Roles and Permissions Overview
Peter Novosel avatar
Written by Peter Novosel
Updated over a week ago

Why roles and permissions are important?

An important part of any work process is controlling who has access to create, view and edit data. SmartSuite provides you all the tools that you need to ensure that your data is secure, while making it easy to give the appropriate people access when they need it.

SmartSuite offers two levels of permissions - role based access, which determines the maximum permission level that can be assigned to a profile, and Solution permissions, which provides Solution Owners granular control over data visibility, creation, modification and deletion.

SmartSuite Access Roles

Roles represent user "types" and capabilities they have within SmartSuite. Roles determine whether the user has general end-user capabilities, the permission to create and modify Solutions, or permission to administer the entire SmartSuite workspace. There are four Roles that define a user's level of system access and capability:

  • Guest. Assigning a Guest role allows the user to view only the records that are assigned to them in a view-only state. They are only able to change the associated status using "My Work" and can modify checklist items assigned to them.

    The guest user offering is based on plan type, including:

    • Free plan - (1) 1 guest role user

    • Team plan - (1:1) Up to 1 guest role user per paid Team user

    • Pro plan - (3:1) Up to 3 guest role users per paid Pro user

    • Enterprise plan - (5:1) Up to 5 guest role users per paid Enterprise user

  • General access. The most common user role - General - provides users access to SmartSuite and its content. Users can see and interact with content that is assigned to the default Everyone Team, and also Solutions they are specifically added to by Solution Managers or Administrators. General users can be made Solution Managers for specific Solutions by another Solution Manager or an Administrator.

  • Solution Creator. Assigning the Solution Creator role tells SmartSuite that the user is allowed to create new Solutions, either from Solution Templates or from scratch. Just like General users, Solution Creators can be added as Solution Managers for Solutions created by other users, but they do not have these permissions by default (like Administrators do).

  • Administrator. The highest level of permission in SmartSuite is granted to users assigned the Administrator role. These users have access to all SmartSuite workspace settings - even billing and plan configuration - and can view, create, modify, or delete any Solution (or its data).

Roles at a Glance

Role Title

Paid Users?

Create Records

View Records

Edit Records

Delete Records

Mark as Favorite





Assigned Content

Status & Checklist Items in My Work


Assigned Content

Assigned Content

Assigned Content

General Access

Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Solution Creator

Own Solutions. Other Solutions Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Own Solutions. Other Solutions Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Own Solutions. Other Solutions Dependent on Solution/Table


Own Solutions. Other Solutions Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Own Solutions. Other Solutions Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Own Solutions. Other Solutions Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions

Own Solutions. Other Solutions Dependent on Solution/Table Permissions









Role Descriptions

Guest role

The Guest user role is a free user type who has limited access to the system's features and functions. They are able to only view and comment on records they've been assigned through our Assigned To field, and through our "My Work" feature are able to change the associated status of what they've been assigned. Guests can also modify checklist items assigned to them.

General access role

The General access role is assigned to most Members, providing them access to Solutions, Tables and their data as assigned to them or one of their Teams. General users cannot modify SmartSuite Solution configuration or change permissions but can take advantage of communications functions, @mentions, starred items, and much more.

General Access users can do that if they get assigned Solution Manager permissions in a given solution.

Also, note Solution Creators can lose access to solutions they’ve created if an other Solution Manager kicks them out.

Here are examples of what General access Members can do in SmartSuite:

  • Edit their own Profile (name, birthday, contact info, etc.)

  • View the Member Directory and individual Member Profiles

  • View and comment on records they are given access to

  • View and download saved views and their data

  • View user statuses and set their own status

  • Modify Tables and their fields in Solutions they are assigned the Solution Manager permission

Solution Creator role

The only difference between Solution Creator and General Access roles is that Solution Creators can create new solutions, while General Access uses – cannot.

Solution Creators do get Solution Manager permissions by default in a Solution they’ve created, but that’s not a lifetime privilege. For example, they can be downgraded to Viewers.

Users with the Solution Creator role have all the capabilities of General users, and additionally can create new Solutions.

Examples of what Solution Creators can do include:

  • Access all General user features

  • Modify Solution's name, color, icon and description for any Solutions they create

  • Import data into their Tables

  • Create and modify Tables in Solutions they have created

  • Duplicate Tables in their Solutions

  • Link Tables together with Linked Record fields in their Solutions

  • Add, modify or delete fields in their Solutions

  • Create automations for their Solutions

  • Configure permissions for their Solutions

  • Restore deleted Tables and fields from the recycle bin in their Solutions

  • Modify Tables and their fields in Solutions they did not create where they are assigned the Solution Manager permission

Administrator role

The Administrator role gives a user the highest level of access to your SmartSuite workspace, allowing them to perform EVERY system function, view and edit any information in SmartSuite, and configure administrative settings such as subscription plan and payment method.

For example, Admins can:

  • Create, edit and delete Member profiles

  • Invite new Members via email

  • Create, edit and delete Teams

  • Create, edit and delete Tables and Fields

  • Install Solution Templates

  • View, edit, and download Saved Views

  • View other users' private saved views

  • View usage logs and disconnect users

  • Customize SmartSuite's terminology (edit what your organization calls "Employees", etc.)

  • Enable and set up Integrations (Google, Slack, etc.)

  • Set default workspace settings (language, locale, etc.)

  • Configure company working days and holiday calendars

  • Select SmartSuite plan, billing frequency, payment method and billing address

Setting and Modifying a User's Role

Learn all about setting and managing user roles in the article Changing a Member's Role.

Solution Managers

The "Solution Manager" permission was mentioned previously in this article. Solution Manager is a permission, not a role, and must be assigned on a per-Solution basis. Solution managers assume limited administrative capabilities for their assigned Solutions(s), giving them control over public views, Tables and their fields, field placement on the edit record page, and all of the Solution's data.

Working with Roles and Permissions

Default Permissions Are Great for General Collaboration

SmartSuite user interfaces and functions are focused on making work easier, information more transparent and easily accessed, and every user experience intuitive. For the majority of the collaborative work teams do, the default All Access permission level works great. Individual users can make the updates they need to without complex approval processes that slow you down, while still having accountability through the changes tracked in history log, notifications that alert other users and real-time visibility to user edits.

Of course when the work you're doing becomes more sensitive or privileged, it's easy to restrict access to just the people who need it.

Use Teams to Make Managing Permissions a Snap

If you're part of a larger team, SmartSuite encourages you to manage Solution Permissions at the Team level instead of at the individual Member level. Creating Teams by function allows you to manage Team membership instead of modifying each Solution's permission configuration. For example, if someone moved from the Sales Team to the Marketing Team you can simply update their Team membership instead of modifying the permissions in several Solutions. Easy!

Be Careful with the Administrator Role!

SmartSuite Administrators have a LOT of power, with the ability to modify any customer-facing configuration setting, all Solutions - and all of your data. Make sure that users with Administrator-level profiles are well educated about SmartSuite and the system's configuration and take care when making updates.

For larger organizations it is a best practice to have Administrators use a second account with a lower level of permissions to make updates that do not require Administrator-level access.

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