Private User Access




jDownloads supports Downloads that have access restricted to 'Named'  users.  By Single User we mean a specifed logon Name.  If several people know that logon Name and its Password then all of those people have access to the 'private' Downloads listed under that logon Name.

To demonstrate this facility, Accounts were created for two users, namely Colin Smith and David Jones.  The objective is to have Downloads that are restricted to those users indvidually.  That is as well as being able to access regular Downloads, Colin Smith and only Colin Smith can access those Downloads whose Access is marked as colin smith name in the Downloads Access column.  Note No one, even the Super User, can see the contents of these Downloads from the front end unless they are logged in as the relevant user!

Usually these 'private' Downloads are created in the backend by the super user but they maybe created in the front-end by a regular 'uploader'.   The 'uploader' could be, for example, a 'supervisor' or 'trainer' who is setting tasks for each individual.  Also a private individual may create downloads from the front end into their own private directory.  For example a student could be reporting the results of a tasks they have been set.

For the purposes of demonstration a category called 'Commercial' was created. This will hold Downloads that are generally available and those that are restricted to specific users.

There are two aspects to setup:
(i)  one a menu suitable 'Create Download' menu item in the Front-end;
(ii) the other is  using 'Single User Access' facility.

Setting up Create Download Menu Item

Part of setting the menu item frontend Create Download menu item involves setting up a specific user group, basically to set the View Access.  The user group needs to be setup before the menu item..

Private User Groups Settings

To give flexibility it it desiable to create a specific user group for the private users, which here is call PrivateUsersUG.  Also to create a specific Access level called say 'private-view'.  Creating this is done in the Joomla Users section.
Go to V4 button components then V4 button jdownloads and thenV4 button user group settings.  Set the Group Title to a suitable name such as  'PrivateUsersUG' and make the parent Registered by using the pulldown.  This is to ensure the 'private users' will need to login. Use V4 button save close to exit.

Now click on V4 button access levelnext click on V4 button new then in tab V4 tab level details give a suitable name such as 'private-view'.
V4 create private user groupV4 level details set name

Create menu item

Next we will create the menu item.
So go to V4 button menus and scroll down to V4 button main menu add . Now click on theV4 button add which opens up the a list of all the existing items in the main menu. As we are adding a new menu item click on the V4 button new button at the top left.  This shows the first stage in selecting the new menu item. Now use theV4 button select button. This shows a list of Components that  have Menu Item types as shown opposite.
Obviously Click on 'jDownloads'.
V4 pulldown menu item components
This then shows another pulldown with a list of the jDownloads specific menu items.

  Select the jDownloads  Menu Item Type  'Create Download' by clicking on its name.
V4 menu items jdownloads
Ensure it is Published.

Mot importantly set the Access to 'private-view'. 

This ensures that only the Private Users will see the menu item in the front end as they are the ony members of the PrivateUsersUG user group.
V4 details menu Colin Smmith
Next click on the V4 tab optionstab. 

The objective here is to ensure that the 'private Downloads' are in this Category and any of its subcategories.  For example each Private User could have their own subcategory.

So set the 'Default category' option to Yes. This shows the 'Choose a category' option V4 choose categoryUse the pull down to select the 'Commercial' category so that the private users are confined to that category tree as illustrated opposite.

You could also use the 'Submission/Cancel Redirect' option to say a 'List All Categories' menu item.

This means that categories and Downoads, and also other content such as articles, that have this Access level can only be seen by members of the PrivateUsersUG in the Frontend.  Not even the Super User can see these items in the Frontend. But if we stopped at this stage they would be seen by who ever has access to the backend.

This is where the jDownloads 'Single User Access' is needed.  So that is the next stage.
V4 menu options01V4 menu options02
The ability to set 'Single User Access' capability is enabled in the User Group Settings.  So on the Joomla Control Panel click on button user group settings then V4 button jdownloads and then V4 button user groups settings. This shows all the User Groups.
Next click onbutton registeredug and then button group creation tab. Scroll down to the  until you see the V4 section publishing in the 'Data Field Section'  section.

Typically the view is like the first image opposite.  To enable 'Single User Access' ensure that it is 'ticked'.
UG settings 1UG settings 2
Usually I tick most items as that allows more facilities and flexibility when creating Downloads as in the second image above.

Note: ticking' the 'Single User Access' does NOT mean all registered users will be single access users.

Create Holding Category

There is a considerable advantage in putting all 'private' Downloads in a single category.
Basically one only has to set the appropriate permissions once !!

In this example we create a Category called 'Commercial' as a top level category. Individual 'Private Users' could have their own subcategories. Or all the Private Downloads could be in the top level Category as private users will only see their own Downloads.
In jDownloads backend select V4 button categories and then click on the V4 button newbutton at the top.  This loads the Category Create form.

The Title in this example is set to 'Commercial'.

Ensure the Parent Category option shows 'No parent Category'.

Ensure the Status is 'Published',

And by using the pull-down that the Access is set to 'private-view'.

V4 create category01

Allow Frontend Creation etc.

The next action is to set the Permissions so that members of the Private Users group are able to Create, Edit and Download from the Frontend.  This involves setting two  user group permissions, one for the PrivateUsersUG and the other for the Registered group

Click on the V4 tab permissions tab, select V4 tab permissions privateUG and use the pulldowns to select Allowed for each permission you wish to grant to your private users.
Initially each permission changed will have a
V4 permissions tick alongside it. This denotes the the Permission has not been saved yet. So click on the V4 button save button and again look at the V4 tab permissions -V4 tab permissions privateUGto confirm they are now fully set.  Finally click on  V4 button save close.

V4 permissions category private users
Click on Registered and set the permissions of the Registered Group appropriately.  Often the Registe

This follows the procedure as above but with slightly different settings

It may be unwise to allow Delete and also unwise to allow the general Edit.

NEVER set a permission to 'Denied'. This has widespread ramifications and many unforseen consequences.
private permissions set2

Create Private Download

Creating a 'private' Download is just like creating any Download except for one aspect, namely specifying Single User Access.
To specify the single user clicking on the  'Select a User' pulldown buttonbutton single userwill show a list of users as illustrated opposite.

private select user
The first image opposite shows the Download settings in the General tab before using the Single User Access pulldown.

The second image opposite shows Download settings in the General tab after using the Single User Access pulldown.
Use the pulldown in option 'Single User Access' to select the relevant user.

If jDownloads detects that 'Single User Access' has been set then the Joomla! Access Level is automatically reset during the Save. 

This occurs irrespective of which Access Level is selected during either the editing or creation of a Download in both the frontend and the backend.

Remember to Publish!
private download beforeprivate download after

Change Sole Access User

In the Backend you are able to change the user or set no user.  Click on single access 21which brings up a view such as shown opposite.

This allows selecting another user or to revert to a regular Download by clicking on No User.
single access 09

Colin M  March 2023

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