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External access by clients RRS feed

  • Question

  • Very quick question for you, one that will be a decider in our company adoption of sharepoint for our business use and distributed and local office collaboration on media project management. One critical factor in our adoption of a tool such as sharepoint is the need to have multiple clients and vendors from multiple international locations, use it as well. They need to be able to access a client and vendor service area for such tasks as commenting, approvals, bug and issue management, testing feedback etc, code submission as well as access all client and vendor facing documentation relating to the project. Can you indicate (in easy language) if this is possible, but what are the requirements to make this possible. My IT manager has talked about giving clients VPN access to our network but he is a little wary of this... is there another easier and more secure way? Mnay Thanks for your feedback!
    Friday, July 6, 2007 8:11 AM

All replies

  • When you use WSS 3.0 / MOSS 2007 you have an easy way to incorporate an extranet environment through SSL.  Since you have international vendors, MOSS 2007 might be of use, since it allows for language-specific content.  Keep in mind WSS 3.0 is "free", MOSS 2007 is purchase.  Even if you use WSS 3.0, every user must have a Windows Server 2003 CAL.  Technically speaking that is also the case if you were to go with any other product (to include a custom ASP.NET solution).  Let me know if you need a little more help in your decision, but to sum it up...

     

    SharePoint Products and Technologies 2007 thrive in an extranet environment.  (No VPNs required, just an open port to, hopefully, your SSL-secured SharePoint web application)

    Friday, July 6, 2007 10:54 AM
  • Thank you Curtis. Our vendors and clients are mostly SE Asian and much creative work will be localised so... though we only really deal with English speaking clients and vendors. So that is an option. So to be clear about this, bearing in mind I come from a LAMP background, If we design and publish our WSS 3.0 extranet locally with all required functionaloty to faciltate our various business practices, we could then port this to make it available to clients and vendors without the need for their access via our VPN, but they would need to have a Windows Server 2003 CAL in order to interact with the content? Sorry if I sound like a dumbo, but all I really need to know is what will be easiest for our clients and vendors as there are a number of my industry specific accessible Intranets and Extranets which are accessible via SSL on the web. We already have a license for sharepoint but I need it to be used as much by my clients and vendors as by my staff, and I don't need clients to be jumping through hoops to get access, and I don't want to spend over $100 per client for access.
    Your feedback is greatly appreciated!
    Friday, July 6, 2007 11:59 AM
  • Actually, to have your WSS site properly licensed to vendors and clients in the extranet, you can either buy individual Windows 2003 CALs or invest in the External Connector License, which runs about 2K last I checked.  With the external connector, you pay the one-time fee to convert that server to something which legitimately has internet presence.

    If price is any concern, then you're likely going to want to stop there, because the "External Connector" for SharePoint Server comes at a much heftier price tag (if you have to ask how much, then you can't afford it).

    Friday, July 6, 2007 12:43 PM