The situation that I'm in is that I have a single document library that is used to hold purchasing card documentation. It is split into folders for each person that has a card, then sub folders under that for fiscal year. The documents stored in the fiscal year folders are usually pdf files. This is all fine and dandy, but we only want people to see their own folders.

Currently, we have permissions set at the folder level. We're in the process of moving this site to 2010 (it is currently 2007), and I would greatly like to not have to recreate all of that mess. Is there a best practice with doing this?

Would the best way be to just add all of the documents to the root, and tag each file, then set views to filter things out? Or is there a different approach? And to clarify, the person with the card is not the one uploading documents to the folder, it is an account summary that is uploaded by a finance person.

  • Are you asking for alternative security options or tips on migrating the content so that you don't have to set up all of the security?
    – Dave Wise
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 21:43
  • What is the point of a collaborative environment where people can only see their own folders? Maybe the issue is more with the architecture than the settings?
    – Christophe
    Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 23:12
  • Migrating really isn't the issue... I was more looking for an alternative/better way of handling it. Our 2007 environment wasn't organized at all, and I see having separate permissions for each folder as a maintenance nightmare. Commented Jan 9, 2012 at 23:46

2 Answers 2


If that purchasing data is sensitive, which I assume it is if everyone has separate cards, the best approach is to use folders to secure it via SharePoint groups.

If you don't want to have to worry about folders, then it would be best to give each cardholder their own document library to store the files. A content type could be created and shared across all libraries so everyone is working with the same metadata which will make it easy to roll up and aggregate the data if needed.


I am following up on my comment. It is difficult to provide more advice without understanding what you are trying to accomplish, and what's the motivation behind a central document library (I am sure you have your reasons).

Your scenario seems to be the opposite of what we usually do for collaboration: nothing is shared, and people don't upload their own items. Maybe SharePoint is just not the right tool for this specific case?

Views won't help, as they just hide the content, they don't secure it.

To finish, I'll mention that I've seen once a scenario where each item had its own permissions. As far as I know there is no easy way to do this out of the box, and the solution was to develop a program to assign item level permissions.

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