Groups (previously known as Membership) has been given a complete reworking along with some great new features.
Now available on all platforms, iOS, Android & PWA.
Groups are now a free Add-on. This change allows us to do a couple of things. First, it allows us to better educate our users on the power and use cases that Groups can provide. Most importantly it allows us to alter the experience inside the CMS at a higher level when the add-on is enabled. More information about the same is provided in the following video.
If you were previously using the old 'single' mode for Membership and now see the Shared Account Groups screen, please scroll to the bottom of the article for more information.
Note: For those apps that were previously using Groups (Membership), Groups add-on are already turned ON.
The customer can find the Add-on section from their partner dashboard, and for a single app account, you can find it inside the CMS on the left navigation.
Great for these industries and much more:
- Small Businesses
- Add current members of your business to the membership setting where they can access more features of the app.
- This could be an opportunity for new users to purchase a membership. The admin simply downloads the email list for sign up/purchases and uploads the list to the membership feature. The new members will receive an invite email and will have exclusive membership access to the app.
- Navigate to the Add-on section of the left menu in the customer's Partner Dashboard.
- Here the customer will find the Groups add-on. Go ahead and click it to dive in. It is recommended to read the material under Description and FAQ to ensure that the customer knows as much about the feature before diving it.
- In the banner image, the customer will see the ‘Get it for free’ button. The customer may wish to apply the Group Management license to the app they are working on. Once applied, they can jump back into that app through the ‘My Apps’ section.
- Once you are logged into your app, navigate to the Manage section in the left menu, and click on the Customer section.
- You will notice there is a new tab here titled ‘Groups’, click it to open the Groups Management page.
Creating a Group
The first thing you may want to do is to configure your groups. Creating a group could not be easier. Simply head to the Groups section under Manage > Customers > Groups and then click the ‘Add Group’ button on the page.
This will bring you to a two-step process to create the group.
- The user has to enter a name and pick a color.
- Select the features that the users assigned to this group will have access to.
If you are coming from the Customers > Groups page, you can easily get to the Group Log-in settings by clicking the Login Settings link on the top-right of the Groups page. It is also available at the top of your build page. You will notice that the Sign-up | Log-in settings have been replaced with Group Log-in now that you have the Groups Management add-on enabled.
With our North Park release, we have updated the login screens for the user's apps.
You can now add a custom message that will show on your Groups login page.
Allow Guest Access toggle - If the customer enables this, they will be able to allow users to enter as a guest user. From the Groups page, you can configure which specific features those guest users have access to.
(New) Account Request & Confirmation
New with North Park source code, we now offer a self-signup feature called Account Requests!
This creates an all-new group on your Groups Management page. When a user requests an account, they will be brought into the app and can view the features that are assigned to this Requested Access group. That means all you have do is reassign them to a different, more appropriate group at your leisure from the Groups Management page.
Additionally, as the app admin, you will receive emails when a new user has requested an account, and the app users receive push notifications informing them that they have been moved into another group if you chose to do so.
Here is an example of the Group Log-in Screen:
Adding or Inviting a User
To manually add a user navigate to Customers > Groups then click on Add User on the top-right.
The customer will be walked through a few simple steps to add a user.
- On the first screen, the customer will have to fill out at least the required fields.
- The next step will be assigning this user to one of the already created groups. That means this user will only be able to see the features assigned in that group.
- If the customer leaves the group unassigned, they will have another available step to create custom feature access for that user.
- Once the customer saves, they will want to share these credentials with that person. They will then be able to log in to your application.
Here is a screenshot of the Add User screen:
Inviting a User
- Just next to the 'Add User' button the customer will see the 'Invite Users' option. This offers a more streamlined and efficient option to invite users and quickly assign them to a group. This option allows the customers to enter one email, a comma separated list of emails or even a .csv file to send account creation to invite emails. They will notice that they can also upload a .csv file of email addresses as well as modify the ‘from’ email address that is used. Regarding the "From email address" to be sure to not use email addresses from big email providers such as Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc, especially when processing a big number of invites as it will be blocked. You can leave this blank as well.
- The next step is to select the group that will be applied to for all of these users once they follow the steps in the email to create their account.
- Once the client receives the email and creates an account, they will be able to log in to their app.
See below for some screenshots of these screens and emails.
Already mentioned above, new with our North Park source code we now offer a third way to bring users into your app and allow for improved group management.
First, the customer will need to enable ‘Requested Access’ from the Groups Log-in settings. Once enabled, you will see this new group display on your Groups page.
How It Works
The customer's app login screen will now have an option for new users to ‘Request Access’. They can edit the features this group has access to from the Groups page by hovering over the cell and clicking the more menu, or by viewing the group detail view and clicking the more menu there.
Once they have users that request access through their app they will receive emails as the app admin informing them that they have new requested users.
To move these users into a more specific group, like a student into their grade level, or faculty member into the faculty group, open the requested access group and navigate to one of those users. You can then use the ‘Add to Group’ feature to move them to this appropriate group, and doing so will also send a push notification notifying the user that they have been assigned a group.
Here is an example of the new Groups Log-in screen on mobile.
The design settings will be imported from the Global Design, however, the customers have the opportunity to adjust these at any time.
To make adjustments, navigate to the Build step, then to Group Log-in. You will see a Custom Design tab.
Note: The background image will always be blurred to improve legibility on this page. It is recommended using images and text color with appropriate contrast so they are legible.
The customer will also notice the Email Invite Form option there. This is where they will be able to customize the Invite Form that is emailed to their users through the ‘Invite’ option.
Be careful to not modify the ‘Create Account’ button here or else the form will not work correctly.
If the customers were previously using the single mode on the Membership option, they will now be seeing this screen on their Groups page.
The Shared Account cell on the right will be how you can adjust the username and password for your application.
If you wish to upgrade this feature to the full Groups Management, you can do so by the upgrade button on the left.
If you chose to upgrade, you will not be able to revert back to this legacy option. You will be able to continue to use this option and we have no plan on stopping support for it.
Two things to take note of when upgrading.
- The Customer Data will be reset. The data is not lost completely, once the users receive new accounts and log in, their old customer data will also return.
- The users will be logged out and will require new accounts to access their app (this is nothing new and it is what occurred with the old feature as well).
- This is a great opportunity to enable the Request Account feature in the new Groups Management as it will allow the users to self-signup for access to their application.