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Is there a way for my remote users to access an internal shared folder through SharePoint? RRS feed

  • Question

  • ·                                 I have a SharePoint server that runs on https and I have internal and external users that connect to it. My SharePoint server does use Active Directory for authentication.  I need to give my users access to a folder on a different server within my network. I need for both my internal and external users to be able to access it through SharePoint.

     

    I tried creating a Web Part Page and pointing it to the \\IPAddress\ShareName but it didn’t work for outside users. The page would come up but they would in the container area they get an “IE cannot display the page” error.

     

    I can not move these documents from where they are held now to SharePoint for this project. I need to see if SharePoint can act like a bridge to give my remote users access to this folder. Does anyone have this working in their environment or know of how I can do this?

    Any input you can provide is much appreciated!! I have been trying to get this worked out for days now!

    Friday, November 6, 2009 1:08 PM

Answers

  • Your MOSS indexer is capable of crawling file servers - the crawler account used will need to have permission to crawl the remote directory.  

    Bear in mind that all the end user sees is hyperlinks, if they cannot be resolved then they won't be able to access it.  The only way around an internal address only that is to use a reverse proxy, or to use a webpart that will select and present the UNC files to an end user - perhaps like this:
    http://www.codeplex.com/NetworkShare

    Regards

    John Timney
    • Proposed as answer by GuYuming Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:42 AM
    • Marked as answer by GuYuming Friday, November 13, 2009 1:21 AM
    Monday, November 9, 2009 3:18 PM

All replies

  • The reason your users can't see the map is because ports TCP 135, 139 and 445 and UDP 137 need to be opened on the firewall that protects your internal network from the internet, and thats very risky.  you could ask your network team if they are prepared to do port forwarding but I doubt they will.

    If you can expose the directory of the remote share through IIS, ie directory browsing enabled - then you could show that in a webpart which is essentially the same as them being able to browse directly to it.  However, I would want an SSL certificate on that server also.  

    Regards

    John Timney 


    Friday, November 6, 2009 3:21 PM
  • Thanks for your reply John! I don't want to open those ports up to get this folder out there, I agree that is very risky. I do like the idea of the directory browsing. Are you sure this will work? I am running on a Server 2008/IIS 7 machine. Can you tell how I would go about setting this up as you suggested? I do have a SSL cert on the server already so that part is taken care of. But how would I expose this folder through directory browsing and then show it in a webpart?

    Friday, November 6, 2009 4:14 PM
  • Well work out how to enable browsing of the folder first: 

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731109(WS.10).aspx

    and then you can look at putting the remote browsable web page into a page viewer webpart, which is really just a posh iframe.

    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepointtechnology/HA011609261033.aspx

    It should all work out (I think) - if your browsable web server is referenced by a reachable IP to those outside.

    Regards

    John Timney





    Friday, November 6, 2009 5:15 PM
  • Hi John, thanks again for the reply. I tried what you suggested and had the same results as before. In your last sentance you said "if your browsable web server is referenced by a reachable IP" and I don't think that is what I am trying to do. See the folder that I am trying to have my users access is just a regular network share in my network and it is on a regular 2003 server. It isn't a folder on a web server or anything.

    Thanks again for any help I can get with this!
    Friday, November 6, 2009 6:38 PM
  • Speak to you're network team, its probably using an internal address and needs to be allocated a public one. Shouldn't be a big deal for them to do that, and if the server already has SSL enabled and they are only exposing port 80 they may be Ok with it. Regards John Timney
    Saturday, November 7, 2009 11:36 AM
  • HI CGHelpDesk.

    1. Utilize your MOSS search engine to search crawl the network folders and customize the search page result as desired.
    2. the "IE cannot display the page" could be because of security issue, have you tried to give the app pool identity to have read access on that network folder?

    Hopefully helps.
    on3
    Saturday, November 7, 2009 1:32 PM
  • Hey John again thanks for your reply, I am on the network team and yes it has an internal address. We can't give our file server a external address just for this and I can't move the folder to the Share point server.

    Again, what i need to do is create a shortcut or a page or something in SharePoint Server so that my remote users can see a folder on my File Server.

    Hello Yoseph, thanks for your input. Please your suggestions are new to me can you explain what you mean by both? What do you mean by set the search to crawl? I agree that I think message we are getting is a security issue. How would I setup the app pool identity to have read access on the folder. I think that might be the answer if it will work.
    Monday, November 9, 2009 2:35 PM
  • Your MOSS indexer is capable of crawling file servers - the crawler account used will need to have permission to crawl the remote directory.  

    Bear in mind that all the end user sees is hyperlinks, if they cannot be resolved then they won't be able to access it.  The only way around an internal address only that is to use a reverse proxy, or to use a webpart that will select and present the UNC files to an end user - perhaps like this:
    http://www.codeplex.com/NetworkShare

    Regards

    John Timney
    • Proposed as answer by GuYuming Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:42 AM
    • Marked as answer by GuYuming Friday, November 13, 2009 1:21 AM
    Monday, November 9, 2009 3:18 PM
  • Thanks for your reply John, do you know the account name for the crawler account?

    Is there any other way to do this other than that 3rd party tool? I would like to do this from within SharePoint or IIS without using a 3rd party tool if I can. Thank you very much for your input!

    Monday, November 9, 2009 6:43 PM
  • You'll need to see what account you used as the crawler account in the Index setting for the farm. 

    Expose it over port 80 and NAT the address.  Stick ISA in front of the server, give it a public IP and allow it to do the NAT translation to the internal IP over port 80 - install IIS on the server.  They are external users, you'll either have to bite the bullet and expose the service or come up with an alternative that works for your organisation.  Your MOSS service is exposed over port 443, if the file server folder (which can be exposed over 443 through its own IIS ) is too sensitive you'll need an alternative.

    You could always use robocopy or something to suck the files into the MOSS servers local folders, or stick them into a document library but then your just copying the files.  Might be your only option.

    Regards

    John Timney


    Monday, November 9, 2009 9:18 PM