I am working for an organization that is using SharePoint 2010. We have to collaborate with people from different departments working at different locations using different servers. Does SharePoint 2010 or any recent release allow external clients to access our network and collaborate on the projects. Security is also a main concern.

  • With external clients you mean external users who are not from your domain right?
    – Asad Refai
    Jun 23, 2015 at 13:24

2 Answers 2


Only Office365 (sharepoint online, any license) allows you to add any person outside your active directory at no actual charge, provided they have an email (not necessarily a live.com one). Sharepoint on premise (of any version) does not allow that and you will always have to find a compromise between adding those to your AD or have a form based authentication separate tool.

  • Thank you Susan for your input. We are in a process of upgrading to sharepoint 2013, but it will not be until 2016. Things move very slowly in gov, and we cant use third party tools as it may compromise security. Very furstrating situation.
    – adeel
    Jun 25, 2015 at 13:51
  • I have been in similar situation and my previous 'gov' org simply added a large amount of ppl to AD bearing the 'cost' of it. They previously used a tool for a SP 2007 installation, but that tool could not be applied to 2010 version so they had no choice. I would consider a hybrid situation where you evaluate having SP on premise for most of the org and buy some low level gov licence for Office 365 (sharepoint on line) to be used only for external sharing purpose. The 2 system will not communicate with each other so security of your main SP will not be compromised.
    – susan
    Jun 25, 2015 at 15:51
  • Hey susan, what tools were you guys using for Sp 2007 because I just found out that we are actually using SP2007, so it may actually be a solution to my problem. Otherwise yea office 365 is not a bad idea, but I am not sure if the mangement will approve of sharing confidential documents on cloud based technology.
    – adeel
    Jun 25, 2015 at 16:42
  • I frankly do not remember the name (i dont work there anymore) and I can attest that the tool stopped working as expected: it used to give the user the chance to change their own password but it stopped so I would not consider it something to advice. Hard to find a free tool for 2007 but google for FBA (Forms Based Authentication for sharepoint). Otherwise this paid software works with 2007 store.bamboosolutions.com/…
    – susan
    Jun 26, 2015 at 8:35
  • Thank you kindly Susan, I will be advising my IM/IT team accordingly
    – adeel
    Jun 26, 2015 at 14:47

its depend upon the you infrastructure, i.e you said different server and locations, but what about their domains.

  • If you have different domains in your company then simply enable the trust between the domains will fix the issue.
  • sharepoint 2013 you can use the external sharing feature. but you have to think about the license.Is Sharing with external users allowed in SharePoint 2013 On Premises?
  • you can also think about the FBA authentication for the external users. this way you will handle the security.
  • you can also use the 3rd party tools, Try new external sharing tool at itgsharepoint.com. This tool will allow you to share with 2013 on premise with external users.

other alternate will be office 365.


  • Salam Waqas, Thank you for your input. we are using different domains, and people with different domain are not allowed to be added to our servers. Can FBA authentication for external users work with SharePoint 2007, cause I just found out we are actually using 2007 and not 2010. And third party tools are not an option unfortunately.
    – adeel
    Jun 25, 2015 at 13:56
  • Salaam Adeel....BTW my Big Brother name also Adeel....Yes you can configure the FBA with MOSS 2007...check this simple-talk.com/dotnet/windows-forms/…
    – Waqas Sarwar MVP
    Jun 25, 2015 at 14:27
  • Wow what a coincidence, I have not heard my name in Canada and I thought it was very uncommon. I have emailed my IT department to ask if we can use FBA authentication for external users, and now I am just waiting for their response. What do you think about OpenText, because I was thinking about OpenText as an alternative to or maybe a collaborative software that can be used alongside with sharepoint, as it allows the integration of SAP
    – adeel
    Jun 25, 2015 at 16:46

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