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Limiting User Accounts

Archived content. No warranty is made as to technical accuracy. Content may contain URLs that were valid when originally published, but now link to sites or pages that no longer exist.

If you manage multiple Web sites or host sites for other organizations, you need to balance the load on your server computers and ensure an even distribution of resources. One way to achieve this balance and distribution is to control how many users have access to a Web site.

With Microsoft's SharePoint™ Team Services and Microsoft® FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions on the Microsoft Windows® platform, you can limit the number of users allowed access to a Web site on a per-virtual server basis. This way, you can safely delegate the tasks of creating and deleting accounts to the administrator of each Web site, but still maintain quotas on those actions to ensure that your server stability is not put at risk. SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions can also track user accounts as they are deleted and remove unused user accounts from the virtual server, freeing the quota for other users. User account limits are applied at the virtual-server level. This means that when you set a quota, it is per virtual server, not per Web site. In addition, there are safeguards built in to prevent a user from being added to multiple virtual servers on the same server computer. A user can be a member of multiple Web sites on a virtual server, but not of other Web sites on other virtual servers on the same server computer. This makes it easier to control who has access to which sites.

The ability to limit user accounts is available only on the Windows 2000 platforms and is turned off by default. If you want to implement user account limits, you must specify a limit by using either the command-line interface or HTML Administration pages. You must be a machine administrator (a member of the Administrators group of the server computer) to set SharePoint Team Services and FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions to track user accounts.

Storing user account information

To make the quotas possible, user account information is stored in a flat file database for each server computer. When you create a new user account, the user information is added to the database and is marked as belonging to a particular virtual server. When a user is deleted, he or she is removed from this database and will not be able to gain access to any site on that virtual server.

If the quota for the virtual server has been reached, and an administrator tries to add a new user, a message is returned that the quota has been reached and that a user must be deleted before a new user can be added. Also, if an administrator tries to add a user who already has an account on a different virtual server, a message is returned that the user already exists on another virtual server and cannot be added.

Only new local machine accounts are tracked in user account limits. Existing users and domain users do not count against the user account limits. For example, if you have an existing Web site and you upgrade that Web site to SharePoint Team Services or FrontPage 2002 Server Extensions, any user accounts that already exist on that Web site are not affected by user account limits. However, if you add a new user after the upgrade, the new user account is counted against the limits.

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Note   User account limit data is stored in the Owsuser.cnf file in the ..\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\Web Server Extensions\50 folder. If you are using account limits, you must back up this file whenever you back up your collaboration database and your site content. There is no way to repair this file other than restoring it from a backup.

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Using the command line to limit user accounts

You use the accountlimits operation to control how many accounts can be added to a virtual server. The accountlimits operation takes the following parameters.

Parameter

Description

-port

Optional

-multihost

Optional

-limit

Number of local accounts allowed. Set to a number to turn limits on (for example, 30) or to unlimited to turn limits off.

For example, the following command can be used to set port 80 to allow 30 users:

owsadm.exe o accountlimits p 80 limit 30

And the following command can be used to set port 80 to allow unlimited accounts:

owsadm.exe o accountlimits p 80 limit unlimited

Using HTML Administration pages to limit user accounts

User account limits are managed from the Virtual Server Administration page.

To set user account limits

  1. On the server computer click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft SharePoint Administrator.

  2. On the Server Administration page, click Administration next to the virtual server you want to manage.

  3. Under Administration, click Configure user account limits.

  4. In the Maximum number of user accounts box, type the number of user accounts you want to allow.

  5. Click Submit.

If you want to clear your user account limits, and allow site administrators to create as many accounts as they like, you can remove the user account limits by using an option on the same page.

To remove user account limits

  1. On the User Account Limits page, select the Unlimited number of user accounts check box.

  2. Click Submit.

Deleting users under account limits

When you reach the limit for user accounts, the only way you can add new users is by deleting existing users. You may also need to delete users when they no longer need any permissions to a site. To delete local machine accounts, you use the Manage Virtual Server Accounts page for the root web of the virtual server.

To delete a user account on the virtual server

  1. On the server computer click Start, point to Programs, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft SharePoint Administrator, and then on the Server Administration page, click the name of the site you want to manage.

  2. In the Users and Roles section, click Click here to add or delete accounts.

  3. On the Manage Virtual Server Accounts page, select the user account you want to delete.

  4. Click Delete selected user(s).

Note that the Manage Virtual Server Accounts page is only available when the user account limits are set to a specific number. If user account limits are set to unlimited, the account limit information does not appear on the Site Administration page.

Related links

For more information about adding users to roles or assigning rights to users, see Managing Users and Managing Roles.

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