Tutorial/TNG/Users and Access

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How to manage your users, set their roles on your TNG site by controlling user access and managing site security.


Users at your TNG site


It’s nice to have visitors to your TNG site.  In fact, isn’t that one of the perks of having your family study posted on a website?  Sharing of genealogy is one of the pleasures in the hobby that really makes this a global activity.  Sharing our family trees on a TNG site truly makes for an enjoyable, universal and instantaneous world community.

So, let’s look at the different “doors” you can open for your visitors. We will assume here that your TNG site is set up to NOT require a login for visitors. This is a requirement of the Guild, which hosts your TNG website.

Anyone who visits your site can view any page and any person and any information on deceased persons.  A deceased person in TNG lingo is an individual with a death or burial date, or a person who was born a specific number of years ago, typically about 120 years ago, which is selected by the TNG site administrator. 

The TNG term User is anyone who has been registered to access your TNG site with a user name and password. This access is controlled by the TNG site administrator, who sets this up for each individual. This is done to grant various levels of access to data that is not available to the public. These are people you want to help submit, edit and perhaps help you administer the TNG site.  A User may or may not be related to you, can be in the same town or across the globe.  You as administrator have the control on who gets in and what they can do on your site.

The basic User roles in TNG include: Guest; Submitter; Contributor; Editor; and Administrator.

A Guest only has the same level of access as any public visitor.  A Guest, like any public visitor, can also note the existence of any living person in the database, but cannot view any information about those living persons, except their family connections.  You might note, for example, that Joe Black has three living children but, depending on privacy settings, the visitor cannot see their names or information. Thus, with the Guild's requirement to NOT require a log-in for visitors, it makes no sense to set up a User in the role of a Guest, because there is no additional access being granted.

Your potential users first must register themselves with you, submitting information on name, email address and so on.  If acceptable, you can then approve them, set up a username + login password and assign them such privileges as appropriate for their role on the site.  For example, you may want them to add, edit and delete information on individuals.  Or perhaps only work with media, such as images.  In the beginning, you might only let them submit changes for consideration by you, before the changes go into the TNG site.  You can have as many users added to your site as you want.

A special category of user is the Administrator.  This person is the Primary user.  There can be more than one administrator and it is a good idea to have a backup person.  You do need at least one administrator, or else you have lost control on your site.  The administrator has full control and access to all information on the TNG site and can add or remove other users.

Setting up users


In the above article, we talked about Guests and Users on your TNG site, and how nice it is when they drop by.  If you want them to linger or even contribute, you need to know about Users, how to get them, to register them and to set them up with roles.

First, how do we find our users?  Go into the Administration panel and click on the Users tile.  That takes you to a page with four tabs: Search, Add New, Review and E-mail.

Tutorial users-1.JPG
  • Search This will list all of your current registered uses: their username and real name, role, settings and last date and time of login. If it is a long list, you can use the search box.
  • Add New is where we will create accounts for any new users and set their permissions.
  • Review If you have set your site to allow visitors to register for an account, then you will get registration requests and they appear on this page. When a registration is pending, the tab will have an asterisk: Review *.
  • E-mail allows you to send e-mails out to all of your users, or only those assigned to a particular tree/branch combination. The email will come from the address that you set up in General Settings >> Mail and Registration.
Tutorial users-2.JPG

 Adding new users

Adding a new user is straightforward.  Go to Administration >> Users >> Add New.  Then fill in the boxes, select a role for the user and then save.

  • Description This is for your benefit, so you can use “Researcher in Manchester”, “Aunt Martha”, or “Rootsweb contact”. It only appears on this page that I know of.
  • Username Used for logging in. Must be one word, 20 characters maxiumum.  For the Guild TNG, we use your membership number.
  • Password is also one word, no spaces, 20 characters max. You can set up your new user with a temporary password but insist that they change it on their first logging in.
  • Real Name is useful for you and others that connect with the user.
  • The rest of the test boxes are optional, but the e-mail address is used if you are doing bulk email messages to your users.
  • Tree + Person ID will allow this person to see their own living data, even if their record is on a tree or branch not assigned to them.

Roles and Rights

Users' roles and rights

You can set up your users to have a progressive scale of permissions within TNG.  They can be registered to be just a Guest with no privileges, or Submitter, Contributor, Editor, Media Contributor, Media Editor, Custom or top-level all-access Administrator.

We will go into these permissions and security in the next article.

Two things to note:

  • You will already have yourself and a user named “TNG team” as administration.  Please do not delete either of these.  Yourself for obvious reasons, and the TNG team, as they are there to assist should you get into difficulty.
  • The other caution is to really minimize the number of users with administration power.  It is not needed by your contributing users out there.  The fewer people that have full scope of changing your site, the more secure and safe that it will be for you.


Limit the display of living individuals


Most of us want to share our family research with others.  Why else would you go to an internet website to host your family tree?  But we also want to respect and protect the privacy of others if they are still alive or very private.  TNG has the settings ready for you.

First, log into your TNG site as administrator.  Open the Administration panel and select Setup.  Then go to General Settings.  Open the Privacy section.  You should see this screen, below:

Privacy living people.png

There are several selections available.  We will describe each of them in turn.

Require Login: Normally you would set this to “No”.  If you say “Yes”, then no one can get past your home page without logging in.  That means you would have no visitors, no one that can learn of your family line or whether you have any connections in common.  This runs contrary to the goals of the society.  However, sometimes a new TNG site is still under development with little information inside, and you might want to clean up the information before inviting visitors.  Typically, say “No” to requiring a login.

Show LDS Data: This depends on your involvement with the LDS Church.  You can select “Always”, “Never” or perhaps “Depending on user rights”.

Show Living Data: This shows or hides dates and places for living individuals.  You can choose “Always”, “Never” or “Depending on user rights”.  The third choice usually works, as it will still hide living data from site visitors with no login privileges.

Show Names for Living: This is the setting you want to choose for protecting the living.  There are three choices: “No”, “Yes” or “Abbreviate first name”.  TNG considers living people to be those with no death or burial information, plus a birthdate that is less than 110 years ago.  If you set this to “No”, then the names of living people is replaced with the word “Living”.  If you set it to “Abbreviate first name”, then an example of this would be: (for me) "Albert James Benedict" would be displayed as "A. J. Benedict".

Show Names for Private: This works the same as “Show Names for Living”.