We're preparing for a large team and one of the requirements our leadership has chosen is to find a way to share the same sharepoint site with both our internal team and the client in a way that permissions are set based on the tags given to specific documents.

For example: If we create an artifact, initially it will be internal, but later we would add a tag such as "Finalized" (just an example) to it wherein the file will now be visible to the client.

We have found a way to do this, albeit has forced us to remove our search bars and the ability to use the File Explorer to navigate through the site due to the fact that the user can then navigate without issues to other areas.

I'm trying to determine if it possible to accomplish this feat without third party plug-ins and keeping the search bars as well as the ability to use file explorer. Any recommendations or insight is greatly appreciated!


It sounds like what you're looking for is simply approval -- give the clients Contribute rights and the internal team Approver+ rights. Don't approve documents until they're ready for the clients to see.

This might be overly simplified for what you want though, so the other approach which comes to mind is to accomplish this with a SharePoint workflow on the library which governs permissions. Assuming you have permission groups for your core team and your client, you would start with the library visible to both. Create a workflow that checks the document's tag on upload & any subsequent modifications, and updates the file's permissions (using an impersonation/app step) to the appropriate levels based on the tag.

Here's a walkthrough for a list in SharePoint/SPD 2010: http://spcycle.blogspot.com/2012/01/how-to-create-workflow-to-change-item.html

And here's a post specific to 2013: https://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/d2cf8015-1381-463d-b69d-4cb9a532b8b1/sharepoint-2013-workflow-to-change-document-library-group-permission?forum=sharepointcustomization

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  • 1
    Thanks Brendan! We did in fact do this. Thanks for the great answer. For others who may explore this option- you may also use Microsoft Flow to manage some of the workflow. It has a better UX. But, it is also new- so be sure to test. Unfortunately, I'm unable to upvote you with my low score. Thanks nonetheless. – crutherford09 Aug 1 '17 at 19:27
  • I'm glad I was able to help! Thanks for returning and closing the loop for the benefit of others who may stumble across this thread down the road :) – Brendan W Aug 1 '17 at 22:45

Look into "Information Management Policy". You would need a date field that is blank by default then when a date is entered, have the policy transfer the document to a different library with permissions that allow your external users access.


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