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Plan user access in Project Server 2013

Project Server 2013

Published: August 15, 2012

Summary: Each instance of Project Web App can use either Project Server permission mode or SharePoint permission mode to control user access.

Applies to:  Project Server 2013 

Project Server 2013 offers two security modes for controlling the kind of access that users have to sites and projects:

  • SharePoint permission mode   In this mode, which is new in Project Server 2013, a special set of SharePoint security groups are created in sites associated with Project Server 2013. These groups give users varying levels of access to projects and Project Server functionality. SharePoint permission mode is new for Project Server 2013.

  • Project permission mode   In this mode, Project Server provides customizable security groups and other functionality that is distinct from SharePoint groups. This is the same security mode that was available in Project Server 2010.

What features are available in each mode?

Use this table to compare the features available in each security mode.

Comparison of features for security modes in Project Server

Feature SharePoint permission mode Project Server permission mode

Use a single set of security groups across Project Web App and SharePoint Server.


Permissions inheritance for PWA and Project Sites


Direct authorization against Active Directory security groups


Claims-based authorization



Manage authorization by role-based groups



Extensible and customizable



User delegation


Ability to secure work resources




Security filtering using the Resource Breakdown Structure


Custom Security Categories


When you’ve determined which permission mode you want to use, more information is available:

New Project Web App instances use the SharePoint permission mode by default. If you have more than one instance of Project Web App, each site can use a different permission mode.

Changing permission modes

In an on-premises installation of Project Server 2013, the permission mode can be changed for a given instance of Project Web App by using the Set-SPProjectPermissionMode Windows PowerShell cmdlet. For more information, see Set-SPProjectPermissionMode.

In Project Online, the mode can be changed in the Microsoft Office 365 portal site. For more information, see Change permission management in Project Online.

Warning Warning:

Switching between SharePoint permission mode and Project Server permission mode deletes all security-related settings. If you switch from SharePoint permission mode to classic Project Server permission mode, you have to manually configure your security permissions structure in Project Server 2013. Switching from Project Server permission mode back to SharePoint permission mode deletes your security permissions information from Project Server 2013.

A deeper look at the two permission modes

In this chalk talk video, Microsoft Program Manager Matt Roe discusses the two permission modes and offers some best practices.

Video: Project Server permission modes

Video (play button) icon
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