Using SharePoint Request Access Fully


The other day I was surprised by the way an individual was managing their SharePoint solution when it came to user requests for more permissions, additional permissions, or enhanced permissions.

This individual was taking all requests manually and often the users requesting wouldn’t know where they needed the access. The individual would communicate for several minutes of correspondence until it was clear where the individual was working and needed more access in. I pointed out the “Request Access” link in the user’s welcome drop down and how it could help save lots of time since it lets him know automatically what site the user was in when requesting access. (Extremely important considering how many site collections he had, all managed by different users.)

I have decided to write a quick user help guide for this now in the hopes that it saves someone else time in the future, and to point out that anyone defining their governance and how permission requests are handled should base it around the built in functionality of SharePoint as this will save many man hours of communication that can be handled and facilitated by the system. Keep in mind that business requirements like approval from managers should still be considered, and that this recommendation is simply to use the automation of SharePoint and it’s features to help facilitate that.

For the End User:
When you are viewing any site in SharePoint you always have the option to request the site administrator for higher permission levels (especially helpful if you don’t know who the administrator for that site is). You can do this by following these steps:

  1. Click on the “Welcome <<Your Name>>” drop down on the top right of the page.
  2. Select request access.
    requestaccess
  3. Fill out the details of your request and click Send Request.
    requestaccessreason

At this point the site administrator will be sent an email request from you and will act upon it appropriately (I hope :P).

By Default when a user goes to a site that they do not have permissions to see they will see an automatic request access page similar to the one shown above. Here is a screen shot of the page which you can see has a Request Access link that goes to a request access page.

accessauto1

requestaccessreason

For the SharePoint Administrator:
The site administrator can be changed and checked by going to any sites’ permissions page. This page will only display the following option if it is set to not inherit permissions from the site above, otherwise it uses the site above’s access request email.

accessrequestadmin

accessadminname

Keep in mind that these sort of SharePoint features are designed to save you time and that if properly trained on them your users can do more and more self management decreasing the load on your SharePoint administrators.

Hope this helps,
Richard Harbridge

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6 Comments on “Using SharePoint Request Access Fully”

  1. Tom Says:

    What we want to do is allow someone to come in anonymously to the site and then requests access to a document library or other part of the site. We can’t seem to do this using anonymous access. Is there a way to do this?? When we come in using anonymous we are NOT able to see a “requests access” page. Any help will be appreciated. We only have WSS 3.0 not MOSS 2007.

    • rharbridge Says:

      Unfortunately there is no way to do this out of the box. Since the page requires a user account to identify with in order to determine whether they must request access or not.

      You can however build your own application page, a simple one that takes a query string of the page where it was launched from and submits (using impersonation) an email or item in a list for an administrator to review and provide access. This submission process would require the anonymous user to give all the information necessary to allow the administrator to make a user account. **Basically it is useless because they would pretty much be creating an account in order to see a ‘secure’ section.

      To be honest, the best solution here is to just have EXTERNAL users or anonymous users come in using forms authentication. If they have an account then they will be able to see this option and be able to request access to the site, list or library 🙂

      The forms authentication solutions on codeplex work with WSS (I have used them) and with minor tweaking can allow anonymous users to sign up for accounts etc, and then everything would work out of the box.

      • raman Says:

        Hi we have developed a portal using forms authentication, but we couldnt enable the request access in our site , we are doing it manually by maintaining in Excel sheet , Please let me know the steps or an idea how to do the request for access in forms authentication , like if there is a new user who wants to visit our site and who wants the login credentials , how can we do the process automatically .

      • rharbridge Says:

        I am not 100% sure of what you are going for. From what I am reading here what you need is a way for non authenticated users to create accounts?

        My best advice is to use the Community Kit Forms Authentication Solution to provide you with a considerable amount more forms authentication management and support: http://cks.codeplex.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ReleaseId=17901

        Once you get that going if your issue still exists please let me know,
        Richard Harbridge

  2. rharbridge Says:

    Errr I meant forms authentication management solutions on codeplex. (So you can manage users, provide change password functionality, etc etc

  3. Claire Says:

    Another way to solve the Request Access problem….

    On my portal, we have a number of sub-sites, which are appropriate to a number of groups of people.

    I have set up a webpart with links to the sub-site request access page, e.g. click here to request access to SubSite One – Obviously, if a user has not been assigned access to the site, then they are taken to the Request Access page.


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