Create an Extranet using Office 365

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One of my favourite things about Office 365 is that by using the SharePoint Online functionality that comes with it, you can quickly create a secure extranet to share documents, collaborate, and communicate with people outside your organisation.

In fact, depending on the Office 365 plan you are on, you can invite up to 50 people who are not on your Office 365 environment to participate!

Not only that, the best part is that it only takes a couple of minutes to set up, and once you have, it is even faster next time you want to create another extranet (maybe for another customer or supplier)

So how do you do it?

1) Go to the Office 365 Admin Portal (, and click on “Admin”)

2) Click on “Manage SharePoint”

3) Click on “Manage Site Collections

4) Click on “Settings”

5) Click “Manage External Users”

6) Click “Allow” and “Save”

7) Go to the site collection (the site that will be your extranet) then click “Site Actions”

8) "Click “Site Settings”

9) Look for “Site Collection Administration” and click on “Site Collection Features”

10) Look for “External User Invitations” and click “Activate” (if it isn’t activated already)

11) Go to the site you want to share, click “Site Settings”

12) Click “Share Site”

13) Type in the email addresses of the folk that you want to invite to participate in your new Office 365 / SharePoint Online extranet!!!!

Now one thing that you should note is that at the time of writing this article, your external parties need to use a Hotmail ID, or a Microsoft Online Services ID to log into your extranet.  In the future you should be able to use any email address which will make it even easier.

So there you have it – a fully functioning, secure extranet in just minutes using Office 365!  How good is that!!!!

‘till next time!

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