One of the most sought after features by many customers is the ability to apply access control restrictions to various parts of the directory. In JV-LinkDirectory 5.4 we are making some major changes to this effect. ACL was already existent in JV-LD, but to a bare minimum, to decide who can perform activities like "importing categories and links data", "deleting categories and links" and "take action on link requests". This is a very basic set of admin backend related actions. In JV-LD 5.4, we are introducing "Action" based permissions for many activities that can be done in the directory, and "View" based permissions for categories and links.
Controlling what users can do at Directory level:
JV-LD uses Joomla ACL to restrict or allow access to what users can do. The actions that can be controlled include:
- Recommend a website
- Suggest a Category
- Contact Listing Owner
- Submit One Way Link Requests
- Submit Reciprocal Link Requests
- Take Action on Link submission requests
- Import Categories and Links Data
- Delete Categories and Links Data
Using the Options tab in JV-LD dashboard, the administrator can now decide which user groups can be allowed to do these actions. As in Joomla, the permissions are inherited down the children user groups. You can configure these actions for all your Joomla user groups and take complete control of what you would like your users to do in the directory.
For example, if you are running a closed directory group, then you may want to allow link submissions from only registered user or authors or your own defined user groups. Another example is when you are running a "middle man" directory for suppliers and consumers. You may want to restrict actions to these individual user groups with ACL. These permissions are at the directory level, and is independent of categories and links.
Controlling what users can do at Link level:
JV-LD 5.4 also introduces the same ACL features to links too. The actions that are controllable and configurable at link level include:
- Rate Links
- Review Links
- Comment on Links
- Download Files
But the concept is slightly different in this case. If you observe, all these actions are those which are done on links/listings in the directory. In JV-LD, links do not have their own ACL. The access permissions that can be done on links, is governed and decided by the ACL settings configured for it's primary category.
In other words, if "Rate Links" permissions is set to be denied for a category, then all links that belong to this category cannot be rated. Same goes with the other 3 actions too. These actions are inherited by child categories as in Joomla ACL. You can configure these actions for all your Joomla user groups by editing the categories and take complete control of what you would like your users to do on your listings in the directory.
Controlling what users can see in the Directory:
This is one of the most important features that we are introducing in JV-LinkDirectory 5.4. This again uses the Joomla ACL, and decides what users can see instead of what they can do. You can now set non public access or set any desired access level to any category.
The category will be visible, only if the visitor in front-end has the necessary privileges for that access level. For example, if you set a parent category to Registered access level, then a visitor/guest who is visiting the directory will not be able to see this category anywhere. You can also set up custom or advanced access levels to give different views of categories to different types of users in front-end. This feature brings in the capability to run hidden/privileged categories that are accessible only to certain sections of your users, without the need to create another directory for it.
Additionally, the links that belong to such categories (primary category) will not be visible to anyone who does not have access to that category too. Thus listings can be created for a closed group too!. The access level checks are uniform across the entire directory, modules, plugins, search etc.. ensuring that the privileged/hidden categories and links are never disclosed to anyone who is not authorized to see them.
Link actions like posting to directory wall, community walls of JomSocial, EasySocial and CB will be done only if the link being added is in public access. Non-public links will not be posted to these streams.
Our intention is to give you greater control over your directory with this feature, and we hope you like these features.
Waiting to hear from you via our blog comments...If you would like to participate in the beta testing of JV-LD 5.4, then please read our beta testing blog post for instructions.