1.1. About this document
The purpose of this document is to help you to get started with the 2010 Outlook Web App interface to the Oxford University email and calendaring system, Nexus. This guidance has been written with special attention paid to people who are new to Oxford University. Further information on using Outlook Web App can be found in the more comprehensive Outlook Web App guide, but please read this first!
1.2. What is Nexus?
Oxford Nexus is a suite of services based around Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint. With these services you are able to collaborate over documents, share calendars, make work appointments, manage contacts and send email and much more.
To do much of this, it is useful to employ a groupware software client such as Outlook or Outlook Web App, but there are other software that you can install on your computer to manage your email, including Outlook Express, Eudora, Pine, Thunderbird, AppleMail, iCal and many others.
Wherever you access your messages from, and whatever client you use, you will always see the same messages and folders, although the appearance will be somewhat different on each client.
This guide provides an outline of how to get started with using Outlook Web App to access your Oxford University email.
1.3. What is Outlook Web App?
Outlook Web App (OWA) is a groupware application (for Email, Contact, Calendar, Appointments, Reminders, and To-Do Lists) that you can read anywhere in the world with an internet connection and a standard web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari.
The main advantage of OWA is that you do not have to install any specific software on a computer. The main disadvantage is that you cannot access Calendars or Email without an active Internet connection.
The URL for OWA is: https://owa.nexus.ox.ac.uk (Note the s in https)
2. Getting Started
2.1. Accessing OWA and Nexus
In some colleges’ and departments’ computers, there may be a special icon visible
for accessing OWA. The URL to access OWA must begin
https: this indicates a secure
connection. It ensures that all communication between the browser and Nexus is
encrypted so other people cannot read your messages or other information which has
to be transmitted such as your password.
2.2. Logging in to OWA
To use Outlook Web App, you will always need to log in using a web browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome or Safari.
Type the URL
into the Location or Address panel of your browser. This
will take you to a login screen:
If you are on a shared or public computer, select
This is a public or shared
computer. This option protects you by logging you out after a shorter period of
inactivity so that the next person who uses the shared computer is less likely to
be able to read your email, should you forget to sign out. If you are using your
own home or work computer you can choose
This is a private computer to allow you a
longer period of inactivity before you are automatically logged out.
If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or later, you can choose whether to use the
full version of OWA or the Light version. The full version offers some additional
features but either version will allow you to access your email, contacts and
calendars. If you are using a slow internet
connection (e.g. dial-up), a very old computer, or you have impaired vision, the
Light version is recommended. Click on the selection box
Use Outlook Web App
Light, if this applies to you.
Note: with older browsers and browsers on some platforms you only have the light version available.
Also note that, if you decide that you prefer OWA-Light, but that you are unable to select the tickbox here, you are able to select the 'Use the blind and low vision experience' from the 'Options' link available from within OWA-Full.
To log in, type your Oxford Single Sign-On (SSO) username and password into the
appropriate boxes and select
Logging in is very important! The Oxford Username ensures the system knows who you are. The Password confirms your identity. You must keep your password secret.
2.3. Sign Out
Once you have finished working with your email, calendars etc., to sign out,
Sign Out, found at the top right corner of your screen. You
will now see the following screen:
This screen reminds you that there is still a small risk that another person on that computer could access your account without first logging in to OWA. It is highly advisable that you now close down all browser windows to complete the logout process.
Outlook Web App uses your Single Sign-On (SSO) username and password.
The initial password you are given when you register for a Nexus account is pre-set to expire after 30 days. This is to make sure that you change your password to something personal to you.
There are a number of rules regarding how passwords must be constructed. For more information, please go to Password Guidelines
To change your password, go to: WebAuth
2.5. Basic Guide to using OWA with your email.
The most basic email tasks are: sending a message; checking for new messages; reading a message; replying to a message; and deleting a message. All of these tasks are normally undertaken from your Inbox, the screen you see when you first log in.
The way your inbox looks and behaves depends on whether you use the full version of OWA or the Light version (see Logging In).
2.5.1. Full Version of OWA
The main screen of the full version of OWA is shown above. There are three main sections:
Message List, a list of the items stored in the current folder. By default, this is your
Inbox, but you can select other folders in the Navigation Pane to view their contents. Above the message list are buttons allowing you to create a new message, delete a message, etc. If you choose Calendar, Contacts etc then the Message List changes to display the current function.
Preview Pane. This shows the contents of the item currently selected in your
Message List. You can move this pane to the bottom of the screen, or switch it off completely, by clicking the reading pane icon above the Message List.
In addition, you can access the OWA options, search for someone, and log off, using the buttons at the top right of the screen.
Basic email tasks:
New. A new window will appear, for you to write your message. Enter the recipient's email address in the
Tofield, type the subject into the
Subjectfield, and then type your message into the large white box. Once you are ready to send, click
Send. Note: that you can search for University Members and people in your own contacts list by clicking the
Tobutton or the address book icon. Use the
magnifying glassbutton to narrow your search.
Preview Pane(on the right of the screen by default), a double click will open the message in a new window
Locate the message in your inbox and right-click (ctrl + click on Mac) on it. Choose [Delete]. Deleted messages are moved to a folder called Deleted Items. You can move messages out of this folder using drag and drop, or by right-clicking (ctrl + click on Mac) on them and choosing [Move to Folder...] or [Copy to Folder...].
Note: Deleted Items will stay in that folder for 90 days from the date of deletion, before being automatically removed from the system. Beware, some email clients will automatically empty your Deleted Items folder when you log off! Check the settings for your client if you are not sure.
If the 90 days has expired, or if you (or your email client) already deleted the item from your Deleted Items folder, it is still possible to recover the item for a further 7 days, using OWA (Full version only). Click Options at the top-right of your screen, and then choose Deleted Items.
2.5.2. Light Version – inbox
The OWA Light version looks very similar to the Full version (see Figure 4, The OWA (Light version) Inbox screen). On the left is the Navigation Pane where you can change between different email folders, and switch views between email, calendar, and contacts. The main part of the screen contains the list of messages in the current folder (by default, your Inbox), or your calendar or contacts depending on what you have selected in the Navigation Pane.
Basic email tasks:
2.6. Further Information
For a more comprehensive guide to using Outlook Web App, please see the the OWA Guide.
Training is also available through the IT Learning Programme at OUCS. Information and course dates can be found through the IT Learning Programme website.