I have a SharePoint site set up on one of my networks to service Active Directory users. To be clear, this is a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 installation running on Windows Server 2003 Standard. It is not an option to upgrade the server or SharePoint version.

Management would like to create several new sites, one for each of a handful of clients. These sites will be used like "dropboxes" or FTP sites so that my company can make large files available to outside contacts, and vice versa.

Here are my requirements:

  1. I do not want to have to create Active Directory accounts for each external contact.
  2. If possible, I would like to store the external usernames and passwords in a database that I can write a small GUI for so that management can handle adding their own external contacts.
  3. Each client site must be sandboxed from each other and from my main company SharePoint site.
  4. I would like to keep everything running on port 80 and be able to access the sites as either clientname.mycompany.com or www.mycompany.com/clientname

If anybody has ever done this I would really appreciate hearing about any lessons you learned and suggestions for how to set this up.


  • 3
    Watch out for the licensing implications of what you're doing here. You'd either need the external connector license of have a base Windows server CAL for each of the named accounts that you allow access to these sites. – Chris W Oct 8 '09 at 7:48
  • Ah, no - sorry, chris. If no AD is used, no Windows Server CAL is needed, as this is purely an application level authentication then. – TomTom Sep 23 '13 at 12:08

You can setup sharepoint sites to use Forms Based Authentication, if you google for that exact term you'll find tons of information. As for keeping things running on port 80, since you indicate you want to use a url like clientname.mycompany.com this is no problem, as long as that DNS FQDN (clientname.mycompany.com or *.mycompany.com) is known outside your company DNS (i.e. have all request for *.mycompany.com rerouted to that server for instance) then just creating the site with the specified URL will create a site in IIS on port 80 with host header clientname.mycompany.com...

EDIT: Another idea is to use ADAM, Active Directory Application Mode, which works like regular AD, also for sharepoint auth, but is completely separate from your own company AD.

P.S. In server 2008 it is called Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services

| improve this answer | |
  • Forms based authentication is not supported in IIS6 (Windows 2003 Standard default) or this question would not have been necessary. – Kyle Noland Oct 10 '09 at 4:10
  • 4
    Forms based authentication is an ASP.NET thing, not IIS related AT ALL. All users are managed through the web UI of sharepoint. As long as the web.config authentication (membership / role provider) is set to forms and a suitable provider (i.e. the default ASP.NET MEmbership and RoleProviders) is available it WILL work, on IIS6 also. Al you need is a SQL Server db to store your users and add the correct connectionstring to the aforementioned providers in the web.config. – Colin Dekker Oct 11 '09 at 7:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.