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I have a weird requirement, I am currently working for a hosting company, and we have built some sharepoint 2 tier farms.

Basically we want to sell these sharepoint images(installations) as a service, but we need to monitor how many users are there in Sharepoint or how many users are there in the Active Directory, the thing is that I must query that from outside the farm and for each farm that we sell, we would use that user count to send the bill.

I am very open to ideas

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So first thing, you need to have the Microsoft SPLA to be in compliant for this type of solution. Second, you could limit access to specific groups via User Policies on the Web Application(s). If you're managing the SharePoint farm, you could install Active Directory Users and Computers on the SharePoint server and monitor that Security Group for user count. You can also use the Active Directory Module for PowerShell and use:

(Get-ADGroupMember -Identity "My Group Name").Count

This will output the number of members of the group.

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