Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 Enabling Anonymous Access

The Problem:

You are trying to enable the anonymous access to your Microsoft SharePoint Services 3.0 site. You cannot figure out how.

Fix:

The Microsoft document (Enable anonymous access) on this is not clear on this. The document assumes that your system or sharepoint administrator has already done additional footwork, and describes the last few steps within the Site Actions part of the Sharepoint

There is (seems to be) a few more steps that needs to be done.

  1. Terminal service or console access your web server's OS as an administrator.
  2. First, IIS itself should allow anonymous access. This is done through the IIS administration feature (typically accessed from "My Computer->Manage").
  3. Open the proprty of the SharePoint IIS web, select the Directory Security tab, then press the Edit button for the "Enable anonymous access" to allow the IIS to access. 
  4. When that is done, you need to go to the SharePoint Cnetral Administration web site. The easiest way to get there is from the IIS Manager then right click over the SharePoint Administrator web and select Browse.
  5. When the Central Administration page opens, select the Application Management tab.
  6. Look for "Authentication Providers" item, then you will find the Anonymous access enable check box on that page. Save it.
  7. Now log into your SharePoint page and then select Site Actions -> Site Settings and then select the Advanced Permissions. These steps are as described in the above mentioned Microsoft article, but you should now see Enable Anonymous permissions under the Settings menu bar.
Time Took To Find This Answer:

I spent about an hour trying to find this answer. The fact that anonymous enable is more or less "hidden" under "Authentication Providers" was a bit trickily for me. The reason I need to do this is that in my company the top page is accessible to anyone in the company whereas the individual department or other "site" will be secured.
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