Tag Archives: steve

Mapping internal users (LDAP) to the cloud

Overview: Steve Plank has a great video on “How ADFS and the Microsoft Federation Gateway work together up in the Office 365 Cloud”. 

To get your internal ADFS users to authenticate in the Microsoft cloud (Azure and Office 365), you do need ADFS 2.0.  The claims based authentication that can be setup in SharePoint 2010 is how Office 365 and AZURE will authenticate AD users. 

You users will access SP2010/MS Online365/AZURE Web application using their browser.  The end application sends the browser a response redirecting them to the MS Federation Gateway (MFG)/App Fabric/STS web service (SP2010 on site editions), this in turn passes the users browser onto ADFS.

ADFS generates the user a SAML token and the are redirected to the MFG, MFG in turn generates it’s own SAML token containing it’s claims and the browser is redirect back to the originally requested web application.

For a user trying to access SharePoint Online from their internal network, you can see the user makes several requests to different points along the chain however the key result being the user get securely authenticated against you internal Active Directory (AD).
Steve Planks video is easier to follow than this post but it’s worth understanding the process as it applies to Azure, SharePoint claims based authentication and Office 365.  This coupled with custom LDAP providers results in a consistent manner to handle authentication in the cloud using you internal LDAP directory.

Below is an animation describing the process whereby a user is authenticated on their internal network and then they use SharePoint Online (Office 365).

More Info:

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How do I set alerts for certain columns in a SharePoint list?

I would like to be alerted every time a user updates a certain column in a SharePoint list. Is there a free web part out there to accomplish this or anything else I could try?

Chosen Answer:

You can just set an alert on the whole list and set it for when anything changes. But do you mean you DON’T want alerts if the other columns are updated? If so, I would think you could do this in a workflow. As your condition, just check if that column is updated, and if so, send an email.
by: Steve Holt
on: 31st March 10

What are the main differences between Microsoft Sharepoint and Open Exchange?

Hi, I am very familiar with Microsoft SharePoint but not so with “Open Exchange”, can somebody please tell me what the main differences are between the two, and why you would select one over the other, disregarding licensing issues and costs for the moment.

Many thanks

Chosen Answer:

Well, SharePoint is not an email platform, so that is a big difference between the two. Both can share calendars and contacts, and both can share documents.

Exchange uses Outlook to deliver all of that to the desktop, but can use other clients (like a web-based system called Outlook Web Access) as well. What it is NOT good at is managing large amounts of documents and other files. Public Folders (which is how you share files in Exchange) are being phased out by Microsoft, and they have always been a secondary choice for sharing documents.

SharePoint is designed for knowledge collaboration – in other words sharing documents, wiki pages, shared calendars and contacts. It uses only a web-based interface, and isn’t designed to synchronize with a desktop like Outlook is. Of course, as I said before, SharePoint is not an email system at all, so if you are looking for an email platform, SharePoint alone just isn’t an option.

So each has some great strengths and weaknesses. Most larger organizations use both!
by: Doms
on: 29th July 09