Windows Small Business Server 2011 : Customizing a SharePoint Site - Introducing SharePoint Foundation 2010

11/18/2013 8:06:57 PM

SharePoint Foundation is a web-based collaboration and document-management system that is easily and quickly deployed to provide an effective intranet solution for businesses of all sizes. In SBS, SharePoint is installed automatically, and an internal website (http://companyweb), shown in Figure 1, is created and configured with a range of features that make sense for small businesses.

Figure 1. The default internal website for SBS 2011 Standard

The main center pane of Companyweb has a section for announcements and a calendar section. On the left pane are links into other main areas of the website, including document libraries, the Fax Center, calendar and tasks lists, a team discussion area, and a photo library. These items are generally available from other pages of the website, giving you quick access without having to navigate back to the home page. On the right side of the page is the Links pane, a place to put links to important external resources or applications that users can run.

The starting Companyweb site is a good starting point, but there are plenty of ways you can extend it and add additional features and sections without having to be a web developer. Of course, if you are a web developer, you can use myriad options to create additional features and functionality.

1. Understanding SharePoint Items

Let’s start by looking at the pieces that can make up a SharePoint site:

  • Libraries Libraries come in various formats, including

    • Document libraries for storing and collaborating on documents, including basic versioning features

    • Picture libraries for storing photos and graphics

    • Form libraries for storing InfoPath form templates

    • Wiki page libraries that let you build interactive, basic wiki sites

  • Lists Lists come in various formats for presenting and storing list-based information, including

    • Communications lists such as announcements and contacts

    • Tracking lists such as links, calendar, and tasks

    • Custom lists, including a datasheet view

  • Web pages Web pages include a basic web page, sites, and workplaces or a web parts page.

  • Discussions A list type used to build a basic forum for ongoing collaborative discussions.

  • Tasks Tasks come in both basic tasks lists and project tasks that include Gantt chart functionality to graphically track project status.

2. Understanding SharePoint Roles

SharePoint has five basic permission levels on a site: Full Control, Design, Contribute, Read, and Limited Access. In SBS 2011 Standard, there are three security groups defined for SharePoint permissions: Windows SBS SharePoint_VisitorsGroup, Windows SBS SharePoint_MembersGroup, and Windows SBS SharePoint_OwnersGroup. These correspond to three SharePoint site roles for the default Companyweb site: CompanyWeb Visitors, CompanyWeb Members, and CompanyWeb Owners.

The CompanyWeb Visitors group has only the Windows SBS SharePoint_VisitorsGroup as a member. This group can read but can’t edit the site or its contents, nor can members of the group add discussion items. By default, no SBS users are in the Windows SBS SharePoint_VisitorsGroup, though you can move users into it.

The CompanyWeb Members group has only the Windows SBS SharePoint_MembersGroup as a member. This group has Design permissions and can read, write to, and contribute to the Companyweb site, including posting to discussions and customizing the site. By default, all user accounts with the Standard User role and Standard User With Administrative Links role are part of this group.

The CompanyWeb Owners group has only the Windows SBS SharePoint_OwnersGroup as a member. This group has full administrative rights on the Companyweb site and can create new workspaces, change user and site permissions, and create new user roles and permissions. By default, all Network Administrators are part of this group.

The CompanyWeb Members group is a powerful group that has the ability to change the look and feel of your Companyweb site; can add or delete sections, documents, or articles; and generally has very nearly the full power of the Owners, with the sole exception of not being able to control the permissions of other users. As shown in Figure 2, there is a lesser level of permissions called Contribute—which still allows users to view, add, and update content but doesn’t give them full design capabilities. We think this is a more appropriate role for most users, and you should consider changing the default permissions for CompanyWeb Members to Contribute instead of Design.

Figure 2. The default permissions for CompanyWeb Members are Design permissions

To change the permissions for all of CompanyWeb Members, follow these steps:

  1. Log on to the Companyweb site with an account that has Owners permissions.

  2. On the main Companyweb page, select Site Permissions from the Site Actions drop-down list to open the Permissions page shown in Figure 3.

    Figure 3. The Permissions: Companyweb page of the Companyweb site

  3. Select the CompanyWeb Members check box, and then click Edit User Permissions on the ribbon to open the Edit Permissions page shown in Figure 4.

    Figure 4. The Edit Permissions page for CompanyWeb Members

  4. Clear the Design – Can View, Add, Update, Delete, Approve, And Customize check box; and select the Contribute – Can View, Add, Update, And Delete List Items And Documents check box.

  5. Click OK to return to the Permissions: Companyweb page.

From the Permissions: Companyweb page, you can also create a new group and assign permissions and users to it, or directly add users and assign them permissions. These permissions are carried throughout the site. We strongly recommend that you not start assigning permissions to individual users but stick to the three roles. If there are users who need Design permissions but who should not be full site Owners, you should create an additional group named CompanyWeb Designers specifically for them.

To edit the permissions for a particular section of the Companyweb site, open that section of the site and then select Settings from the Settings drop-down list. Here you can customize the particular section and edit the permissions for the section. As an example, let’s modify the permissions of the default Shared Documents library to allow our user “Alfie” to have full control of the library, using these steps:

  1. Open http://Companyweb if it isn’t already open.

  2. Click Shared Documents in the left pane to open the Shared Documents page, shown in Figure 5.

    Figure 5. The Shared Documents library of the default Companyweb site

  3.   Click Library on the ribbon, and then click the Edit Permissions button to open the Permission Tools tab shown in Figure 6.

    Figure 6. The Permission Tools tab for the Shared Documents library

  4. Click Stop Inheriting Permissions to enable setting unique permissions for this library, which inherits permissions by default from the parent site. You’ll be warned that this will disable inheritance, as shown in Figure 7.

    Figure 7. Disabling permission inheritance for a document library


    IMPORTANT This is a good time to emphasize that when you change permissions on a portion of a site, you lose the inheritance that makes it easy to keep track of what permissions are granted. If you do need to change permissions as we are in this example, be sure to clearly document the changes. Or resist the temptation and find another way to manage things. It is possible, however, to revert to inherited permissions.

  5. Select the group that you want to set permissions for, as shown in Figure 8.

    Figure 8. The Shared Documents library now has unique permissions

  6. Click the button that corresponds to the permission change you want to make. You can re-enable inherited permissions, grant specific permissions to individuals or groups, edit the existing permissions, deny permissions, or check the permissions settings for a role.

  7. Click Edit to open the Edit Permissions dialog box to change the permissions for this library for the role you have selected, as shown in Figure 9.

    Figure 9. Setting the Shared Documents library to allow Full Control permissions for CompanyWeb Members

  8. Click Grant Permissions on the ribbon to open the Grant Permissions dialog box shown in Figure 10. From here you can add individual users or groups, bypassing the default roles in SBS 2011.

    Figure 10. The Add Users: Shared Documents page

  9. Type Alfie in the Users/Groups box, and click the Check Names button in the lower right of the box. SharePoint verifies the user and substitutes his full name, Alfredo Fettuccine.

  10. Select Full Control – Has Full Control from the Grant Users Permission Directly section.

  11. If you want to send Alfie an email message telling him that he’s in charge now, select the Send Welcome E-mail To The New Users check box and edit the message as appropriate.

  12. Click OK to make the change and return to the Permissions: Shared Documents page shown in Figure 11, where Alfie now has full control.

Figure 11. The Permissions: Shared Documents page of the Companyweb site

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