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SharePoint users external to the company

  Asked By: Jeanne    Date: Feb 13    Category: Sharepoint    Views: 3001

I have been asked to investigate the possibilities available to allow
external users access our SharePoint installation. I know that there is
always the option of creating an extranet with a new installation of
SharePoint, but I think I have heard of other possibilities to allow
external users into our current SharePoint installation without actually
giving them AD accounts. I want to say that it is related to Forms
Based Authentication, but I am not sure.

Could someone please point me in the right direction.



9 Answers Found

Answer #1    Answered By: Mitchel Villarreal     Answered On: Feb 13

You have a few options:

1) New installation  (as you mentioned)

2) New AD OU for your external users  using the same server

3) Same server but extended to a new Web Application using FBA for
your external  users

The other thing to keep in mind is there are licensing implications...

Answer #2    Answered By: Ranu Badhan     Answered On: Feb 13

These are good options to explore.

Answer #3    Answered By: Irene Moss     Answered On: Feb 13

One solution that we are looking at is using Shibboleth.
http://shibboleth.internet2.edu/about.html I know the Univ. of Ind has it
working with multiple authenticating sources such as AD, Shib etc. There may be
something there for you to use.

Answer #4    Answered By: John Scott     Answered On: Feb 13

If you're interested in checking out other options, here's a couple more that
I've come across:

A good post about extending a web app and authenticating users  against a

Authenticating users with a Windows Live ID:

My personal experience...
I started with the first option  from Andrew Connell because it was about all I
could find at the time. That's what we're using now and it works but isn't
ideal in my situation because I have to add external  users to the database and
manage them rather than letting the site admins manage things themselves.

I have recently been looking at moving to the 2nd option of using Windows Live
IDs and it seemed to work pretty well. It's pretty easy to set up and I expect
it to be much more hands off for me. However, when I tried to implement it on
my production server, I ran into some snags that I didn't hit on the test
server. So for now, I'll have to wait until I can do some more testing.

Answer #5    Answered By: Donald Torres     Answered On: Feb 13

thanks for pointing me to these articles. This is just what I am
looking for.

Answer #6    Answered By: Courtney Scott     Answered On: Feb 13

The Forms Based Authentication with Client Integration is now working
using the white paper provided and written by David Mowers of Securitay.
David and I spent numerous hours reworking the code to determine the
cause for the FBA mechanism not working properly while the features of
editing Microsoft Word documents within a library where not working. At
this time, we have it working as expected but there were problems
associated with the client integration feature and FBA but that is no
longer an issue.

Answer #7    Answered By: Jagdeep Hor     Answered On: Feb 13

If you are ok with authenticating against a database sharepoint  Solutions
(sharepointsolutions.com/.../default.aspx) has an
excellent feature package that will allow you to configure FBA using a SQL back

Some of the features of the tool include:

1. The ability to send email invitations to your potential external  users.
2. Allow invited users  to self register for access  to your external SharePoint
3. Reset passwords/unlock locked out external users.
4. Allow users to change their own passwords
5. Registration approval
6. Enforce password and activity expiration.

I'm currently using a previous version of the tool (Extranet Collaboration
Manager) and have been very happy with it.

Answer #8    Answered By: Aja Howe     Answered On: Feb 13

This looks quite interesting............

Answer #9    Answered By: Alka Sarabhai     Answered On: Feb 13

I sold it to my guys by making the point  that we could spend the $6k and be done
with it or they could wait on me to figure out how to do it manually. In the
long run the $6k was an easy call.

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