Creating and using Groups in Active Textbook

PDF-Alchemist-BIGHello and welcome to the “Creating and using Groups in Active Textbook” blog.  My name is Leonard “Leo” Bush.  I’ve been with Datalogics for a number of years working in a few different departments along the way.  Currently I’m a Senior Support Representative primarily working with Mobile Technologies.  This blog is intended as an aid to users evaluating our Active Textbook solution.  People who are just curious about the product capabilities should find it interesting as well.
It’s not a requirement, but hopefully you have a working account on an Active Textbook server.   It is assumed that you know how to login and perform basic navigation tasks.  This will allow you to follow along with the blog.

Quite often in different work flows, be it education or training, you find the need to make a particular book, or books available to a group or class of users (pardon the pun).  This blog will show the reader how to create such groups then associate users and books to the group once created.

Before we get too far along let’s review some basic concepts.
Books / Groups are assigned one of three permissions.

  • Public           Anyone can find a book  and read or  join a group anytime
  • Restricted   Visible only to people you choose
  • Private         Only the owner can see and read books or add books and contacts to a group

A Group in the Active Textbook system allows as the name suggests, books and users to be combined and treated as a collection.  This allows you easily assign a book or books to a set of users.  You can setup a Group to represent a class or project team for example.  Groups can be assigned the same permissions as books.  Accounts operating in the roles of Admin, Publisher and Students are all allowed to create Groups.
The Active Textbook system gives users the ability to create a list from existing Active Textbook account.  Users in this list are referred to as Contacts.  Only users in your Contact list can be added to a group or given access to a book. There is no way to add a user to a group unless they have been added to your contact list first.  To add a contact you must know the email address associated with the users account on the system.
A book in the Active Textbook system is an EPUB, EPUB 3 or PDF document that has uploaded to the system.  You can only add books that you have uploaded to groups that you have created.  Accounts operating in the role of Student are not allowed to upload books to the system. Books can only be uploaded by someone functioning in the role of Admin or Publisher.
Adding books
To add a book the system, use the following steps

  1. Using the left hand tabs, go to “My Bookshelf”
  2. Select the “Create an Active Textbook” icon
  3. Select to upload your EPUB or PDF
  4. It is required that you name the file under #3
  5. The default permission (#4) is set to “Restricted” (if it is made public, it will be available to all Active Textbook users. Please keep the permission as “Restricted”)
  6. Check the box beneath #4, certifying you have the right to use this content

When logged in to the active textbook system groups can be viewed or created from the People menu option in the left sidebar.   Groups if any exist are displayed along the top.
To create a new group click on the ” + ” icon across from the groups heading.  This should present you with a Create Group dialog box as shown below.
Use the dialog box to assign a name and provide a description for your group. Next, select the Permission level you wish to have assigned to the group.  Review your selections and when ready, click the “Create” button in the lower left of the dialog box.   Your newly created group will now appear in the groups section of the People page.
Double clicking on the group will open a new screen and display details about the group. We will cover adding books and contacts to the group later.  Notice on the left side under the group icon we have a “gear” button.  When selected this will allow us to change the group settings and delete the group if needed.
Before we can assign a user to a group we must add the user to our contacts list.  Contacts are managed under the People options of the left sidebar.   The contacts are added by clicking the ” + ” icon on the right side across from the Contacts heading.  This will open the Add New Person dialog box.   Enter the email address of the user you would like to add as a contact or select one from the drop down.  Press the “Add” button to complete the process.
Putting it all together
Now that we have our Group and contacts created we can start putting it all together.  From the “People” page click on the Group your created (DemoGroup1 in this example).  This will open a new page that displays details about the Group.  Description, Members and Books associated with the Group if any are displayed.  Being a new Group we will need to add them.  First we will add a few contacts to the Group.  Click on the “+” icon on the right side across from the Members heading.
This will open the “Add People to Group” dialog box.
Clicking in the Email box will provide a drop down.  Add an email or select a user from an existing contact. The same dialog can be used to delete users as well.   Click the “Add” button to complete the process when ready.
Note that the contact that was added is now displayed as a Member of the group.
To add a book to the group we must navigate to the “My Bookshelf” page.  Click on the information icon of the book you would like to add to a group.
This will open the information page for the book.
You may get a message that the book permission must be set to restricted. Click the “gear” icon in the upper right corner of the screen.  Change the permission as required.
You can now assign the book to a group. In the “Access Control Panel” section change the “Type” to groups.  This will allow you to select your group using the dialog to the right.  Once selected click the “Grant Access” button to complete the process.
GBlog6dYour selected group is now displayed  in the groups section below.

To review, groups allow you to associate collections of books with Contacts (users). Groups can be used to represent a Class, Book Club or Project Team.  You can only add a books to a group if you have uploaded the book.  And you can only add users to a group if you have defined them as one of your Contacts.  Groups have permissions and can be set to public, restricted or private just as books can.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.  Hopefully you found it useful.   Please feel free to comment or ask questions on the content.
Interested in getting your own Active Textbook server evaluation? Just fill out our evaluation form.

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