Asset classes dos and donts
Asset classes and their usage is very important in every content management system and Sitekit’s CMS is no different. When used correctly they are an efficient and easy way to protect important information and ensure that only the people that you want can see protected parts of your site. When used incorrectly they become a management nightmare. We see both approaches so we’ve written this short guide to help you get it right.
Asset classes are not about permissions. They are about different classes (or types) of asset that are related or belong together. This is key, put stuff that belongs together in the same asset class. So if you have an extranet create an asset class called ‘extranet’ and put all the extranet folders and pages in that asset class. Everything should be in the ‘default’ class to start with so it’s up to you to work out how many different classes you need and assign the relevant folder.
The whole point about asset classes is that it’s a one off initial set up. Once the classes are set up on the relevant folders they shouldn’t need changed. As new assets are needed they should take the correct asset class by virtue of being created in the correct folder.
We’ve tried to make asset class management clearer to all user with the new descriptor field so you can add a description or notes to every asset class. When an editor then decides to change to a new asset class the relevant note pops up to offer them guidance (see below).
Using asset classes correctly separates the permissions from the assets logically, so that simple users don’t need to understand or think about permissions, all they need to do is choose what type of asset it is from the asset class dropdown above. In the majority of cases they won’t even need to do that because they are ordinarily set up by default. Only more advanced users then need to understand about user rights and permissions.
Key asset class dos and don’ts
If you follow these it will make your life easier as an administrator. If you don’t you won’t ‘burn in information management hell’ but it’s just less efficient and more confusing to your other administrators
- Do put stuff that belongs together in the same asset class.
- Do organise your folders with the correct asset classes, that means that anything new added to the relevant folders will have the correct asset class applied automatically
- Do name assets based on the type of stuff they are eg ‘Extranet’, ’Marketing brochures’, ‘Business plans’, ‘Acme software downloads’
- Do use the new asset class description field to help clarify your asset classes and how you want them applied. These descriptions should not be used to describe permissions. For example, the ‘Acme software downloads’ example class above might be described as ‘Use this for the software zip files and acme documentation’ but not in terms of permissions like ‘Allows subscribers to download software but disallows everyone else’.
- Do keep it simple - if your current system has >15 asset classes unless you have extremely granulated access control requirements you may be over complicating things
- Do protect your asset class management. You can set permission so that only super-admins can change the rights on asset classes but your average administrator can only pick what asset class to use.
- Don’t create asset classes based on permissions or who you want to allow to see something.
- Do not name asset classes based on permissions so Asset class name like ‘Hidden from public’, ‘Market department only’, ‘publishers and editors’ are bad.