca

Workflow History : The email message cannot be sent. Make sure the outgoing email settings for the server are configured properly. Error Ocurred for SharePoint Workflow based Email Notifications but General Librray and List Subcribers Receives Email Alerts

Its pretty common error in the SharePoint Environments and there are many blog articles covers the same but this scenario is quite different.

This error is a common output for many reasons so it needs some effort to drill down in to the exact cause of this. Its states clearly that your SharePoint Farm is not properly configured for Outgoing Email but you are sure that you did and basically the List and Library Based Subcribe Alerts and Functioning.

The most common way of testing Outgoing emails in a Newly Configured SharePoint Farm is, by subscribing to a SharePoint list or a Library.

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Many of you may use this method to verify the OutGoing Email functionality after configuring and yet end users may still complain that Workflow Alerts are not firing at all.

Below are the Key Points that you need to verify on SharePoint Farm side.

1. Outgoing Email Settings of your Target Web Application is inherited from the Farm configuration.

Outgoing Email Settings of Central Administration (Farm Level)

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Outgoing Email Settings of Target Web Application (Web App Level)

Central Administration –> Application management –> Select Target Web Application –> Under General Settings Tab –> Outgoing Email Settings

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2. You can reach the SMTP Server and send a Test Email via Telnet to Verify the Communication Between SMTP Srever and SharePoint Farm

Check the Port Status  (If this Fails, You might need to check your Widows Firewalls or Organization’s Firewall for related port opening)

Telnet <Mail Server IP/HostName> 25

Send a Test Email  (If this Fails, You might need to check your Widows Firewalls or Organization’s Firewall for related port opening)

Open up Powershell and Run the following lines. Press enter on each Step to go ahead

ehlo mail.domain.com

mail from: intranet-spfarm@domain.com

rcpt to: spadmin@domain.com

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Subject: this is a test mail

Enter

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3. Checking the TimerJob Settings for OutGoing Email Service.

Generally you define the Preferred Server for Timer Jobs under the Web Application Database in Central Administration and it is well known. but there is no way to define a dedicated Server for specific Timer Job.

If you have multiple Server Farm, There is a Chance that you have configured fireall Exceptions for SMTP to a one server and Timer Job is running in another. In this situation, SharePoint Timer Job trying to send email from APP2 (Which has not allowed from Firewall).

Check on Central Administration which Server You have defined to run Time Jobs, If nothing defined here, It will randomly run on all available servers.

Open Central Administration –> Application management –> Manage Content Databases –> Select Target Web Application.

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Drag Down to the Bottom of the Page and Check the below

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Next is to Check the TimerJob History to figure out which server its been using to Send Emails so far.

Open Central Administration –> Monitoring –> Timer Job Status

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if it uses the Same Server that you have configured Firewall and SMTP, Must be all good. if not you might need to define the correct server under the Database Settings as above Step and set the Job Execution Schedule to Every 1 Minute to see immediate results.

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4. If all above steps are succeeded means that you have properly configured everytihng from SharePoint Side but one Last but not least thing to check is ANTIVIRUS

It is Normal any Organization genrally having Antivius Deployed for all Servers in order to implement protection.

Go ahead and Check if there is an Antivirus Application or Agent has been deployed in your SharePoint Srever (Which Runs SMTP Relay Service). Most of the time this could be Symantec ,McAfee or Kasperky.

Disable the Antivus Agent temporary and try to Run a test Workflow with a Single Email Step.

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Simply Create a New Library/List in SharePoint Site and Create a Basic one Step Workflow to Test Email Firing.

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If the above Three Steps are successful, Notification Must Generate Immediately and you are a Happy SharePointer !