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Restrict access to files for different admin roles

Well I'm going to be announcing our new site to our organization this week. We're going with the community plan so that each of 12 teams will have their own page that they will manage. Many are low tech (like looking for the "any" key). I pushed to get the community plan so that we could do this. I loved the feature that you can give access to one page to one person or group. Ultimately I'd like each user to be able to have their own page if they want.

I created an account and gave admin access to 1 page, looked great. I didn't have to worry about non-tech users messing up the rest of the site, I thought. I was thrilled. Then I went to settings and saw that file management was accessable. I uploaded a file under my full admin account then went in and successfully deleted it under the restricted admin account. Not cool.

I don’t get it, how could you allow a restricted access to the files of the whole site? This to me defeats the purpose of such restriction. I now have to rethink how we handle this. Please consider an option to turn off file management for restricted access admins or at least prevent them from deleting , renaming or moving files as the original poster asked.

This is the one main feature why will be going for the community over group plan. I'm responsible for the whole site and I don't like the idea of dozens of low tech users possibly munging up things and I without audit trails I won't even be able to figure out who did it.

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  • Theresa Casey commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'd like to add a similar but slightly different situation. We want to grant access to our files to our membership and event manager so they can upload docs that will be linked for downloads, add sponsor logos, etc. But to do this, my Wild Apricot tech said we have to give them complete website administrator access. However, I do not want this person to have access to the text on all our web pages. Apparently, there is no way to grant access to file managemenet without granting access to change all the web pages.

    To the WA suggestion limiting deleting capabilities. . . I like the idea of granting access to upload and access files and restricting the moving to different folders as well as deleting altogether as a separate administrative access. As the main account administrator I may want to do it or grant temporary access to an administrative assistant, volunteer, or other person. When you move a file to another folder it no longer appears on the website to where you originally placed the photo or linked the file.

  • Dmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Frank, enhancements to file access control is on our top list of things after 5.0 is launched. I am not sure yet if it makes it to 5.1.

  • Frank commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks for replying, Dmitry. I understand that you're swamped at the moment. Just as long as you can promise to have this issue on your things to do list following your CMS redesign, my org will patiently wait for your solution to this issue

    Despite my earlier post, I still love WA...you guys are doing a great job!!


  • Dmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Frank, thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately there is no simple solution for this. Just as many clients would be very frustrated if we only gave file management access only to full admins. So we still need to figure out a better way to handle this. I am sure we will - but it will be a while, our main focus for the next ~6 months is to finish the CMS redesign in version 5 so we are putting everything else aside.

  • Frank commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This would be an excellent solution for my organization...only full site admins can delete docs or pictures. I agree with other users....what is the point of having restricted page access when people with restricted access can delete a file or folder on any part of the site?????

    I've been working for the past 9 months to get my org's site all setup and we're launching in a week. Not to be too overly dramatic, but just discovering now that I don't have this feature is like running into a brick wall!! When Wild Apricot advertises the merits of your product as being low-tech friendly and reliable in the ability to update web content for each section to specific users, how can you not put a big giant asterisk beside these statements and say "except for file management where any of your web editors can delete anyone else's file"?

    Please, give us a simple solution to this enormous problem right away!

    Thank you, f.

  • Larry Killer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate


    I think that would be a great place to start for now. At least in our situation, those adding content are easily managed and I would be able to work with them to delete old files as they are no longer needed. This would at least allow us to communicate among ourselves to make sure that more than one person is aware that files are going to be removed, while still allowing the other Admins to upload the content they need to keep their pages up to date.

    Thank you for getting back on this issue!

  • Evgeny Zaritovskiy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    What if we limit delete of files to full site admins only (and keep adding access the same as now)? Would this solve the problem? Note that this might lead to accumulating of "garbage" and these unneeded files count into your plan file storage limit.

  • Larry Killer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Good morning.

    I replied last year regarding this issue and I just wanted to bump it up and to also see if there was any progress/ideas on how to protect the file structure.

    I recently had an issue where someone went in and, I'm sure, accidentally deleted a fold with approximately 20 files in it. As expected, the links to all of those files were broken on our website (and how I realized that something was amiss). Samantha (Binary Apricot) was willing to look into retrieving my files through a back up of the server, but luckily I found that I had backed up those files on a flash drive and was able to bring them back into our WA file management system.

    I understand the difficulty of being able to control access to the file management system through different level of Admin, but this is really a scary situation in that files, and entire directories for that matter, can be accidentally deleted by others. And as much as I would like to have our other officers have the ability to add files to the structure so that I don't have to do it for them, my feeling is that if there is not other option, then I would like to see a way where only the Super Admin can add/remove files to the system. Is that possible? I still want the restricted admins to be able to control their web pages, but I would have to add any documents/graphics and other files to the file management system for them.

    As always, thank you for your help!

  • Larry Killer commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I'd like to jump in here too and agree that file management needs to be protected from a site administrator standpoint. I know it has already been well documented on why different groups want this feature, but I'll explain my situation as well.

    I am setting up separate web pages for different chapters in our organization. I am giving a person from each chapter administrative rights for only their page, thereby allowing them to modify their main page, create sub-pages and upload and link to documents and pictures on their page. Herein lies the problem: because they can upload documents and link to them, they are also given access to every other document that we have within our file structure. That means that any and all documents that should be privy to only the executive committee can now be accessed, and even worse, DELETED by anyone having admin powers. There has to be a way that document priviledges can be set. I am far from knowledgeable on stuff like this, but I know that if I go into the server side of where our website is kept and upload a file, if I right click on the file it gives me the option to make the document read/write, read only, or protected.

    Again, my big fear is deletion of documents. I'd prefer to have them be completely protected from certain admin ranks, but if they view them...I can work around that. But having them be deleted is my biggest fear. I know this isn't a option at the moment, but between this forum posting and others, it appears that this is a feature a lot of people desire. I'd like to ask all of the Apricots to consider it for the very near future.

  • Tommy Hwang commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree 100%. A lot of the sensitive information is stored in website files, and not the pages. Adding limited folder access that the administrator can set similar to how limited webpage editing can be granted makes perfect sense. Or else, all the effort on limiting webpage access and editing is essentially useless.

  • Dmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I meant this thread - it's about a different need (access for public/members vs. administrators) but I think should be considered together:


    About pages - the challenge is that pages do not exist as HTML files, they are generated on the fly. But your point and need are of course perfectly valid.

  • sabojo commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    [quote user="Chief_Apricot"] ...Turning file management access off for all restricted users will cause lots of problems ... [/quote]

    Well I certainly understand that given that it is there and few have complained. Bad wording on my part. Heck, that you address the concerns of the many when creating your roadmap is what I like about this solution, you can't please everyone so you try to please most. Is it feasable to have it be a selectable option at the site level?

    [quote user="Chief_Apricot"] ...The ideal solution is to separate access to files [/quote]

    I don't understand, this could be what I was asking for above. Do you mean access to file managment would be enabled separately from page editing? That would be great, especially if it's in the roadmap.

    For now to ease my concerns I'll use webdav to periodically copy the entire directory structure to my PC as a backup then I can quickly compare and/or restore any missing files. Wish I could do that with the pages too (hint).


  • Dmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I understand your point, but for now I am not sure what we can do about it. Turning file management access off for all restricted users will cause lots of problems to too many clients so it's not feasible. The ideal solution is to separate access to files - but this requires functionality we do not currently have (ability to restrict access to files/folders) - this is on our roadmap.

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