Christmas Release: Refined access control through roles

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It’s the end of the year and here at Quandora, we are preparing to wrap up a year that’s been extremely rich and exciting for us. In this spirit, we have released today the 21st of December the version 1.5 of our product, the penultimate of 2012: one last release is scheduled to go live a couple of days before the New Year’s eve.

The focus of this release was improving the access control to Questions/Answers and to the various actions involved in Q&A-ing. The goal is to offer organizations mechanisms to reflect their particular type of sharing culture, from the most open to the ones preferring more structure and control.

Roles now available per knowledge base

Function of their typology, audience and culture, organizations can have different behaviors when collectively building knowledge. This is the reason why we’ve implemented a notion of role, which is basically a collection of permission associated to the users. The following roles are now available: Reader (read-only access), Contributor (can post content), Editor (can edit other people’s content), and Manager (can manage any aspects of the Knowledge Base).

User roles

The first level of configuring roles is to specify the default role that is assigned to the KB’s users. On top of that, it is possible to specifically assign roles to users as needed. The combination of those two allows to implement virtually any access control policy. Here are some examples:

  • A private Q&A for internal knowledge sharing within an open, well versed team could set up the default role to Editor. Since there is a high level of trust and competence, anybody can edit anybody’s content to make it always better.
  • A Q&A between a company and their customers could set up the default role to Contributor, and explicitly assign an Editor role to the people from within the company. This way, the customers could ask and answer questions, whereas the company’s people, the most knowledgeable in their business, would assure content’s quality by adjusting it as needed.
  • A business community formed by several different companies/professionals could set up the default role to Reader. Members would therefore be able to browse the Q&As but not to contribute. If there is a business model around the notion of this community (like a paid membership), this setting would allow to tease the potential subscribers by providing a taste of the membership’s benefits. And paying members would be granted a Contributor role.

Export Knowledge Base

We’ve added an option in the management panel to export the Knowledge Base’s data as a Json structure. Quandora has its own mechanisms of data backups, but organizations may want to get a in-house copy of their own, either for extra backup (can never hurt), or to exploit the data in some way. (Although for the latter, more elegant options are available via the REST API).

Generating usage reports

Speaking of the REST API, there’s news about it as well in this release. We’ve added functions allowing to query the database in order to generate content and usage reports. This is a great way to measure your user’s engagements and to understand behavioral patterns, thus allowing to adjust the settings and optimize the usage. Also, having objective “proof” of results is of nature of generating even more engagement from the users, and can help winning over executives/influencers that are potentially valuable sponsors for a tool like Quandora.

Example of possible queries include: the list of questions that’s been asked within a given data range, a list of active users within a data range including their reputation change, a list of most voted (most answered, most viewed, etc) questions within a data range.

… and, as usual, bugfixes and minor improvements

Most noteworthy: it is now possible for people to edit their own comments. We’ve implemented this option through an “edit in place” widget, providing a pleasant and natural user experience. (Same widget is now used for editing a question’s title, as well)

We plan to extend the “edit in place” functionality to all the editing actions.

Happy knowledge sharing Christmas!

Looking for a great way to ask questions and build knowledge with your co-workers? Quandora enables simple, efficient knowledge sharing with your team, way more fun than a mailing list or a forum. Try Quandora

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