Managing and publishing content

eSpaces offers extremely flexible and granular security for content items that are stored on the site. Content can be shared with individuals or groups of users following Granting access to your content, and content can be published to the public with Creating public content.

Permissions overview

First, make sure you’re aware of what roles can be granted to individuals or groups of users. A level of access below corresponds to a role for a particular area of the site.

Important

Take care when assigning access to other users. Always double-check the person or group you are sharing with is correct and that you trust them with the access you’re providing. Also make sure you are granting a suitable level of access to the right range of content.

Warning

Granting users more access than they require can be both useful, and potentially dangerous. Take care.

Access types

Access Description
Can add Allows new files to be uploaded or content items to be created in this folder, granting access to the Add new menu. This has no effect on non-folder content. Corresponds to the Contributor role.
Can edit Allows editing of existing content, granting access to the Edit tab against content. Corresponds to the Editor role.
Can review Allows the user to publish and review content, granting access to extra controls in the State menu. Corresponds to the Reviewer role.
Can view Allows the user to see private or non-shared content. Use this permission to grant access to specific folders and content areas on a portal. Corresponds to the Viewer role.

Roles

The core content-centric roles are as follows:

Contributor
Users can create content in the areas they have been granted this role. This provides access to the Add new menu.
Editor
Users can modify and delete content where they have been granted this role. This provides access to the Edit tab and controls for deleting and moving content.
Reviewer
Users with this role can publish and retract content from being accessible to the public. This provides access to the State menu.
Viewer
Users with this role can see content that is in the Private workflow state.

For site administration purposes, there are two additional special roles:

Site Adminstrator
Special site-wide role for administrators granting access to all content and all content management abilities. Can adjust most site setup configuration options, with the exception of managing complex and lower-level system settings such as the Zope Management Interface (ZMI).
Manager
Special site-wide role with all permissions and abilities. Users with this permission are effectively super users and can do everything, everywhere.

Local and site-wide roles

Roles can be applied to grant users permissions in one of two different ways, either as local roles or as site-wide roles.

Local roles are applied just for a specific area on the site, being either a specific content item, or for an entire folder. This is the most typical manner in which to grant users access to content because it can be controlled on a very granular level. For example, a certain user or set of users should have access to a certain folder or file, whilst other users should not. This is the process described under Granting access to your content and users are able to self-manage permissions without requiring a site administrator’s assistance.

Site-wide or global roles are applied by a system administrator and grant a given user or set of users access across the entire site. This is useful in the situation where a user is a content administrator or review personnel for all content across a site. Care should always be taken which granting any unrestricted access across a site.

Granting access to your content

Important

The creation of groups for sharing is not supported by eSpaces.

Sometimes you’ll want to give access to individuals rather than the whole Internet; you can choose to share your document with a particular person.

Important

Keep in mind if you see this message:

The default view message

then you should take care to decide whether you want permissions to apply to this content item (the default view for the folder) or whether you want the permissions to apply to the whole folder. In almost all cases, you will want to click the go here link and apply permissions to the folder.

The sharing page

In order to selectively grant access to some content:

  1. Browse to the piece of content that you’d like to share, or browse to the folder that surrounds the content if you’d like to grant access to the entire folder.
  2. Click on the Sharing tab
  3. Search for a name by typing it into the search box and clicking the Search button. You can also search for partial names, email addresses, or user IDs as well.
  4. When the appropriate entry appears, select the permissions in the same row to grant different types of access. You should refer to Access types mentioned above if you’re unsure what each permission does.
  5. Click the Save button to make the changes. Permission changes take effect immediately.

Sharing with all logged in users

Note

Be extremely careful and ensure this behaviour is what you want. Contact your site administrator if you’re unsure.

It is possible to share content with anyone who is able to log into eSpaces by selecting the Logged-in Users entry that appears on the Sharing tab, and granting permissions to this special group of users.

Keep in mind that by providing access in this way, all users on your site (which may be many different users) will be granted permission to your content.

Inheriting permissions

The Inherit permissions from higher level checkbox controls whether the current content item or folder uses the same permissions as the parent folder. This means that the permissions are inherited downwards from higher levels.

You may wish to enable or disable this functionality depending on your security requirements. For example, if you want one specific area to have customised security, then you may want to disable this option. Alternatively, if you want security to automatically apply from the higher-level folder, leave this enabled. For sharing-based access, the page will always display the resultant security settings for you to peruse.

To enable or disable this functionality:

  1. Select or deselect the checkbox on the Sharing page.
  2. Click the Save button to make the changes. The page will refresh and show you the resulting access permissions for the content item or folder.

Workflows and document publishing

Note

Workflows play an important role in content security and control who can see the content, inclduing whether it is accessible to the public.

What is a state and what is a workflow?

A state is a condition that a piece of content is in as part of a workflow, which is a process that your content passes through before it becomes available to others on eSpaces.

The state controls visibility and overarching permission to access the content. When an item is first created, its state is Private. Typically, users will require their content to be reviewed (placed into the Pending state) before it is published to the public (the Published state). Full details about what each of these relates to are outlined in Workflow states.

Users without the Can review permission (or Reviewer role) are prevented from making content available to the public. This process commonly requires a content manager or site administrator to be part of the workflow to ensure that content posted meets standards set by you or your group. In some cases, this may not be very important, if all users should be able to publish documents, but is imperative in others, such as when all content must remain private or when content must be reviewed prior to posting.

Note

Whilst this sounds onerous, in the case of simpler environments, the workflow process may be as simple as ‘all content is private’ or ‘no approval is necessary’ with the appropriate configuration in place.

Workflow states

At each point in the workflow your document will have a different state. These states are listed below:

State Description
Private
  • Only visible/editable by creator and site administrators
  • Can be shared with individuals via Sharing tab
  • Must be published before being visible to public
  • Content managers can publish immediately
Pending
  • Has been submitted for review through workflow
  • Awaiting a decision from content manager or site administrator
  • User with Reviewer role may publish or reject this
  • Accessed in the same way as other Private content
Published
  • Are available to all site visitors
  • Visible to the public, without login
  • Content managers can retract back to being Private.

For eSpaces, File and Image content types are configured specially to inherit the parent folder’s workflow state. This means that if the surrounding folder is Private then the files or images will be as well. The same applies to publishing content - in order to publish files or images, then the surrounding folder must be published.

The State menu

Changes to a piece of content’s workflow state (and thus its visibility) are controlled via the State drop-down menu, visible when you are viewing that piece of content.

State Drop Down Menu

This menu also displays the current state of your content, which is colour-coded to suit. This colourisation will be shown elsewhere on eSpaces, such as in navigation and in folder listings, to help you identify the state of content.

In addition to being able to change the state of the current content item, when looking at folders, the menu also provides an Advanced link. This advanced page allows fine-grained control over changing several items at once, and changing all items within sub-folders.

Creating public content

Private content is extremely useful for many purposes, but there will typically come a time that you need to publish content to the public.

  1. If you haven’t already, proceed with the instructions for Creating new content first.
  2. Browse to the content item that you would like to make public. It is also possible to publish a folder as well using the same process.
  3. Click State ‣ Publish.
    1. If you can’t see this, then you don’t have access to publish documents. If you feel you should have this access, you’ll need to contact your content manager or site administrator for access.
    2. If you see Submit for publication under the menu instead, then click this and the content will be submitted to your content manager for approval. You will need to now alert the relevant person to publish the content for you.

Reviewing content

Note

If you have suitable permissions, you’ll have the ability to review content for yourself and other users. Content manager and site administrators have this permission by default.

The review list is shown on your dashboard when you have review permissions and there are items to review. This list contains items that have been submitted by other users for review. Your dashboard can be accessed via User menu (your name) ‣ Dashboard.

Review list

If you don’t see this on your dashboard, you can add it easily via Edit ‣ Add portlet – it’s called a Review list portlet.

Reviewing an item

In order to review a given content item:

  1. Visit your dashboard and click the link to the item for review. Otherwise, browse to the content item to be reviewed.
  2. Use the State drop-down menu (see The State menu) to make a decision regarding either publishing or rejecting this item.

At this point you have the following choices for this item:

Reject the item

Reject the item by selecting Send back from the State drop-down menu.

  • You would reject the item if you feel that it is not appropriate for the site, or if it requires more work.
  • This returns the item to the Private state.
  • If you want to add comments describing why the document was rejected, click onto State ‣ Advanced first before rejecting it. Enter your comments here and select Reject to change the document’s state.
Approve the item

Important

Keep in mind that you may need to adhere to organisational policies or procedures when publishing documents on the web. The publishing process is your responsibility and your username is associated with all publications.

Approve the item by selecting Publish from the State drop-down menu.

  • This changes the content into the Published state.
  • The content is now publicly available on the Internet.
Edit the item
As the reviewer, you have permission to edit the document yourself. You can make any changes that are necessary and then approve the item.
Do nothing

If you’re not sure whether this item is suitable or not, you can simply leave it as it is.

This will leave the document in its Pending state for the time being. Keep in mind that it will eventually need to be either approved, edited or rejected. You may wish to seek advice from another site administrator or reviewer about the content.

Editing a published document

In order to make an edit to a previously published document, there are two choices, depending on who you are:

Content authors
  • The original author can choose Retract from the State drop-down menu, which moves the document back into the Private state.
  • The author can then make changes and save the content, and add it back to the review list using the State menu.
  • It must be approved by the reviewer or content manager and to be published again.
Content managers
  • Content managers or site administrators can edit any document or content.
  • Upon editing content, it is republished without the need to go through the workflow process again.
  • Take care when making changes as they become immediately visible.

Publishing a folder

You can choose to make folders public if you would like to share the data within it. As with all other publication of content, this can be reviewed later if necessary.

Important

On eSpaces, file and image content items inherit the workflow state of their parent folder. This means that if you include these content items inside pages or otherwise link to them, they will not be available to the public until you publish their folder (or move them into a published folder).

The same workflow associated with normal content applies to folders, so refer to Creating public content for more information.

Checking access permissions

There are a number of different areas where permissions can be granted in order to allow other users or the public access to your content. The following is a summary of where to look and what to check if you’re experiencing any issues with access:

  1. Check the workflow state of the item (the State menu). In order to only share with select people, ensure the state is set to private.
  2. Check the Sharing tab on the content item. This view displays all applicable customised permissions, including those that are being inherited from parent or higher-level folders.
  3. Check the permission inheritance setting on the Sharing view. This can be toggled on or off to control whether permissions from parent folders are inherited by this content.