Copying and Transferring SharePoint Permissions Simplified
Copying and transferring SharePoint Permissions should not be complicated.
But it is…
For more than 15 years, I have had a sense of dread every time I receive a request related to SharePoint permissions. The worst requests are those from HR, when a new person joins an organisation and needs the same permissions as another user. Equally painful are the requests to transfer the permissions assigned to a user either because they are leaving the organisation or moving to a different role.
These requests should not be complicated and it should be possible to complete them with confidence in a matter or minutes. And it would be even better if these tasks could be delegated to the IT helpdesk, Site Owners or even authorised users in the HR department.
But right now, these tasks are just too complicated.
The Complexities of SharePoint Permissions
The challenge with the described permissions tasks is threefold:
Firstly, in an individual Site, it is not straightforward to see all of the permissions assigned to a user. It could be that the user is granted access to the Site directly, as part of a SharePoint group, as a membership of an AD Group or a combination of these. Also, there may be different permissions objects within the Site, for instance, where a Document Library, List or item may have unique permissions assigned.
The second challenge is that most organisations do not have just one Site where a user is granted permissions, they actually have hundreds, or even thousands. What’s more, the architecture of Modern SharePoint means that in most scenarios, each Site is its own Site Collection. So instead of permissions inheritance, which was common with sub-sites, each SharePoint Site has its own set of permissions. This means any action copy or transfer permissions will have to be done separately on each SharePoint Site.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, all of this assumes there is an easy way natively in SharePoint to copy or transfer permissions. There is not. An admin would be required to go through every SharePoint Site to find where the relevant user has been granted access. They would then need to add the new user with the same permissions in each Site, and in the case of a “transfer” the existing users permissions would need to be deleted from each Site.
I warned you it was painful!
ProvisionPoint Permissions to the Rescue
To address these complications, and make my life less painful, meet ProvisionPoint Permissions:
When running a Discover Permissions report with ProvisionPoint Permissions, it can be done in the context of multiple Sites and with consideration to all objects in each Site. Included are permissions granted as a result of group membership and objects within the Site with unique permissions. Furthermore, the report can be filtered to just show the permissions assigned to a specific user.
The process to copy permissions or transfer permissions is easily done using the action menu in ProvisionPoint Permissions. There are separate actions for Copy and Transfer depending on the nature of the request being made, and if the source user needs to retain their permissions. As part of the action, you can define granular settings to include Lists, SharePoint Groups and Microsoft 365 Groups. Furthermore, every action in ProvisionPoint Permissions supports the option to roll back the change, in case you make a mistake and need to revert. Finally, don’t forget the action is run in the scope of the report so can be performed on multiple sites at once.
The process of copying or transferring permissions in SharePoint is a daunting prospect.
By using ProvisionPoint Permissions, the actions to copy and transfer permissions are made simple. Furthermore, you can do them with confidence, ensuring the change is correctly applied without the risk of manual user error.