Using roles in UPK

UPK provides simple functionality to tag and manage content by user role. Any of your content can be identified by the role(s) that perform it, and you (or your user) can then target content by those roles:

  • only publish content for a specific role (ie only their procedures, or an LMS package just for them)
  • publish for multiple roles but allow users to pick the elements of interest.

For example the following screenshots show a single player package with two roles (core and advanced) defined. Foreign exchange functionality has been tagged as being for advanced users only. Selecting/unselecting this role changes the visibility of the section.

core and advanced roles core role only advanced role only

While designed for classifying content by user role, there’s no reason why you cannot use in other ways. For example, you could use this functionality to classify functionality by application version.

How to use

To use roles in UPK is a three-stage process:

  1. define your master list of roles
  2. apply those roles to your content
  3. select those roles when publishing

Step 1 – Define your master list of roles

To define user roles select Edit > Manage Roles, or press Ctrl-R.

This displays a simple form in which you list the roles you require.

All you need for each role is a name. Simply overtype an unwanted value or add a new row. To remove a role just highlight and click Delete.

Note: A separate role list is managed for each language (that’s why the list in the above image is Roles.en; it only applies to English content). If you’re publishing in multiple languages you’ll need to repeat these steps for each set.

Once you’ve made your changes and saved them, UPK will provide a dialog asking what to do about any changes; if you choose it will try and update any existing roles to match the new editions.

This can be troublesome (if your change of name was for more than just typographic reasons), hence the reason Oracle recommend you finalise your list of roles BEFORE you start applying them to your content.

Step 2 – Apply master roles to your content

Role(s) are applied to your content elements via their properties. The easiest way to view/manage them is in the Details view:

Use the Roles column to confirm which role(s) are applied to which element. View the properties, under General, to edit them.

Tips:

  • If a topic is applicable to multiple roles, flag it as such in its properties. But then give thought to what roles are applied to its “parent” topics. They should be for the same multiple roles so the hierarchy is retained nomatter which roles are chosen to be viewed.
  • In the same vein as above, make sure your topmost topic/module lists all the roles that are supported within its underlying content. It appears the role list for the master topic is the one used to build the pick list in the player package. If you don’t list all available roles here you won’t be able to choose them.
  • You can only apply roles to modules, sections and topics, not web pages. So, for example, you cannot define different concepts to introduce sections depending on what role has been chosen for its content. Instead you’ll need to be mindful that people reading your concept may see it surrounded/supported by different topics.

Step 3 – Select required roles when publishing

When you run the publishing wizard you can choose whether to enable role-based publishing.

If you choose to publish by roles click the Select Roles.. button to open a dialog to choose the required roles. Then when you publish only content of the selected role(s) will be included.

If you choose not to publish by role then all your selected content will be included.

For the player package a role picker function is automatically included so users can filter content by role. For other content there is no differentiation/identification of role within the published output.

A problem: While the Player Package correctly limits its content to the role(s) you chose to publish, the role picker remains in view. And annoyingly it still allows you to select all roles, including any you chose not to publish. More investigation required on a fix for that, other than temporarily changing the role set for your main/master topic to match the publishing set.

Conclusion

UPK’s role functionality can provide a useful feature for your learners, and developers, with minimal effort. It’s worth considering.

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