Configuring Self-Service Site Creation

Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services allows members of the Administrator site group (site group: A custom security group that applies to a specific Web site. Users are assigned to site groups to grant them rights on a SharePoint site.) to create subsites (subsite: A complete Web site stored in a named subdirectory of the top-level Web site. Each subsite can have administration, authoring, and browsing permissions that are independent from the top-level Web site and other subsites.) off of their Web sites. These subsites can be fully-functioning SharePoint sites, complete with a home page (home page: The main page of a Web site. A home page usually has hyperlinks to other pages, both inside and outside the site.), document libraries, and so on, and they can even have their own unique permissions. Self-Service Site Creation is a feature which is enabled by administrators and allows users to create their own top-level Web site (top-level Web site: The default, top-level site provided by a Web server or virtual server. To gain access to the top-level Web site, you supply the URL of the server without specifying a page name or subsite.). The user does not need administrator permissions on the server or virtual server (virtual server: A virtual computer that resides on an HTTP server but appears to the user as a separate HTTP server. Several virtual servers can reside on one computer. Each virtual server can have its own domain name and IP address.), only permissions on the Web site where Self-Service Site Creation is hosted. The user simply enters some basic information and the new top-level Web site is created with the user as the owner and administrator. When you enable Self-Service Site Creation, you free yourself from having to create top-level Web sites on demand for your users —they can do it themselves.

You turn on Self-Service Site Creation from the Configure Self-Service Site Creation page for the virtual server you want to enable. When you turn on Self-Service Site Creation, an announcement is added to the home page of the top-level Web sites on that virtual server, with a link to the signup page (Scsignup.aspx). Users can click the link to go to the signup page and create their sites. This announcement is set to never expire but if the Announcements list is long, or is removed from the home page of your site, the announcement may not appear. If you want to ensure that the link always appears on the home page, you can customize the home page in a Web page editor compatible with Windows SharePoint Services to include the link in a prominent position, such as the top link bar.

 Note   When you are in Active Directory account creation mode, or are using host headers for your virtual servers, you cannot enable Self-Service Site Creation from SharePoint Central Administration. To perform this action in Active Directory account creation mode, you must use the command line or the object model. For more information, see Using the Object Model to Manage Windows SharePoint Services.

Security and Self-Service Site Creation

Self-Service Site Creation allows users to create and manage their own top-level Web sites automatically. This capability can obviously affect the security for your Web server (Web server: A computer that hosts Web pages and responds to requests from browsers. Also known as an HTTP server, a Web server stores files whose URLs begin with http://.) running Windows SharePoint Services. Self-Service Site Creation is disabled by default —you must turn on the feature to use it. You enable Self-Service Site Creation for a single virtual server at a time. If you want to use it on all virtual servers in your server farm (server farm: A centralized grouping of network servers maintained by an enterprise or, often, an Internet service provider (ISP). A server farm provides a network with load balancing, scalability, and fault tolerance.), you must enable it for every virtual server individually.

The Administration pages for Self-Service Site Creation are part of the virtual server administration pages, which can only be accessed by local computer administrators or members of the SharePoint administrators group. Access to the signup page follows the same security rules as other Web site pages. By default, the Use Self-Service Site Creation right is included in all site groups except the Guest site group, and gives users access to the signup page and the ability to use Self-Service Site Creation to create their own top-level Web sites.

Note that because Self-Service Site Creation simply creates new top-level Web sites on an existing virtual server, any new sites automatically conform to the virtual server's quota (quota: A value that limits the amount of storage or number of users for a Web site.) settings, unused Web site notification settings, and other administrative policies.

Managed Paths and Self-Service Site Creation

By default, when you install Windows SharePoint Services, a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) (Uniform Resource Locator (URL): An address that specifies a protocol (such as HTTP or FTP) and a location of an object, document, World Wide Web page, or other destination on the Internet or an intranet. Example: http://www.microsoft.com/.) path called /sites is added to your virtual server. When you enable Self-Service Site Creation, that path is the default path for sites that your users create. For example, a user can create "MyTeamSite" under /sites on Server 1. Using the defaults, the path for this site would be similar to the following: http://server/sites/MyTeamSite. You can use the default /sites path for users' Self-Service Site Creation sites, or you can create additional paths. You specify which URL paths are available for users to create sites under by adding managed paths. If you do add more URL paths for Self-Service Site Creation to use, when users go to the Scsignup.aspx page, they see a drop-down box listing the various paths available, and they can choose which path to create their site under. For more information about defining a URL path, see Managing Paths.

Enabling Self-Service Site Creation

You can use either HTML Administration pages or the command-line tool to enable and configure Self-Service Site Creation. Either method allows you to turn Self-Service Site Creation on or off, and allows you to specify required information for each site.

Configuring Self-Service Site Creation from HTML Administration Pages

To enable Self-Service Site Creation for a virtual server, use the Configure Self-Service Site Creation page for that virtual server.

Enable Self-Service Site Creation
  1. Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click SharePoint Central Administration.
  2. On the SharePoint Central Administration page, under Virtual Server Configuration, click Configure virtual server settings.
  3. On the Virtual Server List page, click the virtual server to enable.
  4. On the Virtual Server Settings page, under Automated Web Site Collection Management, click Configure Self-Service Site Creation.
  5. In the Enable Self-Service Site Creation section, next to Self-Service Site Creation is, select On.
  6. If you want to require two contact names for each site, select the Require secondary contact check box.

Requiring a secondary contact is highly recommended if you are using site use confirmation and have enabled automatic Web site deletion. For more information, see Managing Unused Web Sites.

  1. Click OK.

To disable Self-Service Site Creation, go to the Configure Self-Service Site Creation page; next to Self-Service Site Creation is, select Off, and then click OK.

Configuring Self-Service Site Creation from the Command Line

You use the enablessc operation to enable and configure Self-Service Site Creation from the command line. The enablessc operation requires the URL parameter, and optionally takes the requiresecondarycontact parameter. For example, to enable Self-Service Site Creation for a server called MyServer and require two contact names for each site, you would use syntax like the following:

stsadm -o enablessc -url http://MyServer -requiresecondarycontact

You can disable Self-Service Site Creation by using the disablessc operation. The disablessc operation takes only the URL parameter. So, to disable Self-Service Site Creation for MyServer, the syntax would be:

stsadm -o disablessc -url http://MyServer

Related Topics

For more information about using command-line operations, see Command-Line Operations.