Struggling with waterfall permissions

Contributor

Struggling with waterfall permissions

So I am working with a governance group to determine the folder structure of our Box instance that will be used as a document repository for a multi-year IT project.  Here is an example.  We have a folder labeled Occupational Change Management (OCM).  Inside are some general documents that all users would have access to.  Then inside of the OCM folder we want to give each of our 34 colleges in our system, their own college folder that only members of their own college could access.  Well this won't work with waterfall permissions.  The only thing I can think to do is create an  "OCM (general)" folder and, at the same level, 34 OCM -CollegeName folders.  I can appreciate inheriting permissions from a parent object, but it sure would be nice to be able to break inheritance (like in SharePoint). 

 

 Is there some other option with respect to permissions I'm not seeing?

12 REPLIES 12
Box Certified Professional

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

@AFrench,

 

No. I think you've got it. Waterfall is currently the reality in Box. There are many pros and cons to that reality, but it is still a reality. 

 

The structure you have outlined is what I would recommend. Is the general folder read-only? If so, you might consider just making that a shared link and bookmark it in the individual folders. This could be done easily by creating template folder with the bookmark and copying it each time you need to create a new individual folder.

 

Best of luck,

 

Bob

 

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
Contributor

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

Thanks Bob.  I was thinking about linking back to the general folder.  How would I have to permission that folder so that they don't have to be bothered with actually seeing it?  Is that possible? What do you mean by "template folder?"  Something that I would just see for handy copy/pastes?  Also, what happens if links get broken when doing this sort of thing?  Seems like it could be hard to manage if a lot of that went on.

Box Certified Professional

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

@AFrench,

 

The general folder would have no collaborators. That way they won't see it. You create a shared link to the folder, giving it the access level necessary. If I recall correctly, many of your users are outside your company. You would need to create an open access link. This is a drawback of this approach. You could password protect it and even put that password in their folders. 

 

RE: Template folder - Let's say there are certain elements you want everyone to have in their folder. This could be a bookmark of the shared link to the general folder, maybe a readme file, etc. You create a folder that has these elements that every one of your college folders will have. Whenever you want to create a new college folder rather than going to New -> Folder you go to your template folder, copy it to the spot where the college folder needs to be and rename it. It will have the bookmark, the readme and any other common elements in it. 

 

HTH,

 

Bob

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
Contributor

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

What would be the drawback of the open access link, if the only place it is shared is as bookmark in a folder they have access to?

Box Certified Professional

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

@AFrench,

 

They would not have access to the folder, right? That would be the point. At least not collaborator access. The drawback is that an open access link means anyone with the link will have access to download and/or ready any of the folder's contents. If that's not a problem, then this is an easy fix. However, if you need individually authenticated access to the folder, then this is not a solution for this situation. 

 

Bob

Indiana University
University Information Technology Services
Contributor

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

So our governance team decided, for the time being at least, that we will not permit shared links for "anyone with this link."  So, darn, I don't think this approach will work because the only share option remaining is "people in this folder"  which means I'd have to invite them to collaborate on the folder which means they would see it.  I wish the permissions were more flexible, or that that inheritance could be broken. I feel like I've got my hands tied.

First-time Contributor

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

Hi.

 

Completely Argee.

This waterfall rights restriction finally come to be a major issue, as files cannot be organized in a way that is cohesive with classical folder organisation.

Things are then getting whorse when people have to access to hundreds of folders, and wants to use Box Sync/Drive, as links and bookmark workarounds seems useless in that case.

Users ends up to have a flat structure or folders that cannot be organized in a hierarchical way.

 

Because of this, we consider transfering files on a MS.Sharepoint and cancel our company's Box subscription, currently, despite geat advantage of Box in terms of usability.

 

I understands the waterfall principle for rights, but I whish there would be a way to present folder and files to users in a hierachical way (to remain similar to a classical folder tree structure, or even better, in a table/matrix in our case) independently of the actual logical organisation...

 

Does anyone have more Insights / feedback on such requirement, and how to address it ?

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

Agree with all the earlier comments regarding the inherited permissions from the parent. I have a similar issue i want the main folder for a large group to access and the the subfolders to only be accessible by certain people (depending on their country in my case).  I went to trouble of loading all the data and then realized that I can't stop the inheriting or people can't see what is in the primary/main folder (i.e. they lose all access).

 

I have discovered that MS sharepoint doesn't have this design flaw. it allows you to "stop inheriting from the parent" so I am now in the process of moving everything to sharepoint. Not sure it's an option for everyone but thought I would share my workaround.

 

I assume Box will delete this reply 🙂

Community Manager

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

Hey @Anonymous ,

 

Thanks for sharing on the forum. I understand the inheriting of permissions for subfolders from parent folders may not work for you, but wouldn't it be the same to create a separate parent folder based on the country of the users that need the select information?

 

For your consideration, I would recommend checking out this article about planning your folder structure and thinking about a more flat folder structure: https://community.box.com/t5/Get-Started-Guide-for-New-Admins/Plan-Your-Folder-Structure/ta-p/305

 

Hope that helps, Sherry and thanks for sharing your thoughts with the Community!

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

Thanks for the suggestion. The challenge is that for each project there are global work stream subfolders AND country subfolders that people need to access. and it varies by individual. so for instance, one person might need two workstreams and 3 countries but someone else needs 3 countries and 1 workstream. and that's just one project. they may be on 5-10 projects. it would quickly multiply how many separate folders they have to be granted. not to mention how "busy" their home page would be because they likely have other folders for other items (teams or individuals). and every subfolder would have to include the project name since no one could see the master. i guess the master just becomes another peer subfolder, rather than a master (so yet one more folder that lands on the home page for every project).  seems extremely messy. i appreciate the idea you proposed. i'm beginning to think i'm using a hammer to solve a problem where a wrench is needed. 🙂

New Contributor

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

I agree completely.  We came from a regular Windows server environment where I could allow or deny access to files and folders at any point in the structure.  That is what we need and what works best.

 

A current example of how the waterfall permission structure is hurting is with the new Box Drive custom location.  If I add someone as a collaborator on a file down in the file structure where they have no access to the parent tree & folders, I cannot hyperlink in Outlook to files through Box Drive and have it work.  I am still forced to use the URLs to bypass the waterfall structure and the work-arounds that had to be done to get permissions correct.  Hyperlinks work perfect only for files/folders where all parties have the exact same file structure, i.e. permission for the entire file structure chain.

Community Manager

Re: Struggling with waterfall permissions

Hi @bethanyanderson!

 

I want to thank you for sharing this insightful use case. Posts like yours really help us understand the impact that the current waterfall permission structure has on community members!

 

I’ve captured your feedback to Box Pulse for our product teams. There is discussion on the following suggestion (which I linked your post to) that might be relevant to your experience:

If you’d like to provide additional information about your experience, please feel free to post your directly on Box Pulse.

 

Again, thank you for your excellent contribution to the Community!

Emma

Box Community Management Intern