Groupware applications used to scare me. As a general rule, I found that they were a single point of failure that seemed to give out when placed under even the slightest bit of pressure.

Fortunately, a Japanese company called Cybozu has helped me to overcome my groupware fear. With the release of Cybozu Office 3, I now see groupware as an attractive administrative option. As if I wasn’t already a convert, the latest release of the Cybozu groupware suite has arrived, making it even easier to embrace this collaborative tool.

Since groupware suites tend to be rather large, I am going to break the coverage of this new release, called share360, into a series of TechProGuild articles. In this Daily Drill Down, I take a look at upgrading to share369 and the administration of users and groups within this much improved groupware tool.

Read all about it

To read more information about Cybozu3, check out the Daily Drill Down “Working with Cybozu Office 3.” In it, you’ll find information that will directly relate to this article, such as installation information and group administration tips.

If you want more information on share360, you’re in luck, since this is the first article in a series highlighting the full functionality of the share360 product. Check back with TechProGuild to read future installments.

Upgrading share360 from Cybozu3
Cybozu has made the upgrade process about as easy as it could, considering how complex the application is. To upgrade Cybozu3 to share360, you are going to migrate a few directories out and then back into the application main directory.

The first step in this process is to back up the entire cb3 directory into a temporary location. The cb3 directory will, more than likely, be housed in one of these locations:

  • ·        /usr/local/www/cgi-bin/
  • ·        /home/httpd/cgi-bin/
  • ·        /usr/local/apache/cgi-bin/
  • ·        /var/www/cgi-bin/

You should also do a data backup with the Cybozu3 data backup tool. This is accessed through the Administrative page under Administration/Maintenance. This process is self-explanatory, but you will want to note that the Cybozu3 backup utility will not back up the Web-mail directories, which must be backed up manually. To manually back up this directory, run the command cp -pR  /var/www/cgi-bin/s360/file/WebMail /tmp, which will copy all of the WebMail files and directories into the /tmp directory, which will then be moved back after the installation.

Once you’ve completed the backups, you’ll be ready to install share360. Since the installation of share360 is identical to that of Cybozu3, you can read the complete installation instructions in the “Working with Cybozu Office 3” Daily Drill Down.

With share360 installed, you are ready to migrate your data to its new location. For the purposes of this installation, I am going to assume the installation path will be /var/www/cgi-bin/. At this point, the original cb3 directory is still located within that directory, but don’t worry—when installing share360, the newly created directory will be named s360 so it won’t write over all your data.

The first thing you need to do is to run the command cd /var/www/cgi-bin. From there, the necessary files and directories will be copied from cb3 into s360. The commands you need to run to move these files/directories are:
cp -pR cb3/data s360/
cp -pR cb3/file s360/
cp -pR /tmp/WebMail /var/www/cgi-bin/s360/file/

The above three commands will copy the required directories (and their contents) to the proper locations without changing the permissions. You may have to be root in order to do this, depending on how you installed the application.

You should now have a working installation of share360. In order to log on to this newer version, you will point your browser to http://<server_address>/cgi-bin/s360/office.cgi?

Administration of users and groups
All administration of share360 is handled from the Administration screen. This screen is accessed via the Admin Tools link at the bottom right of any page or logon screen.

Administrator password
When you first log on to the administration tool, the password is admin and there is no user name. Once you are in the admin tool, you’ll need to click on the Accounts link on the left navigation bar. Once the Accounts window opens up, you want to click Administrator Password and enter a new password for the administrator.

Forgotten password

Should you forget your administrator password, there is a very simple fix. Change to the /var/www/cgi-bin/s360/data/ directory and move the adminfile with the commandmv admin ADMIN_BAK. The next time you log on, it will be as if it is the first time you logged on as the administrator.

Group administration
According to the Administrative Instructions page (which can be found under Admin Instructions under the General link), once you’ve created a new administrator password, you’ll then want to set up groups. After using both Cybozu3 and share360, I’ve come to realize the importance of creating groups before users. Why? It’s simple. Nearly every activity that has a user attached to it will belong to a group, and you will associate those groups to that activity. (For example, you will send a memo out to a group, or you will allow only a particular group to access a file.) Because of the way this is set up and the way groups/users are administered in share360, you will need to create the groups with which the users will be associated.

Groups are created from the Accounts configuration screen. From this screen, you can add, remove, and edit both groups and users. To add a group, click on the Accounts link and then click the Groups link, which will appear under the Accounts section. The default set of groups includes:

  • ·        Management
  • ·        Sales/Marketing
  • ·        R&D
  • ·        Accounting
  • ·        Finance
  • ·        General Affairs

If this list doesn’t have what you need, adding or removing groups is as simple as clicking the appropriate button (Add/Edit/Delete) and filling out the necessary information.

Users and Groups can also be imported and exported. Both imports and exports are .csvfiles and consist of a comma-delimited list of user/group information. For example:

is the entry for the default Management group. This entry actually has six fields (only three have data): Group ID, Group Name, Group e-mail, Group URL, Group contact, and Group fax.

This file, group.csv, can be manually edited, which makes this feature even more appealing. If you do manually edit either the users.csv or the groups.csvfile, make sure you retain the extension and make sure you use a text editor that allows you to keep word wrap off (starting pico with the-w switch will do this), so an entry doesn’t wrap around, making share360 think that, for instance, the URL is a new user ID.

To export a group list, click on the Groups link (under the Accounts link) and then click on the Export link. The new window will present a few warnings, but it will also have four hyperlinked text entries: users.csv, importing, group.csv, and Back. Click the group.csv link, which will bring up a Save As box with the name groups.csv already entered into the text area. Navigate to the location you want to house the groups.csv file and click Save.

Importing groups.csvis pretty much the same as with exporting. Click on the Import button (from within the Groups administration window), which will bring up a new window with a Browse button. Click the Browse button to bring up a File Upload window that will allow you to select the file to be imported. Select the correct file, click OK, and then click Import (from the main Import window). Once the new file is imported, click on the Groups link again (underneath the Accounts link) to find all the newly imported groups.

User administration
User administration is handled in the same fashion as group administration. The biggest difference between group and user administration is that a user listing consists of seven fields and not six. Click here to see what a sample user listing (in the users.csv file) looks like.

The sample user listing has seven sections, each separated by commas. The sections are:

  • ·        ID number
  • ·        Name
  • ·        E-mail
  • ·        URL
  • ·        Contact (this could be phone number or name)
  • ·        Password
  • ·        Default Group

Of course, like thegroup.csv file, this file can be manually edited. Once edited, the files are then imported/exported just as they are in the groups sections outlined above.

One last item to note when importing users files is that the passwords of users already present can be left intact by entering a * for the password field (the sixth field), or you can enter a password for the new user by entering that password in the sixth field (This password can be changed later by the user from within his or her account administration screen.)

A few finishing touches for users
Now that groups and users are set up, it is possible to add those users to groups so that when, say, a memo is sent out to the General Affairs group, everyone in the group will see that memo.

To add a user to a group, click on the User link (below the Accounts link in the main Administration window), click on the desired user, and click Edit. Once in the Edit screen, scroll down to the bottom where you will see two text areas with an Add and a Remove button between them. To add this user to a particular group, highlight the desired group and click Add. The one limitation to this system is that you can only add the user to one group at a time. In other words, you cannot hold down [Ctrl] while you click to select multiple groups. As you add this user to different groups, you might notice that the chosen group will disappear from the left text area and appear in the right text area. After all the groups are added, click the Save button (above the Add/Remove section), which will finish the process.

There is one last set of user/group settings that can be of use in the enterprise. In the main Administration window, click on the Home Page & Login link. Underneath this link there are three settings that can be configured: Login Style, Login Page, and Bookmarks. These settings, which will vary depending on the installation, can make a large impact on the overall effectiveness of the share360 tool. For instance, the Login Style can be changed from Username to Username & Groupname. If a company of more than 100 employees is using share360, the Login style should be changed to Username & Groupname. When this style of logon is selected, the logon screen will display both the Groupname and a drop-down list of Users belonging to that group. To change groups, the user only needs to click the Change link and then select the appropriate group. When the user logs out, share360 will remember the Groupname so the user will not have to reselect when logging back on.

All groupware suites no longer need to be a source of fear and loathing. Hopefully, you will find out, as I continue to examine share360 in this series of articles, that this application not only meets all of your needs but also meets them with a simplicity and ease-of-use that are atypical of other groupware suites.