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Understanding User Rights

In a multi-user environment controlling what a user can do is crucial. If you are a using Feng Office as a client extranet you probably don't want one client to see the documents of another client. If you are using Feng Office as an intranet you may have certain workspaces where certain employees are not allowed to edit information, and some other workspaces which are visible to the management exclusively.

Setting the user rights is one of the more complex tasks in Feng Office. There are properties at several places, and you have to know where to find them and how they relate to each other. This page tries to summarize all the different settings that control user rights.

Types & levels

Basically there are two types of permissions: Some apply to your Feng Office installation as a whole - we call them system permissions. Others can be set per workspace - we refer to them as workspace permissions.

On the other hand there are separate levels for setting permissions: You may grant (or deny) certain permissions per user (user level permissions) or per user group (group level permissions). In older versions there have been company level permissions as well, but they are ignored since Feng Office 1.5.

User level permissions

On the level of each single user you can set system permissions as well as workspace permissions.

System permissions

The system permissions define whether a user:

  • Can edit company data: If this permission is set the user will be able to edit the Owner Company's data in the Administration panel. This option is available for administrators only.
  • Can manage security: If this permission is set the user will be able to edit other users' permissions in the Administration panel. This option is available for administrators only.
  • Can manage workspaces: If this permission is set the user will be able to add, edit and delete Workspaces.
  • Can manage configuration If this permission is set the user will be able to edit system configuration in the Administration panel. This option is available for administrators only.
  • Can manage all contacts: If this permission is set the user will be able to edit all Contacts in the system. If it is not set, the user will only be able to see the contacts of the workspaces over which he has per-workspace permissions.
  • Can manage templates: If this permission is set the user will be able to add, edit and delete Templates in the Administration panel. This option is available for administrators only.
  • Can manage reports: If this permission is set the user will be able to add, edit and delete Reports in the Reporting tab.
  • Can manage time: If this permission is set the user will be able to work in the Time module and add time slots to tasks.
  • Can add mail accounts: If this permission is set, the user will be able to add e-mail accounts.

Workspace permissions

Workspace permissions can be set by checking the checkboxes for the respective workspaces, which gives the user full access to that workspace.

You can also edit permissions for a workspace from the Workspace's edit view. Here you can select which users will have access to the workspace. This permissions are the same as the ones defined on the user's view.

If you want to control workspace permissions in detail, click on the name of that workspace to bring up the workspace permission details. There you can define for each object type if a user is able to read and write it, to read it only, or not see it at all.

There are two more checkboxes to control how a user can assign tasks to other users. If you activate the first one, this user can assign tasks to users of the owner company; if you activate the second one, this user can assign tasks to users of other client companies. If you don't check any of the two, this user can assign tasks only to users of his own company.

Group level permissions

Groups (or roles) are a common concept for dealing with user rights. The idea is that you do not set permissions for every single user but that you can define groups (or roles) with specific rights and add the users to a certain group (or role). This makes controlling and updating permissions much easier.

Since version 1.5 you can define workspace permissions as well as system permissions for a group. A group's permissions will apply to all of its users. Permissions are cumulative, meaning that a user will have all permissions defined in all of his groups plus his own permissions, or put in other words, if it has a permission set in at least one of his groups or his own permissions, he will have that permission.

Company level permissions (discontinued)

Company permissions are ignored in Feng Office 1.5.x, so you can skip this section if you are using that version.

There is also a screen where you can set workspace permission for each company.

PLEASE NOTE: Whether a user can access a workspace or not is defined by the workspace permissions from the user profile (see above), not by the workspace permissions of the company the user belongs to. If you add the permission to access a certain workspace to the company, this permission is not automatically given to all users of that company; you have to add this permission manually for each user (that's what the yellow box says). This is a good thing, because it prevents you from giving permission to a user accidentally.

Nevertheless this can be a bit confusing, and you may be asking yourself what workspace permissions on the company level are good for then. Setting or removing a workspace permission on the company level has the following impacts:

  • If you remove a workspace permission, this permission is taken from all users of that company. This gives you a powerful tool to hide and lock a workspace from all users of a company very quickly, and this is the main advantage of this feature.
  • If a company has no workspace permission at all, then you can't set workspace permissions for users of that company. (But as soon as you have set at least one permission, users can be given permission to any workspace, as stated above.)
  • If you edit workspace permissions as part of the workspace properties (see Working with workspaces), then all users of companies that have permission for that workspace are displayed automatically. (But you can display users of other companies as well simply by checking a checkbox, so this is simple usability feature.)

Contacts permission anomaly

This section is only important if you are using an Feng Office version older than 1.5.

In Feng Office 1.5 the “Can manage contacts” permission has been renamed to “Can manage all contacts”. This permission gives you rights on all Contacts in the system, disregarding on which Workspace they lie. If a user doesn't have the “Can manage all contacts” permission set, Contacts will behave like any other Content Object for him, so he will only be able to see Contacts assigned to Workspaces on which he can “read” Contacts.

On older versions however, contacts do not act the same way as all other content objects regarding permissions. If a user has permissions to manage contacts, he can access all contacts if he clicks All in the workspace selector - not only the contacts of the workspaces he has permissions for. In other words: Assigning contacts to a workspace does not affect its visibility for other users but is only a way to organise contacts.

Discussion

PLEASE NOTE: Comments to the wiki should only contain suggestions and questions that help us to improve the manual (and not the software). These comments will be deleted as soon as the information has been integrated into the manual.

Posts that do not contribute to the DOCUMENTATION of the project will be DELETED.

Ask QUESTIONS on the product here.
Report BUGS here.
Propose NEW FEATURES here.


Robert Cummings, 2009-11-25 19:25

It is worth noting that the “All” top level item int he Workspace hierarchy is NOT a real workspace. It is virtual, and as such you cannot add events or contacts to it. This can be confusing since you get permission denied or similar when you try. Additionally, it is worth noting that when you create a new account and check the option to have a contact entry created, that contact entry is NOT assigned to anyworkspace, and while an administrator or anyone who can “Manage all contacts” can see the contact entries, regular users cannot until such time as they are added to a workspace.

Jim Camomile, 2009-12-23 18:42

Much of your documentation explains the mechanics of changing settings but does not explain much about how to achieve project organization with your product. This documentation needs to better explain the concepts, perhaps through real life examples.

rob, 2010-02-26 20:42

if I am the admin and would like to create a manager1 that can to create own user and groups, but that cannot change my permess how can to do? because I would like to be at a level superior of manager1 and assign him those capacity

Bartosz Walecki, 2010-03-18 21:34

How to block users to see reports ? But I want as an admin to see it ?

Ignacio, 2010-06-03 21:35

Please note that if you want to give admin powers to a user, you should list him/her to the admin group.

Brian Mullan, 2010-10-01 13:13

I'm in agreement with Jim Camomile's comment regarding a short document that would illustrate the logical setup and organization of an example business.

Francisco Ponce de León, 2010-10-01 22:34

We are aware that this manual needs an update, and we are working on it, however, there is reason why it is of Wiki Content, so that anyone can help explaining some features, plus giving more feedback through comments like this. Do take in consideration we also have an active forum where you can get help and see how other people uses Feng Office, but if you are considering using our services, please do not hesitate contacting us through email. Remember you may also try it out through the free trial system!

Andy, 2011-02-16 08:04

Hi i cant seem to get into my email account settings, i changed settings to IMAP and now cant receive any emails or access account settings so i want to change back to POP.

Any ideas on what ive done or how tom fix?

Francisco Ponce de León, 2011-02-16 15:40

If you are using the Feng Office Community Edition, I suggest you to look at the forum since there is a thread explaining how to deal with this. Otherwise, if you are an onSky or onSite user, feel free to submit a Support Ticket for further personal assistance.

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user_rights.txt · Last modified: 2014-04-09 16:15 by nicolas
 
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