Thursday, March 22, 2018

SharePoint On-Premises is Still Loved by Customers – Maybe to Microsoft’s Chagrin?

To me, at least, it is no secret that Microsoft has been trying very hard for several years to get as many SharePoint customers as possible to migrate off SharePoint on-premises and to SharePoint Online (a.k.a Office 365).

Of course, I don’t have any hard numbers that show that this has been what Microsoft has been doing.  I just have my own impressions from their marketing pushes, product investments and anecdotes from people I know around the SharePoint world.

One anecdote came from a former colleague that works in IT on the SharePoint team for one of the major auto makers in the U.S.  He told me within the last year that every time the Microsoft team shows up at the company’s headquarters, that all the MS team wants to the talk about is SharePoint Online and when the company will migrate to it.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Restrict the People Picker - SharePoint Extranet Security

In today's webinar, we answer the question:

How can the SharePoint People Picker feature be restricted to enhance privacy in extranet scenarios?

Friday, February 09, 2018

Configuring Forms Based Authentication in SharePoint 2016

Configuring Forms Based Authentication in SharePoint 2016

In this article, I will give a step-by-step walk through of the process for configuring SharePoint 2016 Forms Based Authentication “out of the box” without an add-on such as Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM). Doing this will also allow us to highlight the limitations of a “basic” SharePoint FBA web application that can be overcome with a professional-grade add-on like ExCM.

Note: For configuring forms based authentication in SharePoint 2013 go here.

In the screenshots below, you can see the changes we need to make to begin configuring FBA:


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Password Policies SharePoint Extranet Security

In this short webinar we answer the question:

"How can we enforce password policies for external (non-AD) users?"

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Setting Up Office 365 Extranet

     While trying to configure a 2016 hybrid SharePoint environment, I wanted to explore the features of a O365 Extranet. Having never set one up before, I turned to Microsoft for articles on how to simply set it up. I found many articles on what they were and why they would be useful, even pitfalls to avoid. However, I never came across a step by step guide, or if I did, it seemed like it was written pretty early in the lifecycle and Microsoft had already made changes to the product that made the article null and void. So, I ended up spending vast amounts of time getting my environment set up and configured as securely as possible. It is possible that I am spoiled as Extranet Collaboration Manger for On Prem takes about 10 minutes using the helpful wizard. What you find below are the notes of the steps that I took. Hopefully you find these instructions and are able to get your o365 extranet configured in much less time than it took me!

     I should note that before enabling external sharing for SharePoint, you'll have to make sure it's enabled for your Office 365 tenant as a whole. This can be found under the Security & Privacy tab of your Settings menu within your Tenant Admin Console. There, you can control external sharing globally first.

  1. From the Tile screen click on admin
  2. Next click on Security & privacy link in the left Nav

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.”

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