Group Admin Pages - Requirements

ACS subsite docs : Group Admin Pages - Requirements

I. Introduction

The subsites package offers a powerful way to create discrete collections of subcommunities on top of a single ACS installation. The package must be permissions-aware for all groups, relational segments and constraints, and relations.

The subsites package must also allow administrators to dynamically extend existing group and relationship types and to define attributes for new types.

II. Vision Statement

From /doc/subsites-requirements.html:
The other piece of the subsite system is a subsite package that provides subsite admins a "control panel" for administering their subsite. This is the same package used to provide all the community core functionality available at the "main" site which is in fact simply another subsite.
This control panel needs to treat individual groups as belonging to a single instance of a subsite. However, groups themselves are not enough. We must allow a subsite to specify its own types of groups, instances of those types (or of a type from a parent subsite), and types of relationships between those groups.

III. Historical Motivations

In the ACS 3.x architecture, many modules, e.g. portals, intranet, and bboard, created their own group types to manage different aspects of the module. While it is true that the ACS Permissioning package will replace the need for group types used exclusively for controlling permissions, some modules require the logical grouping of other parties. For these modules, we must restrict administrative control of their groups to administrators of the subsite. Without this ability, a user with administrative privilege of one subsite can administer all other groups in the system.

IV. Use case and User Scenarios

The Intranet Application

The Intranet application may model employees in many ways. Without loss of generality, we assume each employee is a "person" with an "employment relation" to a company. Figure 1 shows an outline of what the ACS Site Map may look like with several companies. Note that each company represents one instance of the intranet application.

Figure 1: Structure of Multiple Intranets
The employment relation is a subtype of the ACS Membership Relation with additional attributes specific to employees (e.g. salary, start date, etc.). Administrators of each instance of the intranet application must be able to create the subtype and to specify the attributes of the subtype dynamically. For example, the ArsDigita administrator may track salary, biography, and education while IBM administrators may choose to track salary and family member information.
Note: The current version of ACS, 4.0.1, does not treat object types as objects. This is a problem for subsites wishing to support dynamic sub-typing as name collisions are common because object types do not have context. The ability to create unique types of relationships for a given instance of the intranet application requires the object type to be unique to the instance. In other words, the context of the object type is set to the subsite. We use the context here so that we can automatically maintain permissions from subsite to object type.

VI.A Requirements: Data Model

10.10 Default relationship types for group types

Each group type should specify a set of permissible relationship types to use for groups of that type.

10.20 Default relationship types for groups

The administrator must be able to specify the permissible relationship types to use for each group. The defaults are inherited from the list of permissible relationship types for the group's type.

VI.B Requirements: API

20.10 Define a new group type

Users should be able to create a new type of group.

30.10 Specify attributes

Users should be able to dynamically add attributes to group types. These attributes should be stored efficiently.

35.10 Remove attributes

Users should be able to dynamically remove attributes from a group type. Removing the attribute removes all values specified for that attribute.

40.10 Relationship Constraints

The API must support the following types of constraints on relationships:

40.10.10 Permissible relationships

Each group type should maintain a list of all relationship types that can be used to add elements to groups of this group type.

40.10.20 Constraints on relationships

Relationships listed as allowable for a given group type should link to more information about the relationship type, including any constraints that must be satisfied before relations of the specified type are created.

40.10.30 Constrain membership to a given group

The system provides a well-defined API call that adds a given relationship type to the list of allowable relationship types to apply to a given group or group type. Any subtype of an allowable relationship type will also be allowed.

VI.C Requirements: User Interface

100.10 Create a group type with attributes

When creating a new group type, the UI should support ACS datatypes with appropriate UI.

130.10 Group type summary page
130.10.10 Display allowable relationship types

The group type summary page should display all the relationship types used to add relations to groups of this type and allow the user to add permissible relationship types or to remove existing ones.

130.10.20 Display groups

Display all groups of this type, based on permissions. UI should scale well with a large number of groups.

110.10 Create an instance of a particular group type

When creating a new group of the specified type, the UI must request values for each of the attributes of that type, including attributes of all supertypes (up the type tree until the object of type 'group').

130.10.20 Display type attributes

Display all attributes for this group type, including supertypes.

130.10.20 Delete group type

Allow administrators to delete the group type. This action removes all groups of this type.

150.10 Group instance summary page
150.10.10 Display relations

Each group should display all the parties related to it and through what relationship type. Offer links to remove each relation or to add a new relation of a given type. The UI for relations should scale well.

150.10.20 Display attributes

Display all attributes of the group with links to edit each.

150.10.20 Delete group

Allow administrators to delete the group including all relations to the group.

150.20 Integration with relational Segments and Constraints

The group summary page should offer links to define relational segments for the group, based on a particular relationship type. The UI must also integrate with the relational constraints data model to support defining constraints on intra-party relations.

Revision History

Document Revision #Action Taken, NotesWhen?By Whom?
0.1Creation11/16/2000Michael Bryzek
0.2Major Revisions11/24/2000Michael Bryzek
1.0Final Revisions1/11/2001Michael Bryzek

Michael Bryzek

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