Logins and Employee Profiles

Getting Started With Employee Directory (2 of 3)
 
Introduction
A user's profile within Intranet Connections can be divided into two components: a login and an employee profile. In this introductory article we will explain the differences and recommend additional articles and videos for getting started with user management in Intranet Connections.

 

Logins
A user must have a login to authenticate to the site. While Intranet Connections does allow administrators to set the site security model to allow anonymous access to the site (see login and access models) a significant portion of the product functionality is only available once your users are logged in. This includes but is not limited to:
  • Assigning a user to a group
  • Securing content or site areas for specific users and groups
  • Tracking user content publication, comments, ratings, policy acceptance, etc
  • Allowing users to review and edit their own material, submitted forms, support tickets, etc
  • Allowing users to manage their Employee profile and participate in rich social interactions (employee wall posts, user to user chat)

Logins are essential if you are planning to let your users fully participate on your site and, even if there is no desire to initially deploy some of the social functionality, logins are mandatory if you want to apply granular content security and limited admin roles throughout your site. In some cases you may find yourself creating a login without an employee record. This is fully allowed and is useful in the case where you want the ability for an individual to sign into the site but do not want them appearing in the corporate directory.

As a site administrator you can manage your site's logins by going to Admin > Security. On this tab you will find a number of login and security features. We will not discuss the majority of them in this introductory article but most of these settings have helpful text notes associated with them to assist you with their functionality. Simply click on a link and read about the option.


A login has the following elements:
  • First Name (required)
  • Last Name
  • Email Address
  • Supervisor
  • Picture
  • Authentication Type
  • Username (required)
  • Password 
  • Login Redirect
  • Global Permissions Do Not Apply checkbox
  • Summary of Elevated Rights
  • Social/Profile Options (Chat, Wall, Alerts, Widgets)
As an site administrator you can edit logins from this interface. Users also have a limited ability to edit their login attributes (change password, etc) via the directory.

Logins can be created by various processes. The most basic of these is to use the Create Login option located in the Security tab of the admin site. This is generally useful for creating single logins for test purposes, when evaluating the software for example, and for one-off profile management. It is not recommended for your day to day user administration. The following bulk options also exist for inserting and updating employees and should be investigated since they represent a significant time savings over manually managing user profiles.
Logins can be removed from visibility on the site by a process called Disabling. In Intranet Connections logins are never removed and can be re-enabled at any time. When searching for logins, note the Show Disabled Users checkbox on the search form. If a login has been disabled for a certain period of time, much of the information related to this profile will have been cleaned up.

 

Employees
profilecard.pngEmployee records are the forward or end-user-visible personas that are displayed both in the intranet directory and elsewhere on the site when the user is publishing or commenting on content. There are two types of employee profile displays. One, seen normally while searching the directory or when viewing employee contributed content elsewhere on the intranet, is the card view. An employee's card is a compact view that displays the most important contact information for the user. Employees also have a full profile with additional contact fields located in the directory. The employee profile is also the hub of a user's personalized site content providing them access to their subscriptions, personal homepage widgets, user management functions and the employee wall.

The directory is organized into Departments and Divisions with employee records stored within. There are two ways to locate, add or edit employee records. You can either navigate to the directory application itself and use the inline editing functions to modify the employee attributes or you can use the administrative site by going to Admin > Directory > Find Employees.

Employees have a much larger number of fields associated with them than logins. The display name of these fields in the directory can be altered to your choosing. A sampling of these fields include:
  • Organizational field: Department/Division
  • Contact fields: phone, email
  • Information fields: title, job description, personal information, birthday, anniversary
  • Social network profiles: facebook, twitter, Google+
  • System and metadata fields: HTML, Custom Code, Tags
Like logins, you can create a single employee at any time. A more practical approach, however, will include either one of the bulk data import/management options (AD Synchronization / CSV Import) and user self service. Intranet Connections includes the ability for administrators to control whether employees can edit their own profile fields and if so, which fields are modifiable. In this manner you can allow greatly reduce the administrative overhead of managing your corporate directory and your users will be happy with the flexibility to control their own profiles.

 

Login - Employee linking
For maximum administrative flexiblity Intranet Connections allows for the creation of logins without associated employee records (i.e. service accounts) and employee records without logins (i.e. departmental main line contacts, consultants, vendors, etc). You can tell you are working with an unassociated record when you are editing the login in the admin site and you do not see the Edit Employee button. Likewise a similar Edit Login button exists when editing the employee record.

possibleduplicate.png While the flexibility to keep the records dissassociated does exist, it is not recommended. The full functionality of the site is only accessible to users who have a login and an employee record linked. Most of the time you, as the administrator, will not need to worry about this as the bulk import options like AD Sync and CSV importing will handle the linking automatically. There are also routines to help you associate records when manually creating entries. For example, if you create a employee with the same email as a login that already exists in the site you will be prompted with a merge check asking you to confirm whether these records are duplicates and should be associated.

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