Friday, June 15, 2007

Anonymous Users cannot access list views in MOSS Publishing sites

Hi All,

Again, I am posing you something I came across during a visit at one of my customers.

We are creating an internet portal based on MOSS Publishing WCM template. This portal is ment to be public and to allow anonymous users from the internet to view most of its contents.

But - as you may or may not know, anonymous users on WCM sites cannot view a list or library view pages, although they can browse directly to the document or list item when given the correct url. When trying to do so - they are prompted for user name and password... Also - and this is the main reason I had to look for a solution - when I added links to the documents into the current navigation of the site they did not appear for anonymous users.

After doing some investigation on the net I came across this KB #927082 on microsoft support site that explains this.

Apperantly all WCM sites are initialized with a special hidden feature that denies anonymous users from accessing dall and un-attactive SharePoint-like pages that does not fit a sexy-designed internet site.

This feature is called: "ViewFormPagesLockDown" and disabling it allows anonymous users to go around the site as I expected.

To disable this feature you must log on to the server and follow these steps:
1. Click Start, click Run, type cmd in the Open box, and then click OK.
2. Type the following lines at the command prompt. Press ENTER after each line.
cd /d %commonprogramfiles%\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\12\Bin
stsadm -o deactivatefeature -url http://ServerName -filename ViewFormPagesLockDown\feature.xml
3. Type exit to exit the command prompt.

After disabling this feature, you must turn anonymous access off and on again for changes to take effect.

Note: if you want it off only for one library or list like in my case, you can disable it, turn anonymous access on at that specific list and enable the feature again, leaving only that list opened for anonymous...


Steve Walsh said...

excellent post!!! I had this exact problem, and this solved it! Thanks alot!!!

Shai Ben Shooshan said...

Now this is worth every second I spend on this blog!

thanks for the input!

Yehiel said...

If I have Publishing web under Publishing site, anonymous works great for father (site) and still brings auth dialog for son (web). For other templates, like Team, it works without issues

Yehiel said...

Creating unique permissions for the child site and setting anonymous settings to true for the child site also doen't work.

SteveWalsh said...

Hey Ben... I had this workign fine (on my test sites), but for some odd reason it is not in my current site... I know anonymous access works, since my users can see everythign else, except for documents. So I go in and turn off the feature. I fo to the list, tell it not to inherit permissions, and then when I go to Settings ... Anonymous Access is not there like it was before... All I see is Access Requests ... Any idea what to do? I am stuck on this, and its important i get this working... Thanks

SteveWalsh said...

Figured it out... The only thing I can assume it to be was either: Service Pack 1 turned off my anonymous access... OR when I setup my search I had to setup 2 authentication providors (1 for basic, and 1 for NTLM) and 1 had anonmyous access on, and the other never... either way it is solved... I almost had a heart attack when it would not work, haha. Thanks.

Yehiel said...

Deactivating the lockdown mode and then create a new subsite also doesn't help

Ryan McGuire - Cleveland Clinic said...

I can't believe how many blogs and other web sites (includding various Microsoft ones) I've gone through on this problem. It all comes down to deactivating one simple feature.

Thanks, dude = this is exactly what I needed. If you're ever in Cleveland, I owe ya a beer.

Hjölli Rokk said...

Great post! Thanks a lot!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Your post really helped me.

- Krishna.

Anonymous said...

HELP!! I use login form in Publishing Sites and I try your solution but It still open login form when open item of a list. HELP !!!!

Anonymous said...

Great post!

Thanks a bunch. It solved our problems in 30 seconds :)

Anonymous said...

Does not work for me - Windows auth provider with Anonymous enabled, deactivated the feature, deactivated anonymous, activated anonymous (in the Central admin and IIS) and in the Internet facing publishing sites still getting a login dialog.
Could someone help?

Anonymous said...

I've experienced issues where sometimes I create a new survey and when I go to enable anonymous access on that list all of the checkboxes are disabled. Then I create another new survey and they are enabled. I can't see any reason for the behavior as all of the surveys are in the same site.

Talbott Crowell said...

We had the same issue. Our fix was to uncheck, apply, and recheck, and apply anonymous access in the root site under "User and Permissions". This issue can occur when using publishing sites and content deployment which automatically activates the hidden lockdown feature "ViewFormPagesLockDown". If this feature is activated after anonymous access has been enabled we found that simply disabling and re-enabling anonymous at the root site (not Central Admin nor IIS) fixed our problem by preventing anonymous access to the "All Site Content" page.