I am presently sitting in a hotel in Chicago, having just finished presenting at a VAR summit downtown at our office in the AON Center. It is always great to get in front of partners and hear what the word on the street is. For anyone out there that was in attendance, thank you for a great day and for sharing your insights and perspective. …I hope you derived as much benefit from listening to me as I did listening to you!
There were many partners present that had sold Office 365, but one question came up that surprising no one save me knew about. …I have an advantage of sorts, so I thought I would share it with all of you:
Sharing a SharePoint Online Site with external users is quite easy.
Follow these simple steps:
Log into you’re your portal at http://portal.microsoftonline.com with an administrative account
Click the “Manage” link under SharePoint in the central section of the Admin Portal in the Microsoft Office 365 Section
Click “Manage Site Collections”
Under the “Site Collections” Tab (default one opened), select “Manage External Users” under Settings.
Select the “allow” radio button and click “save”
After enabling external user access, you will then need to enable it for each site collection in turn before the options to “Share” appear in the Site Actions dropdown menu.
To enable or disable External Sharing for any site, select “Site Settings” from the Site Settings from the Site Actions drop down menu in the upper left corner of the SharePoint team site page.
Click the “Site Collection Features” option under the Site Collection Administration Heading.
Activate “External User Invitations” by clicking the Activate button.
Under the Site Actions menu, select “Share Site”
Type the email addresses of those you wish to share the site with. Be conscious of what effective permissions you want then to have and leverage the “visiters” or “members” group for your respective site collection.
NOTE: Invitations can be sent to ANY email address, but to login to the SharePoint Online site, the external user will have to use a Microsoft Live ID (Hotmail.com, etc).
An example of the invitation the user will receive is above. They should “click” the “Accept Your Invitation” to proceed.
When accepting the invitation you are taken to a page where one can log in via Hotmail or with a different Microsoft Online Services ID.
Once authenticated the user is directed to the site collection, but they have limited capabilities. Because I chose “visitor” when I created the invitation, my Hotmail address cannot access hardly any settings info on SharePoint online. I do have the ability to access the site and content.
Notice the curtailed Site Actions, and the many grayed out options in the ribbon.
Well, That about covers it! For those in the audience today in Chicago, I told you I would post an answer here. Enjoy!