Manage permission policies for a Web application


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With the above, site hierarchy (250 site collections) in place one of my colleague had a requirement of assigning all Navantis employees a read access to all the sites within a web application. since creating specific groups at each site level became a daunting task, I proposed a solution to manage the permission at Web application level.

Now lets see some theories…. 

A Web application is composed of an Internet Information Services (IIS) Web site that acts as a logical container for the site collections that you create. Before you can create a site collection, you must create a Web application.

A Web application can contain as many as 250,000 site collections. Managing permissions for so many site collections can be complicated and error-prone, especially if some users or groups need permissions other than those that apply for the entire Web application.

Permission policies provide a centralized way to configure and manage a set of permissions that applies to only a subset of users or groups in a Web application.

The differences between specifying user permissions for a Web application and creating a permission policy for a Web application are the users and groups to which the permissions apply and the scope at which the permissions apply. There is also a difference in the permissions lists where individual permissions are selected.

Manage user permission policy

You can add users to a permission policy, edit the policy settings, and delete users from a permission policy. The following settings can be specified or changed:

  • Zone: If a Web site has multiple zones, you can choose the zone that you want the permission policy to apply to. The default is all zones, which can be specified for Windows users only.
  • Permissions: You can specify Full Control, Full Read, Deny Write, and Deny All permissions, or you can specify a custom permission level.
  • System: This setting enables SharePoint to display SHAREPOINT\System for system-related activity regardless of the Windows user accounts that have been configured for the hosting application pool and the SharePoint farm service account. You might want to specify this setting to prevent unnecessary information disclosure to end users and potential hackers who would be interested in knowing more about the SharePoint deployment in the enterprise.
Add users to a permission policy

You might want to add users to a permission policy to ensure that all users are accessing content with the same set of permissions.

To add users to a permission policy
  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    • You must be a member of the Farm Administrators group on the computer that is running the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.
  2. On the Central Administration Web site, in the Application Management section, click Manage web applications.

  3. Click to highlight the line for the Web application whose permission policy you want to manage.

  4. In the Policy group of the ribbon, click User Policy.

  5. In the Policy for Web Application dialog box, select the check box next to the user or group that you want to manage, and then click Add Users.

  6. In the Add Users dialog box, in the Zone list, click the zone to which you want the permission policy to apply.

  7. In the Choose Users section, type the user names, group names, or e-mail addresses that you want to add to the permission policy. You can also click the applicable icon to check a name or browse for names.

  8. In the Choose Permissions section, select the permissions that you want the users to have.

  9. In the Choose System Settings section, check Account operates as System if you want to specify whether a user account should be displayed as SHAREPOINT\System instead of the actual accounts that perform specific tasks within the SharePoint environment.

  10. Click Finish.

Manage permission policy for anonymous users

You can enable or disable anonymous access for a Web application. If you enable anonymous access for a Web application, site administrators can then grant or deny anonymous access at the site collection, site, or item level. If anonymous access is disabled for a Web application, no sites within that Web application can be accessed by anonymous users.

The following permission policies can be specified for anonymous users:

  1. None: No policy is specified. This setting gives anonymous users the same default permissions available to NT AUTHORITY\Authenticated Users and All Authenticated Users.
  2. Deny Write: This setting permits anonymous users to read all content within the site collections in a Web application. You can then restrict the Read access by site collection, site, or item.
  3. Deny All: Anonymous users have no access to any part of the Web application.
To manage permission policy for anonymous users
  1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

    • You must be a member of the Farm Administrators group on the computer that is running the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.
  2. On the Central Administration Web site, in the Application Management section, click Manage web applications.

  3. Click to highlight the line for the Web application whose permission policy you want to manage.

  4. In the Policy group of the ribbon, click Anonymous Policy.

  5. In the Anonymous Access Restrictions dialog box, in the Zone list, click the zone for which you want the policy to apply.

  6. In the Permissions section, select the permission policy that you want anonymous users to have, and then click Save.

  7. Manage permission policy levels

    Permission policy levels contain permissions that apply to specific users or groups. You can specify a combination of List, Site, or Personal permissions. You can also specify one of the following levels of site collection permissions:

    • Site Collection Administrator: Has Full Control permission on the entire site collection and can perform any action on any object.
    • Site Collection Auditor: Has Full Read permission on the entire site collection and associated data, such as permissions and configuration information.

    If you specify either or both of these permission levels, you cannot specify individual permissions.

    Add a permission policy level

    You can create a permission policy level to customize a set of permissions for a specific group or organization.

    To add a permission policy level
    1. Verify that you have the following administrative credentials:

      • You must be a member of the Farm Administrators group on the computer that is running the SharePoint Central Administration Web site.
    2. On the Central Administration Web site, in the Application Management section, click Manage web applications.

    3. Click to highlight the line for the Web application whose permission policy you want to manage.

    4. In the Policy group of the ribbon, click Permission Policy.

    5. In the Manage Permission Policy Levels dialog box, click Add Permission Policy Level.

    6. In the Add Permission Policy Level dialog box, in the Name and Description section, type the name and description for the policy that you want to create.

    7. In the Site Collection Permissions section, select the site collection permissions for this policy.

    8. In the Permissions section, select the permissions to grant or deny for this permission level.

      • Select the Grant All check box to include all available permissions in this policy.
      • Select the Deny All check box to deny all available permissions in this policy.
      • Select either the Grant or Deny check boxes to include or exclude individual List, Site, and Personal permissions from this policy.
        Do not click either Grant or Deny if you want to allow site collection or site owners to configure this permission.
    9. Click Save.

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Example – To add a permission policy level

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