How to use permissions and workflows in Sismics Docs

Permissions

With the new workflow feature added recently, it would be a good idea to come back to how permissions are working.

When you open the permissions tab on any document, you should have something like this:

Permissions tab

Permissions could be of different kinds:

  • Applied directly to a document: In the above tab, you can add permissions with the form in the top panel
  • Applied indirectly to documents tagged by a specific tag: In the main “Tags” menu, you can add permissions by clicking on a tag

They can give access to a specific user or to a group of users and can give Read or Write access.

Read access allows seeing the document and the associated files, the comments, the current state of the workflow, share and export.

Write access allows all of the above plus all kind of modifications on the document and the associated files, workflow, and add comments.

Workflows

Since the last update, you can run workflows on documents. A workflow is a series of steps, and each step requires validation by a user. For example, you can create a workflow to validate expense reports from your employees, as demonstrated in this case study.

Expenses reporting case study

To define your workflow (called a “workflow model”), go to Settings > Workflow. Create a new workflow and define your steps. A default “Document review” workflow should be here, but feel free to delete or modify it.

For the expenses reporting example, it looks like this:

Expenses reporting workflow model

You can have two kinds of workflow step:

  • An approbation step: The user will need to choose between validating and rejecting the step
  • A validation step: This step has only one possible “Validate” outcome

The recipient of each workflow step can be a user of a group. In case of a group, any user of this group can validate the workflow step.

Once your workflow model is defined, you can start it on any document where you have Write access, through the workflow tab.

Start a workflow

Here is the relation with the permissions:

For each workflow step, the system adds a temporary “Read” permission to the recipient of this step, and remove it when the workflow step is validated.

Thanks to this, you don’t need to make sure that all the recipients of each step of your workflow have Read access to your document, the system takes care of it for you.

Future improvements

As every feature is Sismics Docs, the workflow system is bound to be improved with each new update. This first iteration already allows you quite some flexibility in your process, however, we have plans to add even more:

  • A general screen where all the workflow assigned to you can be validated in one single place
  • Dynamic recipients to assign a workflow step depending on the current context
  • Parallel workflow execution
  • Custom operations to be executed before or after each workflow steps
  • Document states (Like Approved, Validated, Archived) which can be automatically changed after certain workflow steps
  • Any suggestion you as a user can provide

Sismics co-founder, Docs open-source developer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to Top