- How does the user groupware operate ?
- The user level
- The supervisor level
- Implementing the user groupware
- Adding the user groupware into a site
- Running the site test
- Installing a site that is using the user groupware
- Configuring the site that is using the user groupware
- Managing users
- Managing the rights
- Displaying the statistics
- Migrating data
- Tips for a site that is managing the user groupware
- Using groups of controls
- Visibility of controls
- Defining rights
5. User groupware in practice
An Intranet or Internet site requires to define the role of different contributors. It is often necessary to define several access levels according to the user.
Indeed, all users do not have the same responsibilities or the same requirements. Their ability to use some of the application features can be customized.
Let's take a simple example: an application for sales management proposes the following features:
- Price list view,
- Price list modification,
- Order entry,
- Entering customers.
The accesses differ according to the user. Some examples:
- the administrative assistants can see the price list and create orders.
- the sales people can see the price list, place orders and create new customers.
- the sales directors have access to all options.
To manage these access levels in your WEBDEV sites, all you have to do is include the user groupware in your site. In just a few mouse clicks, a standard application can be changed into an application that manages several access levels. This feature can be easily implemented.
When running the site, the manager will be able to create users (identified by their login and password) and to give them access to some of the site features.
Remark: The user groupware is available in dynamic WEBDEV sites running on Windows or Linux. The user groupware is not available in static, PHP, AWP or Ajax sites.
How does the user groupware operate ?
A site that is using the user groupware has two use levels:
- the user level.
- the supervisor level.
The user level
The user connects to the application via a login page and he accesses the authorized features.
Remark: The user groupware can allow you to connect by using an LDAP directory.
The supervisor level
The supervisor connects to the application via a login page and he can access an advanced menu allowing him to configure the users and their rights, or to start the application.
The advanced menu allows the supervisor to:
- start the site.
- configure the groupware.
Configuring the groupware consists in creating users and groups, associating the users with the groups and managing the rights granted to each user (or group) on each site page. The rights can be defined for the menu options, for the groups of controls and for the controls. The supervisor can gray these elements, or make them inactive or invisible. These configurations have priority over any configuration defined in the program.
Remark: All user information and rights are stored in HFSQL format data files..
Implementing the user groupware
Adding the user groupware into a site
To implement the user groupware in a WEBDEV site, a single option is required: on the "Project" pane, in the "Project" group, click "User groupware". The window for configuring the user groupware is used to define:
- The management mode of user groupware.
- The mode for starting the user groupware.
- The location of the data files of user groupware.
Integration mode of user groupware
Several modes can be used to integrate the user groupware:
- Automatic user groupware: all user groupware programming is automatically integrated into your site.
No customization can be done. The skin template of project is automatically applied to all the pages used by the user groupware.
This integration mode is used to automatically follow the possible evolutions of user groupware.
- Custom user groupware: the entire programming of user groupware is automatically included in your application via an internal component. All the pages required to manage the user groupware (login and user management) are automatically added to your project. This allows you to customize all the pages used by the user groupware.
The different pages found in the user groupware are presented in details in the online help.
Starting the user groupware
Two modes can be used to start the user groupware:
- Auto run: The login page of the user groupware is launched before any other page of the application. The initialization code of project is run once the login page is opened and validated.
- Manual start: The login page will open only if the function gpwOpen is used. This option is used to run the initialization code of the project for example, before opening the login page. This allows you to display a page asking for the runtime language of site for example.
Automatic login in test mode
You can specify the login and password that will be used in "Automatic test" mode. This information will be used if an automatic test is run on the application.
Data files of user groupware
The user groupware is using several specific data files. These data files are mainly used to manage the users, the groups, the rights and the elements of the site.
The user groupware can be used:
- with HFSQL Classic data files. In this case, the "Files" tab is used to specify (if necessary) the location of data files.
- with HFSQL Client/Server data files. In this case, the "Files" tab is used to define the parameters for accessing the HFSQL Client/Server database as well as the file directory.
The password of data files
By default, the data files found in the user groupware have a specific password. This password is: "PCSGPW2001".
To change this password, type the new password in the "Files" tab of the description window of user groupware. The characters typed are displayed as stars.
Note: This password is used when re-indexing or opening data files with WDMAP for example.
See the online help for more details.
The user groupware proposes several modes for identifying users:
- Identification managed by the user groupware of WEBDEV.
- Identification from an LDAP directory.
Identification managed by the user groupware
The login and password are saved in the data files of user groupware.
Identification from an LDAP directory
If the company of your customer is using an LDAP directory, you have the ability to branch the user groupware onto this directory. To do so, specify the characteristics of LDAP directory (server, port, database, ...) in the "Identification" tab. Therefore, the account and the password found in the LDAP directory will be automatically asked to the user.
Two modes are available:
- Without management of rights: No groupware data files will be created. If the application is started in automatic mode, the login page will ask the user to identify himself. If the user is saved in the LDAP directory, the site will start ; otherwise, it will be closed. A supervisor cannot configure rights on the pages.
- With management of rights: Only the users found in the LDAP directory can connect. The rights can be configured on the windows.
See the online help for more details.
Remark: The user groupware operates with Active Directory. It does not operate with openLDAP.
Running the site test
When running the test of a site that supports the user groupware, the first page displayed is the login page (regardless of the first page defined in your application).
A single user exists by default: the supervisor. To connect as the supervisor, all you have to do is enter the following information in the login page:
- Name: SUPERVISOR
- Password: SUPERVISOR
You can now run the test of your site or configure the user groupware.
- In order for the first page of your site not to be the login page, check "Manual run" in the "Execution" tab of the options of User Groupware. Simply use the WLanguage gpwOpen function to open the login page.
- The pages for managing the user groupware are run before the initialization code of the project.
- The first page of your site defined in the project will be started after the login page (when the user is not the supervisor).
- To avoid starting the user groupware when running the application tests, select "No user groupware" in the "Integration" tab of user groupware options.
If the user groupware is re-enabled later, the data files previously used by the user groupware will not be erased.
Installing a site that is using the user groupware
The method for installing a site that is using the user groupware is identical to the method for installing any other site: on the "Project" pane, in the "Generation" group, simply click "Deploy site".
A screen specific to the user groupware is used to configure the location of data files specific to the user groupware.
- If the data files of user groupware have been configured for your client, they must be selected when preparing the setup. Therefore, the list of setup files must be customized.
- If the groupware files have not been configured, only the Supervisor user will exist during the first start of the application.
Tip: if you do not configure the different use levels of user groupware for your clients, we recommend that you provide them with a document listing all the controls found in your pages in order to get an optimized configuration.
Configuring the site that is using the user groupware
When the site is deployed, the user groupware is configured by the application supervisor.
This setting consists in creating the users and groups of users, and in granting them specific rights for each control found in each site page.
These rights are used to gray controls, groups of controls or menu options, and to make them visible or invisible.
To configure the user groupware, you must simply:
- Start the site and connect as supervisor:
- Name: SUPERVISOR
- Password: SUPERVISOR
- Select "Configuring the groupware".
- The page for managing the user groupware is displayed. This page is used to:
- manage the users and the groups.
- manage the rights.
- display the statistics.
- migrate the data coming from a user groupware version 18 and earlier.
The user management consists in:
- creating users,
- creating groups,
- associating users with groups.
To create a new user, you must specify:
- the user's last name (mandatory)
- the user's first name
- the user login. This login corresponds to the user's identifier when he connects to the application.
- the user's password. This password is optional and it can be entered by the user during his first connection (check the corresponding option).
The user can be defined as being a supervisor of the site.
You also have the ability to modify or delete a user. When deleting a user, you have the ability to delete the entire user or to delete his rights only.
The users can be grouped.
A user can be associated with several groups.
- The supervisor password should be changed during the first use.
- If you are using an LDAP directory, you have the ability to import the users found in the directory in order to manage the rights of these users.
Managing the rights
The supervisor can manage the rights granted to each user (or group of users) on the elements found in the project pages.
For each association between a user and a page, a specific status can be defined for all the page elements.
The elements managed in the pages, internal pages and page templates are as follows:
- the controls, the groups of controls,
- the menu options.
The following states are available for each element:
- Default: the element behavior corresponds to the default behavior, defined in the application.
- Inactive: the element is displayed but no input can be performed.
- Grayed: the element is grayed. No input can be performed.
- Invisible: the element is not displayed.
Displaying the statistics
For each site, you have the ability to get use statistics according to the user, for a specific period.
From version 19, the user groupware has evolved. Different data files are used by the user groupware.
The administrator of user groupware can migrate the existing data to the new format and therefore automatically retrieve the data used in the earlier versions. This migration can be performed regardless of the data format: HFSQL Classic, HFSQL Client/Server, Native Connector.
Tips for a site that is managing the user groupware
Using groups of controls
To simplify the configuration of groupware management according to users, we recommend that you use groups of controls.
In your pages, you have the ability to create groups of controls according to the controls that will be displayed for a specific type of user.
The ability to associate a control with several groups of controls increases the number of possible combinations.
These groups of controls can be created in your site only for managing the groupware, no specific programming is required.
Visibility of controls
When developing your application, you can define the visibility options for the elements found in your pages:
- when describing the element (7-tab window),
- by programming (..State or ..Visible).
When configuring the user groupware, the supervisor can define different visibility characteristics. The characteristics defined by the supervisor have priority.
For example, a button is used to make a control active. This control was grayed by the supervisor. Your code will be ignored and the control will not be active.
To get a definition of rights corresponding to the features of your site, we advise you to:
- configure the rights for your application before creating the setup procedure. Then, all you have to do is add the groupware files when creating the site setup.
- supply a programming documentation that provides the names of controls, groups of controls and options that must be configured according to the level of use defined for the site.