The release of SharePoint 2010 caused a lot of hype. Nonetheless, its predecessor Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is still used in many companies. For those who haven’t updated yet, I want to introduce a very valuable tool: SharePoint Utility with a Smart, Helpful Interface (SUSHI).
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SharePoint is a big success for various reasons; one of them is certainly the ease of administration. Once you have internalized the structure of SharePoint, it is very straightforward to use. Almost too straightforward: because it is so easy to create new websites and lists, web applications often grow too fast and unstructured. Keeping the content ‘findable’ often requires the taming of the rank growth. It is a difficult task, but doable.
But, SharePoint is deployed not only to make content more findable. Granting and denying users the privileges to access certain data is another major job of SharePoint. Most SharePoint administrators may raise an eyebrow now, because SharePoint seems to have no mechanics to deny access. And that’s right. This is a huge drawback, because it makes the administration of user privileges pretty hard. The only choice, besides building a perfect SharePoint hierarchy, is to micro manage the access rights for every item in SharePoint.
This is time consuming and, for bigger installations, impossible to do. So, you often have to deal with the inheritance of access rights. For sites with only a few sub sites, it is possible to keep the overview. The more the sites are nested, the more complex it becomes to deviate the current access rights, because there is no way to see which rights were passed down by the site’s parent.
That’s the time for SUSHI to enter the stage. It can display what permissions a specified user has on a site, the permissions inheritance for site collections, and list group memberships for users. You only have to choose the site and the user, and click on “Run security report”. This function is tremendously helpful if you want to prevent some users accidently seeing the wages of all your company’s employees.
Besides that, SUSHI offers quite a wide range of other useful options. For example, it provides an easy way to back up your farm or site collection. It isn’t more sophisticated than the stsadm command, but having a GUI for it doesn’t hurt at all.