NEW FEATURE: Configurable Access Control

Welcome to our latest (and most ambitious yet) release.

Our new version 06 release (available to professional and enterprise subscriptions) introduces configurable access control to Method Grid!

Access control can be applied to specific folders and grids; for example, allowing you to create a project or team-based folder, or grid, and locking down access to a project team grouping. You might also want to invite an external (client) member into your account but only want them to view/edit a specific set of grids – and – not see the rest of your organization’s wider content. This is all possible with configurable access control.

In short, configurable access control provides the ability to tailor view/edit/manage permissions, across your entire account (by folders and grids), to optimally match your data privacy and access requirements.

This release also introduces the construct of member groups as a facilitator of access control, external members and (for all subscription levels) private folders.

The following c. 10-minute video provides an overview of this new release:

What new (configurable access control) features have we introduced in version 06?

This blog describes all the related features that go with this new release, including:

(1) Configuring access to a folder or grid

(2) Using groups to configure access control

(3) Adding a new group

(4) Adding external members (e.g. your clients) to your account

(5) Private folders (available on Free plan also)


(1) Configuring access to a folder or grid

To configure access to a folder/grid, you need first to have “manage” rights to that folder/grid. Account architects have “manage” rights across the entire account and can, additionally, assign “manage” rights to other members of your account.

If you have “manage” rights, then, with the relevant folder/grid open, click on the access control action button (padlock) to open up the access control panel.

On the right-hand side of this panel, you will see the account architects who have full access by default.

Additional access can now be managed via groups (left-hand section of the panel) or individual members (middle section of the panel).

You can add a group or member access permission to the folder/grid by selecting the group or member from the relevant drop down list (using the search field to delimit the dropdown list contents).

A selected group/member is then added to the folder’s access control with “view” permission initially. This permission can be, subsequently, changed by clicking on the “Change” link beneath the added group/member avatar. Within the pop-up modal window, you can toggle the access permission to “Edit” or “Manage”. Groups/members can be removed from the folder/grid’s access control by clicking “Remove” in this window.


(2) Using groups to configure access control

Groups (e.g. HR, Finance, Marketing, Project X, London, Paris etc.) are a powerful organizing construct that facilitate the management of access control across your Method Grid account.

By creating groups, you have the ability to assign access permissions (to folders and grids) at a group-level.

On switching to a professional or enterprise plan from a free plan, system groups are automatically created for the three base member roles i.e. architects, builders and users. Changing a member’s base role, thereafter, will switch the member to their new base role system group i.e. system groups are automatically updated. Similarly, when moving from a free account to a paid account, all pre-existing members are treated as “Internal” and added to the Internal system group; thereafter members can be assigned as “Internal” or “External” and the related system groups update automatically.


(3) Adding a new group

Account architects can add a new group to your Method Grid account and add/manage members within a group.

To add a new group, as an architect, click on the “Members > Manage groups” option in the top menu.

Next, click on the “+ Add a new group” button.

In the new group window, ensuring you are in “Edit” mode (blue pencil action button selected), you can create a new group name by clicking inline to the “New group” title field (below the group avatar).

To add/manage members within a group, in the group window, ensuring you are in “Edit” mode (blue pencil action button selected), you can add account members to the group individually via the “Add members” dropdown (using the search field to delimit the dropdown options).

Previously added members can be removed from the group by clicking on the “Remove” link beneath the member’s avatar.

Changes are automatically saved.


(4) Adding external members (e.g. your clients) to your account

The ability to invite and manage “External” members into your account is a new feature in version 06 – as used to facilitate configurable access control.

External members are, typically, members from outside your organization; for example, professional service firms often seek to invite their end-clients into their Method Grid account – but only within an access delimited folder or grid. These end-clients are best added as external members.

External members have curtailed rights; they can only be assigned “view” and “edit” permissions and never “manage” permissions. External members are also not able to view the account-wide members and group pages. The only members (profile pages) they can view are those that are tagged as experts in grids that they have access to or members that have access to the same folders or grids as they do.

External members can only view/edit the folders and grids that they have been granted access to; external members can, however, access their own private grids folder.

Account architects can add/manage external members into a Method Grid account.

To add/manage external members, as an architect, click first on the “Members > Manage members” option in the top menu.

Next, click on the “Add new members” (+) action button in the action bar.

Within the “Add new members” modal window, add the new external members first/last name and their email address, then select the “External” radio button.

You may add as many external members as you require. Simply keep clicking the “+ Add 3 more rows” link to get more fields.


(5) Private folders (available on Free plan also)

With this release, every member of your account will have access to their own individual, private folder regardless of their base member role (architect/builder/user). This will allow everyone to practice building out grids and learning about the full functionality of the platform.

Grids developed within a private grid can be moved to the main grid library. To move a grid from your private folder, in edit mode, you simply drag-and-drop (left hand mouse click) the grid from within the folder pane and move it to the desired new folder position in the main grid library. A recipient folder area turns blue as you hover over it.

For professional and enterprise plans, with configurable access control, please note that you must have “edit” permission to any recipient folder (if you do not have this permission, the target folder will display a forbidden icon when you attempt to drop the grid into it). With configurable access control, grids moved from your private library inherit the permissions of the folder in which they are moved to; in addition, the creator of the grid (the owner of the private folder) retains “manage” rights to the grid in its new position.

Account architects can view all private folders within your Method Grid account.

To view a private folder, as an architect, click first on the “Members > Manage members” option in the top menu. Next, click on the “Private folder” (folder) icon associated with the member to open up this private folder area.

In summary, this has been a major release for us here at Method Grid HQ and an important one for our growing community of users (configurable access control was, by some margin, your “number one” request!).

Next up. After a short breath for air, the development team can now turn to a whole raft of functional improvements to the solution. Indeed, we are fresh from a development roadmap huddle that has prioritised the new features you can expect to see in Qtr 03 of this year. We will  be publishing a blog on this new roadmap shortly – created as a result of all the many survey returns we received (for which – thanks!). Suffice to say, this next blog will bear news of many exciting updates to come in the coming weeks and months ahead.

To all our users – a huge thanks, as always, for your continued support in the onward development of the platform!


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