19 Replies Latest reply on May 30, 2018 7:35 AM by Sarah O'Meara

    Groups vs. Spaces


      I am having trouble explaining to others the difference between Groups and Spaces in our community.  Maybe this is because I am not quite sure about the difference myself. I can see the concept, and know that there are some things you can do in one and not the other (ie projects), but am wondering how you explain the difference? Is there a guideline of when one would be more appropriate than the other, as well as a list of the differences?

        • Re: Groups vs. Spaces

          Here is a chart that should give you some ideas between the two:

                   Functionality              Space              Group     
          Who can create?Only space administrators. These are usually designated community managers who have received space administration training.Any authenticated user
          Typical PurposeSpaces are typically used to create a more structured, browsable hierarchy. For example, some create a space and sub-spaces for each functional area across their organization; some create spaces that promote the cross-organizational conversations you want to invoke; some also create departmental spaces, but that is not a best practice, since it promotes siloes of information. http://experian.jivesoftware.com/docs/DOC-1032Groups are typically used for ad hoc gathering around a particular topic. Some create groups for their departments; some create groups about more social topics (e.g. Beer Lovers). 
          QuantityBest practice is to keep the number of top-level spaces small. Proliferation of spaces leads to a confusing UI and the inability to figure out where exactly to place new content.Best practice is to let users create as many groups as they want and allow overlap. Group membership appears in a person's profile, and facilitates expertise location and the discovery of similar people.
          FunctionalityProjects, Discussions, Documents, space-based Blog, Tag Groups, Polls, Announcements and more can be created in Spaces. Of the two, the Space has more functionality.Discussions, Documents, group-based Blog, Polls and Announcements can be created in Groups.
          MembershipThere is no membership element to a public Space. There is, however, with a private SpaceThere is membership for all four Group Types, including Open, Members Only, Private, and Secret (create a group to learn about the differences in these types)
          Appearance in UI - DifferencesSpaces are available in the Space widget, which can be added to All Content page, users' Your View page, and the Overview page of spaces.Groups only appear via Browse -> Groups, and in the Your Groups widget, which is only available on a user's Your View page. Best practice is to add a link to the User Bar that takes a user directly to the Groups directory, as you see we've done in this Clearspace instance.
          7 people found this helpful
          • Re: Groups vs. Spaces

            This definitely helps. Thanks!

            • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
              mbangash Intermediate

              Here's an updated comparison after some reading. References at the bottom.


              Functionality              Space              Group    
              Who can create?Only    space administrators. These are usually designated community managers    who have received space administration training including how to   control  permissions in detail.

              Group  creation can be set up as 'self serviced' or 'governed'.  If  you setup  the system as self serviced, the end users get the  ability  to create  Groups on their own that allows emergent patterns in  an  organization.  The community managers can then monitor the emerging   patterns. If some   groups are not adopted well they can disbanded. If   there are groups   with   similar interest they can be linked together   or merged depending   on  the  needs and objectives. On the other hand   if you setup the  system as governeded it allows the community managers   to pre-govern and   monitor  the creation of new groups (* see note below).


              * In the jive admin console, you can set  permissions at the  system  level such that end users cannot create  Groups by themselves in  order to implement a governed approach for  Groups creation. Though it  seems counter intuitive it may make sense for  some implmentations.

              Typical Purpose

              Spaces  are the closest thing to the hierarchical/folder paradigm   we're all  accustomed to. They are typically used to create a more   structured,  browsable hierarchy.


              For example, to create a space  and sub-spaces structure to  replicate  a departmental or organizational  heirarchy. While users may   occasionally have cross-functional needs that  require  them to visit  a  variety of spaces, they will generally spend  most of  their time  and  energy in the space dedicated to their  functional area. This is  not a  best practice, since it promotes siloes  of information.


              Best Pracice: A space can be used for high level  cross-cutting   topical areas of collaboration. The  can be used as an  entry point or  a  'lobby' for a certain area of  interest or community.  In a large   enterprise, space structures should reflect:

              • key enterprise knowledge domains (e.g.,  products,    customers, industries) where there is significant business       value    to be gained by improving collaboration at the enterprise level
              • key strategic topics where  your       organization  is  trying to stimulate enterprise conversation  and        collaboration  (e.g., Innovation, High-Performance Teams,  Growth,        Globalization,  Customer Focus).
              key business processes where there is a strong collaborative requirement (e.g., idea-to-market product  development methodology)

              Groups on the other hand, can be used to bring people   together in  the  kind of informal networks that form spontaneously   within an   organization (This can be better achieved by using the 'self  serviced'  approach described above).


              Groups can be used to create departmental  collaboration, functional   areas, topics, projects, team based  collaboration, communities of   interest, practice groups,  etc. Groups  can also be used for ad hoc   gathering around a particular topic. Groups  do not  have a heirarchy   (no sub-groups within groups). While a Space  can be a  high level  entry  point around topical thems or organizational  and strategic  areas,  Groups can be created for smaller    groups/committees/teams/departments/units. Community managers can  create   links to relevant groups inside the broader enterprise level  Space.


              Best Practice for Groups usage:

              • Teams
              • Committees
              • Departments
              • Units
              • Project Collaboration
              • Communities of Interest dedicated to sharing knowledge  around topics
              • Communities of Practice dedicated to sharing best practices  and support
              QuantityBest    practice is to keep the number of top-level spaces small.    Proliferation  of spaces leads to a confusing UI and the inability to    figure out where  exactly to place new content.Best    practice is to let users create as many groups as they want and   allow   overlap. Group membership appears in a person's profile, and   facilitates  expertise location and the discovery of similar people.
              FunctionalityProjects,  Discussions, Documents, space-based Blog, Categories, Polls,  Announcements and more can be created in Spaces.

              Groups     have all of the functional tools of a Space e.g.   Discussions,    Documents, Blogs, Projects, Polls, Events, Ideas,   Announcements etc.     Functionally, there's hardly any difference.


              INPUT NEEDED: Can someone input any functional difference?

              MembershipThere    is no membership element to a public Space. For a Private Space, the  space admins or the system admins can create access control in  the   backend. Space admins can then use a widget in the front user   interface  to show who has access. It is not recommended to use Spaces   to create  private collaboration. Although the membership and   permissions can be  controlled at a much granular level, it is usually   not recommended to  use a Space for private collaboration.

              Groups  have a strong membership component, unlike spaces – there is  a     Members tab, in fact. Members can feel 'belonging' to a group.    Because  of this, groups are a great way to uncover   pockets of    like-minded  people within the organization, and provide an     opportunity  for them  to discover one another.


              There is membership for all four Group Types, including Open, Members Only,  Private, and Secret (details here).     There is always a 'Members' tab in a Group that shows members of that    group. Members can join or leave groups. Everyone can join or ask to    join a Group depending on privacy settings of the group. For    secret/restricted groups users don't see them in general listing or     search, the group owner must invite a user to join.











              1 person found this helpful
                • Re: Groups vs. Spaces

                  Great update!


                  Since we're on 4.0 and not on the latest version of SBS, I'm not sure about the following:

                  -- space memberships: can space admins invite people to join spaces now or become members? Or perhaps there is just an email component to spaces now?

                  -- functional difference between space & groups: I think it's worthwhile noting that groups do not support subspaces nor flexible permission schemes

                  -- do you think most people use groups for departments and organizational units?  From what I can tell, I think my companies uses spaces for that primarily because of the need for subspaces and more flexible permissioning.

                • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
                  TommyRyan Beginner

                  I noticed that hosted Jive Environments provisions the "Water Cooler" place as Space vs. a Group.  I would think a gathering place (Water Cooler) would best fit as a Group, so not sure if I am missing the point of a Space vs. Group.  What are others choosing for a Place type when creating a place to gather and have ad-hoc conversations like "Water Cooler"?

                    • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
                      tmaurer Jive SME

                      Check out this other very active discussion on the topic, The specified item was not found.

                      • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
                        scottwdennis Advanced

                        Noob question; is it correct that groups and spaces are both considered places?  If so, are there other content types that also fall under the places umbrella?

                          • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
                            Libby Taylor Expert

                            I believe Projects are also considered Places.

                            • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
                              JHaines Beginner

                              Scott Dennis its certainly common parlance to refer to Spaces and Groups as places but there is a definite hirearchy which may need to be descibed depending on the familiarity of your audiance with the differences between the two types (Spaces and Groups). 

                              • Re: Groups vs. Spaces

                                Hi Scott.  Officially Groups and Spaces are both Places. Also, Projects can be considered a Place, though they live within Spaces and Groups and will inherit the security of the place they reside.


                                To throw a curve ball into this, Personal Blogs are not a Place, but they behave a lot like one.  For example, you can follow a personal blog in your inbox and will be updated each time that blog is updated, just like you would if you followed a Group in your inbox and were updated each time a new piece of content was uploaded to that Group.  Blogs that are created within a Place (Group or Space) are treated just like any other content type in that Place.

                                  • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
                                    scottwdennis Advanced

                                    Alan, Jeremy and Libby,


                                    Thank you very much.  This helps.


                                    So, I have my community.  At the top level I have a limited number of spaces.  Authenticated users can create groups.  Within groups or spaces people can add various content types, including projects, which while technically being places themselves, must live within either a space or a group.  I can browse spaces or groups or all places.  At the All Places level I can also choose to browse by Spaces, Projects, and Groups.  Does that about cover it?


                                    Thanks again,


                              • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
                                brittneywilson Novice

                                Is there a limit to the number of members that can be in a group or space?

                                  • Re: Groups vs. Spaces

                                    To my knowledge there is no limit to the number of members – I've seen groups with members in the thousands.  Spaces do not have members, they just have followers which is not limited.

                                      • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
                                        anupama Novice

                                        Hi Sarah,

                                        We are unable to delete one of our on-premises group from our portal with admin access.Obsereved below errors message when we try to delete the group.

                                        It happen only with this group.


                                        Can we delete it from backend and what queries we need to run in-order to delete it permanently?

                                        and also we are not able to manage the members in this group.Below are the  error messages when we try to add/remove the user.




                                        Unable to load or manage user

                                        Unable to load or manage social group member

                                        Unable to sync user to  Directory  - Application group, app-store-LC was not found."}

                                        An unexpected error has occurred




                                          • Re: Groups vs. Spaces

                                            Hi Anupama Ailineni, are you running into this issue when you try to delete it from the front end?

                                            If you go to the group and click on "Manage" in the upper right corner you should see the option to delete the group:

                                            If that does not work, I recommend submitting a case in your MyJive support group. If you are not sure how to access your support group, please let me know and I'll be able to assist.



                                              • Re: Groups vs. Spaces
                                                anupama Novice

                                                Hi Sarah,


                                                Thanks for the reply. We see below error message when we try to delete the area from front end and also tried some SQL queries from backend DB to delete the area but it doest work.

                                                I will open jive case to fix this issue.

                                                Issue: Area is not getting deleted from frontend.

                                                Area url > Manage > delete option in my portal


                                                " An unexpected error has occurred "