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Sharing

Sharing a File in SharePoint Online or OneDrive with PowerShell

I have been diving into doing larger scale operations in SharePoint Online using the Client Side Object Model (CSOM) utilizing PowerShell and ran into a scenario that I couldn’t easily find documented anywhere. What I wanted to do was technically “share” a file with a specific user and have that user receive an email just like if it was done through the GUI. What I didn’t want to see is just the breaking of permissions. What I found was the Web.ShareObject method and this great blog post from Vesa Juvonen in 2015

Once I found this I started working on putting this into a useful PowerShell format. To get started with CSOM & PowerShell with SharePoint Online here is a good blog post from Chris O’Brien. You can get the latest version of SharePoint Online CSOM here. If you download the nuget file you can change the file extension to .zip and extract the .dlls.

Here is link to the GitHub rep and I will break it down below along with the script. Here are some key things to note:

  • The Web.ShareObject method has been updated since the Vesa blog post with a parameter called useSimplifiedRoles that can be used for utilizing modern sharing
  • SharePoint PnP has extended the sharing APIs and built a sample that can be used
  • This script is built to share a file based on filename within a site to a single user
  • This works on SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business
  • It will share as the user who runs the script
  • This script could be updated to share a site or to multiple people
  • You can share with Edit or View permission based on the roleValue
  • It doesn’t replicate the modern sharing UI in capabilities exactly (more of what occurs details below)

To utilize the script make sure you fill out the appropriate variables and more information about what this will do is below the script. 

Starting from a non shared file this is what you will see based on different configurations:

Sharing with useSimplifiedRoles set to $true and sendEmail set to $true

  • The file does not have inheritance broken

  • After initiating the ShareObject, inheritance is broken but you don’t see any changes

  • The person being shared to receives an email that the person who ran the script wants to share a file with you and you will see the email subject is preset but the email body is included

  • Once the person being shared to clicks on the link you can see a new ‘Managed Links’ section in the item permissions

  • If you follow that link you will see the item is now shared with that individual

Sharing with useSimplifiedRoles set to $true and sendEmail set to $false

  • The file does not have inheritance broken
  • After initiating the ShareObject, inheritance is broken but you don’t see any changes if the user tries to access the file through the document library
  • There is a new link viewable in the modern manage access section showing a new sharing link and that someone can access via that link

  • If the user accesses the file via that link you can see a new ‘Managed Links’ section in the item permissions and you can see that user in the Shared with section

 

Sharing with useSimplifiedRoles set to $false and sendEmail set to $false

  • The file does not have inheritance broken
  • After initiating the ShareObject, inheritance is broken but you don’t see any changes even after a user accesses the file, that means this does nothing but break inheritance

Sharing with useSimplifiedRoles set to $false and sendEmail set to $true

  • The file does not have inheritance broken
  • After initiating the ShareObject, inheritance is broken but you don’t see any changes
  • Once a user accesses the file via the link in the email they are granted permissions directly to the file (contribute instead of edit)

Ending…

After putting this together I realized I don’t really have a great use case to actually use this. Either way it was a good learning experience for me as I am just getting started into this kind of CSOM & PowerShell work and maybe it will come in handy for someone else in the future. 

Changes to Sharing in SharePoint Online

There has been an update that I have seen in Office 365 in the options you get when trying to share content.  Previously when sharing something, you had the option to select a permission level and put the user(s) into a specific SharePoint Group.

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The sharing process has recently been updated.  In newer tenants, mainly first release that I have seen, you will no longer see the select a permission level option when sharing from top right site share or the library level share.

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In a support case with Microsoft it was stated that “the feature of displaying groups on the sharing options of a site is deprecated and will no longer be available for the tenants which are on the newer versions. The reason for the deprecating this feature being, it is complex to show different set of permission levels set on each of the site collections and subsites considering unique permissions set at each web level.”

However I was able to still find the option to pick a group when using the Grant Permissions option under Site settings -> Site permissions.

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When you click the show options section you will see the select permission level section.  In that drop down select More options.

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You will then see the list of groups and permissions levels again.

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It is always interesting finding these unexpected changes.  This wasn’t a huge deal as we found a work around to get users into groups but this did disrupt a client’s business process until a resolution was found.