There are three fundamental concepts used to manage large numbers of users, sequences, and digital signage screens:
- Access controls — Control who has access to items.
- Groups — Control multiple items at the same time.
- Sequence stacking — Control contributions to a sequence.
An access control is a security technique used to regulate who can view and modify items on the digital signage platform. For example, an access control can grant a user the ability to view and modify a specific sequence. Additional access controls can be created to allow multiple users access to different items within the digital signage system.
Access controls for users:
- Full — The user has full access to the item.
- Read only — The user can only view the item.
Access controls for groups:
- Full — Users with access to the selected group have full access to the item.
- Read only — Users with access to the selected group can view the item but not control it.
- Low vis — Users with access to the selected group will not see the item displayed in the full list of items. This can help speed up performance when there are a lot of items. For more information see Low visibility access controls.
Access controls can be assigned to screens, sequences, library items, users, groups, and cloud configurations. To assign access controls:
- Click an item's Options button ().
- Select Edit from the pop-up menu (or Settings for a sequence).
- Click the Access tab. This is only available to users with the Show access controls feature enabled.
- To give access to an invidual user, in the Users with access to this item section:
- Enter a valid email address.
- Select the access level: Full or Read only.
- Click Add.
- To give access to a group, in the Users with access to these groups have access to this item section:
- Enter a valid group name.
- Select the access level: Full, Read only, or Low vis.
- Click Add.
When a user signs in to the administration system, only items they have been granted access to will be visible.
A group is a collection of items. Items include screens, sequences, library items, users, groups, and cloud configurations. A user with access to a group will see all the items contained in the group in the administration interface. Multiple users can be granted access to a group.
If a user is contained in a group, all new items the user creates will be added to the group automatically. Another user with access to the group can then act as administrator for the user and access all the items they have created.
A group can contain another group of items. This facilitates a logical hierarchy of groups within groups.
A user granted access to an outer group will see all items inside that group and all items inside the inner groups. However, a user granted access only to the inner group will see items only inside that inner group.
This makes multiple layers of management possible. The outermost layer maintains complete control of the platform while the innermost layer has restricted control to only update their own sequences and digital signage screens.
Each local network of screens and users in a location should have its own group. One or more local users should be granted access to this group to act as local administrators.
Each regional distributor should have their own group. This group should contain all the smaller local networks they manage. One or more regional users should be granted access to this group to act as regional administrators.
All regional distributor groups should be added to a national group. One or more users acting as super administrators for the national network should be granted access to this group.
A group must have a unique name. Using hierarchical naming conventions will make management much easier. For example:
- myshop.mydistributer.mynetwork (local)
- mydistributer.mynetwork (regional)
- mynetwork (national)
There is no limit to the number of items in a group. However, the user interface will only show the first 1000 items by default. To find an item not in the first 1000 results it is necessary to select a group or perform a search. The visible list size can be increased to 10,000 without compromising performance, but searching is recommended when these numbers are reached.
A sequence is represented as a horizontal row of slots. Each slot can contain multiple items stacked in a column; this is called a stack. The top item with a valid condition will be selected for display.
Sequence stacking enables you to place another sequence on top of an existing sequence. Each of the numbered slots in the sequences are combined so that the stacks become taller. The base sequence controls whether stacking is allowed above specific slots, enabling you to ensure that certain items from the base sequence are always displayed.
Control of each stacked sequence can be given to different users by configuring the access controls. Two or more sequences can be stacked, so hierarchical management of sequences can therefore be achieved.
The base sequence has full control of all sequences stacked above as they can selectively enable and disable any of the slots. Each sequence stacked above can contribute to the sequence by adding items to the slots when stacking is enabled.
Stacked sequences effectively refine a sequence to make it more specific and localised. The base sequence contains worldwide, common items shown on all screens. The middle sequence then adds regional content. Finally, the top sequence adds local content.
The base sequence can be managed by a super administrator responsible for the entire digital signage network. This sequence can define the set of items that will display on all screens. By disabling stacking above, the super administrator can ensure items are displayed on all screens because it prevents sequences stacked above from using the slot.
There is no limit to the number of base sequences in a chain.
Stacked above the bottom sequence is the regional distributors sequence. The regional distributor can define the set of items that will display on all screens they manage. They can also prevent stacking above to ensure their items are displayed. They can not control the slots in the bottom sequence when stacking has been disabled.
Stacked above the distributor sequence is the local network sequence. Administrators of the local network sequence can define the set of items that will display on all the screens they manage. They can not control the slots where stacking has been disabled by the middle or bottom sequence.
In some cases it is necessary to delegate control of one or more individual slots to a disconnected user. To achieve this, a slot can refer to an inner sequence managed by the user. This technique can be useful for granting an advertiser ability to change a subset of the items outside the stacked sequence hierarchy. It also makes it possible to incorporate items from special sequences such as Media RSS feeds or sequences populated by email.
Creating users, groups and sequences
Creating a Regional Distributor
A super administrator who is responsible for the entire digital signage network must create regional distributors. To create a regional distributor:
- Create a new group for the regional distributor.
- Create one or more new users.
On the Access tab for the new user(s), make sure to add the new regional distributor group under the Users with access to these groups... section.
- Assign the new user(s) to the regional distributor group so they can act as regional administrators.
- Create a new sequence using one of the master sequences as a base.
On the Access tab for the new sequence, make sure to add the regional distributor group under the Users with access to these groups... section.
Setting up a Local Network
A regional distributor who is responsible for a region must create local networks.
- Create a new group for the local network.
- Create a new user.
- On the Advanced tab, set the Base sequence to be one of the distributor's sequences.
- On the Access tab, add the new local network group you created in step 1.
- On the Auto setup tab, add the list of mac addresses of the screens being shipped and select Create sequence and link to screens.
- Create additional users if required, remembering to add the local network group.
- Edit the local network group and grant one or more users access so they can act as local administrators.