11.4. Building Internet Sites

When building a Internet web site you face the same questions and use the same toolbox of features as when building an intranet. The main differences relate to protecting the Internet web site and making sure that anonymous users do not see more than they are allowed to see. Note that an Internet site is not the same as an extranet site. The latter is used by external partners, customers, and other groups of users who need to access information on your network. In order to control a user accessing the extranet, you require them to log on. In other words, they must have a user account in your IT environment that can be validated by SharePoint, or to be more exact, by the Internet Information Service (IIS) that is governing the SharePoint application.

An Internet site (with a capital I, since it is a proper name!) is a site that people can access without any authentication process; that is, they log on automatically as anonymous users. SharePoint 2007 can offer anonymous access in these situations:

  • When you create a new site collection in an existing SharePoint environment and use it as a public Internet site.

  • When you use a subsite in an existing site collection for the public Internet site.

  • When you install a separate WSS or MOSS server for the public Internet site.

There are two main questions you should ask when building a public Internet site: How will users access the site, and should you use WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007 to build it? These questions are ...

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