Managing a Hybrid Network

This feature is specific to Clearvale Enterprise.

BETA: Hybrid networks allow you to invite guests to your network. Guests have access to the following:

  • Guest communities to which they have been invited.
  • Any external communities that are available to guests in the network.
  • The Network page can optionally be made available to all guests. When this option is selected, any content shared with the network space is available to guests.

When you switch your network to be a hybrid network, the following changes happen to your network immediately:

  • The Members tab is relabeled as Participants.
  • The Communities page allows you to create and manage three types of communities:
    • Internal community. Use these for collaboration limited to just network members. Internal communities do not allow guests or public users.
    • Guest community. Use these for collaboration between network members and select guests. Guests and members must be invited to the guest community. All participants within a guest community appear by their name to facilitate collaboration.
    • External community. Use these communities for more open collaboration. External communities allow you to invite members and guests. If you have a public network, you can even allow the public to see external communities and their content. Participants can choose to be unnamed in an external community for privacy purposes.
  • Guest roles are added to the network.
  • Network members are set as being unnamed to guests. New members that join the network will also default to unnamed. If a member wants to be named to all guests, they can change their profile setting. For details, see To change your named setting.

Switching a regular network to a hybrid network

To switch a regular network into a hybrid network:

  1. Contact BroadVision Support about enabling the hybrid network service for your network.
  2. Select Admin>Network Administration.
  3. In the Guests Configuration area, check Allow guests in network and then any of these options:
    • Check Allow non-admin-members to invite guest at network level to allow network members to invite guests to the network. If you do not check this option, only network administrators can invite guests to the network.
    • Check Allow guests to access Network page and items in network space to allow guests to access the network space. If you do not check this option, guests have access only to the guest communities to which you have invited them and any external communities which are available to them. Note that you can fine-tune this by removing access to the Network page for specific guests if desired. (To do so, select Admin>Participant Administration and then uncheck Allow access to Network Page for the particular guest.)
    • Check Allow members to create guest communities and external communities to allow members with the Moderator or Writer role to create guest and external communities for the network. If you do not check this option, only network owners and administrators can create guest and external communities. Note that you must also check the Allow Writers to create and manage communities option on the Admin>Participant Administration page to allow Writers to create communities.
    • Check Do not allow guests to view other participants’ reports to prevent guests from viewing Clearvale social analytic reports. If you do not check this option, guests can see their reports as well as network-level activity reports.
    • Check Allow members to join the network as named to set the default for new members joining the network to be named instead of anonymous to guests on the network.  When unchecked, new network members are given anonymous names that are shown to guests in the network.
    • Check Allow Regular Guests to join network as named to set the default for new guests invited to the network to be known by their real name. Leave it unchecked for new guests to be unnamed. For more information, see “Working as Unnamed in a Hybrid Network.”
    • Click Save when done.

Inviting Guests

If you have a hybrid network, network administrators can invite guests to the network. Depending on configuration settings for your network, other members may be able to invite guests also. (The Allow non-admin-members to invite guests at the network level option must be checked on the Admin>Network Administration page.)

To invite guests to a guest community:

  1. Go to the guest community to which you want to invite guests.
  2. Click Manage Participants.
  3. Click Invite Guests.
  4. Enter the email address for the person to invite.
  5.  Select a role, either Regular Guest or Special Guest. Use Special Guest for guests that require additional anonymity.
  6. Click Add.
  7. Enter another email address, select a role, and click Add again to continue inviting other guests to this guest community.
  8. You can enter a personalized message to include with the invitation.
  9. Click Send Invites.

Alternatively, if you want to invite a guest and pre-assign them to multiple guest and external communities, use this approach:

  1. Select Participants>Guests.
  2. Click Invite Guests.
  3. Enter the email address for the person to invite.
  4. Select a role, either Regular Guest or Special Guest. Use Special Guest for guests that require additional anonymity.
  5. Click Add.
  6. If you are a network administrator, check Named for the new guest to be known throughout the network by their real name. If unchecked, the guest is unnamed. For more information on what it means to be unnamed, see “Working as Unnamed in a Hybrid Network.”
  7. You can enter a personalized message to include with the invitation.
  8. Click Choose Communities to display the guest/external communities that you can pre-assign for the guest. When the invitees accept your network invitation, they automatically become members of the communities to which you assigned them.
  9. Click Send Invites.

Note that if you have a lot of guests to invite, you can use an upload file. The upload file should be a plain text (.txt) or CSV (.csv) file that contains one person per line. This file should contain the following information for each new guest:

  • email address (required)
  • first name (optional)
  • last name (optional)
  • role (optional).  For the guest role, use the keyword external.  For the special guest role, use the keyword  special_guest.
  • communities (optional)

In a .txt file, create a new line for each person; separate the values for the person with commas. For example, to add a new user named Joe and assign him the guest role and add him to two communities, use this format:

joe.cool@acme.com,Joe,Cool,external,”Contractors,Marketing”

In a .csv file, create a new role for each person, separating the various values in different columns, with the exception of communities which appear in the same column, but separated by commas. See the sample .csv file for an example.

To bulk upload guests:

  1. Select Participants>Guests.
  2. Click Invite Guests.
  3. Click Bulk Import.
  4.  Navigate to the upload file containing the addresses and click Upload.

Setting preferences for guests joining a hybrid network

Use the Admin>Network Administration page to set the following preferences for guests:

  • Allow people with any email domain to join your network as a guest. Under Guest Access, check the Unrestricted Email Domains option. You can list some exception domains if needed. Guests are then allowed with any email address, except the restricted domains listed.
  • Allow people with only certain email domains to join your network as a guest. Under Guest Access, check the Restricted Email Domains option and enter the email domains that are allowed.
  • Whether or not self-registering people are made guests or members of the network. Click Make all self-registering people guests of the network or Make all self-registering people full members of the network. These settings are used in conjunction with any email domain restrictions.
  • Additionally, you can check the Prevent people from self registering as guests option to to prevent guests from self-registering for the network.

Converting communities for a hybrid network

When setting up a hybrid network, you may find you want to change a community’s type. For example, you may have an internal community to which you want to invite some guests.

To change a community’s type:

  1. Go to the community.
  2. Click Convert Community. Only community administrators can change a community’s type.
  3. Select the type of community to which you want to change the community.
  4. Check whether to send an email notification:
    • If you select this option, an email message is immediately sent to all community members letting them know about the change.
    • If you try to convert a guest community or external community that includes guest members to an internal community, a message appears indicating to remove those members from the community before you can convert it.
  5. Click OK.

Disabling guests

When a guest no longer needs to access your hybrid network, you can disable the guest. A disabled guest is treated just like a disabled member. That is, the content created by the guest remains in the network, however, their picture is removed and is replaced by the generic avatar.

Switching a hybrid network back to a regular network

If you no longer want a hybrid network, you can switch back to a regular network.

To convert a hybrid network back to a regular network:

  1. Remove the guests from the network. A regular network cannot contain any guests. If you have guests in your network, you must change their role to Disabled (they can no longer access the network) or Writer or Reader so they can continue participating in the network.
  2. Delete or convert the guest and external communities. A regular network cannot contain any guest or external communities. You can delete your guest and external communities or you can convert them into internal communities.
  3. Select Admin>Network Administration and uncheck the Allow guests in network option. Click Save.

Note that the conversion process checks for unnamed members and makes them named in the regular network.