User management

Jan 23, 2018

Managing your staff access is quite straightforward.  Firstly you will need to load a staff list and later you will want to refresh your staff list, remove staff and delete all staff.

There are a number of ways to load your staff information to the Sobs application.  They are:

  • Adding them manually one at a time
  • Importing them via a CSV file
  • Loading the information from LDAP as each staff member logs in
  • Enable staff to self register

Adding Staff Manually

We only recommend this if you have a small number of staff to add.

  1. Click on the ‘Staff’ link in the left hand menu – if you don’t see the “Staff” link ensure you are logged in as a Sobs Administrator.
  2. Click on the ‘Add user’ button in the top right of your screen
  3. Complete the form and click the ‘Save’ button

Unable to add a Staff Member

Are you having trouble adding a staff member.  There are potentially a couple of issues.

  1. If the staff member has moved schools yet retains the same email address (as may happen with some public school email systems) then it will be necessary to remove the email address from the previous school staff list.
  2. If the system indicates “Username xxx currently exists” then the username you are trying to use does already exist for your school.  If you can’t find the username in the staff list it will probably be because the list is filtered – click the ‘Filter Options’ button (top right) and then check any unchecked boxes and ‘Apply Filter’ – this will display all usernames in the system.  Note, if you have allowed staff, guest, parent or student login access then these usernames will need to all be unique.

Import via a CSV file

You can import a list of staff by uploading a CSV file containing their details.

Now, don’t be worried about what a CSV file is, start with an Excel spreadsheet where each row is a staff member and each column a certain type of information about the staff member.  For example, you might have the staff member’s login name in column ‘A’ and the staff member’s firstname in column ‘B’, their surname in column ‘C’ etc.  From this Excel spreadsheet we can now select File | Save As… and select the CSV (or Comma Separated Values) format to save this spreadsheet.  The resulting file will be in a format that Sobs will understand, however Sobs will be expecting certain pieces of information in each column.

Sobs uses the same Export format for Import staff data.

  1. Click the ‘Import/Export’ link in the left hand menu
  2. Now click the small radio button next to Export | Users to select this source data
  3. Click the button ‘Export data’
  4. You will be shown the number of staff records found and a link to ‘Download’ the data – click this ‘Download’ link
  5. Save the downloaded CSV file to a location on your hard disk, for example your Desktop
  6. You should be able to open this file in Excel or any other spreadsheet type package

You now have a sample of the format Sobs uses to import data.  You can remove all of the data from this sample if you wish, or you can update the information and import it back into Sobs.

To import the file (ensuring you saved it using a CSV format):

  1. Click the ‘Import/Export’ link in the left hand menu
  2. Now click the small radio button next to Import | Users to select this target
  3. This action will display some help information about the import fields (we have replicated some of this information below)
  4. If you want the data in the CSV file you are importing to overwrite existing staff records with the same login name, then check the box ‘Overwrite existing users with the same username’
  5. Click the ‘Browse’ button to locate the CSV file you wish to import
  6. Click the ‘Import data’ button to initiate the import
  7. This first pass will ensure the data is in the correct format, a list of the data from the file is displayed along with any error messages
  8. If you are satisfied with the look of the data and there are no unacceptable errors, then click the ‘Proceed with import’ link
  9. The data will be imported, and if selected existing records will be overwritten

Import File Format

Column number:

  1. Username – this is the username or login name the staff member will use to login to Sobs.  Typically this will be the same as their network login (so it is easier for them to remember) although this is optional and you can set any value unique to each staff member.  If you plan on using Local Authentication ensure the username is exactly the same as the network login (the comparison will be case sensitive).
  2. Password – normally when loading your staff you will configure a generic password that they can all use to login the first time they access the system.  You would place that generic password on each row in the import file.  Making this generic password easy for staff to remember is a good idea
  3. Email – this column should contain the full email address of the staff member.  We use this to send notifications and notices, etc.  Staff also use this email to recover their password, so it should be the normal email address they would use.
  4. Firstname – the staff members first name
  5. Surname – the staff members surname
  6. Shortcode – many schools employ a shortcode to refer to staff members, normally this is a 3 or 4 character string made up of the staff member’s initials, their first initial and characters from their surname, or a similar combination.  The code is used primarily in the Room & Resource Booking application when displaying a booking on the calendar – the shortcode is used in order to save space on the screen.  The shortcode has a maximum size of 10 characters
  7. Security – a number between 0 and 4 indicating the security to be applied to this staff member.  By default when importing you should enter a 1 in this column, 1 indicates a regular staff member security
    • 0 = Guest
    • 1 = Regular staff member
    • 2 = Differs between applications (RB = resource manager) (WHS = WH&S officer) (PT = round manager)
    • 3 = Department head
    • 4 = Sobs Administrator
  8. Change-password-flag – set this column to 1 and the user will be prompted to enter a new password when they next login.  Set 0 and they will not be prompted to change password
  9. Import-code – This field is only used in the Room & Resource Booking application. It is used to match the staff code from an integrated application (like TimeChart, TimeTabler or FirstClass) with the staff records in Sobs.  Some schools will have used the Staff shortcode in their time tabling application, therefore you can copy the shortcode column to this column
  10. Interview-location – This field is only used in the Parent/Teacher interview booking application.  It is the location or room name where the staff member will hold their interviews
  11. Replace-the-username – This is a special field to be used when you want to replace the current username with a new username.  See the notes below in regard to using this field

Refreshing your staff list

When importing your staff list there is an option to overwrite existing records.  This can be useful in order to update names, shortcodes, passwords and email addresses.  Simply import the new staff list and select the overwrite existing records option.

Enable staff to Self Register

Allowing staff to self-register is a simple way of collecting staff information, however you won’t always get the consistency of information you would from an import process.  For example when the staff member enters their details they may type their name differently, they may choose a non-standard username or even mistype these details.

To enable self registration:

  1. Go to the School Settings page and the Authentication tab
  2. Click the ‘Edit’ button (top right) to edit this information.
  3. Place a tick in the ‘Easy registration’ checkbox
  4. Enter a date in the ‘Easy reg expiry’ – this date defines when the self-registration period will expire.  Normally this might be in 2-4 weeks time, depending on how long you want to allow staff to complete this process.
  5. Enter a password into the ‘Easy password’ box.  Use any combination of letters and numbers.  We avoid using any special characters as these can interfere with the URLs generated.  Once you have started the Self Registration process you should not change this password.  Staff will not be required to know or type this password – it will be encrypted into the URL that you will send to staff.
  6. Click the ‘Save’ button
  7. The details displayed will now include a link ‘Generate an invitation’ – click this link.
  8. Assuming you have a valid email address on your Sobs staff record an invitation will be generated and sent to you.  Check your email inbox for this message.  If you can’t find it check your spam folder.
  9. When the email has arrived you can then forward it to staff – they will click the URL in the message and be prompted to enter their email address.  The system will then send them an email (to confirm their email address is correct) and allow them to enter additional details such as their name, username and a password.

Staff using the Self Registration process will automatically be given a security level of ‘Staff’.  This is the basic security level in Sobs.  For staff who will need more access you will need to manually update their security to Head of Department, Resource Manager or School administrator.

Removing a staff member

To remove a staff member go to the ‘Staff’ page.  The ‘Del’ option is on the right hand side of the page.

The staff record can be linked to a number of different parts within the Sobs applications.  Therefore it can be important for a new staff member to be allocated some of the existing responsibilities, for example where a new teacher is taking over the existing bookings or management of a resource etc.  Do not worry, Sobs takes care of all this for you.

Click the ‘Del’ option for the staff member you wish to remove.  The system will search for all related information to this staff member and prompt you with the option to allocate or transfer these details to another staff member.  This ensures the continuation of the bookings or the management of resources etc.

When the linked information has all been successfully allocated you can then safely delete this staff member from the system.

Transferring management or bookings from one staff member to another

Occasionally you will need to transfer bookings or responsibility from one staff member to another.  Sobs supports this through the use of the delete facility – but don’t worry, you don’t actually need to delete the users account.

Go to the ‘Staff’ page.  Click the ‘Del’ option on the right hand side of the page for the staff member that currently has the bookings or responsibility.  You will be prompted with a page showing a list of the staff members details and related information.  You can freely use the re-allocation and transfer tools here to re-assign these linked records to other staff as required.  You do not need to click the ‘Delete-user’ button, simply click the ‘Cancel’ button to cancel this action.  The information that has been allocated will remain assigned to the other staff members.

Removing all the staff

You can remove all of the staff (except for yourself as the currently logged on user) by using the ‘Export users’ option.

Click on the ‘Import/Export’ link in the Configuration menu.  Select the Export | Users option and then click the ‘Delete on export’ option.

In this instance, as the only remaining user in the system, all bookings and all resource management and everything else previously related to other staff will be allocated and transferred to your account.  Staff records will be exported and then deleted.

Replacing staff usernames

This import functions above are all based on static staff usernames, so all of the imported data must be linked to a single username.  However at times usernames do change and this import facility allows you to replace old usernames with new usernames for multiple staff.  There is a special version of the import file described below.

The import file only requires 3 columns of data, columns 1, 2 and 11 (the other columns can be left blank):

  1. The current username
  2. The text “changeusername”
  3. [these columns are all blank]
  4. The new username
Place the above values in columns 1,2 and 11 – save this as a CSV file.
When you get to the import users page you must select the ‘Overwrite existing users with the same username’ option and the ‘Replace usernames’ option, select the import file and click ‘Import’.