Tuesday, December 2, 2014

SharePoint Permission tool

One of the biggest challenges people have when working with SharePoint is permissions. As the growth of SharePoint Online continues with Office 365 the management of SharePoint securities becomes even more important. This is because SharePoint Online makes sharing with people inside AND outside your organisation easy.

Any administrator of SharePoint will tell you that getting a good grasp of the overall permissions across all SharePoint sites, sub sites and document libraries is a major challenge. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of tools that allow you to easily catalogue these permissions. The tools that are available are generally aimed at the enterprise and come with an enterprise price tag.

That’s why I was excited to test the new SharePoint Online Permission tool from Australian Within Reach Software. I’ve known David Perks the principal at Within Reach Software for many years and applauded the opportunity he has grabbed around developing software for SharePoint Online.

Full disclosure here, I was provided with a free eval copy of the SharePoint Online Permission tool to play with, having lamented many times to David about the lack of something to perform this task.

You can find out more about the package at:

http://www.withinreach.com.au/Pages/SharePoint%20Services/SharePoint-Online-Permission-Tool.aspx

The first step after you purchase the product is to install it in your SharePoint Online app catalogue. Here is how you do that:

Once it is installed you can then add it any site as you would any other SharePoint Online app.

image

Once you select the app it will then take a few moments to catalogue your SharePoint Online set up and return with the following page:

image

You can alter the options to report by certain Site Collection and Site as well as filter by user. In this case I simply elect to show the report.

image

That creates a display like you see above. You’ll note that it has hyperlinks to the relevant Site Collection, Site and List or Library to allow quick navigation. It provides a really great break down of all the securities in place. This makes it simple as an administrator to review and change these if necessary.

image

Where I think the product really shines is when you change the output to be to an downloadable Excel file. Using the power of tables in Excel you can easily slice and dice the information to display the results any way you need. This also makes it easy to build in depth models to ensure your permissions are correct.

I think what David and team have created here is fantastic and something that is sorely needed for admins. I also think that for an annual subscription of only AU$295 it is very cost effective when you compare it to other solutions out there. I’d like to see the web output become as powerful as that from Excel and perhaps the option to dig into users OneDrive for Business in future versions but I know both of these options are quite challenging, yet I am sure David and the team are working hard on adding additional functionality.

So, if you need a tool to report on your SharePoint Online permissions (and who doesn’t) then you can’t go past this cost effective solution from With Reach Software. I would suggest that by purchasing this product you are supporting a great Australian software business that is really taking advantage of the opportunity products like SharePoint Online offer. In order for business like Within Reach to continue to create handy solutions like this, they need your support. So please support them with your purchasing or letting others know, as I have done here.