The members of a workspace form a member group called ‘Members of workspace-name’. Vice versa, every member group is associated to a shared workspace, i.e. there is no workspace without its member group and no member group without its workspace.
Member groups are a useful tool for the administration of workspace membership and for the management of access rights. In particular, a member group lets you store and update the assignment of persons to a role in a single place. At the same time, this information may be used in many places (e.g., for assigning access rights) and is automatically updated should membership or role assignment be changed in the member group.
• Create workspaces for smaller groups of users whom you want to treat as groups on their own because of their function or the tasks they work on.
• Select File to Address Book in the top menu of the members’ page of such a workspace in order to add the member group formed by all the members to your address book.
• You may now invite such a whole member group as a member to other workspaces.
When you invite the member group of a workspace X to the member group of a workspace Y, ‘Members of X’ become a member of ‘Members of Y’, i.e. ‘Members of X’ are contained in ‘Members of Y’. This relation between the member groups implies the inverse relation between the workspaces involved: workspace Y is automatically made part of workspace X, i.e. is contained in workspace X (see 184.108.40.206 Embedding a workspace in a workspace where workspaces are embedded in one another with analogous consequences for the member groups).
You can use this mechanism to map a hierarchical organization onto BSCW workspaces and their member groups. Create workspaces for all organizational units, invite the users belonging to the lowest level units to the respective workspaces and add the member groups of these workspaces to your address book. Next, invite the member groups of the lowest level units to the workspaces one level higher to which they belong (plus some managers and staff). Working your way upwards in the organizational hierarchy, you create a corresponding hierarchy of member groups and workspaces.
Note: If you plan to create large member groups where the vast majority of members has the same role, for performance reasons, you should consider using communities.