I know , only external users with Live ID's (Hotmail, Outlook) can access sharepoint online sites.

What I want to know is, suppose there is a user who is a contractor/vendor and has Microsoft exchange account given by his company. Can we add/ invite this user and grant access using his exchange ID.

This vendors Org has policy of not using personal/external emails for official work.

Can we use exchange IDs for granting access on SPO? Please see if you can give me source link as well (For both YES/No answer) so that i can convince my client.

2 Answers 2


We did this in an assignment portal that we developed for external users. What happens is that you share the entire site from the share button in your portal. You add the company e-mail address they have ([email protected]) and they will receive an invite to the portal.

When they click the invite link (the orange header) they will get to the portal where they have to sign in using an already existing Office 365 account or a Live-ID account. The live-ID is for free and you can register a new one (if you don’t want to mix your personal stuff with the company stuff) at http://account.microsoft.com.

First sign in screen:

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Switch to use Live-ID

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Sign in with Live-ID

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When they have created and signed in to the portal with the free Live-ID account, they will be shown as their company-profile. All mails and notifications will be sent to [email protected] . The Live-ID is only there for them to sign in – nothing else.

This works only if they use the link they received in their company e-mail. It’s the only way to link the company profile with the Live-ID.

  • SO there are two part, email ID where invitation is sent and emaild ID that is used to Log In to portal. if user has exchange account (not exchange online) can that be used to login to the portal? or it has to be liveID?
    – Rohit
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 6:49
  • 1
    @Rohit It has to be a Live-ID (Microsoft Account) or a Office 365 account (different from the portal you're at - since you're sharing extrenally).
    – Benny Skogberg
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 6:56
  • ok..so when we say office365 account, we are talking about exchange online..right?
    – Rohit
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 6:59
  • @Rohit The company e-mail can be any service Exchange, Exchange Online or even GMail. The Office 365 account doesn't have to have the company e-mail in Office 365. It's possible to set up Office 365 with only SharePoint Online Plan 1 that doesn't come with Exchange Online. Still it's a valid Office 365 account. In that case - e-mail is hosted elsewhere.
    – Benny Skogberg
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 7:04

It must be a Microsoft account or an existing Office 365 account.

Office 365 External Sharing

External Sharing in Office 365 enables an organization to extend access to sites and site data with users that are not members of the Office 365 subscription or do not have accounts within the source Office 365 subscription. Individuals who do not have user accounts for the source SharePoint Online environment are considered “external users”. External users can be comprised of vendors or customers, for example. Activating the external sharing feature in SharePoint Online allows a site collection to invite external users to use the site and/or site content through email-based invitation.

In Office 365 Enterprise plans, an organization can choose to manage external sharing centrally through the SharePoint Online Administration Center, enabling or disabling external sharing globally or through specifying more granular sharing options such as allowing sharing only with sign-in at the site collection level. Additionally management of external sharing can be achieved through using Windows PowerShell.

In Office 365 Small Business plans, the administration experience for the management of external sharing is provided through a simplified on/off switch within the Office 365 Service Settings.

External Sharing can be implemented in one of three ways when using Office 365:

There are three ways that you can do this:

  • You can share an entire site by inviting external users to sign in to your site using a Microsoft account or a Microsoft Office 365 user ID.
  • You can share individual documents by inviting external users to sign in to your site using a Microsoft account or a Microsoft Office 365 user ID.
  • You can send users a guest link that they can use to view individual documents on your site anonymously.


You can send the email invitation to any email address, but to sign in, it has to be a Microsoft account or an Office 365 account.

  • 1. what happens if we configure some workflow and send email to item creator. where email will land? email ID where invitation was sent or one which was used to log in?
    – Rohit
    Commented Aug 5, 2015 at 6:54

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