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Office Word 2007 not working as it should with Sharepoint for non-domain users

Posted on 2009-04-30
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Hallo experts.

We have a client who's got the following problem: They have internal users who are logged on to a different AD domain than the one Sharepoint (2007) is running on. These users do have domain accounts for Sharepoint and are able to log in fine to the intranet.

However, when they try to download documents (also 2007) and edit these they run into trouble. First, the need to authenticate one more time (it's a bugger but ok) but when they try to open the document for editing they they get an error message. And when they try to save back the document to Sharepoint, they only access get to their local disk and thus not the document library where the document is stored as would be exptected.

Would anyone know how to configure Sharepoint in order for these users to be able to work smoothly with the information on the corporate intranet?

Cheers, Magnus
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Question by:Magnuz
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by:bizjosh
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by:Magnuz
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Thanks for your answer, I will check up if SSO is indeed something that will help our client in this situation. Cheers, Magnus
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Greg Burns earned 2000 total points
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Hmm, you should be able to have non-domain users interact with SharePoint fairly well. I have a laptop I take to multiple customer sites and never have many issues.
Exactly what error are users seeing?
Just a few things to be aware of:
  1. The double-authentication issue is due to SharePoint downloading the document, then authenticating again to download the Document Information Panel.
  2. The inability of the Office 2007 application to default to saving back to the original document library is likely a symptom of the authentication. Here's something to try. When opening the Save dialog from within Office, can you manually enter the http address of the document library? Do you get a "page cannot be displayed" or similar error within the dialog? Again, this may be due to an unauthenticated session. You can have an active session in IE, but that authorizaton is not necessarily granted to your Office 2007 program.
  3. When you open a document from a SharePoint document library, click on the Office button and see what menu options you have. Is there a "Server" submenu? If so, it means you have a live session with SharePoint.
  4. If you create a document locally and go to Office button-->Publish--Document Management Server, do you have the ability to browse to the SharePoint document library and save it there?
  5. What settings does the document library have?  Is check-out required for editing the document?  Sometimes this can complicate client-integration.

Here is a workaround you might try: the RUNAS command with the NetOnly argument.  It it allows you to run a program as though you were another user; in this case, a user from another domain.
For example, to run MS Word, open a command window and type this:
C:\Windows\System32\runas.exe /netonly /user:<domain\user> "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE"

But this is pretty kludgey.  You can't expect users to type that in when they want to run a program.  you can, however, create a shortcut and paste that entire command in, and save it to your desktop.
If you are looking for seamless authentication, I would recommend a one-way trust between the SharePoint domain and the users' domain. Your network guys might squawk at this (especially if SharePoint is in a DMZ accessible from the Internet), but if you think about it, you are just allowing SharePoint to trust your domain users, not the other way around.


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by:Greg Burns
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Clarification: Sorry, I mis-pasted the RUNAS example in my previous post.  THere should only be one <Domain\Username> argument in that command.
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by:Magnuz
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Thank you for the help, I have forwarded the ideas to our client who will revert soon I hope. I will let you know if it works or not. Cheers, Magnuz
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