The ActionApps provide easy automated publishing for non-profit WWW sites and 'Usenet-like' sharing of articles between sites.
ActionApps consist of:
- actual www pages which display the content. These pages can be designed individually. At one spot, they contain an "include" directive which is automatically replaced by the current content whenever a user requests this page, and
- a database engine including a permission system, a storage and a content managing system. This system has a www interface and administrators, editors and authors of a certain page can do their work completely using that interface.
ActionApps provide something called slices which represent one application each. Each application/slice has its own content, its own configuration, permissions, and so on. If you run the ActionApps on a server, you can set up such slices for your users and grant individual slice administration rights. Users are then administering their respective slices in every way.
Slices are usually based on Templates, the most common of which is the News template.
Users, Roles and Permissions
ActionApps provides its own user management engine. Authentication and authorization are implemented by a permission system which supports two different back ends: LDAP and SQL. You are free to choose which back end you want to use. In either case, it is possible to create groups of users and groups of groups. Privileges which are granted to the group will be promoted to all its members.
There are five roles:
- Readers do not need to have user accounts in the ActionApps permission system. Most of the times, they actually do not realize that they have to do with something like the ActionApps. They just view regular WWW pages and can read the information provided by the ActionApps slice owners.
- Authors must have user accounts in the ActionApps permission system. The role "author" is bound to a certain slice. Any ActionApps user who has "author" privileges for an ActionApps slice can submit new information items for this slice and remove and edit her own submissions.
- Editors must have user accounts in the ActionApps permission system. The role "editor" is bound to a certain slice. An ActionApps user who has "editor" privileges for an ActionApps slice can do everything an author for this slice can. Additionally, she can pick items from other slices, and edit, approve or expire every item her slice, which includes other authors' items, as well. An editor has full control over items which were published in her slice, but cannot modify the full text of items imported from other slices (the so called ?fed items?).
- Administrators must have user accounts in the ActionApps permission system. The role "administrator" is bound to a certain slice. An ActionApps user who has "administrator" privileges for an Action Applications slice can do everything an editor for this slice can. Additionally, she can set or change the configuration of her slice. The administrator can design the layout of the web site, define which categories are used in the slice and from and to which other slices items are shared. She also sets which parameters are predefined and which can be modified by the authors/editors of the slice.
- Super Administrator.
- Super administrators must have user accounts in the ActionApps permission system. The role "super administrator" is not bound to a slice. Super administrators (superadmins) can do everything. This means, they can do anything a slice administrator can, but for every slice; additionally, they can add slices to the system.
Permission management can generally be done by everyone for roles below their own level.
1.4 ActionApps Software Components
ActionApps consist of several software components. Only one of them is provided by the ActionApps package:
- The ActionApps software. These are basically a set of PHP scripts running within a web server.
- A database server. The database server does not have to be on the same host as the other components. It can be used for other applications as well.
- Users and passwords in ActionApplications can be stored in a number of different 'back-ends' such as mysql, LDAP, and even an IMAP-server. The default system, and the simplest to setup, is mysql. If you want to use and alternate permission-system back-end, such as LDAP, you will need to have these packages installed.
- A WWW Server. The WWW Server provides the access from the network via the http protocol. It runs the ActionApps programs whenever someone accesses the ActionApps controlled pages.
- PHP3. The PHP interpreter is needed to execute the ActionApps PHP scripts.
See section Requirements / Preconditions / Suggested Environment for details about the installation of all the components.
1.5 Conventions used in this document
Command line input is shown including the command line prompt so it is clear which lines should be typed in. The prompt indicates if a command should be run as a normal user or as root: For normal users, the prompt is
%, and for root, the prompt is
An example is shown below: