Audience is a very powerful feature of Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server. You can create different audience in order to better manage the web parts security and visibility among portal users. We often come across with this requirement that a particular web part of an Internet site needs to be visible only to certain group of people. In that case we need to create groups and assign specific access method which will restrict or allow the access to that particular web part. Keeping this requirement in mind Microsoft implemented ‘Audience’ feature in SharePoint Portal Server.
If you have a site for gamers, for example, there are gaming servers you probably want to block from some users. Say you are using a zap-hosting alternative server, Audience feature in Sharepoint Portal can help you designate the right audience who can use it.
Audience is more like a group created in portal server level, not at the windows server or Active Directory level. Every web part of Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server is having an option called ‘Target’. By selecting the target we can make the web part visible to certain group of people. As a live example, in my site I had one customer satisfaction result which needs to be posted to the site. The result should not be visible to all users, because the site is also browsed by our customers. We wanted to keep the satisfaction result as secret to company at that time. I have created an audience called ‘CSS Viewers’ and make the targeted the Customer Satisfaction Survey result web part to ‘CSS Viewers’ only.
This is very easy and interesting to create audience in Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server. Here is a step by step guide on how to create audience.
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Audience – Step 1: Click on ‘Site Settings’ while you are at the home page of Portal Server. The ‘Site Setting’ link is available at the top right corner.
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Audience – Step 2: Click on ‘Manage Audience’ link under the heading ‘User Profile, Audiences, and Personal Sites’. The heading ‘User Profile, Audiences, and Personal Sites’ is the last group of options in site settings.
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Audience – Step 3: Under ‘Manage Audience’ you have to click on ‘Create Audience’ to create your first audience.
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Audience – Step 4: In ‘Create Audience’ page you have to specify the name of the audience you want to create and the description. The description field is not mandatory, but it is better to have description in order to understand the purpose of the audience. You also need to specify whether the user has to satisfy all the rules or any one rule of the defining rule of this audience.
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Audience – Step 5: Once you click on OK, it will take you to a page where you have to create the rule for this audience. There are two types of operand you have – one is user and another is property. You have to select appropriate operator and value for the operand you choose.
You can choose any properties of user which are set under user profile. Those available properties will appear in drop-down box. Here all three fields are mandatory. You need to be little careful for the ‘Value’ field. You have to choose appropriate value for the operand. Success of audience is depending on the value you choose here.
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Audience – Step 6: Once you crate the audience the control goes to ‘View Audience Properties’ page. Here you can edit the audience, add the rules and view the membership information. Once you create an audience it will be ‘Not Compiled’ stage.
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Audience – Step 7: Go back to ‘Mange Audience’ page to compile the newly created audience. Click on link ‘Start Compilation’ in order to compile all audiences present for your portal server.
Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server Audience – Step 8: Deleting any Audience in SharePoint Portal Server is also very easy. Go to ‘Manage Audience’ page to view the available audiences and delete the audience from the drop down choices given against each audience.