Mar 24 2009

Understanding WorkSite security part 2

Jason

So yesterday we went through how the security is structured across the workspaces, tabs, folders and documents. Now let’s look at how it’s applied.

Each item in WorkSite can have a default security. This applies to everyone accessing the folder, document etc. This the the “Shared As” option in properties.

You can set the “shared as” to:

  • Private – setting to this means by default any one but the creator/author won’t be able to see the workspace, folder, document etc
  • View – you can see it but access would be read only as would any property information/meta-data on the item
  • Public  – you can see the workspace, folder, document etc and edit them and their property information/meta-data

The easiest way to maintain security is to simply secure at this level. However there may be occasions where you need to secure at more advanced levels for different groups/people etc

This is where the ACL (Access Control List) comes in.

This is additional security information to the basic default security “shared as” setting above. And for the groups/people named in the ACL it will override the default “shared as” setting (e.g. if the document default “shared as” security is “View”, but I am added to the ACL with Read/Write access. Everyone else will be able to get read only access apart from me who will have write access – the author/creator will of course still have write access too)

In the ACL you can add individuals or groups of individuals and assign the following access levels (remember these will supersede the default level for those individuals/groups!)

  • Full Access – This allows full access to the document and full control over properties/meta-data and also the security (including for the folder, workspace etc)
  • Read/Write – full access  to the document, but limited control on properties/meta-data and no ability to change security (including for the folder, workspace etc)
  • Read – as it says, just allows to read documents, properties/meta-data etc
  • No Access – again as it says (remember unlike Windows where you could see the folder even if you couldn’t gain access to it, in WorkSite No Access = it’s invisible)

There are a few things worth pointing out about Groups and Individuals in terms of adding to the ACL.

  • Groups are extremely useful for workspaces that contain hundreds of documents and have security that changes regularly. This is because you can amend the security without having to refile everything (the refile action has to go through each document, folder etc and change the properties and security. On a large file this takes time!)
  • However the downside of Groups is that users of the FileSite or Desktop clients cannot add or remove people from them. This has to be done using the database administration tool.

So before you determine your security think carefully about the following to help determine the best security to apply:

  • potential size of the file (number of folders, documents etc)
  • frequency of change of individuals access requirements
  • degree of control the end user will need in maintaining the security

————–

OK now you hopefully understand a bit more about the default security and ACL. Let’s step back to how folders and documents inherit security from the parent folder, tab or workspace. Basically what we’re going to look at is limiting or opening up security within the workspace.

So remember the option to inherit or not?

inherit

Limiting access to sub folders or documents is easy. 

You set the top level (e.g. your workspace) as open a security setting as is acceptable e.g. Public (remember this is the “shared as” default security, not in the ACL).

You can then uncheck the inherit security on the folders you wish to secure more tightly, then either change the default “shared as” security (e.g. to “View”) or add a specific ACL to those folders.

However the real difficulty is when you want to apply a more open security to sub folders. i.e. opening access to wider audience in a sub folder that at the levels above.

So say your top level (e.g. your workspace) is Private (again remember this is the “shared as” default security, not in the ACL) and maybe it is also secured in the ACL to a group or individual. In WorkSite you can only open sub folders or tabs to people specifically listed in top (i.e. workspace) ACL!

When you think about it this is logical as if you have no access to the top level you couldn’t see the workspace, so how could you expect to see a folder within it?

This isn’t so bad, but the big gripe is that it only lists Groups, not people contained in those Groups!  i.e. the workspace is secured to View in the ACL to the IT group, then you want to allow me to have read/write access to a sub-folder. Unless I am named in the ACL as an individual as well you won’t be able to pick me at a lower level even though I’m in the IT Group!

Individual documents though are a little different. These can be opened up to either Groups or Individuals that are not listed in the top level (i.e. workspace) ACL. I guess this is logical as you could search for the document by it’s document number?!

  ————–

Finally a quick note on Roles, just for completeness. These though really aren’t essential to understanding security from a WorkSite user perspective. So if your brain is full or fried stop reading now!

In the background your WorkSite administrator will assign users of the WorkSite system to “roles”. These are settings that basically allow some overriding “security” to be applied that a user cannot amend. It will always apply to all workspaces, tabs, folders and documents etc. So your actions available within the system will depend on the role you are placed in.

Roles apply to more specific functions, like the ability to actually create a workspace or be able to physically delete documents etc. An example of a role setting is shown below:

roles

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Mar 23 2009

Understanding WorkSite security – part 1

Jason

Matter Centric WorkSite security on the face of it can seem over complicated. But once you get the hang of it you can pretty much make it work well for any security requirement. This post will go through some of the basics.

First off a quick recap of the main components of WorkSite:

  • At the “top” level you have your Workspace – think of it as your filing cabinet for the matter
  • Below that you can have tabs – think of the logical dividers in that cabinet to split up your content
  • Either below a tab or in a workspace are folders – think paper folders full of a specific type of paper document in your cabinet
  • Then in the folders are your documents, emails etc

In WorkSite you can add “meta data” to your workspace (this is data that describes the workspace, so typically your client number, matter number, practice group etc). You can also secure a workspace to individuals or groups of individuals.

The tabs, folders or documents in the workspace can inherit that security (this can be changed for individual folders or documents if required).

If you know that some documents have had security changed and you want to re-apply the security from the workspace downwards then you use what WorkSite calls a “refile” action.

“Refiling” – applies the profile and security information downwards to folders and documents from the workspace (you can also refile from a tab or folder level if required)

As mentioned above you can set up folders not to inherit security. This is done with a simple checkbox on the properties of the folder (see below)

inherit

So when you refile either a workspace or tab you would get the following message. This allows you to avoid replacing security information for folders you set up not to inherit.

refile-wspace-and-tab

So if you do not want to pass the security down to folders set not to inherit, then leave the checkbox unchecked.

You can also chose to refile from the folder level downwards. For folders you get a similar option to pass down the security, but also an additional option asking whether you want to “re-inherit” the security from the above tab/workspace (see below).

refile-folder

So if you do not want to pass the security down to sub-folders set not to inherit, then leave the first checkbox unchecked.

If this folder does not inherit security and you do not want it to change to inherit. Then leave the second checkbox unchecked.

Part Two will be published tomorrow…

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Mar 12 2009

Interwoven WorkSite 8.4?!?

Jason

Well I find out today that Interwoven will be releasing a v8.4!

It’s all part of the takeover by Autonomy and I know that until the merger goes through it’s difficult for them to disseminate information to customers on something that isn’t confirmed. But customers are still moving forward with projects and if you’re in the process of moving to v8.3 for the Vivisimo search, then you may want to take notes of these upcoming releases!

For those mid-project, here’s the order as a guide:

  • v8.5 is imminent (with Vivisimo Velocity) on a limited release (Limited release is fully tested production code but only released to clients who ask for it so they can be given preferential support)
  • v8.4 (with Autonomy’s IDOL engine) would follow this at some point. A server side upgrade retaining the v8.2 client – expect it to initially be a limited release while knowledge of IDOL grows within Interwoven.
  • v8.5 would then be released with Autonomy’s IDOL engine as a limited release
  • IUS (IDOL) limited release on a similar timetable to 8.5 IDOL
  • General availability of all above would follow later in year
  • Along with additional v8.5 modules such as SharePoint integration, WorkSite Web, IRM, language packs etc
  • After all this there comes the Fileshare release (I’m looking forward to this one! From what I understand you can make your workspaces available through a windows file share!)

In terms of architecture, the feedback is that the IDOL engine requires a similar capability as Vivisimo Velocity, so in their words “we can ‘simply switch’ from one index to the other”.

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Feb 26 2009

Problems with Interwoven’s WAM (Workspace Archive Manager) product

Jason

This week we launched an archiving process for our Document Management System (DMS). Underlying the process we used a product from Interwoven called WorkSpace Archive Manager (WAM). The WAM tool basically moves an entire electronic file (the documents, emails,  folders and the meta-data) from one library to another, in our case from the Matters library to an Archive library.

I intend to blog about our general process and what we discovered working with our lawyers at a later date. The purpose of this post is to point out a bug or should that be a “feature” with the WAM tool. One that will probably cause you problems in the future if you don’t address it before you start.

We found in our analysis that keeping document numbers when moving documents between libraries was essential for the lawyers, especially as these numbers are often used in references on the documents themselves. We did look at using the WAM tools ability to store the document number in a separate “old document number” custom field, but lawyers didn’t like this. They wanted the document number to be the document number, end of!

Basically what this meant was, if you have ready to archive:

  • matter 1/1 with document numbers 100 and 101
  • matter 1/2 with document numbers 102 and 103

We would want them to appear in the archive with exactly the same matter numbers AND the same document numbers.

If you intend to archive everything in one big batch job and then seal up the archive and never write anything else to it then you’ll probably never hit the bug. But in reality you’ll probably want to archive in phases or even more likely on an ongoing basis. If that’s the case then you’ll likely hit the problem.

So in the example above, say we archived 1/1 one week and 1/2 a few weeks later. We would see the problem occur because we’d need to use two WAM jobs to do this. What happens is that the WAM run will create a webdoc entry in the document table (docmaster) of the archive library for the workspaces/folders using the next available document number (in the example of 1/1 it would use 102 – the next available number).

And this is where the problem occurs, when you come to archive 1/2 and it can’t maintain document numbers as 102 and probably 103 are already in use!

The trick to resolving this is to “seed” your document number in the archive libraries high (we chose 75000000), thus the next available document number for the webdoc entries is 75000001+. This will ensure all the actual document numbers can be maintained as they will unlikely “meet” a duplicate number. To me this is a flaw in the product as when you archive, you’re archiving the folders etc as well and thus surely these should maintain their numbers from the source library too.

It certainly should not go creating new entries in the archive with new numbers!

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Feb 16 2009

News on Autonomy/Interwoven

Jason

Got a communication from Tikit today regarding some information on the Autonomy/Interwoven merger. Nothing really new, but in case you’ve not had any updates here’s what news there is.

What’s happening in terms of technology / product change?

I&A have confirmed that the Autonomy IDOL engine will be embedded into Interwoven WorkSite v8.3 (replacing the Vivisimo Velocity search engine).   In fact, this is seen as a top priority and as such work has already started and the target is to have this "substantially technically completed" by the time the acquisition finalises.   As with all good software companies they are preserving some mystery around the actual completion date but the original statement was ‘sometime during Q2’.  It seems to us that the indications are that this will be finished earlier rather than later, with talk of late March even being a possibility.   It is expected that this change in search engine technology will be covered by your WorkSite software subscription.

I&A have also confirmed that the next version of Interwoven Universal Search (Version tba) will also include the Autonomy IDOL search technology. Once again, the technical effort is already underway and the target for completion is deal-day. This is a larger piece of work than with WorkSite but, according to Interwoven, progress has been "very positive and is currently on target".

What’s the likely impact on product release plans?

Plans for the Limited release of WorkSite v8.5 are under review – they intend to provide a Limited Availability release (to customers who specifically request it – English language only etc.) in March but whether this is based on the Vivisimo Velocity engine or the new Autonomy IDOL engine is still to be decided. Either way, this will enable clients already on v8.3  to move to v8.5 and take advantage of the much requested and eagerly-awaiting new email management and offline working functionality. Then the General Availability release of WorkSite v8.5 is due in June 2009 – this will include the other language versions.  All future versions will be solely IDOL based.

With regard to IUS, it must be said that the release dates / plans are a little more vague.  But it would seem to us that any impact in the short term is limited to those firms who are about to embark on implementing IUS.  I&A are hoping to bring the release of IUS on IDOL forward from the initial target of June.

What about the big picture?

Up at the commercial level, the proposed acquisition has been almost universally praised.  One clear indicator of that is the Autonomy share price, which rose by approximately 20% over the last three weeks alone. 

On this last point I worry a little. The only reason the market would boost a share price is because of returns on investment and not because the customer is going to get benefit. Which re-enforces my concern that the goal for Autonomy is to try and sell all their products to the Interwoven legal customers.

Let’s hope not (or at least not at the detriment of Interwoven product development and integration).

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Feb 16 2009

Calling Autonomy!

Jason

I’ve had an idea! You might want to take notes…..

I’ve been using your Zantaz product a little bit this week, specifically I’ve been trying to address an issue in the firm with large Outlook calendar folders. During this time a thought hit me….imagine a future release of WorkSite and Zantaz that are perfectly integrated with Autonomy’s IDOL engine and each other. Here’s what I came up with…

callingautonomy

  • Emails are no longer physically stored in the WorkSite environment, but are solely stored within Zantaz – BIG savings on WorkSite storage costs (our DMS is 70% full of email!), additional benefits from Zantaz de-duplication, compression etc
  • However you can still file an email to a matter, either by continuing to do a simple drag and drop or by using the Interwoven “Send and File” functionality. BUT rather than move the email into WorkSite, it would just “tag” that email as belonging to the WorkSite matter in question. You could still browse the matter workspace in WorkSite and see the emails in a folder, but they would be just returned from Zantaz using an IDOL search on the “tags” – benefits here would be in performance as the email doesn’t have to get moved from Exchange to WorkSite etc
  • “File and Send” itself would become more efficient as it wouldn’t have to scan WorkSite for emails that are already filed, to flag in your Inbox. Instead a simple IDOL query could be used against the Zantaz store. In fact if journaling was being done, it would know the email was already logged and “tagged”!
  • By changing to “tagging” you could easily add many “matter tags” to one email, it could then belong in many WorkSite matter workspaces – perfect for all those emails from a client that refer to many matters.
  • ALL emails could be journaled into Zantaz and then IDOL could be used to intelligently “tag” emails based on content, recipients, senders etc automatically. This could be used to suggest filing locations to the fee earners or even just file the email as soon as it reaches the Inbox – big benefits in time saving for the fee earner. Also if the fee earner has been particularly lazy and not filed their emails by the time a Zantaz policy archives it from their Inbox, it would still have some matter information tagged against it.
  • Best of all Search! The Express Search would become incredibly powerful allowing full access to all documents and emails with a simple “Google like” search. You could also leverage Outlook search to consolidate results from Exchange, Zantaz and WorkSite, ALL matter documents and emails in one search.

I hope Interwoven’s WorkSite engineers are allowed the scope to look at the full Autonomy product suite. This merger could really be great news for law firms if they are! I’m also so glad we made the hard decision two years ago to drop KVS and buy the Zantaz solution :-)

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Feb 10 2009

Searching for a folder in a workspace – WorkSite help part 2

Jason

WorkSite tech help part 2

How do I search for a folder in a WorkSite workspace?

I received a query recently from a colleague, wanting to know how they could find a folder within a workspace (using FileSite). The workspace in question had grown to have 100’s of sub folders.

Using a document search was not an option as a common template had been used to create the majority of documents and thus they all happened to have names that were too similar.

What was needed was a way to find the holding folder, which was specifically named and thus could be easily identified.

We were close to concluding that the only option was to create all the holding folders as workspaces, until we came up with the following:

Start by right clicking on “My Shortcuts” (just below your My Files/Matters/Workspaces) and from the menu selecting “Add Shortcuts…” (you could do this on other levels, but as you’ll see this is more logical).

You then get the enhanced search dialogue, from here you can select to Search for a folder.

foldersearch1

Selecting this brings up a dialogue where you can pick your “database” (i.e. worksite library) where your workspace is located and add some further search terms, example below:

foldersearch2

This will return you a result list of matching folders, you can then highlight the required folder and click Select. A shortcut to that folder will be placed in your My Shortcuts for you to access your documents from etc.

Once you’ve finished working with the folder you can leave the shortcut there or just delete it.

It’s not perfect I know, but it does the trick. Let me know if you know of a simpler method?

Final point: it is much easier to search for folders in WorkSite Web, but for us most fee earners and support staff work in either FileSite in Outlook or through the MS office integrations.

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Feb 3 2009

Saving an email attachment as a new version – WorkSite help part 1

Jason

WorkSite help part 1

Saving an attachment on an email as a new version of your document in WorkSite

This is the first in what may become an occasional series. A series of tips and tricks for software found in the Legal industry. The aim is to try and explain some of the more useful features of these pieces of software using common social media sites (like YouTube).

Today’s post is to show how you can use a very well hidden feature of Interwoven’s WorkSite 8.x to save an email attachment into the DMS (Document Management System) as a new version of your original document.

For example, you send a v1 draft out to the client for comment, he/she returns a marked up Word version that you would like to store in the DMS as v2. You can then work on v3 maintaining a full history of the document in the DMS.

Saving an attachment as a new version of your document in WorkSite 8
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Jan 30 2009

Interwoven and Autonomy – WorkSite, IDOL and iManage?

Jason

This week I had a short telephone conference with Interwoven, the main purpose of my attending was the topic of the Autonomy takeover and what that means to our firm.

Given that we didn’t discuss anything confidential and a lot of it is out in the open already or will be communicated to other customers/potential customers, I thought I’d blog a few interesting things that came up.

We talked about where the deal had come from and they mentioned that they had been in the market for some kind of deal for a while, realising they didn’t have solutions for workflow really or email archiving and they were at risk in the indexing arena (they don’t own the Vavisimo engine and therefore there is a risk a competitor could buy the product and pull it from under Interwoven). When Autonomy came in the a good deal both companies realised the technologies were quite complimentary without much overlap.

We touched on the financials for the deal, the fact that Autonomy expect cost savings of $40m over the first year. In particular what this  meant to technology development teams in Interwoven? The response was pretty much the same as in the announcement you can hear on Autonomy’s website. They aren’t going to save on development etc, but the savings are expected by reducing the need for doubling up on some marketing, financial, legal teams etc.

In fact Autonomy do seem to want rapid introduction of their technology into Interwoven, this effectively means bye bye Vavisimo. The Autonomy IDOL engine will become the engine behind WorkSite and IUS (Interwoven Universal Search). Personally I’m still struggling to understand why IUS will stay, isn’t it just and Enterprise Search that Autonomy provide already? But the indication was it will live on.

What does this mean for WorkSite 8.3 and 8.5? Well my guess (certainly not confirmed) is to expect a delay on 8.5. The limited release will be released on schedule with Vavisimo as the index engine, but the full release will not be on Vavissimo and WILL be on IDOL. Technically the feeling was that this wouldn’t be a huge job and that Autonomy were willing to ship developers to Chicago to ensure a quick transitions. Interestingly it was also mentioned that IDOL was their first choice post verity, but that commercial reasons meant it didn’t happen. Vavisimo was seen as very good alternative though.

I queried the hardware requirements of IDOL (given as if you’ve gone to 8.3 you’ll have invested in new servers/storage no doubt). The indication was it would not need any more power, but these weren’t Interwoven technical people so take from that what you will.

The feeling I got from the telcon and also from the press releases and market briefing was that there really does seem to be a big focus on the legal vertical. On the one hand this could be great news for new functionality, development and integrations, but on the other it could be that Autonomy just see the market as a sales opportunity! Time will tell.

We asked about suppliers and what this means for the Tikits, Phoenix or the Baker Robins, the Interwoven resellers. Especially if, for example, you have Autonomy’s Zantaz and a different reseller. Will the new Autonomy use resellers as much? Will they ensure resellers know all their products? Will it allow firms to rationalise their suppliers? I don’t know, unfortunately we had a reseller on the call too so the answer was very vague.

Overall there wasn’t a whole lot of comfirmation or news, it’s early days and the Interwoven people are only just engaging with the Autonomy people in anger, I expect there will be plenty more news in the coming weeks.

Finally don’t be surprised to see the iManage brand back. It was mentioned as a bit of a throwaway joke in the meeting, but the brand was also on the slides from the market briefing. Maybe there was more to the joke? The Interwoven name will probably be dropped, so will we in fact see the DMS (Document Management System) revert to the old brand name?

Will the brand be back?

Will the brand be back?

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Jan 22 2009

Autonomy buys Interwoven

Jason

Interwoven Announces Definitive Agreement to be Acquired by Autonomy

Well it wasn’t a shock that Interwoven would get taken over in 2009, there were plenty of rumours indicating this was likely to happen. What was a shock is the company who has bought them. I’d heard from sources at other well known document management system vendors talk about it being HP or Oracle, as neither had a foothold in this market. But Autonomy, that was out of the blue.

No doubt in a lot of law firms right now there are a raft of questions doing the rounds.

What does this mean for IUS (Interwoven Universal Search)? Doesn’t this compete with Autonomy’s products?

Where does Velocity fit into the long term WorkSite plans as the indexing/searching engine?

Will WorkSite v8.5 get delayed as Autonomy’s search engine gets integrated?

Ultimately will the niche document management product (WorkSite) get sidelined for Interwoven’s other offerings?

No answers yet.

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