To let or not to let that is the question – apps and permissions in Office 365 SharePoint Online

Quick tip for SharePoint Online site owners who are trying to decide what level of access should they(or should they?) give to site users.

While it’s true that with the right level of access any Office 365 user can create an app with click of a button in SharePoint,  it’s very crucial to control what gets created/added to site for ensuring a secure environment and manageable/scalable collaboration content- especially in the long run(few years/months/weeks and worst case scenario-days!)

Before deciding whether or not to allow a site user to create/edit/modify contents in your SharePoint site, as an owner with Full-Control, one should ask oneself these questions,

  • Is it safe?
  • Is it scalable?
  • Is it manageable?
  • Does it save time(theirs and/or yours)?

If the answer was ‘No’ or ‘Not Sure’ for any of the above questions, I don’t think its a good idea to allow that level of access for your site users.  Site user could be a student or staff or any user who has  a business need to visit your site on a regular basis for their tasks and site collaboration requirements.

Here is a quick snapshot of Office 365 SharePoint Online levels of permissions

Office 365, SharePoint Online Site Permissions

You can see that to add apps in SharePoint Online site, a user needs a minimum of ‘Contribute‘ level access. To create sub-site(based on any custom or out-of-the-box template) a user needs to have ‘Full-Control‘.

With great power does come great responsibility.  So, should you decide to share your power and make your site users powerful too, make sure they are responsible as well, for if they aren’t, we would need loads of time/resources to fix what could get broken even if(almost always) accidentally!

What could be broken? Well, depending on each environment it varies of-course. But, immaterial of any environment what could be broken is content  ‘Permission Inheritance‘. What is that? Oh boy! I don’t think we should really give anyone access to anything in your site, until that is clear!

I recently had the privilege of attending a session at the recent SharePoint Saturday DC in Reston(#spsdc) that reaffirmed many of my learning from observations, trial & errors and subsequent fixes that I had to implement this past year and half since I began my Office 365 and SharePoint Online admin & implementation in our organization.

Session was by @BobbyChang and here is his slide-share deck for your essential reading pleasure! 🙂

Creating content for collaboration in SharePoint is pretty easy, but if we don’t have a plan and work our plan, things could get out of hand very quickly, just as it does in any aspect of our lives. Prevention is always better than cure. 😉

All that warnings said and aside, we all know how much time our cloud collaboration saves us and how easy it has made our lives. So, have fun collaborating in the cloud(classroom/staff) with Office365 and SharePoint Online!

Collaborate on the cloud with Office 365
Collaborate on the cloud with Office 365

#bestpractices, #office365-4, #permission-2, #sharepoint-3, #spsdc, #office-365, #sharepoint-online

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