Sunday, June 04, 2006

Degrees of My Sites

There are different levels of SharePoint Portal's My Site functionality that you can provide to your end users. Sometimes you may not want your end users to have the full set of features straight away, so it's good to know to what level you can restrict it.

Here is how I break down the degrees of My Sites:

  1. Public Profile - only provide the public profile page. Users can perform a search to find an individual and view their public profile. Links throughout the portal also allow users to access public profiles. At this level, the end user user does not have a "My Site" link in the top right of their screen, and they don't have the ability to update their profile.

    To enable the public profiles you should schedule the profile import from Active Directory, and ensure your People content source is being indexed regularly.

  2. Basic My Site - at this level, users get the "My Site" link in the top right of their portal pages. The user's My Site will have two sections - public and private. The public section is similar to the public profile page mentioned in the section above, but it will now include an "Edit Profile" option.

    The "Private" section will display information that has been targeted to the user's audiences. This includes the "News for You" and "Links For You" web parts. The user will now also have the ability to subscribe to portal alerts and use the "add to my links" feature. The private section of their My Site will also include web parts to summarize their alerts and "my links".

    The user will still not be able to store any documents on their "My Site".

    To enable this level, you should grant the "User Personal Features" permission to your users.

  3. Full My Site - at this level, the user gets a fully functional My Site. The first time that the user clicks on their "My Site" link, SharePoint will create a personal site with document libraries and lists. The user now has a shared and private document library and can store content within their My Site.

    Note that once the personal site has been created, your SharePoint administrator has no ability to easily modify the web parts and lists on the site. That's why it is a good idea to delay users ability to create them until you have planned them out. Alternatively you can look at a tool called Echo to perform updates to your users personal sites.

    To grant your user the ability to create their site, you should enable the "Create Personal Site" permission to your users.

It's good to know what your options are with Personal Sites. And it's a good idea to plan in advance how you want to use them. Maybe you want your users to get familiar with other aspects of the portal before they use My Sites. Some companies don't like the idea of users putting personal content onto the portal farm. Either way, you can set up SharePoint accordingly