Managing Users (for System Admins)

The following information is only applicable to an Enterprise instance of RSpace.

As Sysadmin or Community admin, you have several ways in which you can manage and interact with user accounts. You should login as a Sysadmin or Community Admin ONLY when you want to perform administrative tasks. If you act as both a user or PI in RSpace, AND you are ALSO a Sysadmin or Community admin, then you will need TWO separate accounts and should only log in with the appropriate account when you need to perform tasks related to those different roles.

Do not add production data when logged in as a Sysadmin, or Community Admin, do not add Admins to any LabGroups, and do not ever try to use sysadmin account to fill the PI or standard user role.

Enabling/disabling user accounts

When users are signed up and their account activated, their account is enabled. This is the standard user state and means that:

  • The user can login and view/edit their data.
  • The user appears in Group and Directory listings.
  • The user counts towards the license seat allocation.

Sometimes you might want to disable a user account, because someone has left, or you want to juggle the available license seats, e.g. for rotation students.

To disable an account, search for the user in the System->Users page, then select the checkbox next to their name, and click the ‘Disable’ button that appears. Once their account is disabled, their username will appear in red. The user will also receive an email notifying them that their account is disabled.

The consequences of a disabled account are :

  • User can no longer login.
  • User does not appear in directory or Group listings.
  • User cannot be invited to join a group.
  • User does not count towards license seat allocation.
  • Documents that the user has shared with others will continue to be readable or editable.

To re-enable an account, search for the user in the System->Users page, then select the checkbox next to their name, and click the ‘Enable’ button that appears. Once re-enabled, their username will be displayed in green again, and their full account activity restored.

Operating as another user

Sometimes a user needs help or is experiencing a problem, and you might want to see the exact page that the user is seeing in order to investigate and help. To do this, you can temporarily operate as that user, with exactly the same rights and permissions that they have.


  1. Go to the System page
  1. Click on Operate As
  1. A popup panel will appear. Fill in the name of the user you wish to impersonate, and select them from the dropdown options that appear.
  1. You can choose whether the user will receive an email informing them that you are impersonating them – the default is that the system will do so, to give the user a polite notification. If you wish to operate without the user knowing, check the checkbox for Operate incognito.
  2. Fill in your own sysadmin password, then click on Submit.
  1. The page will redirect to the user’s home page and you will see a grey notice at the top reminding you that you’re using someone else’s account.
  1. When you’re done, click Release in the top bar, or just logout if you’ve finished your session.
Please be very careful about editing anything while operating as another user – although any changes will be attributed to you in the audit trail and revision history, it may cause concern to the user that you’re impersonating if they're not aware of it.

Contacting all users

You might wish to contact all users in the case of a system-wide announcement, eg. telling users to export their data if you are migrating from a test server. You can do so using Messaging, by clicking on Send a message in the Workspace toolbar:

Then, selecting "Message to all users" in the Request type. By default all message preferences are enabled, so a user who has not used the system will still get the message by email.

Unlocking a locked user account

If a user enters the wrong login credentials too many times, they get locked out for a short amount of time. However, a sysadmin can instantly unlock a user account if that is required, by going into the System tab, searching for the locked user (who will have a black padlock next to their username), selecting the checkbox, then clicking on "Unlock account" in the menu that appears.

Promoting a user to PI

Occasionally you will have a user with ‘User’ role who becomes a PI with their own lab group. You can promote this user within RSpace so that they have their own lab group. To do this:


  1. Go to System->Users page
  2. Search for, and select the user who you wish to promote
  3. Click on the ‘Promote to PI’ button.
  4. The user will now acquire a PI role, and have a LabGroup created for them. He can now invite his lab members to join the group.

The consequences of this action are:

  1. The new PI will be removed from existing lab groups, and any documents he had previously shared will be unshared.
  2. The  PI of his old  lab group (if he was in one) will no longer be able to see the new PI’s work.

Deleting a user

If the property …… is true, then you will have the ability to delete a user and all their work completely from the system. You should be absolutely sure there is nothing worth preserving before deleting a user – it is totally irreversible and physically deletes the user and all their work from the database.

Typical use-cases might be:

  • You create a user account for the wrong person
  • You setup an account with the wrong username

In these cases, deleting a user is quite safe, as they may never have logged on.

If a user you wish to delete has created some content, consider exporting their work in HTML and/or XML format, so that their data will be preserved.


  1. Navigate to System->Users page.
  2. Search for or browse to the user you want to delete.
  3. Select the checkbox by their name.
  4. Click ‘Delete User’ and confirm.
  5. RSpace will confirm whether user removal was successful.

Currently, you can’t delete a user with Sysadmin or Community Admin role. Also, because of the irreversible nature of this deletion, you can only delete one user at a time.

If the ‘Delete User’ button does not appear, this is because the deleteUser.enabled property is set to false (the default). To enable this, edit your file on the server, so that:


and restart the server.

Deletion Safeguard

In version 1.51 we add an extra safeguard for backing up user data when a user is deleting. We do this by creating an XML zip of the user’s work that is generating when the user is deleted – this provides additional backup in case of accidental deletion, as most of a users work can be restored from the archive.

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