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Contributor Permissions

To meet requirements for CMS for typical office networks, we have found overall requirement is for centralised admin control of content provision. We are keen to offer clients CD, especially for the ease of enabling different departments to use Contributor. But we're concerned to offer a client Contributor because we know their requirement will be to strictly control who can edit what, and what sort of changes they can make.

By comparison with Macromedia Contribute, Contributor, as far as we know, is not offering the same kind of functionality. We suggest the following added requirements for Contributor:-

+ In CD Designer Mode, admin sets up list of user groups and assigns names and passwords.

+ In CD, admin sets permissions for different user groups. Includes selective restricting the tree view of database to show only folders of articles, news etc., to limit access to different departments of the organisation.

+ In Contributor, user logs on with name of their user group and password.

+ In CD, admin has set permissions for each user group:-
++ What articles group members can edit/rename/delete.
++ What articles group members can view/cannot view.
++ whether group members can create page links and new articles.
++ what Properties and Extras apply to articles for the group.

+ In Contributor, user opens program and sees restricted tree view with each article marked read/write or prohibited.

+ In Contributor, user opens copy of article for editing. Properties tab is modified to disallow changes e.g., to audience and template. Extras tab is modified to hide fields not pertinent to the article edit.

+ In Contributor, Save and Preview is available for user to monitor edits. Save and Publish is not available to user. When user finishes editing article, Saving Changes adds new version of article to tree view and article is marked to show not published.

+ In CD Designer Mode, prior to publishing site revisions, admin checks for revised unpublished articles and selects view of old and new versions of articles for comparison before checking out the article in the tree view, accepting it for publication, replacing old with new version.

We think there is a need for administrator (admin) control panel in CD, to control use of Contributor by users logged-in to CD. Please advise.

Alan Christian
Christian Software Engineering Ltd (UK)
Phil Woolway

Alan E Christian
Friday, October 17, 2003

Excellent post! There are no "enterprise edition" features. Curious what the timeline for putting 'em in is. -Bob

Bob Bloom
Friday, October 17, 2003

Bob Bloom :re "enterprise edition" features.

How much are "you" prepared to pay for enterprise features? [rhetorical]

I may be wrong but I do not believe that CD has *any* enterprise ambitions of whatsoever nature --- however, if enough people state that they are prepared to pay enterprise $ then it may be possible that FC could be coxed into that event trap. :-)

It's very easy to invoke the "enterprise" mantra when one has zero clue what that in effect means from a dollars and cents perspective. Take linux for example -- its free -- but costs millions to support on the enterprise bandwagon. :-)

BTW, I'll take MS products over anything that the unix crowd has to offer. And CD for the money is a GREAT product regardless of the fact that its missing "enterprise" features. BTW, I like users and I trust users especially ones that I get to train how to use my solutions  --- its part of the enabling technology revolution --- enterprise types want to control users because they do not have a clue [or the patience] how to train users to use their products without all that enterprise control :-) Now if we are talking security that’s another mater not requiring enterprise BS .. but requiring developer ingenuity.

David Mozer
Friday, October 17, 2003

Thanks for all the feedback! What you're describing sounds a lot more like what we call a "big iron content management system" -- Vignette Story Server, InterWoven, etc., and you do pay for those features.

CityDesk by itself has only two ways to keep people you don't trust from doing things they shouldn't be doing. One -- only allow access to the .CTY file itself to the appropriate people, using the built-in file security features in Windows NT/2000/XP. Two -- only give out FTP accounts and passwords to people who can be trusted to push the "publish" button.

On a more philosophical level I do hope that over time CityDesk will grow in capabilities to better serve the needs of larger and larger teams, but now we are focusing on meeting the needs of smaller organizations that don't want to pay six figure sums for big iron content management.

Joel Spolsky
Saturday, October 18, 2003

As someone whose "day job" involves working with one of the "big iron" CMSes (Documentum), please, please don't make CityDesk like Documentum!! ;-)

That said, I would like to be able to get more under the hood with CityDesk in future releases. Enable us to extend the data model, design more powerful queries, and so on. You've heard all this before, I know. Resist the temptation to add features to the HTML editor, but rather just integrate with other best-of-breed editors.  To heck with adding support for tables -- support xhtml, css, rss, and so on...

BTW, for what it's worth, I use CityDesk in spite of the fact it runs on windows, not because of it.  I am oh-so-close to making the switch to Mac, and CityDesk is one of the apps I will miss most.  CityDesk is sooo much easier to use than, say, Radio Userland, and I gotta believe that if you ported CityDesk to a more open platform you could really expand your user base.

Keep up the great work!

Scott McDonald
Monday, October 20, 2003

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