Flexible and easy to manage for both end users and system administrators, SharePoint is a powerful addition to any business. With the ability to quickly share documents and information, authorizations must be easily managed. SharePoint has a robust permissions management system that can be used to simplify securing sections or entire sites.
Access to SharePoint site permissions
For modern SharePoint sites that are believed to be used for this article, see a simplified permissions view. In this view you can quickly and easily invite other members or groups to a site and assign the required pre-defined authorization level.
In addition to adding a new group or user, you can also quickly change how members can share. After opening the Site Sharing Settings section, you will be presented with a number of options. Most of these are self-explanatory on-screen but offer quick access to useful options. Often times, system administrators or site administrators disable allowing access requests. This is because many access requests have explicit permissions added, often from external ticket systems.
Navigate to Advanced Site Permissions
Finally, when you click the Advanced Permissions Settings link, you will be taken to the traditional website permissions page, which uses the older and more traditional SharePoint interface. You can perform various tasks on this screen.
- Define custom authorization levels
- Change the access request settings
- Change site collection administrators
- Check the permissions for a specific group or user
- Create, edit and remove groups
- Grant permissions to a specific user or group and a specific authorization level
A look at the site collection administrators shows that the owner group created by default is currently the only group of administrators. A site collection administrator has full control over that particular site and overrides and certain permissions that have been set on a document library, list, or other resource.
There are a number of standard authorization levels (see below). These are usually sufficient for many sites, but there are a variety of permissions that, if properly set, can unlock a number of different and useful scenarios.
- Full control – All available permissions.
- design – Can view, add, update, delete, approve and customize the site.
- To edit – Can add, edit and delete lists. Can view, add, update, and delete list items and documents.
- Contribute – Can view, add, update and delete list items and documents.
- Read – Can view pages and list items and download documents.
Of course, we might want to create a custom permission level. This is an authorization level that is clearly tailored to a specific use case. A large number of authorizations are available for this, which you can read about here. Once this permission level has been created, you can assign this permission level to a specific group or user.
Granting permissions and changing groups
Back on the Advanced Site Permissions page, you can grant permissions to a user or group with a certain level of permission by clicking the Grant Permissions button.
One useful feature is that email-enabled security groups appear in the list. This also applies to nested groups, provided that every group except for the user is activated by email.
After you’ve added someone to a particular group, you can change those settings by navigating to the group itself and clicking the Settings drop-down list.
There are some useful options available in the group settings that you may want to change further. These settings include options such as the group owner, options to view membership (such as public list), and whether group join requests are allowed.
Create a group
There is also the ability to create a group in SharePoint so that you can quickly provision the groups you need to share access. All you need to do is provide a name, description, owner, membership settings, and requirement settings, and you’re good to go. Finally, specify the level of access you want to assign to the group. This includes any custom layers you have created.
SharePoint offers a flexible and useful set of solutions for formatted and powerful data exchange. While the permissions look deceptively simple, there is some complexity in managing these permissions in large environments. The skills and tools shown here provide a solid foundation for everything you need to build a robust and manageable SharePoint environment in the future!