Implementing Office Web Apps Server Preview 2013

August 14, 2012 at 12:36 pm 2 comments

A couple of weeks ago I posted about how to install a SharePoint 2013 Preview Environment. Today I’m going to explain to you how to enable Office Web Apps Server 2013 Preview in that same environment.

Office Web Apps allows you to visualize and edit Excel, Word, PowerPoint and One Note documents online using only your web browser. In SharePoint 2010 the Office Web Apps services had to be installed in each server in the farm, in SharePoint 2013 this approach changes and Office Web Apps is installed in a separate server within the SharePoint infrastructure. The installation and configuration process has also been streamlined and now it only takes a few clicks to perform.

This time we will use the same VMs created in the previous post and the process is going to take place in two servers: the Web Apps and the SharePoint VMs.

Office Web Apps Server


First you need a new Windows 2012 Server Installation. Once the operative system is installed you must proceed to install the product prerequisites.

1.- Open the Server Manager console and click on Add roles and features.


2.- In the first screen of the Add Roles and Features Wizard click the Next button.


3.- Continue with the wizard and select Role-based or feature-based installation. Click on Next.


4.- Leave the default server selected and click on Next.


5.- In Server Roles select Web Server (IIS)


6.- Confirm the required features for the Web Server role by clicking on Add Features. Click Next to continue.


7.- In Features select Ink and Handwriting Services and click Next.


8.- In the next screen click on Next.


9.- In Role Services make sure the following components are selected:

  • Management Tools
    • IIS Management Console
  • Web Server
    • Common HTTP Features
    • Default Document
    • Static Content
  • Security
    • Request Filtering
    • Windows Authentication
  • Application Development
    • .NET Extensibility 4.5


    • ASP.NET 4.5


    • ISAPI Extensions
    • ISAPI Filters
    • Server Side Includes
  • Performance
    • Static Content Compression
    • Dynamic Content Compression

Once all the services are selected click on Next.


10.- Confirm the installation selections and click on Next.


Once all the installation task have been completed click on Close to end the wizard.


Office Web Apps 2013 Preview

Now that the prerequisites have been installed you can proceed to download the Office Web Apps 2013 Preview. Install the product following these brief instructions:

1.- Run the installer, accept the License Terms and click on Continue.


2.- Accept the default file location and click on Install Now


3.- Wait for the setup to finish and click on Close.


4.- At this point Office Web Apps 2013 has been successfully installed and needs to be configured. Office Web Apps 2013 doesn’t have a configuration application or wizard so you must use PowerShell cmdlets to do so. First, open a PowerShell prompt as Administrator.


5.- Import the Office Web Application module into Windows PowerShell for all servers that will run Office Web Apps Server Preview. Type the following command, and then press ENTER.

   1: Import-Module OfficeWebApps


6.- Create a new Office Web Apps Server farm that consists of a single server using the following parameters:

  • InternalURL <OfficeWebAppsURL>: name of the server that runs Office Web Apps Server Preview
  • AllowHttp: configures the farm to use HTTP
  • EditingEnabled : enables editing in Office Web Apps Preview when it is used together with SharePoint 2013 Preview.
   1: New-OfficeWebAppsFarm –InternalURL http://servername –AllowHttp -EditingEnabled


7.- You can verify that the Office Web Apps Server farm was created successfully accessing the following URL:

   1: http://servername/hosting/discovery

If Office Web Apps Server Preview works as expected, you should see a Web app Open Platform Interface (WOPI)-discovery XML file in your web browser.


Office Web Apps 2013 Configuration

Now that the Office Web Apps 2013 server setup has been finalized we need to configure SharePoint 2013 to use Office Web Apps 2013. Be sure to perform these commands on a server that runs SharePoint 2013 Preview, not on a server that runs Office Web Apps Server Preview.

1.- Open a PowerShell prompt as Administrator


2.- Import the SharePoint Server 2013 Preview Windows PowerShell modules using the following command:

   1: Add-PsSnapin Microsoft.SharePoint.PowerShell


3.- Create the HTTP binding between SharePoint 2013 Preview and Office Web Apps Server Preview using the New-SPWOPIBinding cmdlet and the following parameters:

  • WacServerName: FQDN name of the URL that you set for the internal URL. This is the point of entry for Office Web Apps Server Preview traffic.
  • AllowHTTP: Allows SharePoint 2013 Preview to receive discovery information from the Office Web Apps Server farm by using HTTP
   1: New-SPWOPIBinding -ServerName <WacServerName> -AllowHTTP


4.- Run the following command to change the zone protocol Office Web Apps Server uses to communicate with SharePoint Server 2013 to HTTP.

   1: Set-SPWopiZone internal-http


Using Office Web Apps 2013

At this point Office Web Apps 2013 Preview is ready and fully enabled in your SharePoint infrastructure.

Access your site collection and click in the ellipsis at the right of the Modified date column.



Now you will be presented with a scrollable preview of your document.


This preview provides quick access to three main options:

  • Download a copy of the document.
  • Print it to PDF.
  • Embed information in the document.

You can also click on the orange dot at the right to go directly to the online version of the document and from there choose to open the document in its offline application or in Web Apps.



Under the preview you also are going to find quick links to these three main actions:

  • Edit the document.
  • Share the document.
  • Follow document updates.


And if you click the ellipsis more options are presented including the ability to edit the document in your browser.



The online version of Excel, SharePoint, Word and One Note includes the most used functionality and enables you to access and work with your documents from any computer that has installed any of the supported browsers.

This functionality is taken one step further in Office 365 ProPlus with Office on Demand in which the Office program (Word, Excel o PowerPoint) is streamed instantly to the PC and is not permanently installed. Office on Demand will work on Windows 7 and newer PCs that have Internet access.


Entry filed under: SharePoint. Tags: , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Amin  |  October 15, 2012 at 6:33 am

    very great article tnx for SS as well, view work fine in my case but when i try to edit it with office web app i get this error “sorry, this document can’t be opened for editing”

    any idea what might cause this or how can it be fixed?

  • 2. Ignacio Quijas  |  October 15, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Hi Amin,

    Please Make sure you are using the -EditingEnabled parameter when invoking the New-OfficeWebAppsFarm cmdlet


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