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There are two companies that work together but utilise different networks and user accounts. One company has SP2010 the other SP2013, both on-premises. Both companies are also physically separated.

If one company needs to use the SharePoint resources of the other then this is achieved by the user having an account with the other company also and then using a virtual environment to gain access to its resources including Office products.

Is there a better way to collaborate?

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There are two better ways:

  1. Use Active Directory Trusts meaning that AD of the other company trusts AD of the other company, so permissions in SharePoint can be granted to the other company users, and they can login using their own AD account to the other company's SharePoint
  2. Use Active Directory Federation Services meaning that you setup ADFS servers and configure them so that ADFS handles the authentication of the user.

1) is much easier and doesn't require additional servers or maintenance, generic steps, but it does require some private network connection between the two companies networks, such as site-to-site VPN.

2) is more comprehensive solution but it can be then used in other similar scenarios later as well, steps for ADFS, steps for SharePoint. It would also allow people from company A to access company B's SharePoint over the internet as Company B's ADFS can provide services for that. See WAP for more details.

  • That's great, Both options will provide authentication, however how can one company access the other companies sharepoint? . Currently we use virtual environment, is this the only way or is an extranet better solution (with extranet will this be an isolated area and not the main other companies SP Application) – Raj Chahal Nov 18 '15 at 10:40
  • Updated my answer regarding the network side of the story. – Jussi Palo Nov 18 '15 at 11:08

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