How to grant correct user permissions in Confluence ?

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Granting user permissions in Confluence

Good understanding of the mechanism of operation of user permissions in Confluence is the basis for expert use of the system. Honestly whole user management stuff in Confluence is very simple and you should not have any probelm to understand it.

User management panel

Any user management actions we start from clicking in the Settings menu a position User management.

This should provides us to the Administrator Access web page where we should type administrator user and password. This is a standard mechanism of double check your permissions in Confluence.

When everything went well in the previous step you should be able to see the Confluence administration panel with list of users.

User details

You can check user details by clicking on any user name in the list of users. In View User page you will see the details of selected user like below:

  • User
  • Full Name
  • Email
  • Directory
  • Created
  • Last Updated
  • Login
  • Groups

Probably all these user properties are clear and I don’t need to explain them.

Confuence user groups

For now the most interested user property is user groups. We need to know how to play with user groups in Confluence to properly manage access privileges to selected pages or spaces.

As you can see assigning any user permission in Confluence to any group is very simple. You only need to click checbox near by selected group and click button Save.

Managing groups in Confluence

The question is how to add or remove any groups in Confluence system? Firstly we need to get to the management groups panel by clicking in the left menu in Administration panel a link Groups.

System will redirect us to the list of all available groups in Confluence. We can filter groups or add any new ones.

For the purpose of this article we will add new group to show different aspecs of user permissions in Confluence.

Adding new group in Confluence

In order to add new group we need to type in the section Add Group the name of our group. Let’s type a name my-space-group and click Save button.

In general case you should name your groups in such a way that you will be able to understand by name the meaning of the groups.

If our group is added correctly we should see it on list of all groups like below:

Granting privileges to users and groups

The state for now is that we have create our my-space-group and what ? What can we do with this fact ? We need co have a possibility to assign any permissions to a user or group.

In order to do this we need to go into Global Permission link available in the left sidebar in administrator panel.

Before we start it is worth to say that we have different level of access created in Confluence. We can define:

  1. global permissions access to the Confluence
  2. space permissions to any space
  3. page permissions access to any page

In every case we can define permissions to a user o a group of users.

Global user permissions in Confluence

Let’s get deeper into global permissions that we selected in the previous section. We can see that system split users into

  • Licensed Users
  • Anonymous Users

In Licensed Users we have next two subcategories like groups and users. For every subcategory system allows us to define privalages for:

  • General access: can use/can’t use
  • Personal Space – allows to create only private space
  • Create Space(s) – allows to create any space
  • Confluence Administrator – hass access only to application management
  • System Administrator – can change anything in the system

We can assign such permission either to a user or to a group of users.

Anonymous Access is defined in general for every user that has no account in Confluence system. This can be used internally in your company to enable access to a knowledge system withour write access to it.

In order to change any permissions you only need to click Edit Permissions button. Let’s add our newly created group to the permissions group:

I assigned all possible privillages to my-space-group.  With such subset of permissions any user assigned to the group can create/delete any of the existing spaces. You should be sure when you grant such strong access to any user.

Space user permissions in Confluence

Space permissions allows you define more precisely any permissions in the level of a concrete space. Let’s click Space Permission in the left sidebar menu. You should see the panal as below:

Confluence defines two types of space permissions:

  • Default Space Permissions
  • Individual Spacess

In the first case can define access to a general actions within every groups. We can for example define actions View/Delete Own/Add/Delete for every  pages, blogs, attachements, comments, restrictions, mail and space.

In the second case we can select all permissions we want in the level of a concrete space. In order to do it we need to click Manage Permissions link.

This link should move you to the permissions list from a selected project (in our case the only one space).

Like in Global Permissions we also have three level of access to any space. We have defined:

  • Groups permissions
  • Individual user permissions
  • Anonymous Access

For every three different type of groups we can assign the same actions like we have in Default Space Permission. In general there is no compliaction. Process of granting privallages is well defined eighter from the user experience side or from possible type of permission actions.

Page permissions access

The last possible option available in Confluence to define previllages is page permissions. You can assign any permission to the page directly from the selected page for example:

You need to go into interesting page and click Restriction from the menu. New popup will display with information about the permission level access.

You can choose one of available options:

  • No resctriction – Everyone can view and edit
  • Editing restricted – Everyone can view, only some can edit
  • Viewing and editing restricted – Only some can view or edit

When you select access level the last thing you should is to type the name of group or user and apply changes:

From this moment selected page will be not available for all users but it will be restricted to selected users or groups.

When number of pages and number of users in the system grow we can easily check what pages have restricted access or no.

In order to do this we need to go into known panel with Space privillages in the project settings and click on the link Restricted Pages:

Now you can see the results of our last activities. We assigned restricted user permissions in Confluence for group my-space-group and for user Artur Poniedziałek – that’s me :-).


One Comments

  • malcolm 22nd December 2020 Reply

    Hi! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

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