Intranets and Extranets – What’s the difference?

author Nigel Davies, August 10, 2008

Sophisticated intranet and extranet permission systems that can control access in so many ways are rapidly blurring the traditional distinction between intranets and extranets.

It still remains true that extranets are different – we need to provide access to partners and the supply chain in a way the business can securely control and monitor – but actually with Claromentis key staff themselves are separated into access areas by role, group and individual permissions so there is indeed some overlap.

Here is the difference as we see it today:

  • Extranet users need to be ring fenced from each other – we clearly do not want Partner A accessing pricing information for Partner B.
  • Nor do we want users from Partner A being aware of the existence of users from Partner B.
  • Co-branding must be automatic if required – the customer must with no effort be able to create a co-branded portal that provides the right environment for each supplier and partner.
  • Hybrid access in terms of active directory or individual logon with a username and password. We must, and do, support mix and match access in terms of active directory automated intranet log-on for staff, and logon with username and password for partners.

Apart from these key differentiators, extranets are just one more permission bucket in Claromentis, which is exactly as it should be as the world flattens, and key users and contributors that can make a difference to any Claromentis customer might be employees of suppliers, partners or freelancers.