Primer on SharePoint Hosting for External Collaboration
The scope of this document covers the On-Premises SharePoint and using it for your external partners, vendors and customers in compliance scenarios or public organization where they decide to keep the data internal only rather than on the cloud. This topic doesn’t cover the hybrid approaches either.
It does not imply that the Office 365, Azure or other recent cloud services are short of features. These services offer so much robust features, time & cost savings and other benefits that can be beneficial to any organization. [Review my blog post and presentation on the comparison of On-Premises, Office 365 and Hybrid]
This document can be used as a case study to persuade the company management to cloud based solutions. On-Premises SharePoint deployment, operation, management and support may require a wide knowledge of different technologies, processes and best practices [Review my article on SharePoint Brainstorming Plan]. You need more breadth of skills versus depth of skills in most if not all situations.
Pieces of the SharePoint Puzzle:
In order to do the SharePoint hosting for external collaboration, you need to know different elements. Following are some of the skills, knowledge and experience that are needed to host the On-Premises SharePoint for external collaboration.
- IIS Web Server
- SQL Server Database
- Windows Servers
- Firewall – CISCO ASA or others
- Authentication – Active Directory
- Claims / FBA (Riolinx Extradium)
- IP Addressing
- DNS – Internal
- DNS – External (Zone Edit or others)
- Wildcard SSL certificates with SAN (DigiCert or others)
- URL address name space and A records
- SharePoint ins and outs
- WebApp, Site collections, sites
- Office Web Apps
Not knowing all these pieces, will require additional skills in the company. Below is our pieces of puzzle pyramid diagram.
|Softvative Plan – SharePoint Pieces of Puzzle Pyramid|
One important thing, this is just a framework we created and have been using. In different scenarios, customer needs and integration requirements, you might have little more in the plate.
Plan your SharePoint Pieces:
Once you know what pieces are involved, then you have architect the plan on how you will be connecting the pieces. I use white boarding and Microsoft Visio for that purpose. Below is the abstract of one of the implementation we worked on.
|Sharepoint Hosting for External Collaboration – Architecture Planning on white board|
After this stage, you move on to the next stage of the project planning and execution. I’ll cover more on this topic in future versions.