Understanding SharePoint Roles

Outlined below are the rights, permissions, capabilities and responsibilities of four kinds of SharePoint users: End Users, Power Users, Site Owners, Site Collection Administrators and SharePoint Farm Administrators. Use these roles as a guide to help you select the SharePoint training that best fits your needs.

End User

This is the most common user, who contributes content to the site, works with documents and list items, but has no responsibility for site configuration and maintenance.

  • Creates content that is stored in a site’s lists and libraries.
  • Creates and edits list items such as announcements, tasks, calendar items, contacts, and useful links.
  • Creates and edits documents using applications such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Uploads documents to document libraries.
  • May be granted permission to delete list items and documents.
  • Participates in workflows.
  • Has little or no responsibility for the design and management of a site.
  • Typically belongs to the site’s Members group with Contribute permissions.

Power User

Has the characteristics and permissions of the End User, plus responsibilities for creating and maintaining components of the site, including lists, libraries, web pages and more.

  • Creates, manages, and customizes lists, libraries and other SharePoint components.
  • Approves list items and documents submitted by other users.
  • Creates and manages web pages (both wiki pages and web part pages) for presenting documents and other site information.
  • Typically has been granted Design permissions on the site.
  • Participates in the design and governance of the site.
  • May be granted permission to use SharePoint Designer for customizing the site visually and functionally.
  • May be granted permission to set permissions for other users.
  • May be responsible for creating and maintaining document templates and content types.
  • May be responsible for creating and maintaining custom workflows.
  • May create and maintain custom forms such as expense reports, travel data, employee feedback and more, for gathering data from users.

Site Owner

Has the characteristics and permissions of the Power User, plus overall control of the site, including designing the site, managing permissions and creating sub-sites.

  • Major difference with a Power User: can create sub-sites and control permissions.
  • Typically belongs to the site’s Owners group with Full Control permissions.
  • Is the content owner of the site.
  • Is responsible for the planning, design, and governance of the site.
  • Creates sub-sites as needed.
  • Manages permissions for site users, controlling access to sites, lists, libraries and other SharePoint components.
  • Creates and maintains groups for managing permissions.
  • Configures the navigation structure of a site.
  • Manages site features such as publishing capabilities, metadata navigation and group work lists.
  • Configures check out and check in, content approval and versioning.
  • Configures the visual theme, title, description and icon of a site.
  • Manages site content types.
  • Adds and configures web parts.
  • Likely to use SharePoint Designer for customizing the site visually and functionally.
  • May have permissions to create custom site templates.
  • May have permissions to create custom list and library templates.

Site Collection Administrator

Has the characteristics and permissions of the Site Owner, plus overall control of a site collection. A site collection is a discrete unit with its own users, permission levels, and features.

  • Is responsible for a group of related sites, a site collection.
  • Has Full Control permission over all sites in the site collection.
  • Oversees and manages site owners, including their permissions.
  • Creates sites and grants ownership and control of them to designated users.
  • Can view, add, delete, or change all content in any site of the site collection.
  • Can change the settings for any site within the site collection.
  • Can add and remove users to and from sites.
  • Manages site collection components, such as site templates and list templates, web parts, site content types, permissions, groups, content and structure, and more.
  • Typically uses SharePoint Designer to edit style sheets, JavaScript, master pages, page layouts, custom web parts, and custom workflows.
  • Possesses almost god-like power over everything and everyone in the site collection.
  • Should therefore be chosen with utmost care and be carefully trained.

SharePoint Farm Administrator

Is the individual in charge of the entire SharePoint installation, controlling all site collections, web applications, storage and maintenance.

  • Is responsible for the SharePoint Farm, comprised of servers, web applications, and site collections.
  • Creates web applications and site collections.
  • Backs up configuration and content databases and restores them as needed.
  • Sets up and configures SharePoint services on the server. These include Excel Services, Access Services, InfoPath Services and many others.
  • Sets up and maintains outgoing and incoming mail services.
  • Manages search services, defining search scopes as needed.
  • Sets up and maintains user profile properties for My Sites.
  • Manages the storage space made available to web applications and site collections.

In-Depth SharePoint Training

For in-depth SharePoint training, click here to view all of Accelebrate's SharePoint training courses for you and your staff.



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