Coffalyser.Net has built-in support for user accounts and organisations. User accounts can have various access levels for better privacy, security and organisation of data. This article includes an overview of the user account and organisation features. Additional details can be found in a dedicated section of the Reference Manual.
There are five different account types:
- Project Users: Can work on projects in which they are project user with limited rights, and only have read-only rights to most other resources.
- Project Administrators: Have full rights within their project(s), including the right to delete experiments and projects.
- Organisation Users: Can access a particular organisation. Have no special rights unless they are made project administrator or user as well.
- Organisation Administrators: Have full rights within an organisation, including projects of other users, the ability to manage capillary electrophoresis devices, and the ability to manage user roles within the organisation.
- Server Administrators: Can manage organisations and user accounts and can access all organisations. The first account created during setup is a Server Administrator (named Admin).
Managing users is relatively straightforward. If you have sufficient rights, you can open the Users dialog from the treeview on the right-hand side of Coffalyser.Net. This dialog allows you to add new users and to view, modify or delete existing users and their user rights on the server via a right-click context menu.
A detailed breakdown of the rights of each role and step-by-step instructions to create, modify or remove users can be found in a dedicated section of the Reference Manual.
Organisations are one of the ways in which data is organised within Coffalyser.Net. A single Coffalyser.Net server may have one or more organisations. Each organisation may have one or more projects, and each project may have one or more experiments. Capillary electrophoresis device definitions are only shared within an organisation. Reasons to work with multiple organisations may include:
- An extra layer of data organisation. This is especially useful if the server contains a lot of data.
- Increased control over user rights (see above).
- Separation of multiple groups/teams for enhanced privacy and security. Users who are not organisation user, organisation administrator or server administrator cannot access the organisation, meaning that they cannot (accidentally) interfere with the organisation's settings and data.
- Separation of multiple types of data that requires various levels of security. For example, you could have an organisation for patient data with restricted user rights to avoid accidental modification of settings and to minimize the number of people that can view the data. Next to this, you could have a "research" organisation in which users have more rights (perhaps even all Organisation Administrators) and in which modification of settings and capillary electrophoresis devices is allowed.
To manage organisations you must be a Server Administrator. Organisation Administrators can only modify the properties of the organisation(s) they manage.
- To create a new organisation, right-click on the Organisations node in the treeview on the right-hand side of Coffalyser.Net and choose Add Organisation ... and enter an organisation name and (optionally) other details.
- To modify an organisation, right-click on the organisation and select Properties. Alternatively, you can double-click on the Settings node below the organisation you want to modify.
- To remove an organisation, right-click the organisation and choose Delete. To prevent data loss, this requires that all projects and capillary electrophoresis devices are first deleted from the organisation manually.
Separate databases vs organisations
In some cases, separate organisations may not be sufficient for your needs. In a setup with multiple organisations, Server Administrators can access all data in all organisations, which may not always be desired. In addition, a Server Administrator is required to manage users, which may be inconvenient if this requires someone from outside of your department or if there is a lot of user administration within your setup. In such situations, you can consider a more advanced setup in which multiple separate databases are used, such as the approached described in this article. Each database may have its own Server Administrators and its own organisations.