Friday, November 9, 2012

Sharepoint Web Application Zones

    Zones provide different logical paths (URL's) to access the same web application. Multiple zone usage allows implementing different access and policy conditions for users. Zones provide a way of using different authentication methods for the same site. In Sharepoint, each web application has 5 zones:

  • Default
  • Intranet
  • Internet
  • Custom
  • Extranet                                                                                                                                                                   
Zones provide a method to partition users by: 
  • Authentication type (Windows Authentication/Kerberos)
  • Network zone (Intranet/Internet/Extranet)
  • Policy permissions (Allow or Deny Read-Write access)

Whenever a web application is created, it is created in the Default zone (by default).We will have to extend the web application to other zones if needed. We can implement any of these zones for the web application. You cannot have the same zone twice for the same web application. If you check in IIS Manager, each zone implementation of the web application would have its own IIS web site. But don’t forget that in actual, all these refer the same Sharepoint site. You might be extending your website to create a new IIS web application, but for Sharepoint it is just another URL pointing to the same web application with the same set of site collections. Now by extending a web application to multiple zones, users access the same site through separate and independent URLs, each having its own web.config file. Each zone is configured with its own load-balanced URL (protocol, host header, and port).

So in effect, a content change to any of these sites means, it will reflect in all zones. This is because the all these zones are getting data from the same content database. YES...that is right.

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