The groups that a user is a member of, determine the content they can see. The role attached to each specific group membership, determines the functionality the user has. Membership and role for any group is unrelated to what it might be on any other group.
Membership of projects and groups is different to having an account on the server. This is an aspect of PageSeeder that can be confusing to new users. Simply creating an account on a PageSeeder server, although critical, is usually not enough to provide a new user with meaningful access to content. Generally, a new user must first create an account, then join at least one group.
The exception to this rule is anyone who joins the server in the role of Administrator.
Key information for all member accounts is the following:
- firstname and surname – both fields are limited to 50 characters (required);
- username – must be less than 100 characters, unique and can have letters, numbers, ‘.’, ‘_’, ‘-’ but can’t be all numbers (optional);
- email – must be less than 100 characters, unique and a valid email address (required).
By default, member information is minimal, however, there is a way to extend the member details information. This is done by adding fields to an account for a particular group.
Although these fields can be configured with additional permission, when modeling, it is important to understand that the fields belong to the account, but only for that group. Meaning that the field contents are not accessible outside the group or that the same field names could have different meanings in another group.
Using PageSeeder to access an external website
An unmodified PageSeeder server can be used to manage access to a Berlioz website (see tutorial). An example use case might be something like the following:
- Members belonging to a group for students also belong to a group called
- One of the
class_10amembers could also belong to a group for teachers.
- Information stored at the intersection of these groups might be the rolling weekly average mark for each student. Students could see only their own mark.
- Where the teacher intersects with the group, an additional, editable field could be visible for the teacher to store progress notes about each student. These would be visible only to the teacher.
- As a group member, the teacher can assign a task to all members of the
class_10agroup, students can respond to the teacher or the class.
- No one outside the group can post any comments or view any documents.
- At the end of the term, the students could leave the
class_10agroup and new students could join. The previous accounts could be recalled but wouldn't be available in the day to day list of members.
These combinations of group membership and role allow for the teacher and students to belong to multiple, simultaneous classes at the same time as providing flexible, secure access to both communal and personal information. Keeping the extra information in the group instead of the user account means the model can scale without becoming overly complex.
This functionality associated with extended member details is also accessible through the native PageSeeder interface.