Did you know you can share? SharePoint Online’s External Sharing Capabilities

Office 365 Community Blog

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Did you know you can share? SharePoint Online’s External Sharing Capabilities
Audience:

 Office 365 for professionals and small businesses
 Office 365 for enterprises

 

Sometimes, you need to share documents with people who are not part of your company and who don’t have full user subscriptions for your SharePoint Online environment. Now, you can take advantage of SharePoint Online’s external sharing capabilities to break down the barriers. Whether these people are vendors, business partners, or customers, your company can invite them to view, share, and collaborate on your SharePoint Online sites as external viewers.

 

Staff up, staff down—an external hiring scenario.

Fabrikam is a 700-person company based in Boise, Idaho, USA that specializes in home furnishings. In late February, Fabrikam starts gearing up for a national trade show that takes place in early June in Las Vegas; the next three months will be busy as it plans and prepares its tradeshow booth, customer meetings, and marketing and press activities.

 

The company has three main business groups involved in the process: finance, legal, and marketing. The finance and legal teams do not wish to share externally, so they keep their sites limited to full-time Fabrikam employees. However, the marketing team needs to work with various vendors and temporary staff. As a result, it uses SharePoint Online to maintain the tradeshow project site, a primary document library to store and manage marketing materials and press releases, , and a timeline with work back schedule dates. When the team is ready to get started, it sends external user invitations to its vendors and temporary staff by email. Invitees simply accept to gain access to the site.

 

How to enable and use external sharing capabilities.

Here is a high-level overview of the steps to enable and use the external sharing capabilities in both the SharePoint Online for small business and for enterprise plans within Office 365.

 

SharePoint Online for enterprise

SharePoint Online for small business

ON by default, can be turned off

  1. SharePoint Online Administer “allows” for whole company.
  2. Individual site owners choose to activate the “external user invitation” feature for their group’s use.
  3. Site owner invites via any email using Site Actions à Share Site.
  4. Invitee accepts invitation with a LiveID-based user name and password (@live.com, @hotmail.com, @msn.com and all regional derivatives).
  5. Collaboration ensues.
  6. Undo step 1 or 2 at any time.

OFF by default, can be turned on

  1. Site owner invites via any email using Site Actions à Share Site.
  2. Invitee accepts invitation with a LiveID-based user name and password. (@live.com, @hotmail.com, @msn.com and all regional derivatives).
  3. Collaboration ensues.
  4. Deactivate the “external user invitation” feature at any time.

Get more setup details here on Office.com.

Get more setup details here on Office.com.

Read the SharePoint Online service description for more details on the use rights of an “external user.”

 

We are excited to hear how you use SharePoint Online’s external sharing capabilities. Leave a comment—we want to hear your story and what you think. It’s a part of Office 365 / SharePoint Online now and available in the trial. Try it today!

 

Thanks,

The SharePoint Online Team

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Comments

    "#4  Invitee accepts invitation with a LiveID-based user name and password (@live.com, @hotmail.com, @msn.com and all regional derivatives)."

    Have we tested this? Because it still isn't working for non hotmail/mos ids.

  • "We are excited to hear how you use SharePoint Online’s external sharing capabilities."

    Well, we don't, but we would like to. But we cannot ask our external partners to create a hotmail (or live, or msn) account in order to access the site. That would simply appear too unprofessional, since such accounts are primarily associated with private use.

    If logon HAS to be associated based on LiveID, then it must allow for any LiveID user name, not just those based on MS domains.

    It's nice to have the option to let users of @live.com, @msn.com and @hotmail.com access SharePoint, but Office 365 is a service for business.  Make my customers and partners create an account not related with their emails to connect to SharePoint is a step a lot of them will avoid.  Are you planing on make SharePoint available to users with private domains?

  • I literally just got this question after sharing a SharePoint site.  "Why do I have to use hotmail? Why can't I use my work address" Seems these consumer services are looked down upon in the business world.

  • I agree with the other posters... requiring that the login is a Live ID is reasonable, but requiring that it has to be an @live.com, @hotmail.com or @msn.com address is not.

    This is another available but in accessible feature. You wonder who is making this type of decision in Microsoft.  I am just trying to figure out this Office365, does this apply to just the team site or the public facing (SharePoint online) Of the Office 365?

  • mayflowerstudio@live.se

    I would agree that we cannot ask customers to create a Hotmail account, and there is no reason they would have an existing Microsoft Online Services account.  It would likely be OK to ask them to create a Live ID using their work e-mail address, so I hope that option will be available soon.

  • 対象: Office 365 for Professional and Small Business , Office 365 for Enterprise

    時には、会社外で SharePoint

    Why is it so difficult for Microsoft to understand the simple idea that this "feature" is in fact a bug. Very few business users will ask a customer/partner to go through the inconvenience of registering for a new email address (that they will never use for anything else and will most likely lose/forget after the initial use) simply for the convenience of collaboration.

    For how this should be implemented (strictly from the vantage of usability), see Google Docs!  Why do you think so many use it?  Because it's easy to access and use?  No, that couldn't be it!

  • When will this feature be available for non-live associated accounts. Many of my clients are restrcitedd from associating their accounts in this manner?

  • There’s all sorts of information that schools need to provide to parents, and traditionally this has

  • There’s all sorts of information that schools need to provide to parents, and traditionally this has

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