People, Employees and External Users Subtables
The People table is one of the most important tables in your system, because it stores records that represent people who interact with your system. Most systems categorize users into two types, which influence how they are able to interact with the system. These user categories are Employee and External User, and are represented as the People table's subtables. The People table is considered a top-level table, which simply means that it has subtables. The People table is one of the most, if not the most, prominent background table in any system. When you create a record in the People table, the user category determines which subtable the record is stored in. All subtable records are contained in their top-level table, so you can view all Employee and External User records directly from the People table.
The two subtables, Employees and External Users, are chiefly used to store information about individuals, such as the company they are associated with, or their contact information. Users may be external or internal to your company, so it is vital from both a security and workflow-enabling standpoint to put users in the right groups and teams.
Users outside your company should generally go in the External Users table, while Employees should go into the Employees table. We recommend that all individuals who are involved with your company be stored in the system as an Employee or an External User, even people who are not be able to access the system as a user, like leads.
- The Employees subtable holds general employee information, like their role, primary team, and manager. It also holds personal information, like home address and phone number. In addition to the People and Employee tables, LDAP or Active Directory authentication can be used to create and update Employee user records.
- The External Users subtable holds information on non-employees who may or may not be users of the system. Each External User record includes fields that associate the user with a company, contracts, events, and other activities.
As a background table, many other tables use the information stored in the People table hierarchy. Nearly every other table in the system contains records with linked fields that link back to the People table hierarchy, making it incredibly vital to the system's overall functionality.
Use Case for Employees
Employee records can be created in a variety of ways:
- A user with permission to create Employee records can create them in either the People table or the Employee table directly
- Via sync with Active Directory or LDAP. The first time a user logs in using one of those authentication methods, an Employee record is generated for them
- From a SAML provider, such as Okta, when they first log into the system
- Imported during implementation from an Excel or .csv spreadsheet
Once an employee is given access to the system, their user information can be modified in a variety of ways:
- An admin user can make changes to their record, and do things such deactivate their access or update their information
- A sync with LDAP or AD
- Scheduled import/updates from another backend system
- The user may modify any fields they are allowed to edit by clicking on My Profile in the Home section of the left pane
It is a best practice to develop your own procedure for deactivating Employee records when that employee has been terminated. It is better to simply terminate employees who have left the company; we do not recommend deleting these users. Setting an empty value in either the Groups or the Primary Team field prevents the user from logging in, but also preserves the history of any edits the user has made in the system.
Use Case for External Users
External users can be created manually by guests and members of the Base ServiceDesk, Contract Manager, Customer Manager, Guest, Marketing, Project Manager, Sales, Vendor, Business Admin, Admin Import, and Admin groups. They can also be created as the result of a conversion from a Lead or Contract record, as part of an import from another database.
If a new External User record is created (either directly or from a contract or contract party) without a login value, the system runs a rule that:
- Sets the user's login value to to their email address
- Sets a default, unique password
- Blanks out the default team. This allows the user to be recognized if they respond to an email from the system without actually giving them the ability to login to the system
This rule can be modified if you want such users to belong to a specific team so they can access the system through an end user portal.
Self-registration is available, and allows users to create their own logins using the limited-access "register" account. By default, records that are created with the "register" login are added to the Customer Group and the Customer Team.
To create a link to permit self-registration, substitute the items in <brackets> below with the URL of your system, your KB Name, and the Exit URL you want to take users to. Make sure to remove the brackets after adding your information.
This link allows the user to enter their contact information, and then logs them out. Users are not be able to choose from a list of companies, but instead type in their company name manually. For more information on how this hyperlink is constructed, see Hyperlink Syntax and Examples.
When the user saves their record, an email is sent to the 1st Level Support Team informing them that a contact has self-registered. The email also asks them to validate the user's access, as well as link them to the appropriate company in the system. This email template can be modified, as well as sent to anyone in your organization who might be responsible for vetting new users.
The default automation in the Employees subtable includes the following actions:
- If you are using Adobe Sign for e-signature, and the value in the Adobe Sign Sender field is set to or changes to Yes, a user account is automatically created for the user at Adobe Sign. This allows users to send envelopes under their own name.
- If the value in the Adobe Sign Sender field changes from Yes to No, that account is automatically disabled at Adobe Sign.
See the Adobe Sign Tables Overview section for more details.
There is another rule that handles document approval generation when an employee is identified as a reviewer on the Documents table. The rule runs down to the employee and generates the approval record from there.
Employee and External User records are owned by the user with a login that matches the Login field of the record. Simply put, each employee or external user owns their own user record. The amount of information they can edit in the records they own, though, is dependent on other factors.