Setting up Site Collection Administrators

The tip that I would like to share with you today is regarding Setting up Site Collection Administrators. Here’s a video you can watch on how to make it happen and explaining the authority of site collection admins.

For some of you, this information might not be that useful since you do this stuff day in and day out as SharePoint server admins. However, my hope is that everyone gets some new information out of it.

Being a site collection administrator is a super important role in organizations. You are not the SharePoint server admin with all the powers over the server, but neither are you a subsite owner or end user. This means that you are probably what I refer to as a Power User. An extremely important role within governing and administering SharePoint sites.

One of the misunderstandings that I have seen people have is that if you are a top level site owner in a site collection, you must be a site collection owner as well. Not true. A site owner (or sometimes refer to as subsite owner) has admin privileges on a site (which very well could be the top level site), but if you go to the Site Settings page and don’t see ‘Site Collection Administration’ section, you are not the site collection administrator.

In my personal opinion, all SharePoint server admins should be very careful whom they appoint as the site collection admins since that’s a pretty heavy responsibility that should not be taken lightly. You cannot take this person’s rights away from seeing All of the information in the site collection. The site owner might go ahead and remove all security groups from a site, but this person will still have access to all data (and that’s a feature by the way, not a bug :-)).

Check out the video on setting up site collection administrators to see how it’s done in action and some tips, tricks and best practices along the way.

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If Customize Form button is not working in List Settings…

The Customize Form button in the List Settings page lets you customize the list form using InfoPath 2010 (if InfoPath 2010 is installed on your computer and you are running SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise). If this button is not working, your site is not trusted by your computer and that’s why it is not letting you open up the form in InfoPath. Check out the animated image below to see how you can add your site as a trusted site.

Customize Form - InfoPath - button not working

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Do you miss the old SharePoint Add Web Parts task pane?

In the SharePoint 2003 world, when you wanted to add web parts to a page, you would get to pick it from an Add Web Parts Task Pane that would open up in the browser on the right hand side of the page. In the new and brave SharePoint 2007 world, however, you get a Add Web Parts dialog which is easier to work with and allows you to add multiple web parts at one time.

This is definitely an improvement over the old ways of doing things. You would in fact feel the need for the old interface for only one of two reasons:

  1. You need to view and access the web parts that have been Closed on the web part page.
  2. You miss doing things the way that you had gotten accustomed to

Whichever is your reason for wanting the old interface back, the good news is that it is still available. In fact, it’s right in front of your eyes: Literally! In the image above, there is a link at the bottom which states Advanced Web Part gallery and options. When that link is clicked, the old Add Web Parts interface comes to life. In addition, you get access to your Closed Web Parts gallery. So there you have it!

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