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Dynamic portal roles? Mmmmm now there's a thought....or at least a thought I thought to myself....huh?. Ok Follow me here....

Today while pouring through all available EP documentation I could get my grubby hands on for the up-teenth time to get a better grasp on the whole "Delegtated Administration" aspect of EP6.0, my mind began to conjure up some "what if" scenarios. Now....before I begin, let me say, I have not "yet" seen this in any documentation nor "yet" had the requirement to actually implement it for a client, but I thought "wow...that'd be cool". Soooooo if it can be done, let me know how. If it can't be patent papers are in the mail already. 😃

Anyways, the focus of this blog is the thought I had around "dynamic roles". What if you(the portal, I mean) could add, delete, or modify roles "on the fly" for users? (and yes, I hear the grumble now..."but why would you ever want to do that?"). Stay with me here...what if depending on not only WHO I was and WHAT I did, but WHERE I was and HOW I got there, would my "role(s)" transform itself accordingly. With me? are some "what if" simple tell me how you would handle them...

(1) WHERE scenario:
Suppose, I am an employee on the go. I work in the Atlanta office (ATL represent!). As such, along with my nice ESS and "myWork" top level Navigation, I have a "Atlanta" tab. Under this tab is possibly all kinds of links to info all about that office (bathroom locations, phone directory, events bulletins,etc) and my cube/office location there. Now suppose I had to go to the Chicago office. When I logged into the portal, wouldn't it be nice if that "Atlanta" tab was now replaced with a "Chicago" tab because the portal knew where I was (either via my IP or location info in the NDS/ADS) ? Now take this idea a step further....suppose I am a "Atlanta" and/or "Chicago" tab and underlying links might be quite limited in comparison to a regular they don't tell me the location of the fridge full of free soda.(haha). Either way, for the "where" scenario, more than just "info" I might have access to different data sources or services as well (suppose Chicago had a legacy database that only they wanted folks accessing there).

(2) HOW scenario:
Again, Mr.Employee-on-the-Go is at work in Atlanta. There he can access all information he needs...customer lists, sales reports, phone numbers and emails to everything, company documents, etc. Now, Mr.Employee goes on the road and decides to login from one of those convenient kiosks at the airport. Now, wouldn't it be nice if the portal could "see" that he is outside the company walls and then modify his access accordingly....sorry, Mr. Emplopyee no longer able to run that report of all customers with contacts and sales from them over the past 5 yrs. You only get today's top orders for your customer lists. Also, no access to "Project X" documentaion being secretly worked on by the Sales dept. for the last several months. But what changed? Same user/pword....same ol' Mr.'s just "the Portal knows". (muuuwwwhahahhaha). Again, to take this even further....what if the portal could also tell if Mr.Employee is coming in off a big ol' pipe or over the tiny little wires of his dial-up account and adjust even further on the fly? He gets a portal desktop that's lighter than Workplace Light! Wouldn't that be nice!

(3) WHERE scenario#2:
FIRST this is NOT a data authorization example, so let's keep it off of that...I know fine and well how that works(ok..ok....semi-fine and half-way well). Anyways, suppose Mr.Employee is working away in Atlanta and uses the good ol' "Who's Who" service to look up employees. Now for those in the US, he sees everything. Due to data privacy laws, however, when he looks up UK employees, some information is not displayed (some genius HR configurator handled that by personnel area or employee subgroup or some other fancy HR mechanism. So anyways, at that data level, we are all fine and dandy. Now Mr. Employee goes over to the UK on business and is in the office there (he got his nifty "London" tab from scenario#1 above). Now when he pulls up "Who's Who" however due to UK privacy laws, it won't show him the "private" information for any employees regardless. (hey, data privacy laws are still fast-and-loose, so we're just trying to comply across the board. haha). So because the portal knows he is in the UK it has adjusted access accordingly....not data level...but the displayed iView itself (sure we could build one page for the US and one for UK and one for XYZ etc. but what if we want one page that will dyamically place the iView accordingly....our friend, Mr.Re-Use!). Again, that would kinda be cool, no?

Ok, so maybe I am just day-dreaming, or maybe I am hitting pay-dirt....maybe I'm just a (soon-to-be) legend in my own mind. I'd like to hear your opinions as well as possible solutions for the above scenarios (or any you want to add as well). This is NOT a "hey solve my requirements for my current client that I am billing for me" free-for-all. I just want to get a discussion going. Thanks for first web-blog here...woo whoo!

Christopher "HERC" Solomon (currently pursuing my career as an "Instant Winner")
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