19.7 Managing External Users

You can grant users who are external to your organization access to your Vibe site at no additional cost. External users in Novell Vibe do not count as a licensed Vibe user, but they have their own individual user account (unlike the Guest user) and can participate in Vibe workspaces like any other user.

An example of an external user might be a contractor who interacts with the corporation for only a couple months a year, who needs access to the system as a defined user but does not need consistent access to the system.

The Vibe administrator can manually designate which users are external.

19.7.1 External User Planning

The ability to add external users to your Vibe system has been introduced to help you maximize your Vibe investment.

Before you introduce external users to your Vibe system, you should be aware of current restrictions. You should also be aware of enhancements to external user functionality in the next major Vibe version and how you should plan now for those enhancements.

External User Restrictions

The following restrictions apply to external users:

  • The user ID for an external user must be in the form of an email address.

  • Only users that are created locally within Vibe (not synchronized via LDAP) can be identified as external users, via the Mark this user as an external user option.

  • Because external users must be local users (not synchronized via LDAP), they are not authenticated through any single sign-on solution (such as NetIQ Access Manager) when the single sign-on solution is fronting the Vibe system.

  • External users cannot be employees of your organization.

Changes between Vibe 3.4 and the Next Major Version

The next major release of Vibe will contain more features related to external users. For example, users will be able to share a Vibe entry with a user external to the organization simply by specifying a user’s email address, which then allows that user to log in to the Vibe system as an external user with unique credentials.

These additional features will require fundamental changes from how external users function in Vibe 3.4 to how external users will function in the next major version. You should be aware of these planned differences when adding external users to your Vibe 3.4 system because some functionality will change when you upgrade to the next major version of Vibe:

  • External users in Vibe 3.4 have their own personal workspace where they can store their personal files, blogs, and so forth. The next major release of Vibe will not provide external users with the ability to store personal files and other folder entries in a personal workspace. Only fully licensed users will have this ability. To retain a personal workspace, the user would need to be a licensed user.

  • External users in Vibe 3.4 can see all users in the Personal Workspaces workspace. The next major release of Vibe will not allow external users to see the Personal Workspaces workspace.

Creating a Group for External Users

As a best practice, consider creating an External Users group and making each external user in your Vibe system a member of this group. You can then manage access controls for all external users via this group. (For information about how to create a group, see Section 20.1, Creating Groups.)

For example, you can restrict the External Users group that you create from having access to the Personal Workspaces workspace by following the steps in Section 2.2.1, Controlling User Access to Personal Workspaces, and substituting the All Users group for the External Users group that you created.

19.7.2 Designating Users as External

You can create a new user and mark that user as external, or you can mark an existing user as external:

Creating an External User

  1. Create a new local user as described in Section 19.2, Creating a New Local User.

  2. In the Add Account tab, select Mark this user as an external user.

    IMPORTANT:If this option is not selected, a license must be purchased for the user.

  3. Ensure that the User Id field contains an email address.

  4. Provide additional relevant information for the user, then click OK.

Marking an Existing Local User as External

After a user has already been created locally in the Vibe system, you can mark the user as external, if the user’s user ID is in the form of an email address. Users synchronized via LDAP cannot be marked as external.

  1. Navigate to the user’s profile page, as described in Section 19.4, Modifying a User’s Profile Information.

  2. When modifying the user’s profile on the User page, select Mark this user as an external user.

  3. Click OK.