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README.md

Workbench Access

Workbench Access creates editorial access controls based on hierarchies. It is an extensible system that supports structures created by other Drupal modules.

When creating and editing content, users will be asked to place the content in an editorial section. Other users within that section or its parents will be able to edit the content.

A user may be granted editorial rights to a section specific to their account or by their assigned role on the site. Content may only be placed in sections that the user has rights to.

Table of Contents

Installation and Configuration

Overview

The Workbench Access module creates editorial access controls based on access hierarchies. The module provides an extensible system that supports structures created by supported Drupal modules. To use the module, you must configure at least one access control field on each of the entity types for which you wish to restrict editorial access.

Note that Workbench Access only denies access to untrusted users. Some other permission set -- such as Article: Edit any content -- must be available to the user in order to perform the desired action.

While Workbench Access is part of a larger module suite, it may be run as a stand-alone module with no dependencies on other parts of Workbench.

Installation

To start using the module, install normally and then go to the configuration page at admin/config/workflow/workbench_access.

Tip: It is best if you create your hierarchy (say a Taxonomy Vocabulary called Editorial section before configuring the module.

If you want to test how the system works, you can run the drush command drush wa-test to install a sample Taxonomy hierarchy and field. You will then need to configure a Taxonomy scheme.

Configuration

Visit /admin/config/workflow/workbench_access and click the Add access scheme button. This will take you to a form that asks for three pieces of information:

  • Label: The name of the access scheme to display.
  • Plural label: A plural version of the label.
  • Access scheme: The type of access control plugin to use. The default choices are Taxonomy and Menu.

After filling in the form, click Save and you will be taken to the configuration form.

Here, we add options specific to the access scheme. For a Taxonomy scheme, you will be asked to Select the vocabularies to use for access control as a series of checkboxes. Each element checked will create a new root section, which is tha parent to the entire hierarchy. This setting controls thye sections that users and roles may be assigned to.

Once you have selected the parent elements, you may select the fields to use for access control. (You do not need to save the form before selecting fields, but you may without causing an error.)

Field selection creates a row for each eligible field that may be used for access control. Each row has three elements:

  • Entity type: The type of entity, such as 'Content'.
  • Bundle: The entity subtype, such as 'Article'.
  • Field name: The name of one field that may be used with this access scheme.

Note that:

  • If more than one field for the scheme typoe is available, each field will have its own row.
  • Entity types and bundles without an eligible field will not be present. These types will be ignored by Workbench Access.
  • When saving the configuration, the field will be validated to ensure that it contains the root sections configured for the access scheme.

Note that no access control will be enforced if no fields are selected.

Tip: We recommend that only one access scheme is used per entity type, with a common field across all bundles. Other configurations are possible, but can lead to unwanted complexity.

Permissions

Once you select the fields, it is time to assign users to editorial sections. For each role that should use Workbench Access, give the role either of the following permissions:

  • Bypass Workbench Access permissions This permission assigns users in the role to all sections automatically. Give only to trusted administrators.

  • Allow all members of this role to be assigned to Workbench Access sections This permission lets users and roles be assigned to specific editorial sections. It is the default permission for most roles.

After permissions are assigned, go to the Sections overview page admin/config/workflow/workbench_access/{scheme id}/sections. This page shows a list of all sections in your access hierarchy and provides links for adding roles or users to those sections.

Users may also be assigned using the Workbench Access tab on user account pages. To access this tab, an administrator must have one of the following permissions:

  • Assign users to Workbench Access sections Users with this permission will be allowed to see and assign all sections in all access schemes.

  • Assign users to selected Workbench Access sections Users with this permission will be allowed to see and assign only to sections (and their children) that their account is also assigned to.

This permission structure allows site administrators to allow other users to add members to sections without giving them access to edit user accounts or to administer Workbench Access settings.

Note that when granting access, the hierarchy is enforced such that if you have the following structure:

College
- Alumni
-- Events
-- Giving
- Students
-- Graduate
-- Undergraduate

A user or role assigned to Alumni will also have access to Events and Giving and does not need to be assigned to all three. A user or role assigned to College will have access to all six sections shown above.

Parent-child relationships are governed by the access scheme, so changes to the scheme structure (say, the addition of a new Taxonomy Term, or the re-organization of a Menu) will affect how permissions are enforced. Workbench Access mirrors the configuration of its scheme's provider.

Module Settings

Aside from access schemes, the module only has one setting: Deny access to unassigned content.

This setting is designed for use in cases where you have installed the module but some content has not been created with the access control field present.

If this setting is enabled, any bundle of an entity type that has no field data will issue a deny to any editorial action request.

Help

Terminology

  • Access control: A mechanism for denying or allowing system users from performing specific actions, such as editing content. Workbench Access controls the create, edit, and delete operations for assigned content types.

  • Access scheme (or scheme): A defined system for controlling access, managed by a specific plugin. Schemes are generally referred to by their parent modules (i.e. the Taxonomy scheme).

  • Bundle: A subtype of an entity type such as an Article content type.

  • Children: A section in a hierarchy that has one or more parents.

  • Editors: Individual users assigned to a specific section of a scheme. Assigning editors to a section removes the deny placed on that user when performing editorial actions under access control.

  • Entity type: A content type defined by a Drupal site, such as content, term, and custom block.

  • Field: A data element attached to a specific bundle on an entity type. Fields are how Drupal stores and displays most content.

  • Parent: A section in a hierarchy that has one or more children.

  • Plugin: A piece of Drupal extension code that manages functionality. Workbench Access uses the AccessControlHierarchy plugin system.

  • Roles: Groups users defined by Drupal role and assigned to a specific section of a scheme. Assigning roles to a section removes the deny placed on all users of that role when performing editorial actions under access control.

  • Root: The top-level of a hierarchy, such as a Taxonomy Vocabulary or a Menu.

  • Section: An element of a scheme that content and users may be assigned to in order to determine access control.

Supported Drupal Modules

Workbench Access ships with support for Taxonomy and Menu modules. Other contributed and custom modules may provide additional support.

Access controls may only be placed on entity types that have fields governed by supported modules. By default, that means that the Menu scheme only applies to Content, because that is the only entity type with default Menu support.

For Taxonomy schemes, any entity type that contains a Taxonomy Term entity reference field may be placed under access control.

Entity Types

Workbench Access can be applied to any content entity types that support fields and whose fields are supported by an access scheme.

When you configure an access scheme, you will be able to select from a list of entity types that are meet the requirements of the scheme. Under default usage, that means:

  • Menu schemes will support any Content type (also called a bundle).

  • Taxonomy schemes will support any entity type that has a Taxonomy Term entity reference field, so long as that field does not create an infinite loop by referring to itself.

Access Control Fields

Access control fields must be explicitly assigned based on the fields available in your entity types. When you configure an access scheme, you will be required to identify the fields that should be used for access control on each entity bundle.

One advantage to this system is that an access scheme can be applied to existing content, provided that the access control field contains data. (See the Module Settings section for more information.)

Unlike in Drupal 7, Workbench Access no longer provides its own fields. The assumption here is that your site's current architecture can be leveraged for access control without the need to add additional fields.

Access Hierarchies

When creating and editing content, users will be asked to place the content in an editorial section. Other users within that section or its parents will be able to edit the content.

A user may be granted editorial rights to a section specific to their account or by their assigned role on the site. To create, edit and delete content in a section, the user must have the core Node module permission (e.g. Edit all Article content) and the content must be assigned to the same section.

Note that the module only controls access to content editing. It does not provide any content filtering of access restrictions for users trying to view that content.

Section Assignments

To enforce access control properly, two elements are required:

  • Content entities must be assigned according to their access control fields.
  • Users or roles must be assigned to specific editorial sections.

The module works by mapping the two. When a user tries to edit an article, the field values for that article will be compared to the user's assigned editorial sections. If the article is not within the user's sections, access will be denied.

Developer Notes

Access Controls

Workbench Access applies to all content entities if you use the Taxonomy scheme, the Menu scheme only works for Content.

By design, Workbench Access never allows access. It only responds with neutral or deny. The intention is that normal editing permissions should apply, but only within the sections that a user is assigned to.

Access controls are controlled by the WorkbenchAccessManager class but the individual response is delegated to plugins via the checkEntityAccess method provided in the AccessControlHierarchyBase plugin. So if you want to change access behavior, you can write your own plugin or extend an existing one.

Data Storage

Access is granted either at the user or role level.

Storage is a service, and swappable. See the UserSectionStorage and RoleSectionStorage interfaces for details.

Base configuration of Workbench Access is config-exportable, but the actual access control assignments are not. This is a limitation of Drupal 8's design.

Content-level data is stored on individual fields, which must be created and assigned via the Workbench Access configuration page at admin/config/workflow/workbench_access/{scheme name}/edit.

Contributing

If you'd like to contribute, please do. Github forks and pull requests are preferable. If you prefer a patch-based workflow, you can attach patches to GitHub issues or Drupal.org issues. If you open a Drupal.org issue, please link to it from the appropriate GitHub issue.

The GitHub issues are grouped under three milestones:

  1. Alpha -- items required for a test release. When this is complete, we will roll an alpha1 release on Drupal.org.
  2. Beta -- items considered critical features for a release. When complete, we will roll a beta release on Drupal.org.
  3. Final -- items required for a stable, secure release on Drupal.org.

We would like to tackle issues in that order, but feel free to work on what motivates you.

Testing

The module has complete coverage. New features of bugfixes are required to have passing tests. All pull requests will automatically run tests in TravisCI. Test coverage runs against the following:

  1. PHP 5.5, 5.6, 7.0, and 7.1.
  2. The stable, Release Candidate (if available), and DEV branches of Drupal core.

Build Status