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I have noticed the occasional article that mentions virtualising a site on sharepoint so that the site appears as if it is replicated among several site collections. I have a requirement to deploy a site to a single virtual folder under IIS, but have it behave as if deployed to several site collections, one site collection per department.

If the user is only in the role of DataCapture or DepartmentAdmin, they must only see data linked to their department. There is one site collection per department.

At the moment it appears that I would have to duplicate the site among each dept. How can I go about 'sharing' a site among many site collections, and programmatically determine which site collection I am receiving requests from?

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Could you clarify? This doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. As it reads, I don't think this is realistically possible. – Goyuix Jan 5 '10 at 20:38
should the first line of your question text be "virtualising" instead of "visualising"? – davidsleeps Jan 5 '10 at 22:56

It sounds like you are referring to extending a web application which will have a similar effect to what you're describing. Here is a link on how to extend a web application. The content is shared but you can configure security & such differently on each extension. You can ignore the web extension default name (internet, extranet, etc.) because they are only convenience placeholders. All web applications extensions are created equal regardless of the name you select.

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