ocPortal Tutorial: Running a collaboration hub: the Collaboration Zone
Written by Chris Graham, ocProductsocPortal includes many features that allow your website to function, in whole or in part, as an on-line collaboration tool. Many of these features are, by default, pooled together and placed in the 'Collaboration Zone', an ocPortal zone available, by default, only to staff and Super-Members (if the latter group exists).
A Super-Member is a member who is not staff, but is granted additional access based on their need to access collaborative resources. There is no hard-coded concept of a Super-Member in ocPortal but the default configuration for the Collaboration Zone is to grant access only to staff and the 'Super Members' usergroup.
Table of contents
Virtues of on-line collaboration
The Collaboration Zone menu
ocPortal can be used to organise shared documents, provide a forum for discussion, make announcements, structure information, chat from across the world, and a lot more.
Default settingsBy default, some resources (Comcode pages, menu links, and catalogues), are created in the Collaboration Zone:
- A 'Projects' catalogue (so that super-members can advertise projects they are working on, to solicit help with them)
- A page about how the Super-Member can request web-hosting-space
- A link for the Super-Member to manage their author profile
The File/Media library is a tool to allow sharing of files, located in the CMS zone. It provides the ability to upload, download, and delete files, and organise files into folders.
There is nothing stopping ordinary users from downloading from the file/media library if they have the URL to a file. This is sometimes useful, but you should be aware that if files are given guessable filenames, they will not be secure.
The File Dump
The File/Media library has two main purposes:
- Sharing media with the staff team, for use in content
- A general shared drive for collaborators
You can get a browser to embed items from the File/Media library. Go to add a new Comcode tag (from the button in the WYSIWYG editor / above the text-area) and select the <kbd>media</kbd> tag.
The Super-members fellows page
Additional resources that may be usedThe following are not by default set up for specifically for Super-Members, but may be:
- Blogs (Personal news categories)
- Personal galleries
- Private forums
- Private chat rooms
- Sole access to any ocPortal feature, such as the download system, or Wiki+.
If an ocPortal website is intended solely for collaboration, and the collaborators are trusted, it might be a good idea to make each of them staff, rather than a super-member.