SharePoint Audiences

Written By: Knox Cameron -- 5/10/2011 -- join -- contribute -- (4718) comments -- printer friendly version

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Categories: Configurations, Design, Features, MOSS 2007, Permission Management, SharePoint 2010

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Targeting navigation links

You can also set targeting on navigation links. Again, these will be hidden from users who are not in the specified audience(s) or group(s).

In 2007, select Site Actions > Site Settings > Modify Navigation. In 2010, select Site Actions > Site Settings, then under Look and Feel select Navigation.

There is a section on the page called Navigation Editing and Sorting which shows the headings and links defined for the Global Navigation (the tabs under the banner at the top of the page) and the Current Navigation (the links on the left).

You have options to automatically include links to pages and/or subsites in the navigation. If you do, these links will automatically be security trimmed (that is, only shown to users with access rights to the pages or subsites), but you cannot set target audiences on them. Links or headings that you add manually will not be security trimmed, but you can set target audiences on them.

If you click the option to Add Link..., a dialog will be displayed for information about the link, including an option for target audiences. You can enter or select target audiences in the same way as for a web part.

Dialog to define a new navigation link

Again, these links will be hidden from users who are not a member of the target audience, even site administrators. Note also that, as discussed previously, this is not a security feature, and will not stop a user accessing the target page of the link if he/she finds out about it some other way.

Targeting list or library items

The final targeting option is to define a target audience for individual list or library items. For example, you might have a list where you post information about recent or upcoming social events. Some of these might be relevant to all users, but some may only relate to users in a specific office.

First, you need to enable targeting in the list. Go into the list settings and select the link Audience targeting settings. Select the option to enable audience targeting.

Setting to enable audience targetting on a list

Now, when you create or edit an item in the list, you will see an extra field where you can select target audiences, just as you did for web parts and navigation links. You can add this field to a list view so you can see how items are targeted.

List view with Target Audiences field displayed

The only web part that makes use of these target audiences is the Content Query Web Part. So go to a page in the site and add a content query web part to it. In the properties of the web part, configure it to read from the list where you enabled audience targeting. In the Content Query Web Part, you will also need to enable the option to Apply audience filtering. Optionally, you can select whether to include items that have no targeting as well.

Content query web part properties showing target audiences

Note that these options are separate from the normal option to set a target audience on the content query web part itself, which would be redundant in this case.

This web part will now only show entries from the list that are targeted to the user. In this case, I am not a member of either audience, so I only see the entry that has no targeting.

Page with content query filtering by audience

As you can see, the Content Query Web Part shows the title of the item, with a link to display the full text. If this is what you want, great! However, while it is easier in 2010 to configure how the CQWP displays information, it is still somewhat difficult and inflexible. So you may have challenges achieving the results you want with this approach. 

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