PremierPoint Solutions Releases White Paper that Examines Advantages of Using FBA and SQL for Implementing SharePoint Extranets

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PremierPoint Solutions has released a new white paper that examines the advantages of using Forms-Based Authentication (FBA) and the SQL Membership Provider for implementing a SharePoint extranet.

Photo of Jeff Cate, resident of PremierPoint Solutions

Jeff Cate

Using FBA and SQL Membership Provider together is fast, easy, secure and extensible.

PremierPoint Solutions has released a new white paper that examines the advantages of using Forms-Based Authentication (FBA) and the SQL Membership Provider for implementing a SharePoint extranet.

Titled “The Case for Using Forms-Based Authentication (FBA) and the SQL Membership Provider for Implementing a SharePoint Extranet,” the white paper focuses on the need companies have for easy user access coupled with iron-clad security, both of which are achieved by using FBA and the SQL Membership Provider in on-premises SharePoint.

The FBA white paper can be downloaded at the company’s website and is free.

PremierPoint Solutions’ Extranet Collaboration Manager for SharePoint Server and Foundation (ExCM) is a SharePoint add-in that provides the easy extranet collaboration and simplified extranet administration that SharePoint is missing in the out-of-the-box product. When ExCM is combined with FBA and SQL, the result is a comprehensive extranet solution.

“Using FBA and SQL Membership Provider together is fast, easy, secure and extensible, said Jeff Cate, president of PremierPoint Solutions. “Other solutions can be expensive and require separate hardware. They also are more difficult to implement and time consuming.”

An extranet is like an intranet that can be accessed from the Internet. It provides convenience and flexibility, saving time and money by cutting down on emails, phone calls and searching through paper file folders.

Security is of paramount importance when deploying a SharePoint extranet. And there are a number of options for securing extranet users and passwords.

While storing extranet users in a company’s Active Directory is one option, most companies shy away from this approach for two very good reasons:

  •     It requires too much administrative overhead to manage user accounts, passwords and profile information on top of their company’s Active Directory users, and
  •     Most would want to have a security separation to keep non-employees out of their company’s Active Directory, which means a place would be required to store these external users

According to Aaron Wood, engineering and support manager for PremierPoint Solutions’ Commercial Software Division, a more prudent approach is to use FBA and the SQL Membership Provider to store and secure the users and passwords.

“The good news is that because FBA is built into SharePoint, a company only needs to check a box and fill in two boxes to enable FBA in a SharePoint environment,” Wood said.

Internal users continue to use their Active Directory credentials to log in to the extranet, while external users are stored securely in SQL. With this approach, external users use their email address as their account username, which is easy to remember and ensures uniqueness as well as security.

“One of the things we stress with our customers is that FBA and SQL Membership Provider are proven and have stood the test of time,” Cate noted. “While new methods come and go, FBA and SQL Membership Provider have been a reliable constant.”

Based in Nashville, Tenn., PremierPoint Solutions (formerly SharePoint Solutions) is a Microsoft Certified Partner and a nationwide leader in expert-led, in-person and online public classes on SharePoint products and technologies. The company’s software division professionally develops high-quality commercial add-ons for SharePoint. Many of the company’s courses and services are also applicable to Office 365.
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Don Beehler

Donna Cate
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