Product Documentation

Configure StorageZones Controller for Web App Previews, Thumbnails and View-Only Sharing

Nov 01, 2017

On-premise file previews are rendered by your on-premise Microsoft Office Web Apps (OWA) Server. When previewing files stored on a Citrix-managed StorageZone, previews will be rendered by Citrix-managed or Microsoft-managed OWA servers.

Important

Whitelisting Requirements

*.sf-api.com must be accessible by your Office Online Server in order for previewing and editing to function properly on StorageZones version 5.0 or later.

Requirements

Supported Filetypes for On-Prem File Preview

  • doc, .docm, .docx, .dot, .dotm, .dotx, .odt
  • .ods, .xls, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx
  • .odp, .pot, .potm, .potx, .pps, .ppsm, .ppsx, .ppt, .pptm, .pptx
  • .pdf 
  • Image Files (bmp, gif, jpg, jpeg, png, tif, tiff)

Supported File Types for On-Prem File Edit

  • .docm, .docx, .odt
  • .ods, .xlsb, .xlsm, .xlsx
  • .odp, .ppsx, .pptx

Supported Environments

  • Standard Zones
  • Multi-tenant Zones
  • Web Application

Whitelisting / Network Considerations

  • OOS Server should be able to reach https://*.sf-api.com (or .eu)
  • SZC Server should be able to reach https://*.sf-api.com and https://*.sharefile.com (or .eu)
  • SZC Server should be able to reach OOS Server https://<Customer OOS / OWA Endpoint>/hosting/discovery (for example, https://oos.sharefileexample.com/hosting/discovery)

In order to edit On-Prem files, File Versioning must be enabled on your ShareFile account.

The setting for turning on Microsoft Office Online Editing within the ShareFile Web App Advanced Preferences menu does not impact the ability to edit on-prem files. That specific toggle will not control your ability to edit on-prem files, but will apply to the editing of any files stored in a public cloud. Enabling the editing of on-prem files is exclusively controlled by the StorageZones Controller Admin using the steps outlined below.

Microsoft Server Compatibility

Microsoft Server 2016 supports the ability to both edit and preview files. Editing can also be disabled. Click here for more information.

Microsoft Server 2013 only supports the ability to preview filesClick here for more information.

Architectural and Network Diagram

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  1. Authenticated user requests a file preview in ShareFile.
  2. ShareFile issues a redirect to the client device with Office Online Server FQDN
  3. Client device redirects to Office Online Server FQDN. Note: HTTPS connection, DNS should either have A Record for internal server IP, or A Record for Load Balancer VIP, with applicable routing between client device and any firewall on port 443.
  4. Office Online Server processes request, makes API calls to SZC server. Note: HTTPS Connection, DNS should either have A Record for internal server IP, or A Record for Load Balancer VIP, with applicable routing between client device and any firewall on port 443.
  5. SZC checks https://<DNSname>/hosting/discovery is reachable. Only when reachable, SZC sends API responses back to Office Online Server. Note: StorageZone Controller must connect to the Office Online Server. HTTPS connection between both internally hosted servers.
  6. SZC connects outbound to ShareFile API (sf-api.com). Note: This is a mandatory outbound connection through any firewall, proxy, or outbound routing appliance. Ensure the SZC server can communicate outbound via HTTPS/443 to the documented IP Addresses above.
  7. Office Online Server connects outbound to ShareFile API. Note: This is a mandatory outbound connection through any firewall, proxy, or outbound routing appliance. Ensure the Office Online Server can communicate outbound via HTTPS/443 to the documented IP addresses above.
  8. Preview occurs.

In order to have StorageZones Controller stream file bytes to OOS rather than OOS calling ShareFile control plane for downloading the contents: We need to update a key in one of the config files on the StorageZones Controller.

The C:\inetpub\wwwroot\Citrix\StorageCenter\WopiServer\AppSettingsReleaseOnPrem.config needs to be updated.

 This config file has a key downloadFileFromSC which is currently false. Change the key to true and restart IIS.

Doing so updates the configuration. OOS also no longer calls the ShareFile control plane to download the file contents.

When using this option, would it be correct in stating there would be no inbound traffic from the control plane to OOS?

If the above option is used, OOS no longer makes outbound connections to ShareFile control plane.

However, ShareFile control plane still makes outbound connections to OOS, irrespective of whether the above option is used or not.

Are there pros or cons of using one method vs. the other?

In this approach, OOS isn’t downloading file contents directly. StorageZones Controller downloads and streams the file bytes to OOS. Thus, it will increase load on SZC servers.

Downloading and streaming file bytes is a resource-intensive task. Depending on the number of users and number of preview/editing operations, the load increases on StorageZones Controller servers

Enable On-Prem Previewing and Editing

To support in-browser document and image preview, thumbnails, View-Only sharing of data stored in customer-managed StorageZones, and on-prem file editing, configure the StorageZones controller as follows:

  1. In the StorageZones Controller console, click the ShareFile Data tab.

  2. In the Local Network Share Configuration section, enable Configure office web apps previews

  3. Enter the external URL of your Microsoft Office Web Apps (OWA) server.
    1. Users must download and configure the OWA server software via their Microsoft Office MSDN subscription.
       
  4. Select Enable Office Online Editing (if needed)

  5. Verify that the OWA URL is externally accessible.

  6. Verify that your Office Online Server(s) can communicate with *.sf-api.com.

  7. In the StorageZones Controller Console, click the Monitoring tab.

  8. Verify that OWA Server Connectivity has a green checkmark.

Note: Editing on-prem files will require File Versioning to be enabled for the ShareFile account. If File Versioning is disabled for the account, On-Prem Editing will not work.

Important:

Configure Clock Synchronization

Modifying the OWA URAL or Disabling Previews

  • Either of the above actions requires that the IIS service be restarted for each Primary and Secondary controller.

Limitations

The following Zone types do not support in-browser previewing:

  • Restricted StorageZones
  • Connectors

The following Zone types do not support in-browser editing:

  • Restricted StorageZones
  • Mobile Apps

WOPI Previews are not supported for VDR accounts.

For information on how to configure your NetScaler for View-Only Sharing, see Configure NetScaler for StorageZones Controller.

Troubleshooting OWA and OOS Issues

If you are experiencing issues previewing or editing on-prem files, the following steps will assist in the identification and correction of specific problems.

To troubleshoot your configuration, first sign into the OWA or OOS machine.

  1. Verify that the Office WebApps or OfficeOnline Windows services are running within services.msc.

  2. In a new browser, open the http://localhost/hosting/discovery page. If this page successfully loads, an XML response should be returned.

  3. Run Powershell as an Administrator and execute the following command:

Get-OfficeWebAppsFarm

If you receive a WARNING or ERROR message in the response, please review your configuration settings for any errors or mistakes.

Network Considerations:

  • OOS Server should be able to reach https://*.sf-api.com (or .eu)
  • SZC Server should be able to reach https://*.sf-api.com and https://*.sharefile.com (or .eu)
  • SZC Server should be able to reach OOS Server https://<Customer OOS / OWA Endpoint>/hosting/discovery (for example, https://oos.sharefileexample.com/hosting/discovery)