Thursday, June 21, 2012

Advanced SharePoint Extranet Management: Implementing Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM) 2010 Advanced Features – Part 3 - User Automation

by Matthew McBride, SharePoint Solutions

One problem that SharePoint Server Administrators regularly encounter is this:
How can I know when an extranet user from a partner company leaves the company, and how can I avoid accumulating inactive accounts for users that no longer exist that are just “sitting out there?” 

Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to keep up with the “comings and goings” of extranet users who are employees of partner companies.

But Extranet Collaboration Manager 2010 (ExCM) contains within it the capability of helping our clients with specific extranet user security needs like this. The ExCM User Automation (UA) feature can be used to apply recurring policies to accounts residing in the ExCM user database.  These policies are applied by a SharePoint Timer Job, which periodically inspects each account.  UA can be used to expire user accounts based on attributes such as periods of inactivity or failure to update their password within a specified period, solving the problem of user account “housekeeping.”

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Missing Pieces in Most SharePoint Server Administrators’ Skill Sets

Last year a four-year-old boy made national news when he took his mother’s SUV for a joyride. For a boy his age, he had some impressive driving skills. He managed to maneuver onto a busy Southern California street during rush hour, making his way through several turns and intersections.

Eventually, though, his lack of training caught up with him and he crashed into a fence after crossing into oncoming traffic. Fortunately, the daring lad wasn’t badly hurt, but his mom’s vehicle didn’t fare nearly as well. He had enough skill to get the car running down the street and to make a few panicky turns, but he didn’t have the training to control his speed, keep the SUV headed in the right direction or even stay in his lane.

I often hear students tell me, “I just want to learn to configure and administer SharePoint. I’m the Server Administrator and I’m not going to be involved in the day-to-day business use of it.” Or an IT Manager may tell me, “Kelly is going to be our new SharePoint Server Administrator. She just needs to know how to administer and configure the server—she doesn’t need all that end-user stuff.”

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Implementing SharePoint Extranet Collaboration Manager 2010 (ExCM) Advanced Features– Part 2 – Extranet Account Managers

By Matthew McBride
Overview of Extranet Account Managers
In the 2007 version of Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM), we received a lot of feedback from customers regarding Site Collection Administrators and their ability to delete external accounts.  Many of them experienced inadvertent user deletion due to the elevated permissions a Site Collection Administrator has by default.

In Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint 2010, users can only be deleted from the following Users tab ribbon in the ExCM Extranet Users menu:

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Implementing SharePoint Extranet Collaboration Manager 2010 (ExCM) Advanced Features – Part 1 – Authentication Provider Mapping

By Matthew McBride

Overview of Authentication Provider Mapping
SharePoint Extranet Collaboration Manager 2010 (ExCM) can streamline the experience for users located inside your corporate network by implementing a feature called Authentication Provider Mapping (APM).  This simply maps an IP address to a specific authentication provider.  When APM is enabled and configured, it will determine whether the request for your ExCM page is coming from inside your network or from an external user.  This is achieved by specifying a range of IP addresses belonging to your internal network and then specifying the authentication provider that is to be used (Windows in this case).