Access rights and roles

The members of a shared workspace jointly work on the workspace itself and the objects con­tained in it, e.g. by changing the name of the workspace or uploading documents to the work­space. The access rights in the workspace define which actions a certain member may carry out. Ac­cess rights are assigned to members via roles (Manager, Member, Restricted member etc.), which the members receive when they are invited to the workspace. For instance, ordi­na­ry mem­bers are allowed by default to invite new members and remove existing members, re­strict­ed members are not allowed to do this; restricted members only have reading access to the objects of a workspace, ordinary members may change existing objects and create new ones.

A manager of a workspace may change the default access rights by excluding actions from a cer­tain role or by allowing further actions. This way one could determine, e.g., that ordinary members cannot invite new members or that restricted members may upload documents.

The access rights defined for a workspace by its roles are inherited by all objects contained in the workspace including all subfolders and the objects contained therein. The access rights may, however, also be changed for certain objects. A manager may, e.g., change the Member role for a certain subfolder in such a way, that ordinary members only have read access for this subfolder. This arrangement is then valid for all objects contained in the particular sub­folder.

Note: A major motivation for limiting access rights is to prevent documents from being over­written or deleted inadvertently. BSCW offers other ways to avoid this which do not involve the modification of access rights:

      Lock the document temporarily via action  Access    Set Lock .

      Freeze the document via action  Access    Freeze .

      Establish version control for the document via action  Access    Version Control .


Access right management is by default reserved for the managers of a workspace (but even this could be changed by editing the access rights!). One should change access rights only sparingly and make eventual changes known inside the workspace in order to avoid un­nec­ess­ary irritations (“Why I’m not allowed to carry out this action here, which is possible in all other workspaces?”).

In the following, we will explain the BSCW role concept and show, how

to get informed about the current role assignment in a workspace and the access rights going along with it,

to assign roles,

to edit roles and also

to define new roles.

At the end of the section we describe the owner role in some detail. The owner role de­ter­mines which user is responsible for the disk space used by a BSCW object.


The BSCW role concept

Information about current access rights

Assignment of roles

Defining and re-defining roles

Ownership and ownership transfer