How to invite external users (guests) to LMS365 (Learn365)

Introduction

On certain occasions, your company might want to invite people outside the organization, such as clients, partners, or customers, to have access to your LMS365 (Learn365) environment.

People outside your organization who are invited to access your LMS365 (Learn365) environment are referred to as external users or guests in LMS365 (Learn365).

In this article, we go through the process of configuring the external sharing settings in LMS365 (Learn365), invite external users (guests) to the LMS365 (Learn365) course catalog, and outline the steps that should be performed by guests in order for them to access LMS365 (Learn365).

 

 

Enable the invitation of external users (guests)

Required role: Microsoft 365 global admin or SharePoint admin

To be able to invite external users (guests) to LMS365 (Learn365), you should configure the external sharing settings on your tenant in the following way:

  • Ensure email notifications are enabled in the Learn365 Admin Center. For more information, see this article. If notifications aren't enabled, you won't be able to send email invitations. 
  • Configure Microsoft Entra ID (Azure Active Directory) external collaboration for your tenant. For detailed steps, see this Microsoft documentation.
  • Configure the external sharing of the SharePoint environment at the organization (tenant) level and at individual course catalog level. For detailed steps, see this article.

 

NOTE   

If external sharing settings aren't properly configured, external users (guests) will encounter permissions issues when they try to access the course catalog page in LMS365 (Learn365).

 

Invite external users (guests) to a catalog

Required role: catalog admin

To provide external users (guests) with access to the course catalog, you should send them an invitation to the relevant course catalog from the Learn365 Admin Center. For this, you'll need their email address.

We recommend you add all users to the Users list prior to enrolling them in courses or training plans.

 

Email address of the external user

To invite an external user (guest) to LMS365 (Learn365), catalog admins will use their email address. 

LMS365 (Learn365) uses Microsoft Entra ID (Azure Active Directory) to identify the external user (guest).

The user’s email address shouldn't be intentionally linked to a Microsoft account and can be from any service provider, such as Gmail. 

When an external user (guest) accepts the invitation to an LMS365 (Learn365) course catalog, a guest account for this external user is automatically created on your organization's Microsoft tenantIn the Microsoft Entra admin center (Azure Active Directory), the user's guest account will be displayed in the following format: user.account_gmail.com#EXT#@compafi464.onmicrosoft.com, as shown in the following image.

This external user (guest) will use their regular email address to log in to LMS365 (Learn365).

 

the_guest_account.png

 

In the Learn365 Admin Center, the user will be displayed with their regular email account, which they'll use to log in to LMS365 (Learn365).

 

external_user_.png

 

Add external users (guests) to the Users list

Required role: catalog admin

We recommend you add all users to the Users list prior to enrolling them in courses or training plans. This enables users to view all course and training plan home pages for the catalog and prevent them from encountering an access denied message in SharePoint when they navigate around the catalog.

Inviting and adding users to the Users list alone doesn't use an LMS365 (Learn365) subscription. An LMS365 (Learn365) subscription is used when a user is enrolled in a course or training plan as a learner. Find information about which users are included when the number of users in the subscription is calculated in this article.

Users who are added to the Users list are added to the SharePoint Visitor group of the course catalog site collection and will have permission to view and access all courses and training plans in this catalog. To ensure that specific training can be accessed only by certain users in the catalog, you can employ training audience and course targeting.

Information about the default SharePoint site groups can be found in this Microsoft documentation article.

 

When inviting external users (guests) to LMS365 (Learn365) via the Users page, you might be asked for additional consent or authentication via Microsoft Entra ID (Azure Active Directory).

 

To provide consent or authentication:

1. In the Learn365 Admin Center, select Users.

2. On the opened Users page, select Add or invite users.

3. On the opened Add or invite users panel, select the information icon. If no links are displayed in the information message, then no actions are required from your side.

4. In the opened information message:

  • Select the Accept link from "Please be aware that your Office 365 Global Administrator has to accept additional consent to be able to invite guests to Learn365. Accept." to confirm that it's ok to invite guests to the organization.
  • To verify your identity, select the Sign in link from "Please be aware that you have to be authenticated via Microsoft Entra ID (Azure Active Directory) to be able to invite guests to Learn365. Sign in."

 

To invite external users (guests) to LMS365 (Learn365), follow these steps:

1. From the navigation menu in the Learn365 Admin Center, select Users

2. On the opened Users page, select Add or invite users.

3. On the opened Add or invite users panel, in the Enter Existing Users or Guests field, enter the email addresses of external users (guests) you want to invite.

You can enter a maximum of 50 users or 1,500 characters at a time, as a comma or semicolon-separated list, and individual or multiple users. If you reach the limit of invitees, any addresses over the limit are automatically removed from the list, and a message notifies you about this.

 

external_user.png

 

4. Select Add.

The confirmation message "Successfully sent invitations to guests" will be displayed under Notifications (the bell icon) when the process of sending invitations to guests is completed.

 

successfully_sent_invitation.png

 

To add more than 50 users or 1,500 characters, repeat steps 1-4.

Invited external users (guests) will receive an email that asks them to accept the invitation to the course catalog and complete the information. The link in the invitation is valid for 90 days. When external users (guests) accept the invitation, they're added to the Users list of the course catalog.

5. When the external user accepts the invitation, they're added to the Users list of the relevant course catalog. This user can now be enrolled in courses and training plans

 

The process of accepting the invitation by the external user

When a catalog admin sends an invitation to an LMS365 (Learn365) course catalog to an external user (guest), the user receives an email notification to join the course catalog. To get access to the course catalog, the user will follow these steps.

For the example case described here, the catalog admin sent and invitation to a Gmail account.

1. In the received invitation email, the user will accept the invitation to the course catalog by selecting the Accept invitation link.

 

accept_invitation_.png

 

2. The user will be redirected to the Microsoft sign in page, where they have to select Send code.

 

send_code.png

 

3. The user will receive the account verification code via email. The verification code is valid for the next 30 minutes. The user should copy this code, return to the Microsoft sign in page, and enter the code in the Enter code field.

 

enter_code.png

 

As a result, the user will be redirected to the course catalog home page, where they can browse courses and training plans.

When the user accepts an invitation to a course catalog on the tenant for the first time, permissions may be requested from the user by the organization. Selecting Accept will redirect the user to the course catalog page.

 

Accept_.png

 

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