I'm new to SharePoint. I have installed SP 2013 on my local machine for testing & development purpose. While studying key concept about SharePoint i have come to the Alternate Access Mappings. I have googled and read articles but i didn't understand anything at all. Please help me to understand below concepts.

  1. What is AAM in simple words?

  2. What is Internal Urls ? What is Public Urls? What are Zones?

  3. What is purpose of AAM? What is the need of it? In which case we need to configure it?

  4. I have created one web application and access it as http://pc2:1001. Now how can i implement AAM on it to access this with different urls?

I'm really confused. Please help somebody. Any help will be appreciated.

2 Answers 2


AAM Stand for Alternative Access mapping, it maps the public URL with your SharePoint Internal Url for a specific zone.


  • Your current SharePoint site is (Internal URL) http://pc2:1001
  • You have a domain (Public URL) http:mqassas.com.
  • Now You need when browsing the public URL it should open your SharePoint Site URL. so, in this case, you will need to map the public URL with internal URL and this is achieved by configuring Alternative Access Mapping.
  • Now you need to browse the server over the internet so it's your zone.


  • Alternate access mappings direct users to the correct URLs during their interaction with SharePoint 2013.

  • Alternate access mappings enable SharePoint 2013 to map web requests to the correct web applications and sites, and they enable SharePoint 2013 to serve the correct content back to the user.

  • Each web application can be associated with a collection of mappings between internal and public URLs.

  • Both internal and public URLs consist of the protocol and domain portions of the full URL.

  • A public URL is what users type to access the SharePoint site, and that URL is what appears in the links on the pages.

  • Internal URLs are in the URL requests that are sent to the SharePoint site. Many internal URLs can be associated with a single public URL in multi-server farms (for example, when a load balancer routes requests to specific IP addresses to various servers in the load-balancing cluster).

Each web application supports five collections of mappings per URL. The five collections correspond to five zones

  • default,
  • intranet,
  • extranet,
  • Internet,
  • and custom).


Steps to configure AAM

  • Configure alternate access mapping via Central Administration.
  • Configure Hosts file
  • Disable loop Back Check
  • Add “A” record on DNS server for your URL


  • Ok. means we can map fully qualified domain url (www.abc.com) to our web application (pc2:1001) right? if yes, then after doing this anyone can access our web application on internet with using www.abc.com url. right ? If yes then why there is need of zones if single address will be accessible for all ?
    – Curious
    Sep 12, 2017 at 12:28
  • consider you have intranet portal that will work only within the company network, and you have a local domain like mqassas.local that should be mapped with the internal URL. so in this case, you will need to use intranet zone, also it's the same thing for extranet Sep 12, 2017 at 12:49

AAM: Alternate access mappings enable a Web application that receives a request for an internal URL, in one of the five authentication zones, to return pages that contain links to the public URL for the zone. You can associate a Web application with a collection of mappings between internal and public URLs.

Internal URL: the Internal URL essentially defines the URL(s) that SharePoint deems as viable requests coming into SharePoint.

Public URL The Public URL is essentially the root to all of these relative URLs (e.g. http://initech or http://foo )... it defines with which URL root each anchor tag will be stamped when the page is built by the server and returned to the requesting client.

Please read this great article for more information

Zone: A Zone is a logical container for a public URL with a name like "Interner" or "Extranet".

Read this, will clear all your concept about AAM.

There are many reasons to configure the AAM and zones.

  • when we want to present the content to external world with different authentication then we extend web application in different zone with required authentication and configure the AAM.
  • For AAM, you need a valid DNS
  • Some time you want to give different url to different audience (you can do upto 5).

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