Microsoft SharePoint - ability to file-share with outside companies/collaborators?
May 28, 2010 9:23 AM   Subscribe

Microsoft SharePoint - ability to file-share with outside companies/collaborators?

My company is evaluating whether or not to migrate from eRoom to SharePoint. One eRoom feature that is very useful is the ability for an admin to easily provision password-protected file repositories that collaborators around the world can use to check-in and check-out files.

Does SharePoint have this functionality?

References and/or screenshots showing this functionality would be helpful as I'll be making a presentation about my findings, and as much as I trust MeFites, management is a different story.
posted by beammeup4 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Short answer is no, this isn't a feature that is in out of the box SharePoint. There is a way for end users to have accounts created for them if they request it (this is called Active Directory Account Creation Mode) and it isn't a feature that is used much.

With that said, SharePoint certainly could be extended to provide this capability. It natively can handle multiple sources of authentication so you could have your corporate users in Active Directory and have your external collaborators stored in a SQL table. Then it would be a matter of writing some admin UI to create users in the SQL table and associate the new user with the SharePoint that you want them to work on.
posted by mmascolino at 9:45 AM on May 28, 2010

Since Box is a simpler Sharepoint competitor in general and does provides this feature, you maybe should look into it.
Simple sharing:'s online file storage makes it easy to securely share content as a link or a shared folder with anyone — inside or outside your company
posted by oxit at 9:50 AM on May 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's quite simple to do if you put sharepoint on an externally-accessible website. Unless you want to get funky with the authentication, though, your external users will need AD logins. Depending on volume, this may piss off IT.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:47 AM on May 28, 2010

There are 3rd party SharePoint tools that provide the security-trimming functionality you're looking for. AvePoint's DocAve Administrator supports these functions. They also offer an eroom to sharepoint migrator.
posted by kelechv at 11:04 AM on May 28, 2010

If you do hack Sharepoint into doing this, bear in mind the licensing fees for internet use may make you squeal: Office SharePoint Server 2007 for Internet Sites $41,134.00 It may be cheaper to buy CALs for all the collaborators.
Alternatively Microsoft SkyDrive is free.
posted by Lanark at 11:09 AM on May 28, 2010

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