PBwiki 2.0 Preview: Page-level permissions

[See our past Previews of PBwiki 2.0: Overview]

We’ve received hundreds of notes from users who want to control access to specific pages on their wikis. We’re happy to announce that PBwiki 2.0 will include page-level access. Today we’re taking you on a preview tour of how page-level access controls will work.

In PBwiki 2.0, each page has a tab with relevant information, including “Page security.”

A closer view

By default, pages have the same security settings as the rest of your wiki (if your wiki is private, your pages will be private).

New! Administrators can override default security and choose who has access to specific pages.

Here, you select from a list of your wiki’s users and assign them the appropriate level of access. Note that we’ve slightly changed the levels of access to “Reader,” “Writer,” and “Editor.” (We’ll cover our new individual logins in an upcoming preview post.)

Why is this useful?
When we started PBwiki, we didn’t see the need for detailed access controls. But as we’ve grown, we’ve been hearing from users who want controls over who can access specific pages. Sometimes they want to add access, like inviting someone outside the company to one specific page (without exposing the rest of the wiki). Other times, they want to restrict access, such as preventing engineers from seeing marketing plans and having a premature heart attack.

By adding page-level access, you can control exactly who sees your content. This feature will be released in some limited fashion for free users.

Examples of using page-level access

  • A private business wiki. If you use a private wiki for business purposes, imagine managing your external vendors on your PBwiki. Create a page for each vendor and grant them access to that page only.
  • An educational wiki. If you’re running a classroom PBwiki, you may want to limit certain students to certain pages. Take your syllabus, for example — it may be different for your 3rd-period and 6th-period English classes. Use page-level access to restrict students to their appropriate page. Or create a page for each student and let them upload their homework directly to the page.
  • A personal wiki. I have a private wiki with various projects, and I’d love to be able to invite others to participate. But until now, I couldn’t, because they’d be able to see private information I have (like account numbers and passwords). Now, using page-level access, I can create specific pages and invite outside people to have access to that page only.

Coming up: More previews
Stay tuned for more previews on new features like individual logins and folders.

Golden Tickets: Get beta access to PBwiki 2.0
We have a limited amount of Golden Tickets to try out PBwiki 2.0 as a beta user. If you’re interested in trying out PBwiki 2.0 and giving us feedback, sign up for PBwiki 2.0 beta access.

26 thoughts on “PBwiki 2.0 Preview: Page-level permissions

  1. we are planning to launch by middle of February 2008

    [Note from PBwiki: Harish doesn’t work at PBwiki, so his date isn’t official. We’re working as hard as we can to release this ASAP. Thanks, -Ramit, Co-founder of PBwiki]

  2. Is this available with the free version?

    If not, what level package does an educational institution need to get page level access

  3. Very good. As I commented in a query/request to your support address I’d very much like to be able to group users – and then grant the groups certain permissions. The group could be seen as simply a mass-edit tool – when changing permission of a group to certain pages PBwiki system would simply go through each user and change their permissions accordingly.

    PBwiki response: Group management is something we’ll be working on after the release! -Ramit, PBwiki Co-founder

  4. I was about to enter passwords for my fifth graders for use of the current system and exand our use in the next couple of weeks, because the new term begins Monday. (Our wiki uses the higher level of service.)

    Should I hold off entering these passwords and training the students in their use? Will the passwords remain the same? Will the sign-in interface change a lot? Because you are also changing the “names” and structure of the access categories this will also require retraining in elementary school. A lot of educators will need to know this as soon as possible.

    For me, because I have NOT put a lot of time into training I want to know how long I’d have to hold off — if I wait. If you do know the likely timeline to [live] introduction, this is helpful for planning.

    PBwiki response:

    Jonathan, we can’t give you a firm date (beyond “soon”), so I’d go ahead with your rollout / training now. We’ll make transitioning to the new system as seamless as possible.

    -Ramit, PBwiki co-founder

  5. Your FireFox implementation for comment generation must be flawed. (I use the latest FireFox.) The cursor will not stay in the Comment email box, jumping immediately back to the beta request submit box. IE6 works OK (so I could leave this feedback…)

    Thanks for maintaining the blog so we know what’s coming.

  6. Wow!
    I am looking forward to this. We have many groups that need to share some information and not see some things. This will be a simple and effective means of controlling that. I am not a great web developer but have attempted to implement this through windows permissions, etc. This is much less cumbersome and requires no programming. I love the thought of it already! Larry

  7. Yes, it’ will be very useful for me and my educational wiki, I’m looking forward to updating my wiki with this new feature 🙂

  8. I think the page security idea is brilliant. It is something that will be a boon to teachers/tutors who need to speak to pupils/students on an individual level.

  9. Groups would be a very useful feature for student collaboration – together with the ability to upload them from a spreadsheet. We have 400 students in 34 groups, who collaborate on projects. It would be ideal to give each group a wiki to work on, but only if we can automate it!!

  10. Just another seconding of the importance of groups for page level security (or folder security, for that matter). If the wiki has a substantial number of users (or pages) assigning page protection by user will become unmanageable in a heartbeat. Assign the page level security by group, and new users to groups.. no sweat. Without groups, this isn’t a feature, it’s an administrative nightmare. Thanks…

  11. How about an update on the release schedule. It would seem it is not going to be “early January”. I’m holding off on a site launch because the current login process is indeed confusing, and I don’t want to train everyone twice.

    But, I don’t want to wait indefinately either. Update, please.

  12. 2.0 is about to enter its second beta round, and will go out to the public before the end of Q1 (which ends March 31). Sorry about any inconvenience–as you can tell, the goal is to sell no wine before its time.

  13. What package will allow to use this much needed feature? Public users? Silver users? Please tell me this will not require a specific fee…

  14. Page-level access and folders is what I currently need for the sub-groups in my classroom. This will pleasantly mean that contributors can edit only specified pages not the whole wiki.

    Great version.

  15. Many of the teachers in my wiki workshops would like to be able to register student usernames and passwords without email addresses, since not all students have their own email accounts. Will there be a way for teachers to do this? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: