Andrew Eddie, Development Coordinator and Joomla core team member posted a sneak peek at the advanced access control features implemented into the core of version 1.6. Joomla version 1.6 will be the next major update and there are currently no official estimates for the release date. Decent ACL controls have been a lodestone around the neck of the open source web cms since it’s inception. Developers looking to deploy a Content Management System for clients had to take a long look at the meager ACL controls in the Joomla core. But that's about to change.
Will advanced access control become officially available for Joomla users? While still in the early stages, all the ACL foundational elements appear to be in place.
Key Concepts of the ACL Capabilities
The sneak peek shows several screenshots of the ACL as it now exists in the developmental code of version 1.6. The UI will no doubt change by the time of release but these key concepts will remain.
New Members Component
Joomla 1.6 will replace "user" management with "member" management. This will allow advanced access control and an extensible member profiling system. It allows the admin to manage members, add new member groups and new access levels.
The new group list shows a list of groups in a tree hierarchy with the number of members in the group and a list of the "actions" that a member in that group is permitted to perform.
Member Group Edit Screen
This is a list to select the parent for the group in the tree and a place for a title. On the right is a list of "core" actions that members in that group will be permitted to perform.
Group Edit Screen
This view shows which members have been assigned to which groups. An update utility is planned to allow you to move, add and remove members in and around groups from within this view.
Member Edit Screen
This view shows the usual user/member details (names, emails, etc) and member preferences. But there is something new -- a pluggable member profile system.
Joomla Plugins will be able to add extra fields to a member's profile. There is also a member group tree in this view from which admin's will be able to assign members to multiple groups.
New Access Levels
This is an access level list. Each group extension will be able to have its own subset of access levels. This is accomplished by Level Name, Section and User Group Access.
Access Level Edit Screen
Here, you provide the name for the access level and then select all of the member groups that can "view" content in this access level.
Access Level Edit Screen
A Promising Improvement on Access Control
Overall, this current iteration looks promising for those who have desired advanced access control within a Joomla deployment. It appears to be several orders of magnitude improved over the current core scheme. CMSWire will keep an eye on this development. The sneak peek with screens can be found here.