Sharing and permissions in SharePoint.
Do you want to share a folder or file with your organization or with external users? Then SharePoint is the best way to do it. You can share a site, file, folder, and document in SharePoint by modifying a few permission settings. Initially, SharePoint was a site used for collaboration, but now after being a part of the Microsoft 365 group, it is capable of much more.
Initially, the site permissions in SharePoint are managed by groups within sites like owners, visitors, and members. Even though SharePoint has emerged with a lot of additional features, some site permissions are still the same.
Three main sites in SharePoint:
- Team sites
- Hub sites
- Communication sites
- Team sites: Team sites are the ones that provide collaboration for teams and projects. The Microsoft 365 group manages the permissions for these sites. By default, each site is a part of the Microsoft 365 group, including a shared calendar, mailbox, and other collaboration tools.
- Communication sites: Communication sites are used for sharing news and status in the organization. The permissions to these sites are managed by the SharePoint owners, members, and visitors’ groups for the site.
- Hub sites: The Hub sites are configured to provide a connection between related sites through shared navigation. The permissions to these sites are managed by the owners, visitors, and members groups or through the associated Microsoft group if there is one. Special permissions are needed to connect sites to the hub.
Permissions for sites:
1. Team sites permissions:
Microsoft 365 group is a part of Microsoft 365 services, and this group includes the SharePoint site, Yammer, shared calendar, mailbox, and other services. So, when you add members or owners to the Microsoft 365 group, they get access to every site under that group by default.
You can change the permissions separately for the SharePoint site by using SharePoint groups. But if that is the case, group members will continue to have access to the site. Or, if you add members directly to the site, then no member will have access to the group services. To avoid these things, you have to choose the ‘view-only access’ option. Microsoft 365 groups do not have a view-only access option so the users you wish to have view access should be added directly to the visitor’s group on the site
2. Communication sites permissions:
Communication sites use the standard SharePoint permissions groups and are not connected with Microsoft 365 groups. Standard groups are:
Communication sites are small member groups that create content for the site. There are many visitors to this site to share information with. You can give permissions to the site by adding individual users, security groups, or Microsoft 365 groups to one of the SharePoint groups. The visitor’s group is the best one to use for security groups. You can add as many users as you want to the security groups because it is the easiest one.
3. Hub sites permissions:
Hub site permissions depend on the type of site it is created from. If it is a group-connected team site, then you should manage permissions through the Microsoft 365 groups. If it is a communication site, you have to manage permissions through the SharePoint groups.
The site owners and members connected with the hub can create content on their individual sites. The SharePoint admin needs to specify the permissions of which users can connect other sites to the hub. These permissions have to be done in the SharePoint admin center, and no one can change them.
External sharing in SharePoint.
SharePoint allows you to control the sharing settings at the organization level and site level. If the user wants to share content at a site level, external sharing must be enabled at an organization level.
Modify the organization-level external sharing settings in SharePoint by following the steps below:
- Log in to SharePoint online with the account that has admin permissions.
- In the SharePoint admin center, expand the sharing option.
- Go to the external sharing section and click on your desired sharing option.
- The default option is ‘Anyone.’ Apart from that, you can also choose ‘New and existing users,’ ‘Existing users,’ and ‘Only people in your organization.’
- Anyone – Anyone with the link can access your file or folder information.
- New and existing users – This feature requires a sign-in. If you share a file under this feature, they need to sign in with their Office 365 account or provide a verification identity.
- Existing users – You can only share with the people already in your directory.
- Only people – Only the people in your organization. This feature disables external sharing.
Once the desired option is selected, you can now make changes at the organization level for external sharing.
Steps for ‘document sharing’ in SharePoint Online.
- Go to the SharePoint document library and select the document you want to share.
- Once you select the document, the share option will display at the top. Click on that to view the further options.
- It displays four options:
- Anyone with the link
- People in the organization with the link
- People with existing access
- Specific people
- Select one among them and check if Allow editing is enabled. Do it as per your requirement.
- If you select the first option, ‘Anyone with the link,’ you will have a choice to choose the expiration date for the link.
- Click Apply after selecting the desired settings. The settings will be saved, and you can copy the link and share it through any mode of communication.
- A third party will receive it for acceptance. Once they accept it, they can access the file by using a trusted email Id or verification code.
- In this case, the third-party acceptance is for all three options except ‘Anyone with this link.’
Steps to ‘share a site’ in SharePoint Online.
The steps to share a site in SharePoint online are very similar with only a minute difference. Let us see the difference and detailed instructions on how to share a site in SharePoint Online.
The difference in sharing comes with three types of sites to share in SharePoint online. Communication sites, Classic sites, and Office 365 group-connected team sites.
- For the communication site, go to the site you want to share and click ‘share site’ option in the top right corner.
- Enter the names of users or groups you want to share the site with and click show options to modify the permission level.
- Set the permission level you want and click share.
- For classic sites, go to the classic SharePoint site you want to share and click share site, which is in the top right corner.
- Enter the names and set the permission level before clicking on the share button. Ensure that the settings chosen are per your requirement and click share.
SharePoint Online vs Office 365 will let you know more about the Office 365 and SharePoint online features. For Office 365 group-connected team sites, it is a little different after sharing. The process of sharing is the same until the end, but the third party will receive an invitation once you click the share button. Once they accept the invitation, they start receiving all the information shared in the group like emails, calendars, and even Yammer. They get access to the site and content connected to the group.