Monday, April 15, 2019

How and Why to use an Account Name or an Email Address as a Username when using ExCM


Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM) is used by many organizations as a tool to provide the best extranet security possible when collaborating with suppliers and clients. Because of this, we are frequently asked by our customers if they should use a unique username or an email address as the username, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of doing this? Below you will find some of the most common pros and cons for using an email for a username verse using a unique user supplied username.

Emails vs Usernames

Pros
·        Emails by design are unique like a username
·        Emails in many cases are easy to remember
·        When setting up a new account you can bypass having to ask for the email               address if it is also the username

Cons
·        People do sometimes change their email addresses
·        Email addresses can be exposed publicly
·        In some rare cases, people share an email address and would need separate             usernames
·        When using a mobile device typing a username can be easier depending on the         number of characters being used

So, you have weighed the pros and cons and have decided that your organization would be better served by using a user-supplied username instead of an email address, but now you need to know how to change the ExCM settings to allow the new format.
Here are the directions for making the update to the username from an email address. First, you will need to go to the content site web.config file and search for the attribute that reads:
useEmailAsUsername="true"

You can simply change this to "false" and have separate usernames and e-mail addresses.







Now you have a Username and E-mail Address field in the registration form.

Note: Existing users will still need to use their e-mail address to authenticate...this will only affect users created after you make the web.config edit.   


Let's say you have decided to keep the default settings and use the user's email address as the username, but you notice that the default ExCM sign-in screen shows “User Name:” instead of “Email:”. What if you want to change the verbiage on the sign-in screen to show “Email”?


To do this you will need to browse out to "C:\inetpub\wwwroot\wss\VirtualDirectories\COMPANYURL\App_GlobalResources" and open the excm.en-US file and make the appropriate change.













Once you have opened the file you can run a search for “User Name”, then look for the "<value> User Name: <value>" and change “User Name” to “Email”. Next, save the file, and run an IIS reset.























Refresh your browser and you should see that the sign-in page now shows “Email:”, which will hopefully make things less confusing for the end user.



















These changes are just a few of the many ways ExCM strives to make your extranet experience seamless and tailored for you and your extranet users. 

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

What To Know When Migrating Extranet Collaboration Manager (ExCM)


With SharePoint 2019 on the horizon, you may be considering upgrading. If you are using ExCM for your extranet needs, then you may wonder about the process and how involved it is. Hopefully, with the help of this guide, you will see that the ExCM migration may be the easiest part of your upgrade! If you are still leery, contact us about our migration assistance package and let us walk you through migrating ExCM.

Whether you are going to follow Microsoft’s detach/attach method for migrating, or you will be using a tool such as Metalogix or Sharegate, the process is mostly the same… there are just a few extra steps with Microsoft’s path.



















The first step of your migration is to build out your new SharePoint environment. When building the new environment, you will use the same web app name, URL, database name, role and role provider, etc. Basically the same structure, just a different version of SharePoint. While you will have the same names, the content will be empty. For example; If you have an extranet at www.mycompany.com/site/home, the page will still exist, but there will not be any subsites or content on the site. At this point, you should be able to browse out to the root site collection and a page should load.




















When you have the new version of SharePoint installed and looking like your old SharePoint environment, The next step is to install the correct version of ExCM in your new environment. Once installed, configure ExCM with the same settings as your previous version. If your new environment is using a new SQL server, name the database created during the setup Wizard the same as the old database. This way, once you have tested the installation of ExCM, you can simply delete this blank database and migrate the previous database containing all your extranet users over.

If you are not using a new SQL database, you will need to name your database something similar to the original database name (ex. Instead of ExtranetDirectory you may use ExtranetDirectory1) This way, once you have tested your new environment to ensure the install was a success, you can delete the ExtranetDirectory1 database and change your web.config file so that all references to ExtranetDirectory1 now point to ExtranetDirectory.


We have had many customers that have migrated from 2010 or 2013 to 2016 and whether they are using the detach/ attach method or a migration tool the biggest issue we have seen them run into seems to be an issue with the transfer of registration fields from the old ExCM to the new ExCM. This can be caused by having the wrong settings in the migration tool that prevent the content database from fully transferring the correct data. Whatever the reason the fix is pretty easy. After transferring the content data to your new ExCM environment you can delete the registration and then recreate it.


To help lead you in the right direction we have provided a couple of links to PremierPoint Solutions documentation on migrating from SharePoint 2010 to 2013 and SharePoint 2013 to 2016.

The primary thing to remember when migrating is to have a plan laid out and always make backups when possible.