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Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010–Part 1


extranetFor my SharePoint Saturday Boston session on April 9th, I will be delivering a presentation on Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010. As I am building up my virtual environment for this presentation, I thought I would also write a blog series on the subject. The abstract for the session is below, and, if you can make it to SharePoint Saturday Boston, I hope you’ll come and see the presentation.

Most companies, large or small, require contact and collaboration with external entities, whether they are vendors, clients, or contractors. SharePoint gives us the ability to open up portals for collaboration with these external entities – this session will show you how to accomplish this using SharePoint 2010.

We will review what is required to make SharePoint “open” to the external world, discuss scenarios regarding security and privacy, as well as walk through configuring Forms Based Authentication, Claims Based Authentication, as well as using Business Connectivity Services in SharePoint 2010, to authenticate, and manage our external users.

Once completing this session, you should have a firm grasp on how to configure an extranet environment using SharePoint 2010, as well as what should be considered during the planning of your extranet scenarios.

At the conclusion of this series, as well as after the presentation at SPS Boston, I will include my slide deck here, as well as links to the actual virtual environment I am creating for this via cloudshare, as well as follow-up answers to questions asked during the session. I am using this to build up the shareable version of my presentation, because, it doesn’t use any local resources, I can access it from anywhere, and, I can share it with an unlimited amount of people, and I can update it from time to time.

So, let’s get started. To give some background on what we are going to be accomplishing here as our end game – we are going to configure the SharePoint 2010 Information Worker image with FBA, using the ASP.NET membership database as our backend. As well as using some built-in and home-grown tools to manage those users.

So now, really this time, lets get started… oh wait, before I do, notice the two images that start off this blog post? get it? an “extra net”, hah! Wow, did I strike a funny bone on that one.

Ok, I am seriously serious about moving forward on this. Let’s go.

Creating the ASP.NET Membership Database

So, first, we will need to be able to authenticate users. In the imaginary (but none-the-less exciting!) extranet planning that took place for Contoso, we decided we wanted to not have our external users, our partners, to have Active Directory accounts. Sure, we can secure AD users, and create a sub-domain to support them, but, just in case, we want to make sure that with the username and password they are given, they cannot access any other resource at all, no matter what, within our organization. Even if they came into our office and plopped down onto a computer connected to our internal network, and started typing away. A SQL-based authentication source will guarantee that.

To do this, we are going to follow this resource here (http://go.gvaro.net/AN2Mbr) to create our authentication database (pay no attention to the fact that the content is outdated – it is not for our purposes!). If we visit that link, and scroll down to Using the SQLMemberShipProvider, and look at Step 2, we have the commands needed to configure our ASP.NET Membership Database.

aspnet_regsql.exe -E -S localhost -A -all

If you do not have aspnet_reqsql.exe in your path, it can be found in C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\<FRAMEWORK VERSION>\<versionNumber>\aspnet_regsql.exe

image

This will create all of the tables needed (we might need roles, web part personalization, etc. so that is why I chose the “All” option. Information on all of the above options can be found here at the Creating the Application Services Database for SQL Server link from technet.

Once that completes, if you check SQL, you should have a new database named aspnetdb, as well as the tables.

image

And time to leave you hanging until Part 2… until then, stay tuned for more extranet fun in SharePoint 2010!

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About Geoff Varosky
Geoff Varosky is a Senior Architect for BlueMetal Architects, based out of Watertown, MA. He has been architecting and developing web based applications his entire career, and has been working with SharePoint for the past 13 years. Geoff is an active member of the SharePoint community, Co-Founder and Co-Organizer of the Boston Area SharePoint Users Group, co-founder for the Boston Office 365 Users Group, co-organizer for SharePoint Saturday Boston and speaks regularly at SharePoint events and user groups.

5 Responses to Planning and Configuring Extranets in SharePoint 2010–Part 1

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