I discovered what I thought was a strange issue with SharePoint 2010. The issue was that anonymous users were unable to post comments on a blog site. To be more specific, this blog site was part of a site collection that was provisioned as a Publishing Portal. Simply stated, the blog site is a sub-site under a publishing portal site. Comments on a blog site are stored as a list. List permissions can be modified “stopping inheritance” to allow anonymous users read/write access to a list. In theory, anonymous users should be able to read/write to a list. This is true except when the site collection is based on a publishing portal. In this specific scenario, anonymous users are prompted for credentials when attempting to post a comment within a blog site. Just like in Moss 2007, SharePoint 2010 has a feature called ViewFormPagesLockdown. This feature prevents anonymous users from gaining access to certain areas of a site. I’m not going to go any further in detail because it’s documented very well by our ECM team here:
This feature still exists in SharePoint 2010 and is still automatically turned on for Publishing Portal sites. This feature is referred to as lockdown mode and can be turned on or off by enabling/disabling the ViewFormPagesLockdown feature. In this scenario, I want to toggle lockdown mode to off so anonymous users can post comments to the blog site. This is accomplished by using either STSADM or PowerShell. I prefer using PowerShell:
To determine if a site has ViewFormPagesLockdown enabled run the following:
get-spfeature -site http://sitecollectionURL
If ViewFormPagesLockDown is listed, it's enabled.
To toggle lockdown mode to off:
$lockdown = get-spfeature viewformpageslockdown
disable-spfeature $lockdown -url http://sitecollectionURL
If anonymous is already setup, you may need to disable\re-enable anonymous on the site.