Monday, September 11, 2017

Allowing Site Sponsors to View Registrations and Invitations List

“Extranet Collaboration Manager”, or ExCM, was designed to leverage SharePoint’s native permissions levels, and, in a few cases, add some additional security capabilities that can help an organization to better secure and govern SharePoint usage in an extranet scenario.  One of these additional features is ExCM’s Site Sponsor feature.

An ExCM Site Sponsor is a special permission level that can be granted to any user (internal or external), regardless of the SharePoint permission level that user has.  Once granted the Site Sponsor permission, the user is able to manage a pre-defined set of external user accounts in a given extranet site.  (Read more about the ExCM Site Sponsor feature here.)

In many cases a Site Sponsor is able to do everything she needs to do by simply using the out-of-the-box settings.  However, one thing that a Site Sponsor cannot do out-of-the-box is see the list of Extranet Invitations and Extranet Registrations for her site.  This is because both of those lists are automatically maintained by ExCM at the Site Collection level and by default require Site Collection Administrator permissions.  Sometimes we are asked how this can be “tweaked” so that Site Sponsors can see these two lists. 

Below are the steps you can use to set up your Site Sponsor to view the Registrations and Invitations for a site collection:

From your Windows Explorer, open your “SharePoint Designer” program.

Once your SharePoint Designer is open, click on “Open Site.”

Once you are in “Open Site,” choose the http extranet site that the Site Sponsor will need access to, then click open.

*In some cases this http will not appear as a selection. If this is the case, you can copy and paste your extranet http and then open it.

When the Sign In page appears, choose the Windows Authentication.

Log in as the Administrator, then click OK.

Next select “Lists,” then Open.

You will then see the prompt indicating that the site data is being loaded.

Once the data is loaded, select “All Files.”

Then select “Lists.”

Then right click on “ExtranetRegistrations,” and select Properties.

Next, UNCHECK “Hide From Browser.”

Next, click on the “Web Address.”

Once the Registration page opens, select the gear icon, then “Site Content.”

Next, select the properties to the right of “Registrations.”


Then select “Settings.”           

Then select “Permissions for this list.”

Next, select “Grant Permissions,” then type in either the “Site Sponsor’s” email, or the group that that Site Sponsor is a part of. In many cases, selecting a group is a better policy than an individual user.

Once you have added the “Site Sponsor,” click Share.

Close out of your web browser.

Next re-open your web browser in “Start InPrivate Browsing” or, for Chrome, open in “Incognito.”

Browse out to your extranet site.

Then log in as the “Site Sponsor.”

Select the gear icon, then “Site Contents.”

Next select “Registrations.”

Now the “Site Sponsor” can view the “registrations.”

Giving a Site Sponsor access to view the Registration and Invitations List is just another way that ExCM gives you as an Administrator the tools you require to better utilize and delegate your extranet efficiency and governance. ExCM provides your corporation with an extranet solution that not only gives the security it requires but the auditing capabilities it needs.

Setting up Anonymous Registration

When dealing with Extranets, the primary job of a Farm Administrator is to make sure their Extranet is set up with the proper security to only allow users who are part of the organization or who are invited to have access to an extranet site collection. They are the “Gatekeepers” of your Extranet.

“I am the Key Master... are you the Gatekeeper?”

(Ghostbusters 1984)

Friday, August 25, 2017

Setting Up Anonymous Registration Auto Approval Using a Domain Policy

"Just set it and Forget it..."
There are a limited number of times in the SharePoint world, especially the extranet world, where an IT Administrator can set up a segment of their external facing environment and basically just walk away… knowing it is working as needed without any further need of tweaking or modifications.

However, with Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM) you can use a domain name security policy for anonymous registrations, and literally do just that. Like the legendary salesman and TV marketer Ron Popeil of Ronco has said tens of thousands of times in his TV ads, you can, "Just set it and forget it."

In our example scenario, the organization AW Bikes has just finalized a large contract with ACME Corporation. AW Bikes will be supplying ACME with all the required bikes on location for any new projects. All ACME will need to do is fill out the required form and submit it to AW Bikes, and then they will make sure the required bikes are shipped to the project location.

AW Bikes knows that ACME has projects taking place all over the world with many different project managers who will need access to the form. AW Bikes needs access to the form to be easy and secure, but they do not want to have to add or invite, then approve every new ACME project manager to the extranet site. So they ask PremierPoint Solutions if we might have an easier solution.

Our suggestion is to set up Extranet Collaboration Manager’s anonymous registration feature with auto approval using a domain name policy. Here is how it would work:

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Customize ExCM's Responsive Sign-in Page

Want a highly-polished, great looking extranet portal without engaging a skilled graphic designer and web developer? So do we! If you figure out how, let us in on the secret. Until that is possible, we can give you a few tips on turning ExCM's new out-of-the-box responsive  extranet sign-in page into a slightly customized page. If you just want to personalize the page with custom wording and maybe an image, read on because we can help you see how to do that.
 Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM) for SharePoint 2013 R2 and 2016 now ships with an optional responsive sign in page located here: /_layouts/spsolutions/excm/responsive/signin.aspx

Monday, March 27, 2017

Decomission That Old Server (Move Extranet Service)

So you have an old Web Front End server. It has been a good ‘un (as we say in the south) a real work horse, but for numerous different reasons, it is time to “decommission” the ole gal and get a new work horse in place. You are going to keep the old WFE in place while you build up a new one and get them to look identical before taking the old one offline. One problem, you notice you are running this extranet service and you cannot get it installed on the new server. What is a horse farmer, I mean server admin to do?

First, Add the new server to the farm. Provision all necessary services except those that can only run on one server (like UPS and probably Search topology and of course the Extranet Service). For the rest of these steps, I will only focus on the ExCMExtranetService, additional services will need to be deployed as needed in your environment.

Next, stop the ExCM Service.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Business Extranets that are Cost-effective and Highly-secure

In this webinar we cover many of the features that make SharePoint a highly-secure and cost-effective business extranet platform:

Monday, March 13, 2017

Upcoming Webinar: Business Extranets that are Cost-effective and Highly Secure

We'll be conducting a one hour webinar on cost-effective and highly secure business extranets on Wednesday, March 15 at 11:00 a.m. EDT.

To attend, go register here:

Here is the description for what we will be covering:

Join us for an informative look at how to use SharePoint (2016, 2013, or 2010) to provide cost-effective, highly secure, and user-friendly on-premises business extranets for collaboration with customers, vendors and other business partners.

We will look at techniques for:

  • Allowing internal users to easily and securely invite external business partners to join private extranet collaboration sites 
  • Automatically enforcing security and governance policies as external users create accounts from invitations and join sites 
  • Oversee and govern external user Forms-based Authentication (FBA) accounts with minimal workload for SharePoint Administrators 
  • Automating the extranet site request and provisioning process for extranet sites to ensure that it is fast and easy for users to obtain properly provisioned sites as new customers\vendors\projects are initiated 

Questions are welcome during and after the webinar.

We'll be doing the demos using SharePoint 2016, but SharePoint 2010 and 2013 are still applicable as well.

Come join us and learn about how to have a business-grade extranet!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Webinar: Using SharePoint for Client Extranets for Law, Accounting, Engineering, and Consulting Firms

Webinar Date: Wednesday, January 18
Using SharePoint for Client Extranets in Professional Services Firms

Time: 11 a.m. EST U.S. 

Register here

SharePoint, combined with Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM), makes an excellent platform for a Client Extranet for professional services firms such as:

  • Law Firms,
  • Accounting Firms,
  • Engineering Firms,
  • IT Consulting Firms,
  • Management Consulting Firms,
  • Advertising and PR Agencies,
  • and other Professional Services firms,

Friday, June 10, 2016

Customizing the SharePoint Sign-in Page For ExCM R2 in SharePoint 2013

There are products you buy and they are perfect just the way they come. Then, a SharePoint Admin gets their hands on it and makes it more perfect (yes, I said more perfect) by adding their personal touches to it. For an example of this, let me introduce you to the default SharePoint Sign In page: