Give a user access to the SSP

This can be slightly more daunting and confusing to a SharePoint rookie than it should be. So I thought I would drill through the process and see if I can help someone out. The story usually goes something like this.

You are the IT guy. You got a request to install this MOSS thing so people could make web sites or something like that. Ok. After a couple of tries no problem. You got the darn thing installed for them. You create them a site collection and set them on their marry little way. No problems. Then the following week you get another call. “We need to configure search and import some profiles. We need to access the Shared Service Provider to do this. Can you let us in?” OK. Now what?

You could do it the lazy way and cross your fingers they don’t break anything by granting access to the whole web application. That was detailed in my post Become Administrator of the Entire Web Application. But even if you do this you will find they still can’t manage profiles , audiences, permissions, or usage analytics. Bummer. So what should you do?

  1. Start off by logging into the SSP admin site.
  2. Now you need to add the user just like you would to any other site. Click Site Actions > Site Settings
  3. Under Users and Permissions click Advanced permissions
  4. Click New > Add Users
  5. Enter your user and put them in a group. Normally I just place them in the Viewers group and hit OK

Now your user can log into the SSP and manage search settings, the Excel Service Settings, and can view the various links list. So how do you give them more permissions? Well in order to do that you need to give them some more access.

  1. Under User Profiles and My Sites click Personalization services permissions.
  2. Click Add Users/Groups
  3. Enter your users name select which permissions you would like to bestow upon them and click Save.

What are all of these different permissions? I am glad you asked. J

  • Create personal site gives the user the capability to create and use a My Site. Going deep here will have to be saved for another day but if you want to make that My Site link disappear take away this right from the users. But you didn’t give it to them. Why do they have it? Go back to the manage permission screen. All authenticated users were given this right by default.
  • Use personal features is another topic for another day. Essentially though this provides the My Links functionality and allows users to manage their Colleagues.
  • Manage user profiles this allows your user to do just that. Get in there and modify the profiles for this SSP. Give them this right and now they can access the links: User profiles and properties, Profile services policies, and My Site Settings.
  • Manage audiences you guessed it but now you can click that handy little Audiences link. Once you are there you can set the schedule or define the rules for building those global audiences.
  • Manage permissions this will let that user modify Personalization services permissions (the stuff we are doing right now).
  • Manage usage analytics this gives the user access to make changes to Usage reporting. Small bug here but if the user doesn’t have this right they can still open up the screen. Then if they make a change and hit ok they get a 403 forbidden error. Reminds you of SPS 2003 doesn’t it. J

So now if you have given the user all of those permissions they should be a happy camper? Depends. If you have MOSS Enterprise then probably not because they still can’t manage the BDC. Yikes! More to do.

  1. Click Business Data Catalog permissions from the main screen of the SSP
  2. Click Add Users/Groups
  3. Enter your user, select their permissions and click Save

Since I will not even claim to understand the BDC I will leave you to use the included explanations on the screen to figure out what to give your users.

Anyway, hopefully this will help you out.


Shane – SharePoint Help


13 Comments so far

  1.   Chris Parks on August 17th, 2007          Reply

    Having a problem with this solution, I’m getting a 403 standard IIS error when a user tries to got to the search settings page. They can get to excel services, and other parts, but not the search settings. Any ideas?

  2.   jpxa on August 31st, 2007          Reply

    I am getting the same error message when trying to access the search setting page with the admin account. Any ideas how to correct?

  3.   Christine on March 26th, 2008          Reply

    Hi… I’m having a problem getting to SharedServices1. I’m getting Error: Access Denied and have tried all admin accounts to log into it. I even went in and added myself as a Farm administrator. That didn’t help. Currently using the trial version with Enterprise and am in the process of purchasing it. Any ideas why this is happening or what I’m doing wrong?

  4.   Christine Brent on September 10th, 2008          Reply

    This solution was precisely what I was looking for – thanks for taking the time to document it.

  5.   MarkRight on October 25th, 2009          Reply

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  6.   Sonya on October 31st, 2009          Reply

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    It was certainly interesting for me to read this post. Thanks for it. I like such topics and everything connected to them. I would like to read more on that blog soon.

  9.   Yagna on January 15th, 2010          Reply

    its nice article ….about permissions of user at ssp…………:))

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  11.   Lars on March 4th, 2010          Reply

    Thanks Shane, this really helped med with several permission obstacles :0)

  12.   Edgar on September 21st, 2010          Reply

    How to add all users from Active Directory to a Site of sharePoint 2003?

  13.   Novice on July 21st, 2011          Reply

    I want to provide access to users to only the usage reports and not to anyother screen/webpart. Is this possible?

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