12 Replies Latest reply on Sep 9, 2010 12:30 PM by tmaurer

    Restrict "People Directory" to members of the same Space

      At the moment, the "People" directory is global across all spaces - that is, every registered member is visible in the directory to everyone.

       

      We would like to be able to use Clearspace as a collaborative tool that allows people internal to our organisation to work together with external clients/contractors on specific projects/deals. A global people directory is fine for internal users, but we''d like to restrict the visibility of the directory to external clients as it may reveal commercially sensitive information regarding other parties we were working with on other projects/deals.

       

      Would it be possible to add a feature that restricts a group''s visibility of people in the directory to members of the same space only?

        • Re: Restrict "People Directory" to members of the same Space
          nick

          Hey Stuart,

           

          We currently do not have any plans to implement this in the core product, but your feedback is greatly appreciated and we will take a look at this use case in more detail.

           

          One thing we are planning on implementing soon is the concept of ''membership'' into spaces, where you will be able to see all the users that are a member of that space.

           

          Anway, to solve this problem you will need to make a pretty minor customization to the product. There are a few ways you can accomplish this:

           

          1.) Simply override the people.ftl template file to get the current page user, check that they are a member of the appropriate group, and allow them to view the page. The upside to this approach is that you do not have to write any java code and deal with the source release and compiling your customizations. The downside is that it is a bit more of a hack and will be harder to maintain in the future.

           

          2.) Customize the PeopleAction.java file to check the current page user and allow then to view the page if they are a member of the appropriate group, else return UNAUTHORIZED to redirect them away. The upside to this approach is that it is cleaner and matches the way the core product would be developed. The downside is you have to deal with setting up a build environment and writing Java code. You will need to use your custom action in place of the main one by overwritting the action definition in xwork-community.xml.

           

          3.) If you are going to need this functionality (only members of a specific group can view various pages) you can write a custom interceptor that checks the current user is a member of the appropriate group and continues with the request, otherwise UNAUTHORIZED is returned. You can then apply the interceptor to any action you wish in xwork-community.xml. This is essentially the same as the Action approach, only allows you to write the code in one place and apply it to any action necessary.

           

          Also note that we have autocomplete of usernames in various fields where one might need to enter a username, such as the document collaboration page. It sounds like this might cause a few problems as well, and could probably be solved by changing some javascript to return an empty list of users.

           

          There is some additional documentation online regarding customizations, and we will be happy to help with some basic questions. If you are not comfortable making these customizations, or do not have a team in place to do so, our professional services team is available to help out in such situations.

           

          Hope this helps,

           

          Nick

            • Re: Restrict "People Directory" to members of the same Space

              Nick,

               

              Thank you for a comprehensive list of possible solutions to the use case I presented. I think we will use Clearspace as an internal organisation collaborative tool to begin with and keep a close eye on future developments to determine whether it''s something we can use to collaborate with external clients.

               

              Thanks again,

              Stuart

              • Re: Restrict "People Directory" to members of the same Space
                RobAlexander
                nick wrote:

                >

                One thing we are planning on implementing soon is the concept of ''membership'' into spaces, where you will be able to see all the users that are a member of that space.

                 

                 

                 

                Nick,

                 

                I think that "membership" concept is exactly what Stuart wants. We at WGU also want it. It is a concept that exists in our former external community system (Luminis Portal) and also in SharePoint Server, which we are evaluating for internal use. I envision that there could be a "Community Members" widget displaying members of the community in which it is used, or that the People list would only display members of the community from which it was accessed.

                 

                Can you please give us an idea how soon this will be implemented? We launched our new Clearspace X communities on December 1 and are getting a lot of requests for this from our community leaders and members.

                 

                Thanks,

                Rob

                  • Re: Restrict "People Directory" to members of the same Space

                     

                    We are also looking for some similar functionality, being that guests can also see your entire member directory, that is the least undesirable of all the potential membership problems.

                     

                     

                    We've customized the people.ftl, to change the information that is being displayed so that there is less of a privacy concern / data loss, but an option to disable / enable different features easily, with need for a code change would be great.

                     

                     

                    Dan Cooper

                    (http://communities.cognos.com/)

                     

                     

                    • Re: Restrict "People Directory" to members of the same Space

                      Hi Rob and Danthuman,

                       

                      We hear you about adding the notion of membership to Clearspace/X. It is a topic that has generated much debate internally because it would be very useful in a lot of cases. We do plan to add the functionality, but it isn't yet scheduled for a specific release. One major concern is how to avoid making cliques (although there are great use cases for this type of organization as well) and continue to encourage openness and visibility across the organization to facilitate the serendipity that generates so much value.

                       

                      Any ideas you have along these lines would be great!

                       

                      Cheers,

                      Greg

                        • Re: Restrict "People Directory" to members of the same Space
                          RobAlexander

                          Greg,

                           

                          Thank you for your response. I understand that you want to "continue to encourage openness and visibility across the organization to facilitate the serendipity that generates so much value". However, I feel that the security and privacy desires of your customers and potential customers should be more important than forcing (not just encouraging) openness due to the current lack of a good notion of membership. My guess is that you're missing out on possible business due to this. 

                           

                          For our external communities, it's not about making cliques, it's about helping our students feel secure and private enough so that they remain involved in their communities. It's also about focusing our students' time and efforts on things that will help them develop competencies and progress toward graduation.

                           

                          Maybe this could be another difference between Clearspace and Clearspace X. By default, the membership concept could be turned off in Clearspace and on in Clearspace X. How soon do you think you'll schedule the membership functionality for a specific release?

                           

                          Thanks,

                          Rob

                            • Re: Restrict "People Directory" to members of the same Space

                              Hi Rob,

                               

                              Thanks for your feedback! I'm sorry I left you with the impression that we're holding back on the feature because we want to enforce openness. Rather, we want to provide a way to keep the openness if it is wanted while still allowing people to create smaller, more private groups.

                               

                              Your use case is great and one of the ones we see as an excellent fit for memberships. Having it be a difference between Clearspace and Clearspace X is an interesting idea.

                               

                              Regarding the schedule, that is always hard to pin down until a specific release plan is created, but we are in the process now of planning for 2008 so I expect that we'll have a much better idea of when this functionality might land in the first quarter of 2008.

                               

                              Thanks again,

                              Greg

                        • Re: Restrict "People Directory" to members of the same Space
                          cknudsen

                          We are looking to do something very similar.  Have any of the possible solutions changed since 2007?  We have SBS 4.0 installed.

                           

                          We will be creating private spaces only.  There will be no open spaces.  People browsing outside of the privates spaces is turned off.  If a user is only in private space "A" and no other spaces, then the only names/logins/profiles they should see anywhere in SBS are those also in space "A".  In any of the auto-complete boxes for usernames, the same should be true: only users in the same space should show up.

                           

                          Thanks,

                          Craig