See all features below
Before describing the features of the Membership tool it is important to understand the capabilities and limitations of standard SharePoint.
SharePoint (on-prem) and SharePoint Online do not offer a feature that provides a list the user has access to. This feature that has already been requested multiple times via the Microsoft feedback portal.
Users can find a list with sites and subsites by executing the following search query:
(contentclass:STS_Site OR contentclass:STS_Web)
This is not ideal since the users need to enter a complex query and the search result list is shown as a flat list without an hierarchy for subsites. Some sites may not even be listed because search treats them as duplicate search results. It is also not possible to distinguish between SharePoint sites and Teams connected sites.
Some organizations resort to adding a search web part to the start page that uses search to list the sites that are accessible for the current users. In most organizations this is sufficient but sometimes this is inadequate. For instance when the search index is not up to date or not available, environments with a large number of sites/subsites, when complex permissions have been configured or when the search results contain so-called Alternate Access Mappings.
Some organisations resort to building scripts (e.g., PowerShell) to generate a list with all sites. This has the drawback that the list may contain sites the user has no access to (and is not supposed to be made aware of the existing of the site).
The Membership tool generates a list with accessible sites (and subsites) and offers the following features:
- easy to use
- fast (typical response time is < 2 s)
- shows subsites indented below the parent site
- search through list with sites
- support for hubsites
- filter by Type (SharePoint, Teams Connected site)
- show private channels
- show SharePoint owners and Microsoft 365 owners (Microsoft Entra) for individual sites
- show owners for all sites
- exclude domains, sites or managed paths (e.g., portals or personal)
- save list with sites as CSV file (optional)
- suitable for very large environments (500+ sites)
The tool also offers benefits to the SharePoint Administrators:
- easy to deploy
- supports SharePoint and Teams
- zero maintenance solution for administrators
- provides insight into sites with incorrect permission settings
In short, Membership allows users to list all accessible sites and administrators have a zero maintenance solution.
SharePoint on-premise only
Another feature of Membership is to use REST API requests. This can be used instead of search or to complement the search results (so-called hybrid mode) to ensure the sites list contains all accessible sites.
The performance of the Membership tool is optimized by using parallel processes and by using batch requests.
The configuration of the tool is managed via a properties file.