CollabSpace Interface Overview

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There are several actions that are unique to a CollabSpace that are meant to enhance collaboration by and with external users.

Folder View and List View

By default, the contents of a CollabSpace are shown in Folder view:

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However, it is possible to switch from the Folder view to the List view – where all of the documents in the CollabSpace or any descendant folder of the CollabSpace are listed – by selecting the List view icon:

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You can switch back to the folder view by selecting the Folder view icon:

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Bulk Downloads

Often, content that you have shared externally will be organized into a complex folder structure. The external users with whom the content has been shared will want to access the content with that structure intact.  Therefore, a new Download everything action is now available from the CollabSpace and from any folder inside the CollabSpace. It generates a .zip file that contains all the content of the CollabSpace (or CollabSpace folder) that are accessible to the user taking the action, with the full folder structure intact, except Saved Searches will be excluded. (Any user empowered to perform multi-document downloads will be able to take advantage of this feature, otherwise, a user will be blocked from taking this action.)

Select Download everything and a dialog box appears showing the number of folders and documents that would be included in the .zip file:

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To proceed, select Download, and the .zip file will be streamed to your computer and generated on the fly. The length of time it will take to fully generate the .zip file is a function of the amount of content to be included and your internet speed. After the download starts, it is possible to navigate away from the page, because the download will take place in a separate thread. The .zip file will be given the same name as the CollabSpace (or the CollabSpace folder).

Notice that the file structure of the .zip file matches the content of the CollabSpace in Folder view:

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Document Report

Document report generates an Excel report of all of the content in the CollabSpace that is accessible to the user initiating the action. An Excel file will contain these columns:

  • Path
  • Name of the document (or an indication that the item is a folder)
  • ID
  • Whether the item is accessible to external users

The document report will be emailed to the requesting user.

If the user running the report is internal, then an extra setting will be made available: the ability to generate the document report from the perspective of a specific external group, in order to limit the items included in the report to the content that external group has access to:

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In that case, the document report that is generated will be limited to the content that the selected external group has access to (assuming that the requesting user also has access), and the report will include an additional column, Access Rights, which shows the access rights the selected external group has to each item, such as V, VE, etc.:

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In that case, the name of the document report will include the name of the group that the report is limited to.

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Contact List

Another unique CollabSpace feature is the ability to generate a contact list of all of the users who have been given access to the CollabSpace, which list will be directly downloaded to your computer.  This action can be triggered by any internal user who has access to the CollabSpace or by any external user with VES rights to the CollabSpace. (The generated contact list will not include users who have access to the CollabSpace only through groups where the membership has been hidden unless the user generating the contact list can also manage the hidden group.)

The generated contact list will always include all of the required user fields:  first name, last name and email address, and will also include the organization and phone number for any user who has chosen to include this information in their profile.  In addition, the generated contact list will indicate for each user whether they are internal or external. 

If the contact list is generated by an internal user, an extra column will be included, Membership, to indicate how the user has obtained access to the CollabSpace, whether via one or more groups (and the names of those groups) and/or individually:

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Save to Original

A common workflow is for the author of a document to choose to share a copy of that document externally rather than share the original, likely to obtain feedback from third parties or get their changes. After that feedback has been obtained, the author will want to ensure that all of that feedback is stored with the original document, but as a new version. This workflow is supported by a new action called Save to original.

To do so, when viewing the list of documents in a CollabSpace or CollabSpace folder, select an individual document that is a copy of another document and then select Save to original:

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This dialog box appears:

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offering the user the opportunity to save the official version of the copy as a new version of the original document. The user has the choice of saving the copy as an official or unofficial version. (If the user taking the action does not have edit rights to the original document or for any other reason the document cannot be edited, then a message to that effect will be shown.)

The feature is intelligent and looks at the status of both the original and copy to configure the settings of the Save as New Version of Original dialog box that will be selected when it is displayed. For example, if the copy has not been changed since it was first created, then there is no reason to save it back to the original and a message to that effect will be displayed.  If the original has been modified since the copy was made, then by default the dialog will suggest that the copy be made into an unofficial version of the original so as not to risk losing any of the changes made to the original since the copy was made.

Once the copy is saved to the original, if the user taking the action has VESA rights to the copy, the user will be asked if they want to delete the copy, because the copy has likely served its purpose and is no longer required:

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After the copy is deleted, the user will be navigated to the original document, which now has the new version added.

Cannot Save to Original

If the selected document is not a copy (or the user lacks sufficient access to the original or the original has been deleted), then a message will be shown, like this:

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or this:

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Other CollabSpace Actions

Most of the actions commonly associated with folders are also available for a CollabSpace and can be accessed from the CollabSpace menu, including:

  • Favorite (add to home page)
  • Adding a folder
  • Adding a saved search
  • Sending an email link
  • Following
  • Accessing history (for internal users only)
  • Printing a cover sheet
  • Generating a print list
  • Syncing
  • Sending content via a unique email address

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