I am new to SharePoint and have few questions regarding the authentication.

We are using SP 2013 as extranet and we have different sites for different partners. Total number of users will be less than 500. I think we can use either Forms based authentication or SAML token based authentication (ADFS 2.0). We are trying to avoid installing a domain for the authentication and prefer SQL server to store all the user details.

Is it good/secure to have only SQL based provider with Forms based authentication?

2 Answers 2


You may extend the SharePoint Web application with FBA, to create an extranet-facing access point to provide access to the partners. Extending an existing SharePoint Web application provides a separate IIS Web site and you can group external users into a different security domain than internal users.

This approach makes it easier to manage different groups of users and to maintain security. SharePoint supports this approach through zones. Each zone can support a different authentication method. Companies often use forms-based authentication (FBA) with Internet-facing zones because it is straightforward to set up and does not require additional hardware.

Image from Considerations for Extranet Development

  • Thank you so much for your quick reply! Which one is more secure - FBA + AD or FBA + SQL? Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 20:19
  • If you chose FBA + SQL server over AD, AD does not need to be populated with external accounts, which would of course would have cause management, licensing and security headaches. If your use FBA + AD, both corporate and extranet accounts are going to be stored in AD. But the answer to your question is, it depends, it depends upon your requirements and detailed scenario... Commented Jan 2, 2013 at 21:06

Here is one more article explaining sharepoint 2013 security model


  • Thank you for the detailed blog post and updating the old thread. Really helpful! Commented Mar 27, 2013 at 0:32

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