Part 2: In my previous post I talked about micro managing SharePoint environments, just because we don’t trust people. Getting to grips with what SharePoint is capable of will grow your trust in its ability to micro manage the daily inconsistencies, on your behalf. If you’re even close to being as big an OCD control freak as I am – you’ll know that this is easier said than done.


Time to build: n/a
Audience: End User and Super User
(End User, Super User, SharePoint Designer, SharePoint System Administrator, Web (.NET) Developer)
Level of fun: Relaxing Fun
(Challenging, Accommodating, and Relaxing Fun)

Every day I come across environments / solutions that could be simplified and I DO understand how difficult it is to convince a user to trust a system they don’t know yet. Just telling them doesn’t help either – you have to show them.

Some of the weapons in my private arsenal includes:
Alerts (I covered this in Part 1)
Content Types
Customized permissions
Disabling Quick Edit
Folders with permissions
Item-level Permissions
Restore from recycle bin
Training, training, training
Site Columns
Version Control

Today’s secret weapon is applying permissions to folders. And seeing as I don’t work with BIG DATA – this is also the only time I use folders.

Example for this post: Company needs a place to store completed performance appraisal Excel spreadsheets. All departments will use this functionality and the metadata for all will be the same – for e.g. name + department + date + job title + score. Complexity = HR Admin officials uploading the docs are not allowed to see the other department’s docs, but their managers must see everything. (Yes I know – you can use the Content Query Web Part to Rollup Data as well).

I would build one library with all the necessary metadata columns. In this library I will add a folder for each department. For the library I will only give read access to all. On each folder I will break inheritance and apply contribution permission for that department only as well as read permissions for the whole management team. Remember to write a view which shows all items without folders and make this the default view. When any of the HR Admin officials go to the library – they will only see the content which they’ve uploaded inside their own department folders. Management will see all of the content (excluding the folders). Keep in mind that any content uploaded “outside” of folders will not be visible in this view – this is why it’s important to only give Read access to the library.

Note: You will achieve the same result (without folders) if you applied Item level permissions (user can only read / edit items that they created) – but then you’ll have to give the Management Team – Design rights so they can see everything. I will give more details on this in one of my future posts.

For a step by step guide on how to build this performance appraisal library and apply permissions to folders, read The lighter side of Microsoft #19: Using metadata, filtered views and alerts in SharePoint as a ‘reporting tool’ and The lighter side of Microsoft #8: SharePoint Libraries with folder permissions

Voila!! Go forth and be awesome.

Eat Sleep SharePoint Repeat