Announcing: Site Owner Manager 2.0 for SharePoint 2013/16/19

Hi Everyone. For the past year I have seen an uptick in search queries for how to manage Site Owners in SharePoint – which led people to an article and solution I published in the early days of this blog. Obviously this is still a challenge that needs a more robust solution. So I began to research what features and capabilities people were looking for in managing site owners. Everyone I asked were looking some common capabilities – including: a central place to manage site owners; have a site owner be set or selected when the site is provisioned; and identify inactive owners. I think I now have a solution that meets all of these challenges and more.

Announcing Site Owner Manager 2.0 – which will be available shortly for on-prem versions of SharePoint 2013, 2016 and 2019*. Here are some of the key features:

  • Ability to manage all site owners from a single control panel in Farm Administration
  • Site owner information displays automatically at the bottom of the Left Navigation panel (see screenshots below) or can be added to any custom element (DIV, SPAN, etc) in your custom branding; users can easily see and contact their site owner – reducing calls to your admins or helpdesk
  • Solution scans all existing sites and make suggestions for site owners based on the following criteria
    • Suggested owner can be the original creator of the site

      -OR-

    • Suggested owner can be determined based on an analysis of the individual site – taking into account most significant content-authors and/or users with full-control permissions on the site
    • Suggested Owners can be automatically used as Current Owners if no current owner is specified
    • System also keeps Previous Owner information as well as who initiates a change in ownership
    • Identifies orphaned/removed sites and inactive owners automatically
  • Ability to get alerts when Site Owners are changed by other admins
  • Ability to email all active site owners directly from the Farm Administrator console – great for alerting owners to outages, changes and other announcements targeted only to site owners
  • Fast installation and immediately adds value as the tedious process of identifying site owners goes away

Other Benefits

  • Free 15-day evaluation version; limited to the first 5 sites in each web application; activates to full product with license key – no reinstallation necessary
  • Farm license – no per-user or other pesky licensing nonsense. Unlimited sites, web applications and users on a single SharePoint Farm.
  • Access to the developer for any issues or feature requests/improvements

Availability/Pricing

  • The solution is currently being beta tested by several folks while I finish up my own punch-list, documentation and such to get the product ready for launch. Probably looking at sometime in early February 2019.
  • Final pricing has not been determined yet; I expect it to fall in the $500-800 USD range; Paid-support will also be available at $250/yr per farm license
  • What about SharePoint Online? SPO is a very different beast to the on-prem product and presents different challenges. If there is enough interest I will look into it; send me feedback.

Some Screenshots

Screenshot showing the Site Owner control present in the Left-Navigation; Clicking on the user name will open their profile page; Link also supports presence/SIP information

Site Admins can easily update the Site Owner by going to Site Settings and choosing Set/Change Site Owner under Site Administration

Set/Change Site Owner screen

The management tools and settings are contained in Central Administration under System Settings/Farm Management

The Manage Site Owners screen; This is implemented as a standard SharePoint list – which means it has all of the same capabilities – including exporting this data to Excel, setting custom alerts, bulk loading data in Quick Edit mode and more.

Default settings for the Site Owner Manager

Email Site Owners screen; Outbound SMTP needs to be configured in the farm to use this feature

Look for more information on this coming soon. If you are interested in evaluating the product please reach out to me so I can get it into your hands as soon as possible. Thanks!

* SharePoint 2019 support may be limited to Classic Experience sites due to limitations inherent to the newer Modern sites. Final support may change on or before launch.

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Managing and Identifying SharePoint Site Owners

1/26/2019: Site Owner Manager 2.0 is now available! Download it today!

The purpose of this solution is to help resolve a longstanding issue in SharePoint – Who owns a given site? Let’s start with defining who an ‘Owner’ is. While SharePoint has the concept of Site collection administrators (users with highly elevated permissions) it has no concept of who has responsibility for the content or upkeep of an individual site. In some cases they may be one and the same, but in many cases they are different people and with different levels of permissions on the site. Sites invariably have many users with Full Control permissions – but who is the single point-of-contact out of those people? There is the concept of the Site Author/Creator – but that is not exposed anywhere in the GUI – and that value is unalterable. Over time it may not represent the person responsible for the site they created.

This solution introduces the concept of a Site Owner. The Owner would be the primary point of contact for a site – and their name would be prominently displayed on each page of the site for easy identification. An owner can be identified at time of site-provisioning, in advance or through analysis of site content and permissions. Administrators can manage and assign site owners though an easy to use interface as well as quickly identify sites with missing owners and stale or inactive owners that need updating. Administrators can define if the owner is an individual or a SharePoint Group.

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Requirements

  • SharePoint 2013/2016/2019 Server (Standard or Enterprise)
    • SharePoint 2019 compatibility limited to Classic Experience sites
    • This will NOT work with SharePoint Online


Download Links

Click here to download the Site Owner Manager User Guide

Click here to download Site Owner Manager for SharePoint 2013/16/19

The product will run in Evaluation Mode for 15 days after it is first installed. During the evaluation only the first 5 sites in any web application will be scanned.

You can also buy a license and activate the full version of the product. The solution is licensed per-farm (not per user or front-end like a lot of other solutions).

Site Owner Manager License  $499.00 USD

Site Owner Manager License + 1 Year Maintenance/Support $749.00 USD

 

 

Original Article Below

If you’re like us you have struggled with this at one point or another: Who ‘owns’ a SharePoint site. We define the owner as the main business or technical contact for the site – the user responsible for the overall content, permissions, and management of the site. This is another area where SharePoint is lacking – sure there is an ‘Owners’ permission group – but that could have many users in it. It really does not identify the single point-of-contact we want to manage. When we set out to design our new templates one requirement was that we collect and display the site owner in the footer of every page so visitors had a way to identify and contact the site owner without a lot of difficulty or calling the helpdesk to inquire.

Our Site Owner control is deployed at the site collection level and is built-in to our site definition (you can also feature-staple it into existing site templates). Code in the master page renders the footer with the Site Owner stored in a property-bag:

When our users provision a new site, they are prompted to specify a Site Owner. The site cannot be provisioned without making a choice here:

Site Administrators can easily update this property at a later time via the Site Settings page:

Now this is all nice and good – users can identify the site owners and we reduced calls to our helpdesk and SharePoint support teams. But here is the cool bit. With a little PowerShell, we can instantly produce a report of all of the site owners (along with their site data) and marry that back to Active Directory to see if any of the users are disabled or deleted. This way we can make sure the Site Owner values are correctly populated and active users are managing these sites. Also great for sending out bulk-emails to the Site Owners when maintenance is required or changes are being deployed into their sites:

So there is our take on displaying and managing SharePoint Site Owners. Hope you found it interesting. Be sure to look for my tweets and blog updates from the SharePoint Connections Conference starting March 26th.

Download the free evaluation of Site Owner Manager Today. Click here for details!