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The Method of Requesting and Granting Site Access in SharePoint 2013 Is an Enhancement to Security

In this, our fourth post on topics included in a webinar recently offered by Asif Rehmani to the general public on User Interfaces in SharePoint 2013, we need to speak to a substantially broadened set of sharing capabilities, as reflected in the Preview of SharePoint 2013, and SharePoint site security. As Asif Rehmani notes, effectively empowering users to share within the context of a secure SharePoint work space has always been a problem. This problem, one can argue, has served as an impediment to the implementation of SharePoint within organizations where, in fact, the platform has been available for use.

One feature of this problem has been that sharing requests for SharePoint have not been collected into a central repository for Administrative review and action. As Asif Rehmani notes, the “conversations” feature of SharePoint 2013 provides Administrators with an ability to actually reply to these sharing requests, thereby providing users with a personalized response method that promises to promote collaboration. At the top level site of a Site Collection a new clickable link has been added to the Site Settings page, “Access Requests and Invitations”. Once this link is clicked, all of the access requests will be displayed, along with any pending Guest invitations that may require administrative action. Each access request appears as a clickable link. Once a link is clicked, the request is displayed as a “conversation”, which includes a text form box for a reply to the request, which will require administrative action. An administrator also has an ability to approve or decline requests directly from this feauture.

The access requests and administrative replies are actually sent as email messages. Asif Rehmani notes that supporting dialogue about access requests via email messages is a “good thing”. In fact, administrators can send as many messages as may be required to ascertain, conclusively, whether it makes sense to grant users access, or not, through email. Taking the time to drill down to important details via an email exchange will go a long way towards legitimizing user requests for site access, not to mention overall satisfaction with SharePoint, itself.

We do need to note that another poorly worded function can be found in the “Share” dialog, which looks as if any site member can extend an invitation to share a site to anyone else. In reality, the dialog amounts to no more than a method that a site member can use to request that administration send an invitation to a named contact.

It is worth noting that 87% of our audience for this webinar felt that the site access request feature of SharePoint 2013, as presented, constituted a sustantial enhancement to site security for the platform.

If you are impressed with the depth of detail presented by Asif Rehmani in this webinar, you ought to visit SharePoint-Videos to explore further. We are confident that you will find our site to present as highly unique, and thoroughly detailed set of video training content on a wide range of SharePoint functionality. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you care to learn further about anything that we offer. You can either telephone us at +1 630-786-7026 or contact us via email, we will be happy to learn more about your specific objectives, relative to SharePoint, for your organization.

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