Webinar Q&A - SharePoint permissions management with SPDocKit

A few days ago our MVP and SPDocKit product owner Toni Frankola and Maja, our PMM, held a webinar on SharePoint Permissions Management with SPDocKit. We were very proud and happy to see so many people in the audience. We hope that you learned something new and that SPDocKit will help you with permissions management in the future. No more headaches caused by SharePoint permissions!


As a recap, we have prepared this Q&A blog post. If you didn’t get the chance to see the webinar, navigate to this blog to see what was going on.

Q: When cloning permissions, are rights added additively only, or could rights be removed from the person whom you want to have the same permissions as the clone source?
A: When you are cloning permissions, the permissions of the destination user are completely removed and the new privileges are added.
Q: Is it also possible to manage / read / compare Project Server permissions?
A: You can manage permissions on SharePoint sites that are being used for Project Server. We don't have built-in support for Project Server in the current release.
Q: Is it possible to restore all the permissions of a site from its history / snapshot?
A: The tool currently does not allow you to restore permissions from a snapshot, but stay tuned as that is something we working for future releases.
Q: We are using an older version and our complaint is that it takes SPDocKit some time to retrieve all the permissions from large farms. Has there been any improvement on this?
A: Our team is constantly working to improve the load times for large farms. In version 6, we have added the ability for you to control how much resources you are going to dedicate for the actual load. So by committing more CPU resources, your load will finish sooner. We always recommend our largest customers to schedule snapshots to be performed during off hours (e.g., during the night) so you can get fresh reports each morning without having to wait for data to be gathered from SharePoint.
Q: When we do user audits, SPDocKit does not show users’ email addresses in the report. This makes it difficult to identify users from different companies and agencies who have access to our SharePoint, since email address is the only way for us to distinguish users.
A: The new version, which will be released in late October, will solve this problem.
Q: Can I get a report of all objects (sites, sub sites, list, libraries, list items, documents) that a certain user or group has been granted permission to AND a list of all users with full control of those objects (site owners)? We need this for our audit team – they want to know what "everyone" has been granted access to and need to be able to contact the site owners (full control) to let them know that they need to either remove that group or provide business justification. We are currently doing this with a custom script.
A: Yes, you can! You just need to configure a filter to show what you need and you can be done in no time. Once you have the report you like, you can easily schedule this to be delivered via email to your audit team.
Q: Is there a webinar planned for the governance functionality, or is a recording available?
A: We are planning a webinar dedicated to SharePoint governance later this year; we are going to send email invites soon.
Q: If you remove orphaned users, does that remove the users’ names from SP for created by, modified by, etc.?
A: No, we are only removing entries about these users from your SharePoint groups and SharePoint objects (like Sites, Lists, Items, etc.). All the metadata, such as Created By and Modified By, is going to remain intact.
Q: Using this tool, can you tell me that total unique users last logged-in per site collection or for total farm?
A: Sure – we provide this information via SharePoint Analytics features, and you can find these reports under Content & Usage Reports > Usage Reports.
Q: Does cloning permissions work for AD groups – as in, if we give a new user the same permissions as an existing user, will they be added to the groups of existing users? Even if the group is not part of a SharePoint site?
A: Yes, you can clone permissions of AD froups too.
Q: How can I use Permissions Reporting to list all users who have access to a specific site and what specific permissions each one has on the SP Site?
A: You can use a combination of filters to achieve that. Just choose your desired Site Collection and the Permission you need, or just list all the permissions.
Q: Should I always start with a snapshot, or can I go live after opening SPDocKit?
A: When you are doing reporting, you should always create a snapshot first, as we need a snapshot to produce data for most of the reports. When you are managing permissions you have to “go live,” as that's the only way to manage permissions.
Q: How many SPDocKit instances can your workstation product be connected to?
A: There is no limit to the number of workstations.
Q: What happens when Microsoft sends out a patch or publishes a change that dramatically changes the interface and offers new functionalities? How soon can you update your software offering?
A: We always try to release an updated version on the same day that Microsoft ships its RTM versions. In many cases, we will even deliver a new version while a new SharePoint version is still in the preview phase.
Q: Are these reports available to end users in a self-service format, i.e., is it possible to look at permission changes WITHOUT having to be logged on to a SharePoint Server in the farm?
A: Yes, you would have to use our Workstation for that.
Q: Is the Workstation version available at a discount for Microsoft MVPs?
A: We offer all MVPs our Consultant Subscription, which has the same features as our Workstation edition.
Q: Any way to provide site owners some reports to be able to control their permissions?
A: For Site Owners – users who are managing site collections and are not Farm Administrators – you should install Workstation for them on their PCs. Your primary SPDocKit administrator can then configure SPDocKit in such a way as to allow them to access and manage only those site collections they manage in SharePoint.
Q: For SharePoint Online – can we manage external users?
A: You can manage the permissions of external Users, but you would still have to initially invite them via the built-in SharePoint Online UI because Office 365 needs to provision their identity.
Q: Is there an option to consolidate data from multiple farms with SPDocKit?
A: Yes, you can connect all these farms to a single SPDocKit database.
Q: What’s the significance of the whale logo?
A: SPDocKit was formerly known as Documentation Toolkit for SharePoint. As its functionalities grew, we decided to rename it SPDocKit. With the new name comes a new logo, which features a whale. In English, “kit” means a set of useful tools for a specific purpose, while in our Croatian language, “kit” means “whale.” Since we are located on the beautiful Adriatic coast, we thought it was a perfect fit.
Q: How is SPDocKit workstation licensed? Can it check and manage permissions?
A: SPDocKit Workstation requires a separate license that can be purchased for USD 299 per workstation. Ideally, you would combine your workstation with existing farm licenses, i.e., connect it to the same SPDocKit database. With this setup, you can use the workstation to its full extent with all reports being available. On top of that, you can use the workstation to manage permissions on all your licensed on-premises farms and up to one SharePoint online tenant.