Member groups are a useful tool for the administration of workspace membership and for the management of access rights. In particular, a member group lets you store and update the assignment of persons to a role – and to the access rights associated with the role – in a single place. This information may be made available to the users of your BSCW server by showing the group as candidate for invitation to shared workspaces. The group may then be invited to arbitrary workspaces as a whole. Changes in group membership and role assignment are automatically updated in all places where the group appears as a whole.
• Create workspaces for smaller groups of users whom you want to treat as groups on their own because of their function or the tasks they work on.
• Select File Access Show Group in the top menu of such a workspace or its members’ page in order to make the group as a whole available for invitation to workspaces for all users of your BSCW server. The name of the group is ‘Members of workspace name’. Hit [OK].
Note: This action is by default only allowed for managers of a workspace.
• You (and other users) may now invite such a whole member group as a member to other workspaces. In the ‘Invite Member’ action form choose ‘Search for BSCW groups’, enter a search term and transfer one or more of the groups found to the field ‘Selected users’. The group or groups will become members of the shared workspace.
If you want to revoke the availability of a member group for invitation,
• select File Access Hide Group in the top menu of such a workspace or its members’ page.
Note: For member groups of community workspaces, i.e. of workspaces with a community as member, the availability for invitation to other workspaces is determined by the community’s admission policy. For a hidden community, the member group of the respective workspace is not available for invitation, for closed and open communities, which are visible for other users anyhow, it is. Consequently, the actions Show Group and Hide Group are not possible for such member groups.
When you invite the member group of a workspace X to a workspace Y, ‘Members of X’ become a member of ‘Members of Y’, i.e. ‘Members of X’ are contained in ‘Members of Y’. This relation between the member groups implies the inverse relation between the workspaces involved: workspace Y is automatically made part of workspace X, i.e. is contained in workspace X (see 220.127.116.11 Embedding a workspace into another workspace where workspaces are embedded in one another with analogous consequences for the member groups).
Note: All members of an invited group hold the role in which they were invited as a group – only restricted members become anonymous members. Should members hold several roles due to such a group invitation, they have all rights associated to the different roles.
You can use this mechanism to map a hierarchical organization onto BSCW workspaces and their member groups. Create workspaces for all organizational units, invite the users belonging to the lowest level units to the respective workspaces and add the member groups of these workspaces to your address book. Next, invite the member groups of the lowest level units to the workspaces one level higher to which they belong (plus some managers and staff). Working your way upwards in the organizational hierarchy, you create a corresponding hierarchy of member groups and workspaces.
Note: If you plan to create large member groups where the vast majority of members has the same role, for performance reasons, you should consider using communities.