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Just found this on MSDN and I'm confused.

the Owners group of a site is not the same as the site collection owners, which themselves are called site collection administrators in the Central Administration user interface, even though site collection owners receive email notifications that the site collection administrators do not

What does this mean?

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6 Answers 6

up vote 10 down vote accepted

The text is due to confusion SharePoint creates by having three different groups which when you create a site collection start out having the same persons, but are in fact different.

The three groups are:

Site Collection Owners

  • Are controlled via `Central Administration | Application Management | Change site collection administrators'
  • Receive email about site collection: quota warnings, not used warnings ...
  • Automatically members of Site Collection Administrators
  • Can only be users

Site Collection Administrators

  • Are controlled via Site Settings | Site collection administrators
  • Have full permissions in the site collection
  • Can be users or groups

Site Owners

  • A group named {SiteName} owners
  • By default have full permissions in the site collection, but are subject to changes in permissions, broken inheritance, only read/edit own items,...
  • Is just a standard SharePoint group which can be modified, deleted
  • Can be users or groups

Strange things

Part of the problem understanding these groups are some of the strange behaviours of these groups:

  • When a site collection is created you specify "Primary Site Collection Administrator" and "Secondary Site Collection Administrator" these two persons are entered into all three groups
  • When you add "Site Collection Administrators" in Central Administration these can only be users and there can only be max 2 and they become both "Site Collection Owners" and "Site Collection Administrators"
  • When you remove a "Site Collection Administrator" in Central Administration he/she is removed from "Site Collection Owners" and "Site Collection Administrators"
  • When you add "Site Collection Administrators" in Site Settings in the Site Collection you can specify any number of users and/or groups they only become "Site Collection Administrators"
  • If you remove a person who is "Site Collection Owner" as part of modifying "Site Collection Administrators" in Site Settings in the Site Collection he/she is removed from "Site Collection Owners" as well. If it's the Primary Owner then the Secondary Owner becomes Primary Owner, if there is no Secondary Owner, the first user in the list of Site Collection Administrators become new Primary Owner
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Thank you all for your replies. It's more clear to me now. –  Newbie Jul 22 '12 at 17:13

owners group is for permissions, think of it as being a security principle. Site Collection administrators are people who are the people who really own the site, wheras owners group is one of the groups that you can add users to. Search and rea about how you would add people to Owners gropu and then search and read about how you would make people site collectino administrators. These two different processes will make it clear to you.

This article about Site Collection Administrators has some explanation:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/permissions-for-site-collection-administrators-HA101943260.aspx

For you, as a site collection administrator, this means the following: You might be expected to be the main point of contact between your part of the organization and your IT department. You’ll need to work closely with people in certain roles in IT, such as your SharePoint farm administrator. You’ll be performing some tasks that might previously have been referred to your organization’s IT team, such as deciding who has access to important intellectual property stored on your organizations web sites (that is, setting site-collection level permissions), and deciding which features to make available to the people who will be using the sites in your site collection. You’ll probably be providing some technical support for the people who use your site collection.

You can read aboutb Owners grouo here:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/sharepoint-server-help/give-users-access-to-a-sharepoint-site-HA010103222.aspx

The difference will be clear when you read these two articles.

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Your text is referring to these two different things in these two links. your text says "The owners group of a site" this only applies to sites and sites have a group called owners. "The owners group of a site" is not related to site collection admins. They are specific to sites and you use the owners group of a site to give full control to a site. If you read two likns I shared above, you will get the exact answer. –  Ismail Durgut PhD Jul 19 '12 at 22:13
    
What I want is to give permission to a user for a site collection and then the user can do what he want to do for the site without asking me any permission. But i dont want to have any e-mail for updates, permission etc –  Newbie Jul 19 '12 at 22:30
    
The site collection owners receive emails as it is explained in this link: technet.microsoft.com/library/cc288243(office.12) –  Ismail Durgut PhD Jul 20 '12 at 6:01
    
Here are two links, first one is explaining who gets the emails and second one is explaining how it is set: 1 - aiim.org/community/blogs/expert/… --- 2 - technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc750416.aspx <br/> –  Ismail Durgut PhD Jul 20 '12 at 6:18

Site Collection Administrators

Site collection administrators have full rights to all sites within a site collection. They can add or delete sites or change the settings for any site within a site collection. They can view, add, delete, or change all content within those sites as well. They can add and remove users from sites and send invitations to those sites.

Site Collection Owners

Site collection owners and secondary owners are also site collection administrators. However, owners and secondary owners are the only users who receive e-mail notifications for events, such as the pending automatic deletion of inactive sites. By default, site collection owners also receive requests for access from users who have been denied access. A user who is a member of the Administrator site group can use the Site Administration pages to change the e-mail address that receives requests for access.

When you create a site collection, Windows SharePoint Services automatically lists you as the site collection owner.

For more information, see http://technet.microsoft.com/library/cc288243(office.12).

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The link is dead? –  Newbie Jul 19 '12 at 21:59
    
My apologies, technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc288243(v=office.12).aspx should work. –  Quinn Johns Jul 19 '12 at 22:11
    
Its a pretty old documents (November 2005) and it goes for WSS 2.0. Is it still valid? –  Newbie Jul 19 '12 at 22:25

Site Owners (Site Collections Administrators in Central Admin)

  • You must have at least one and maximum of two owners
  • Both must be users (groups are not allowed)
  • Will receive email in case of e.g. quota limits reached, or site not being used (this is configured by Farm admin)
  • Have full control of site collection settings
  • Configured via Central Administration

Site Administrators

  • You can add unlimited users or groups
  • Have full control of site collection settings
  • Configured via Site Collection administration
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I will do step by step explanation of your text:

the Owners group of a site (THERE IS A OWNERS GROUP IN YOUR SITE GO TO SITE LEVEL PERMISSIONS IT IS ON THE LEFT PANEL) is not the same as the site collection owners(SITE COLLECTION OWNERS IS NOT IN THE SAME PLACE OF YOUR SITE LEVEL OWNERS GROUP, YOU WILL NOT FIND SITE COLLECTION OWNERS IF YOU GO TO YOUR SITE LEVEL PERMISSIONS YOU WILL NOT FIND A GROUP FOR THEM, CAN NOT BE SET THERE), which themselves are called site collection administrators in the Central Administration(NOW, THE SITE COLLECTION OWNERS ARE CALLED ADMINS IN SP ADMIN) user interface, even though site collection owners receive email notifications that the site collection administrators do not

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In WSS 3.0 and higher, the term Site Collection Owners is replaced with Site Owners. There is SC Administrators and Site Owners (find the difference here).

Site Collection Owners was used in pre-WSS 3.0 days.

Can you add the link you are referencing? I did a quick search; what I found is a reference to a WSS 2.0 page: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc288243(office.12).aspx

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