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Claims Based Authentication and the Windows Explorer View

Posted on 2012-04-02
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Last Modified: 2012-04-30
So I have a SharePoint install that is working great.  I recently deployed a claims based authentication page along with a separate AD LDS instance for external users.  I've got that piece working just fine along with inbound/outbound e-mail.  I managed to get stuck with the Windows Explorer View for SharePoint Document Libraries though.  This feature works fine if you look at the same library as a Domain User, but when using an account from the dedicated AD LDS instance this feature reports that the "client does not support this feature".

Any idea why a user out of the separate AD LDS instance would have this problem?
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Question by:4roi
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CloudedTurtle earned 1500 total points
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by:4roi
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Thanks!  I picked up a tip from this article that resolved it I think.  Turns out that installing SharePoint Designer is what is required.  I happened to be using a different machine without it installed when I experienced the Windows Explorer view error.  Sort of a bummer that you have to instruct all users to download a 250 MB package, but at least I have a work around.  Thank you!
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by:CloudedTurtle
ID: 37805855
I would try starting/installing the "Web Client" service before installing Designer on all your machines. I am sure that part of the Designer installation is to ensure that this service is started.

I remeber at a job a while back the network security guys decided it would be ok to disable this service because it "wasn't needed."  Needless to say, I had one hell of a week troubleshooting to find out that the issue was ultimately resolved with a Group Policy change!
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Author Comment

by:4roi
ID: 37820506
Oof!  Sounds like you've been through it.  Most of the clients I am conerned about have been outside the corp network and using the AD LDS accounts for authentication.  Explorer view doesn't work until SharePoint Designer is loaded.  Because many of these systems are not part of a domain, I am thinking Designer is the ticket.

One last question if you know...  I notice that when systems are restarted you can't go directly to the explorer view path (ie \\example.domain.com@SSL\site\document library\) without first opening the portal site and authenticating.  Anyway to deal with that?  Suppose you wanted to map a network drive and have it still work once restarted without having to open the site and authenticate first...?
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by:CloudedTurtle
ID: 37821108
Being claims based, I don't think that you could do what you are asking. With a mapped network drive, windows is going to assume a Network identity and try to pass that authentication when the drive attempts to load.  

I suspect that you would have to authenticate prior to mapping the drive (which is why you have to open the site first) if there was a way that you could do this as part of a startup process, it might help. Otherwise, it looks like its just an education process for your users..

-CT
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Author Closing Comment

by:4roi
ID: 37909690
Installing SharePoint designer did the trick.  Big thanks for having Experts direct me to the article.
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