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Feature Suggestion


Guest vpw

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Hello All,

One thing our company is very frustrated right now with in regards to the forum software is the lack of ability to either invite users to join specific groups with special permissions or at the very least to be able to bulk add registered members to specific user groups.

Right now anytime you want someone to have different user permissions you have to add each user individually. This is extremely time consuming for the administrator.

As a school we want to use the forums to support our student body and we want to have our students in different user groups dependent on the class or workshop they are taking. However, we don't want the forums to be password protected as we want regular members to be able to read what is going on in our workshops. This may encourage people to sign up for our facility as opposed to somewhere else.

We also find that if students are invited to join the forums they are much more likely to validate their registration and use the forums, as opposed to simply telling them it is an option. People nowadays love a simple process and clicking a link through an invite is easier (and a more personal touch from us) than seeking out and registering themselves and then having to wait for us to move them to the correct user group.

I can see that this could also be helpful to other business models as well.

From my perspective there would be a few different ways to accomplish this. I will list them all as I don't know which would be the easiest to incorporate into the code.

1. Add a way to email 'invite' clients (either current board members or non-members from our personal business database) to join the community and when they click on the link to register they are automatically added to the correct user group. (This would be the most efficient.)

2. Add a way to allow people to subscribe for free to their particular group package through the subscription module. (They would then be rerouted to the board instead of going through to PayPal.) Also very efficient admin wise.

3. Add a way to select a group of members at the same time and change all their permissions to a higher user group in one step. (Changing user groups for members on a one-by-one basis is very time consuming, especially for small businesses without the budget for a full time forum administrator.)

4. Add an option in the Admin registration area for an email validation to still be sent to clients. This way the admin could add students or clients to the list, immediately put them in the correct user group and then allow them to agree to participate by validating or not participate by not validating the email. If the user then validates the email they are automatically added to the correct user group with the correct permissions. (Kind of a like backwards invite.)

Any of these would greatly decrease the time it takes to have a group of members placed into specific higher permissions user groups.

Thanks for listening!

Cheers,
Rachelle

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#3 is available in IPB 3. You can search members to move (like you can search them to delete, presently)

If you authenticate off of a remote database, you'll be using a custom login module - in which case you could handle automatically assigning them to groups based on data in your remote database (e.g. Active Directory). I've done numerous mods that do things similar to this.

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#3 is available in IPB 3. You can search members to move (like you can search them to delete, presently)



If you authenticate off of a remote database, you'll be using a custom login module - in which case you could handle automatically assigning them to groups based on data in your remote database (e.g. Active Directory). I've done numerous mods that do things similar to this.




That's great to hear #3 will be available soon! When will IPB 3 be finished its beta testing?

As for the remote database, that sounds very interesting. How exactly does that work?

For example: I have lists with student names and emails in the Introductory class and Intermediate class. I want to invite these users to register. When they accept they are then automatically placed into the correct user group. Is that possible with the mods you have designed and if so, how do we purchase said mods etc?

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Cheers,
Rachelle
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IPB supports external login modules - which means you can make the login process in IPB do anything you want, basically. Out of the box, IPB3 supports OpenID, LDAP, a generic external module to get you started, Converge, and our converter login necessities (as well as Facebook, which doesn't technically use our login module framework).

So, for instance, being a school if you have Active Directory setup on your network (which supports LDAP authentication) you could use the LDAP module, make some modifications to the script, and tell it to pull additional data from the directory. Using that additional data (e.g. a class roster) you could determine which group to place the user in - if they are in the English Workshop place them in group id 8 for English workshop, and so on.

This would require customized coding, so you'd probably have to hire a coder if you did not have one in-house, however in the end it may save you money in the form of time spent managing the group promotions and such.

If you didn't have AD, you could potentially create a custom login module that will read your CSV list, for instance, and still do the same thing. If the user isn't in the list, make them register as normal, otherwise log them in and set their group based on some data in your list. Or if you had a remote database you could do the same thing, using the database instead of your flat-file list. Being extensible, there are a lot of options with regards to the login functionality.

I don't have any custom login modules that I have created that are available online for download/sale. Most of the work I've ever done has been customized, unique for the specific system I was working on. Just trying to throw some ideas out there that you may be able to toss around and figure out a more efficient system with.

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