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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Software for managing user allocation to access groups

HeadlessNotAHorseman writes: I admin a web-based system for sharing documents. The system uses user groups to define permissions to folders. The rules about who gets access to which folder are complicated, but are mostly based on a person’s job function and which department and branch they work in.

My team and I are currently struggling because there are so many groups (approx. 150 groups for 300 users). There is no group hierarchy so we have a lot of “super-groups” which contain all people sharing a job function from across different departments. This is necessary to simplify access management for the people who administer the folders (before the super-groups they had to allocate up to 12 groups to a folder and mistakes were being made; now they only have to allocate 2-3). Because of this, when a new user is onboarded my team have no definitive way of knowing exactly what groups they should belong to. It's only a matter of time before we make a mistake and Bad Things happen.

Has anyone got any experience with a software solution that will support mapping this complex group structure to job functions and departments? Ideally I’d be able to open the program, input some basic information (such as which department and branch they work for, what their job functions are, etc) and be given a list of groups that I must assign them to. The rules frequently change, so it must be easily configurable too. Thanks for your help!

Comment Stab in the dark (Score 1) 240

I learned touch typing in school, but didn't really get to the numbers. I use the number pad as much as I can, but when I use the top row I will use left hand for 5 and below and usually but not always the right hand for higher numbers. The problem is that I never got the positions totally fixed in my muscle memory, so when typing anywhere from 5 to about 8 there's a good chance I'll do a little run up the keyboard till I find it (6, backspace, 7, backspace, 8, got it!).

Comment Re: A Textbook False Dichotomy (Score 1) 208

I am flying from Australia to South America for a holiday. Because of all this TSA nonsense, I paid extra to fly via Chile rather than USA. This also means I flew using LAN rather than a USA airline (which is money lost for the USA economy).

That's odd. I would think Australia to South America would require WAN, not LAN ... I'm so confused now.

I think you are confusing LAN meaning "Local Area Network". WAN means "Wide Area NetworK", but it's not so much wide as it is long. Hence in this context LAN means "Long Area Network" :P

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Secure board meeting document collaboration/dissemination system?

HeadlessNotAHorseman writes: My Australian employer has asked me to investigate secure IT systems for preparing and distributing documents and agendas for board meetings. The board meetings are all face to face and there is no interest in web or teleconferencing. The key requirements are:
  • Security (they want equivalent of Australian "Protected" or USA "Confidential").
  • Secure wireless distribution of meeting documents to tablet devices.
  • A secure collaboration space so that staff in separate offices can work together on developing documents for the meetings.

I'm keen to get a feel for what sort of products are on the market and how well they work. What are your experiences with secure meeting management / document collaboration and distribution systems?

Comment Re: Difficult != Safe (Score 2) 161

Everybody seems to be confusing the term "customer" with "stakeholder". The fact that a person may not understand what they really need when asking for an info system should be no surprise to anyone in the IT industry by now. It's the whole reason for the existence of business analysts like me. Being a good programmer does not by any means guarantee that you are good at gathering and understanding requirements. Being a good BA certainly doesn't make me any sort of programmer (though I do understand the concepts).

And the customer is not always synonymous with user. The role of the BA is important, but it should be part of facilitating communication between the developer and the user, not a firewall keeping them apart.

That depends on both the developer and the user :P Just kidding, I agree. When someone asks me what a BA does, the simplistic answer I give them is that I act as a translator between users/the business and the programmers.

I deal with some users that have almost no clue about computers and technology, so they have a tendency to think that IT development can deliver more than it can in a lot less time than it really takes. Even worse, the organisation I work in is strongly hierarchical so my communication with some users is often via several layers of management (each of whom know very little about computers and technology). Suffice to say, it is quite the challenge to manage users' expectations!

Comment Re: Difficult != Safe (Score 4, Insightful) 161

Everybody seems to be confusing the term "customer" with "stakeholder". The fact that a person may not understand what they really need when asking for an info system should be no surprise to anyone in the IT industry by now. It's the whole reason for the existence of business analysts like me. Being a good programmer does not by any means guarantee that you are good at gathering and understanding requirements. Being a good BA certainly doesn't make me any sort of programmer (though I do understand the concepts).

Comment Re:Ummm... (Score 1) 278

I don't understand that argument. If there was an emergency that required evacuation, you would have to be pretty darn absorbed in your game not to notice the bumping and the oxygen masks coming down and the smoke and the people screaming and the loud "assume brace position" warnings. The time it takes to put your Game Boy down is probably significantly less than the time it would take to undo your seatbelt, stand up and get into the aisle of a plane full of other people all trying to get off as quickly as they can.

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