An overview of ways to use Access to deliver content.
Access is vitally important to every community. It controls who can see what, who can do things where, and affects the experience of every member from Administrators to anonymous users. The ease of cascading rules make it essential for determining the shape and architecture of your community, and its purpose is straightforward: it keeps people out of places they don't belong. Access is the gate that bars the way to restricted Channels, Pages, and Spaces, and to the ability to create, change, or delete content.
But in Igloo, it can do so much more. Today I'm going to look at how to use Access in Igloo to customize and streamline the community for your members at every level,. We can use Access to hide, but we can also use it to show.
Items only appear in Navigation when a person has access to them, so access can be used to customize the Navigation menus and widgets in your community, revealing menus that are relevant to people, and concealing ones that aren't. One of the common uses of this is to keep all the Spaces in the community in the main navigation, but limit them by access, so people only see the Spaces that they're able to use. The access rules are also reflected in dropdown navigation, making it easy to nest spaces and areas beneath other navigation items and reveal them there.
Widgets create incredible opportunities for Access-based customization. Like Navigation, content only appears in widgets when people have access to it. What this means in practice is that you can select sources from all across your community and pull them into the widget, and people will only see the content that's relevant to them, regardless of who they are. Access governs all of the content widgets in Igloo, letting you customize the view for Calendar Widgets, Blog Article Widgets, and Recent Activity Widgets among others, creating a single page for people to find the information they need.
Access can customize the look and feel of your community as well, showing and hiding particular page elements, changing the colour and shape of widgets, and anything else that you can accomplish with CSS. By creating a CSS file with the desired changes and uploading it to the community, that file can be called in the community footer. Whether or not someone has access to the file will determine whether the changes take effect, and can change the appearance of the community depending on their access. Common uses of this include:
- Hiding comments from anonymous users in public communities, but showing them to members
- Creating and permissioning several CSS files to show and hide widgets for Groups in the community to create more customized Pages
Having a strong access structure can do more than protect your content from prying eyes, it can shape a nexus of content that's specific to the needs of each person in the community, making it easy to find what they need when they need it.