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Understanding Permissions in KARL

October 14, 2010

As the Six Feet Up KARL Champion, I plan to create blog entries to help new and potential KARL customers understand its dynamic functionality. Six Feet Up is the exclusive provider for KARL hosting. When new users begin with KARL, many ask questions about Groups and Permissions. Here's a high-level overview of permissions: what they do and how to assign them.

KARL has been called a collaborative intranet, a wiki solution and a shared information repository. A better description is to call it a Knowledge Management System because it combines all of those functions.

KARL allows members of your organization to collaborate with each other as well as collaborating with customers, partners, consultants, or other individuals outside your organization. By having separate permissions in KARL, an added layer of security is created while giving your organization the flexibility to work across the globe with external parties. KARL is designed to organize the key players for a project, issue, or area into communities that will work together and have a central location to place and retrieve information.

The two main groups of permissions for a KARL site:

KARL Affiliates

Affiliates have the fewest permissions in KARL. An affiliate is an individual that has been given access to KARL but are from "outside" of your organization. Affiliates only can see communities that they have been invited to join.

They also will see people under the "people" tab. The people an affiliate will see are only those who are members of the affiliate's communities. For example, if your CEO is not a member of any of the affiliate's communities, the CEO will not appear under the affiliate's "people" section. Affiliates will not see "offices" or any of the "office" intranet pages.

KARL Staff

KARL Staff might be classified as employees, staff, or members of your organization. KARL Staff can see all of the communities in your KARL that are "public." KARL Staff also can see private communities if they are a member of that community. KARL Staff can see all profiles under "people" tab and all "offices" (listed in the footer of each page), and the intranet pages for those offices.

How To Make These Accounts

To create KARL Affiliates through Communities

In a community, when you click "Members", you can select "Invite New." You will be prompted to type someone's e-mail address. Everyone you invite in this manner is automatically created as a KARL Affiliate.

Changing Account Types through Profiles

KARL Affiliates

When a KARL Admin/KARL UserAdmin creates a new user by going to People, and then clicking Add User, they will have the options to choose the Group Membership. If they don't click any of the Groups listed, that user is created as a KARL Affiliate.

KARL Staff

To designate a user as KARL Staff, a KARL Admin/KARL UserAdmin selects a profile and clicks on the checkbox next to "KARL Staff." It's important to realize ONLY staff members see offices in their footer.

KARL UserAdmin

A member that has been given permission to be a KARL UserAdmin can edit other people's profiles. This user can change profile information including to which groups affiliates or staff belong. This group might be useful if you would want to give permission for creating staff members to an individual that may be in a department such as HR. (Typically, you would give this permission to a staff member, therefore don't forget to check the box next to KARL Staff and KARL UserAdmin to give a user both permissions.)

KARL Admin

KARL Admins have additional "admin" functionality. They will see ALL communities. They need to also be a member of KARL Staff to see the list of offices in the footer. They have permission to edit almost everything in KARL including the setup for offices. They also get an "Admin" tab at the top of every page, and they have permission to add users/edit user profiles.

The ability to give users different levels of access in your organization is a valuable tool to keep your data safe while allowing outside partners to collaborate with your staff. If you have more questions about KARL, please contact us at

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