I have recently been working on a SharePoint implementation that has the requirement to support multiple companies within one implementation. Each company is part of a larger company (all users are in one AD structure) and needs to have a url for their intranet that is based on a standard for all intranet urls.
We looked at two options for implementation:
- Create a web application for each company.
- Create web applications for similar content and then use managed paths to build meaningful urls.
This post describes the approach we are taking using option 2. We are going to build out two web applications, one for the intranet sites and one for team collaboration sites. The intranet sites will be used to push content and a limited number of users will have the ability to add content. The team sites will be in a self service creation mode and any users that have completed the admin training will be able to create sites.
What we specifically want to accomplish with the urls is the ability for the end users to know exactly where they are at and easily be able to navigate back to the main site in the future.
The following images show what we are trying to implement:
We can do this by creating managed paths within our web application. We will be creating both explicit inclusion and wildcard inclusion managed paths. An explicit inclusion managed path is a managed path that will only have one site associated with it. An example of an explicit inclusion is the root site. By creating an explicit inclusion managed path for each of the companys we will be creating a way for them to navigate to the url http://intranet/company to access the main intranet site for thier company. We will then create a wildcard inclusion for each of the companies that will support the additional site collections that are part of the intranet.
So for each company, we will create two managed paths:
To create a new managed path you will need to navigate to the following location:
Central Administration > Application Management > Define Managed Paths
From here you will want to make sure you are in the correct web application and then enter the information you need for the managed path.
Once you have created your managed paths, you will be able to create a root site at each explicit inclusion and an unlimited number of sites at each wildcard inclusion.