I working on a requirement in which there are contributor list for each document in sharepoint library. The contributor may be unique set of users for each document. I wanted to know what would be the best approach for assigning permissions:

  1. Break the role inheritance and assign the permissions to the user. or
  2. check if there exist a group with same users, if yes use this group, else create new user group and then assign necessary permissions for the new user group.

1 Answer 1


That depends on your business case.

Since you have unique set of users as contributors for every document you most probably have to break role inheritance for every document.

Here are some things to consider that may help you decide:

  1. The set of contributors is so unique that you can’t find a subset of users that are contributors for most of the documents. If this is true then it favours setting permissions for users. If you can find a subset of users then create a group for them, set permissions for that group and also set permissions for other users as needed
  2. The contributors for every document change very frequently. In this case going with groups makes more sense. Cons: Number of groups will grow fast.
  3. Number of contributors per documents. If the number is big then groups are better.
  4. Number of documents. If the number is expected to be very big then managing the groups may become difficult.
  • In my case the first point holds. About the third point how many users should be considered big, in my case the number of users could be from 2 users to 15 users per document. Jan 2, 2014 at 8:52
  • Roughly, for more than 5-6 users I would prefer groups. Jan 2, 2014 at 9:02
  • Ok, then I think even I should implement using the user groups instead of assigning permissions to each user for each document. Jan 2, 2014 at 9:05
  • Maybe. For hundreds of documents it's not a problem to do it ether way. For bigger lists be aware of MaxUniquePermScopesPerList limit, which you may reach. Jan 2, 2014 at 9:14

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