NetDocuments Training: Delegating the Creation and Ownership of CollabSpaces

CollabSpaces act as ‘portals’ for external people (e.g. your clients) to view, edit, or add documents. It is the primary method of sharing items in NetDocuments. Alternatives include sending an email attachment or a secure link. However, in either of these cases, the recipient only receives a copy of the document and those copies exists outside NetDocuments, or rather the user is unable to directly edit a copy in NetDocuments. Some functions are lost using these methods, such as version control, and you lose the ability to track or control those copies. Also, any user with View rights can send a copy or a secure link.

CollabSpaces offer more control over how your content is shared externally. Think of it as a faucet or valve that allows you to control the “flow” of documents. How wide do you want to open that valve?

Cabinet administrators can control how CollabSpaces are created in their cabinet. There are three general scenarios that can be set up:

    1. Only cabinet admins can create CollabSpaces
    2. Only members of a specific group can create CollabSpaces
    3. Any Internal User can create a CollabSpace

Cabinet administrators can designate certain users as CollabSpace creators. This is done by selecting a group on the Cabinet Admin page: Cabinet Admins can create CollabSpace creators in NetDocs

If no group is selected, then only cabinet administrators can create CollabSpaces. If a non-admin user attempts to create a CollabSpace, they will receive a prompt to send a request to create a CollabSpace. The request is sent to a cabinet administrator who then creates the CollabSpace on behalf of the requesting user.

If a specific group is selected, then only members of that group can create CollabSpaces. If a user who is not in that group attempts to create a CollabSpace, they will receive a prompt to send a request to create a CollabSpace. The request is sent to a cabinet administrator who then creates the CollabSpace on behalf of the requesting user.

In the third scenario, if the Internal Users group is selected, then any internal user can create a CollabSpace without having to submit a request. That means they can share any content with any user without any notice or approval (subject to existing permissions with NetDocuments). The creation of new external user accounts is only limited by the number of available external user licenses.

In the first two scenarios, there is an option to have requests routed to one or more email addresses (rather than to all cabinet admins). For example, you could set up an email distribution list that goes to one or more people who are authorized to approve the creation of a CollabSpace. These individuals may or may not also be cabinet administrators.

The approver then creates the CollabSpace, and can define the access at that point. For example, they may want to set just the requester with full rights, and then that user becomes the ‘owner’ of the CollabSpace. Any internal user with full VESA rights is a CollabSpace ‘owner’ and can add External Users to that CollabSpace.

In a CollabSpace, the same access rules apply as elsewhere in NetDocuments – users must have Share or Admin rights to a CollabSpace to add others to its access list. Content within a CollabSpace does not need to all share the same access (folders can be created within a CollabSpace with varying levels of permissions). Users with only View or View/Edit rights to a document cannot move that document to a CollabSpace. And, users must have View/Edit rights to a CollabSpace to add items to it.

Aside from controlling who can create CollabSpaces, other optional controls available to administrators include:

  • Restrict external user authentication by IP address
  • Prevent external users from creating new documents and folders
  • Prevent external users from viewing the History of documents and folders
  • Prevent external users from using the Email Link option
  • Prevent external users from performing multi-document downloads

For more information about CollabSpaces, the Cabinet Admin page or any of the other features of NetDocuments, we are always happy to help. Just contact the NetDocuments Team at Affinity any time by calling 877-676-5492, or simply request a consultation. 


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Russell Duncan

Written by Russell Duncan

Russell Duncan is one of Affinity’s Document Management Magicians! Russell came to Affinity after spending several years with Partner NetDocuments wearing many hats over his years there. Affinity clients gain from Russell’s immense experience working with document management solutions and problem-solving skills. He loves to help people get the most out of their technology and to learn new things. When analyzing complex legal software systems, Russell is gifted in his ability to simplify them for others’ ease of use and understanding.

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