Communities are very much like Organizations except that they are not hierarchical. They are designed instead to be islands to themselves which anyone from any organization (or from no organization at all) can join. You can use Communities, therefore, in any situation where you need to cut across the organizational structure of your portal, or where you have a site that would apply to almost anybody.
F igure 3. 7. Community Form
Communities can be created and managed in two ways. The first is through the Control Panel, like every other user / page collection in the portal. The second is through the My Communities portlet, which can be added to any page in the portal.
Why two ways? Because the My Communities portlet also doubles as a way to navigate from community to community, and allows users to browse the list of communities and select whether or not they want to join one (if it is open or restricted). This enables you as a portal administrator to provide users with this functionality without giving them access to the Control Panel.
Adding a Community Using the Control Panel
Click the Communities link on the left side of the Control Panel in the Portal section, a form just like figure 3.7 will appear.
Click the Add tab, and the community addition form will appear (see figure 3.8).
On the Name part enter the name of the community you wish to create.
Enter some descriptive text about the community in the Description part.
F igure 3.8 Community addition Form
On the Type part, there are three kinds of communities: Open, Restricted, and Private. An open community appears in the My Communities portlet and users can join and leave the community whenever they want. A restricted community is the same except users can only request membership. A community administrator must then explicitly grant or deny users' requests to join. A private community does not appear in the My Communities portlet and users must be added to it manually by a community administrator.
You can make a communities active or inactive by checking or un checking the checkbox next to Active.
You can use Oromiay's tagging mechanism on the community. This is helpful if the community has a specific, topical purpose within the portal. Once you have created a community, it will appear in the list of communities in the Control Panel. The operations you can perform on it are very similar to the operations you can perform on organizations.
T o add a community using My Communities Portlet, fist you need to add the My Communities Portlet to the page you are going to work on. So to add the My Communities Portlet:
Figure 3.10. Edit Community Form
Click the Add Application from the dock.
From under the community in the Add Application select the My Communities.
The My Community Portlet will be displayed in the page you are on.
Figure 3.9. My Communities Portlet
In My Communities portlet you will find Communities I Own, Communities I Have Joined, Available Communities and Add Community.
Communities I Own: will let you know communities you own.
Communities I Have Joined: will let you know communities which you joined or member on.
Available Communities: this tab will display communities which are available to be joined in.
Add Community: will let you add new community.
After you add a community in one of the above ways, click the View All button. This will take you back to the list of communities. Click the Actions button next to the new community you have created. You will then see the many actions you can take to manipulate this community which is like figure 3.10.
Edit: Lets you edit the community.
M anage Pages: Lets you create and manage public and private pages for the community.
Figure 3.11. Edit Community Form
Assign User Roles: Lets you assign community-scoped roles to users. By default, communities are created with three roles: Community Administrator, Community Member, and Community Owner. You can assign one or more of these roles to users in the community. All members of the community get the Community Member role.
Assign Members: Takes you to a screen where you can search and select users in the portal to be assigned to this community as members.
Join/Leave: If you are not a member of the community, you will have a Join or Request Membership option. If you are a member of the community you will see an option to leave the community.
Delete: Users with administrative access to the portal or who are owners of the community can delete it.
Roles are groupings of users that share a particular function within the portal, according to a particular scope. Roles can be granted permissions to various functions within portlet applications. Think of a role as a description of a function, such as Message Board (Forum) Administrators. A role with that name is likely to have permissions to functions of the Message Board (Forum) portlet delegated to it. Users who are placed in this role then inherit those permissions.
R oles are scoped by Portal, Organization, or Community. The Control Panel makes it easy for you to assign users to Roles and to assign permissions to Roles.
Figure 3.11. Adding a Role.
You only have to go to one place: the Roles link. From there, you can add roles scoped by Portal, Organization, or Community from one interface.
To create a Role, click the Roles link, and then click the Add button. Type a name for your role and an optional description. The drop down box at the bottom of the form lets you choose whether this is a Regular, Community, or Organization role.
When you have finished, click Save.
Y ou will be back at the list of roles. To see what functions you can perform on your new role, click the Actions button.
Edit: Click this action to edit the role. You can change its name or description.
Figure 3.12. Editing and Defining a Role.
Permissions: This allows you to define which Users, User Groups, or Roles have permissions to edit the Role.
Define Permissions: Click this to define what permissions this role has. This is outlined in the next section.
Assign Members: Takes you to a screen where you can search and select users in the portal to be assigned to this role. These users will inherit any permission given to the role.
View Users: Lets you view the users who are in the Role.
Delete: Deletes the Role
Roles exist as a bucket for granting permissions to the users who are members of them. So one of the main tasks you will be doing with a role is granting it the permissions that you want members of the role to have When you click the Define Permissions action on a Portal scoped Role, you are given a choice of two kinds of permissions that can be defined for this role: Portal Permissions and Portlet Permissions. For other Roles, you only see the portlet permissions.
Portal permissions cover portal-wide activities that are in several categories, such as Community, Location, Organization, Password Policy, etc. This allows you to create a Role that, for example, can create new Communities in the portal. This would allow you to grant users that particular permission without making them overall portal administrators.
Portlet permissions cover permissions that are defined within various portlets. Clicking the Portlet Permissions button brings you to a page where you can browse the names of the portlets that are currently installed in your portal. Once you choose a portlet, you can then define the actions within this portlet that the role will have permission to perform.
Roles are very powerful, and allow portal administrators to define various permissions in whatever combinations they like. This gives you as much flexibility as possible to build the site you have designed.