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Products.FacultyStaffDirectory (3.1)

by Olha Pelishok last modified 2011-08-19
Released on 2011-08-18 by WebLion Group for Plone 4.0 under GPL - GNU General Public License available for All platforms.
Software development stage: beta
Faculty/Staff Directory provides content types for creating and organizing personnel directories within educational institutions.

FacultyStaffDirectory provides content types for creating and organizing details of people. It has principally been developed for personnel directories in educational institutions but can be repurposed for use in a variety of settings.

The core content type is Person. This has a variety of fields (email, telephone number, job title, and so on). You can also easily add your own.

Out of the box, FacultyStaffDirectory offers 3 Classifications that can be assigned to Person objects: Faculty, Staff and Graduate Student. If these don't work for you, you can add your own Classifications (e.g. Administrators, Technicians, Board Members, or whatever you like).

FacultyStaffDirectory also provides several content types for grouping people: Departments, Specialties and Committees. If these labels don't make sense in your organization, you can easily relabel them. In each case, the association between the Person and the grouping (e.g. the Person-Specialty relationship) can be given a description. So, for example, if Person Jane Doe is in the Artificial Intelligence Specialty, you could give the Jane Doe-Artificial Intelligence relationship a description (e.g. "Interested in the cultural impacts of machine thinkers").

FacultyStaffDirectory can be configured so people added to the directory automatically become Members of your Plone site and each person can edit his or her own page. It also adds some new roles, to facilitate management of people. For instance, the PersonnelManager role can create new Specialties and assign people to them.

Membership integration

Out of the box, FacultyStaffDirectory offers the following integration with Plone users and groups:

The Faculty/Staff Directory itself acts as a group.
All Person objects created in the Faculty/Staff Directory are automatically considered members of this group. This group also provides the option of assigning a global role to all Persons in the Directory. This option should be handled with care. It is generally best to select only the Member role, as this is the most restrictive option.
Departments, Classifications and Committees act as groups.
Global role assignment is not available for these content types, but the groups they define may be granted local roles throughout the Plone site. For complex academic units, this can be a great time-saver, since personnel management can be tied closely to site security management.
Person objects act as users.
The Faculty/Staff Directory configlet in Site Setup allows you to choose whether Person objects provide passwords for authentication. If you are using some other PAS plugin for authentication, such as PloneLDAP, ApachePAS, PubcookiePAS or CAS4PAS, you will want to disable password provision so that authentication will cascade to these other systems.

Users defined by Person objects are automatically granted the Owner role locally for that object and its contents. This allows users to add to and edit their own biographies, contact information, etc. They also control sharing rights to their object and can thus allow assistants to edit content on their behalf without sharing their own passwords or user preferences.

The My Folder action, found on the personal toolbar, is altered by the Faculty/Staff Directory product to take users defined by Person objects directly to them. Users defined through the standard Plone UI will be taken to the usual location (portal/Members/<userid>). Likewise, the personal preferences link found in the personal toolbar and on the plone_memberprefs_panel or dashboard will take Person users to their Person objects.

Owners are not granted the rights to add or remove their Person object from Departments, Committees, Classifications and Specialties, since these collections are used as authorization groups. Instead, this right is reserved for site managers and for the newly-created Personnel Manager role, installed with the Faculty/Staff Directory product. The Personnel Manager is likewise not granted access to the ZMI or to personal preferences for Persons. This allows for fine-grained separation of management concerns.

Membership integration for Person, Department, Classification and Committee objects is configurable. A switch to turn the function on or off is in the Faculty/Staff Directory configuration panel in Site Setup. It may be necessary to disable membership integration for Person objects in systems that have established user bases built on LDAP systems, for instance.

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