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Working with permissions

From: SharePoint 2010 Getting Started

Video: Working with permissions

Every time you visit a SharePoint site, SharePoint will check to see who you are. SharePoint cares about permissions. Some people can just read a particular SharePoint site, some people can edit things on the site, some can do everything, including creating new sites, and deleting others, and some people may not be allowed to see it at all. This affects everything that you do in SharePoint. One of the reasons that you want to be flexible about some of the options you're expecting to see is your permissions can change that. For example, I'm signed on to this Team Site here as what's called an Owner. That means I have full control over this site. I can do anything.

Working with permissions

Every time you visit a SharePoint site, SharePoint will check to see who you are. SharePoint cares about permissions. Some people can just read a particular SharePoint site, some people can edit things on the site, some can do everything, including creating new sites, and deleting others, and some people may not be allowed to see it at all. This affects everything that you do in SharePoint. One of the reasons that you want to be flexible about some of the options you're expecting to see is your permissions can change that. For example, I'm signed on to this Team Site here as what's called an Owner. That means I have full control over this site. I can do anything.

When I click my Site Actions menu, I see all sorts of different options here: Edit the Page, create a New Page, create a New Site, and even coming down I can say Site Permissions, Give people access to this site. I'm going to switch to a different browser. In this browser, I'm looking at the same site and the same address, but I'm signed on as a different person with different permissions. And if I go over to my Site Actions menu here, I get precisely one option: View All Site Content, because this person is on this site as what's called a Reader.

That means they can just read. They can't change anything. While it does look quite similar on this Home page, if I were to go to my Task list, for example, I don't have the ability to add anything new. I don't see the link that says add a new task, because I can only read. I still often get the Ribbon, but you'll notice that just about everything is grayed out. I can Connect this list to Outlook. We'll see what that does a little later on, but things like List Settings I cannot affect.

The only things I can do with it are read level passive pieces of information. I can E-mail a Link to this library. I can set up an RSS Feed. These are all looking at it, not changing it. So, SharePoint cares very much about who you are. And this permission is not global. This is site level. You might have Read Permissions on one site, and Full Permissions on another site, and No Permissions at all on a third site. Your menus and your options will look different based on what you're allowed to do.

What happens is that, by default, when a SharePoint site is created, it makes three groups. Those groups are called Visitors, Members, and Owners. Now, I'm actually an Owner on this site. How do I know? Well, I made it. And if I made this site I'm an owner of it. But when I look at my Site Actions here, and I see that I have an option that says Site Permissions: Give people access to this site. I'm going to click that. It takes me to a different page that's called the Permissions page, where I see at the top I've got Example Team Site Members, Example Team Site Owners, Example Team Site Visitors.

If I were to be in the Members Group, and there is nobody in there right now, members would have contribute permissions to SharePoint site, Example Team Site. That means you could change the site. You could change attach. You could edit a calendar entry. If you were in the Owners Group, and right now the only person in the Owners Group is me, I cannot only do anything in this site, but I can also create new sites from this site. I'm going to go back. If I look at the Visitors Group, the only person in that group is Gini Paxon who is the one I'm signed on as on the other browser.

Visitors have Read Permissions. They can just read. That affects everything that they see on that site. So, what can I do? Well, I could change that. If I were to decide to go into the Members Group and add Gini here, I'm going to click the New button to say Add Users to this group. I'm going to type her name. Click the little button to Check it. Yeah let's find her. We OK. This is an instant affect. I'm going to go back to the other browser where I'm signed on as Gini and refresh this page.

It doesn't look visually much different. But if I click my Site Actions menu where I had one option, I now have several. I can edit the page. I can create a new page. I can view all site content. I still don't have as many as I have, but I have more than I had before. If I come down on the page, I'll see that I now have the ability to Add a document to my Shared Documents library. If I switch back to the other browser and change the settings again, and this time put Gini in the Owners Group, go back over to her browser and Refresh her page.

Here it shouldn't be a surprise what's going to happen in the Site Actions menu. I get the ability to do everything, including creating a new site if I wanted to. And here's the thing to understand. You don't have to tell SharePoint what users exist. SharePoint already knows that. When your System Administrators hooked it, up they connected it to your existing user database. Often that's in a technological called Active Directory, though sometimes that may be in other things like Lotus Notes, or Novell. But what it means is SharePoint knows what users exist in the system.

It just doesn't care. As you get more and more permissions, and more and more capabilities in SharePoint, you'll find that adding people to a site will become part of your job. I didn't have to tell SharePoint that Gini existed. I have to tell SharePoint what was Gini in this site, was she an Owner, a Visitor, or a Member, or none of the above? Now, if you don't have the ability to change people, you may need to request access to be able to view certain sites in SharePoint, because from top to bottom SharePoint cares about who you are, and what you're allowed to do, and that let's you collaborate and put your content in SharePoint understanding that it will be secure.

That if you create a site and add five people to it, only those five people will be able to use that site.

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SharePoint 2010 Getting Started

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