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March 19, 2024

Microsoft Project Online Security Overview: Categories & RBS

Security in Microsoft Project Online

In this video we focus on Security Categories and the Resource Breakdown Structure, and how when used together they be dynamically determine visibility of projects and resources.

Security Categories in Microsoft Project Online

Categories provide visibility to projects, resources, and views. A category is like a group in that it provides permissions to groups of users primarily via Security Groups. Categories are different than Global Permissions, in that they are related to specific projects and resources. Additionally, categories include project and resource filters that utilize the RBS and a users relationship to a project that can be used to determine which projects and resources the specified permissions apply to.

Security Groups and Categories are used together to provide a full set of permissions for each user. Each Security Group can be associated with one or more Categories. On top of that, each category can provide a different set of project and resource level visibility and permissions for the members of that group.

Resource Breakdown Structure in Project Web App

The Resource Breakdown Structure (RBS) is a hierarchical structure. Although many times based on the reporting structure of an organization, it can also be structured in other ways to determine visibility of Projects and Resources. The RBS can be very important piece of your Project Web App security setup when used to define reporting relationships among users and projects in your organization. When you assign an RBS value for each Microsoft Project Online user, you can take advantage of the dynamic and granular security options that can be defined for each security category.

The RBS structure is defined by adding values to the RBS custom lookup table that is built in to Project Web App by default. Once you define the structure, you can assign RBS values to each user by setting the RBS property in the user's account settings page. This done by editing each user individually from the Resource Center or Manage Users. To edit multiple users at once, select multiple users from the Resource Center and click the Open in Microsoft Project button to open the Enterprise Resource Pool in the Microsoft Project Resource Sheet.

Once the RBS is set, Security Categories may use RBS values to dynamically determine which projects and resources particular users can view or access.

Groups in Microsoft Project Online

Groups contain sets of users who have similar permissions and visibility needs. For example, project managers within your organization may need the same set of Project Online permissions, while the PMO or resource managers might have different needs. Security Groups would be created for each of these roles in the Microsoft PPM solution.

Groups are defined by identifying common needs based on the areas of Project Web App they need access to. After defining your groups, add users to the groups and grant permissions to the groups; permissions assigned to groups apply to all of the users that the group contains. You would also assigned Security Categories to the groups, thereby providing visibility to specific Projects and Resources (and views). Groups simplify security administration in Project Web App.

Manage Users

In Project permission mode, you use the Manage Users page that is available in Project Web App Server Settings to add new users, modify users, deactivate users, and reactivate inactive user accounts. You can also assign permissions to users by adding them to one of the built-in groups or by adding them to a custom group that you created, and assigning specific permissions to the custom group.

To add a user

  1. On the Server Settings page, in the Security section, click Manage Users.
  2. On the Manage Users page, click New User.
  3. On the New User page, fill out the required information for the user. See the following sections for more information about each option.
  4. Click Save.

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