SharePoint Server 2019 Office Online Server

Office Online Server (OOS) is a successor of Office Web Apps (OWA). It allows the users to read and edit the Microsoft Office documents in the browser. SharePoint 2016 and 2019’s Durable Links feature requires Office Online Server (OOS) as a pre-requisite. Office Online Server (OOS) needs to be installed on a separate server.

Overview

 
Content Management is a major feature of SharePoint. SharePoint Online offers inline editing of office documents. However, when it comes to the SharePoint On-Premises environment we had to install Office Web Apps in the past (SharePoint 2013 days). Later in SharePoint 2016, Office Online Server was introduced. SharePoint 2019 continues to use Office Online Server.
 

Introduction to Office Online Server

 
Office Online Server (OOS) is a successor of Office Web Apps (OWA). It allows the users to read and edit the Microsoft Office documents in the browser. SharePoint 2016 and 2019’s Durable Links feature requires Office Online Server (OOS) as a pre-requisite. Office Online Server (OOS) needs to be installed on a separate server. It cannot be installed on the same server where the SharePoint Server 2019 is installed.
 

Download and Install Office Online Server

 
Microsoft has released Office Online Server for MSDN Subscribers. Earlier it was only available for volume licensing customers.
 
As mentioned earlier, set up a separate server for installing Office Online Server. It could be a Windows Server 2012 R2. Download the Office Online Server binaries to the server from your MSDN subscription.
 
You may get an error on the first install as follows,
 
 
 
As per the error message, we will have to enable the Web-Server role on the server in order to install the Office Online Server.
 
Option 1 - Server Manager
 
You may use server manager to install this feature.
  • Launch Server Manager
  • Click Manage > Add Roles and Features
  • Click Next. 
  • In the installation type, select “Role-based or feature-based installation”. Click Next.
  • Select the local server, where you want to install the Office Online Server. Click Next.
  • In the Server Roles, select Web Server (IIS). Click Next.
  • Review and click Add Features to proceed.
  • In the Features, select Ink and Handwriting Services. Click Next.
  • In the Web Server Role (IIS), click Next.
  • In the Select role services screen, keep the default options selected and click Next
  • In the Confirm installation selections, click Install.
  • Once the installation finishes, close the window.
Option 2 - PowerShell Cmdlet
 
Open Windows PowerShell with administrative privileges. Run the below command:
  1. Install-WindowsFeature -Name Web-Server,InkAndHandWritingServices –IncludeAllSubFeature  

Install Office Online Server

 
Once the required windows feature is installed, try installing the Office Online Server again. The installation title says Microsoft Office Online Server 2013, but it is for SharePoint 2016 / 2019. Office Online Server was never released for SharePoint 2013.
  • Click I accept the terms of this agreement and click Continue.
  • Use the default installation path, unless you want to change it. Click Install Now. 
  • The installation will start.
  • Once it's  finished installing, click Close. 

Setup Office Online Farm

 
Use the below PowerShell to install the module needed to set up the Office Online farm.
  1. Import-Module OfficeWebApp  
For HTTPS
  1. New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalUrl "HTTPS Url" -ExternalUrl "HTTPS Url" -SSLOffloaded –EditingEnabled  
Note: Do not use SSLOffloaded in Production environment if you prefer SSL communication.
 
For HTTP
  1. New-OfficeWebAppsFarm -InternalURL http://servername -AllowHttp -EditingEnabled  

Verify the Office Online Server working

 
To test the setup, try accessing the below url from any browser,
 
http://<server name>/hosting/discovery
 
If everything is ok, the browser will display XML like below,
 

Connecting to SharePoint 2019 Farm

 
We now have to link the Office Online Server to SharePoint 2019 Farm by using below PowerShell command:
  1. New-SPWOPIBinding -ServerName <servername> -AllowHTTP  
We are now all set to experience the browser experience for Office documents.
 

Summary

 
Office Online Server enables an inline viewing and editing experience to SharePoint on-premises users. OOS is the successor to Office Web Apps Server 2013. It needs to be installed on a separate server.