User groups
  • 14 Sep 2022
  • 9 Minutes to read
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User groups

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For an organization with many employees, adding or removing teams of individuals to bases can take time, and is error-prone. Airtable is excited to announce that our beta for the newest collaboration-focused feature addresses this exact need: say hello to User groups! User groups will enable you to create and manage groups of users with which you can easily share bases and workspaces.

NOTE
The user groups feature is now generally available to all Enterprise plan customers. If your organization is interested in exploring more of what the Enterprise plan offers, then learn more here.


Viewing user groups

Each user group is, you guessed it, a group of users that will allow you to manage permissions for your bases and workspaces with ease.

There are two places from which you can view, create, and edit user groups. The first way to access your user groups is from the account menu, by choosing the “Manage groups” option. You can open the account menu by clicking on the circular profile picture in the top right of the home screen:

account_manage_groups.png

The second way to access user groups is directly from the share menu when sharing either a base or workspace:
manage_groups_from_share.png

By using either of the above methods, admins can open the Groups page in the Admin Panel which will show a list of all of the current user groups within your organization. In this example, our organization’s name is “demo.htable.com”:
org_user_group_show.png

NOTE
Organizations on Airtable's ELA Enterprise license agreements can also manage their user groups via IdP sync. Currently, we only offer this functionality via Okta integration which is covered in this article, but we plan to add more IdP services to the list over time.


Creating a user group

You can create a new user group from the user group management menu by clicking on the “Create a group” option.
create_group

As the creator of the group, you’ll automatically be added to that group with group manager permissions.

You can also create a new user group from the share menu by clicking on the “Create a group…” link, which will open up a new user group which you can easily customize:

create_group_from_share

Viewing a user group

From the user group management menu you can search through your existing user groups. You can view all the members of a group by clicking “View” for that particular group:

search_for_group

When viewing an individual user group, you can see, as well as search through, the current members of that group.

Users with the group manager permissions within a group will be able to delete that user group, or rename it by hovering over the name and clicking on the pencil icon when it appears.

grou_and_members.png

If you delete an existing user group, all members of that group will no longer be able to access the workspaces and bases that user group previously had access to. Note that if an individual user from a user group previously had access to a workspace or base, they will retain that access even if the user group they were in was removed.

delete_group_warning.png

Managing group members

There are two different permission levels within a user group: group managers and group members.

Group managers can perform the following actions for the user group in which they have those permissions:

  • Add and remove group members
  • Delete that group
  • Rename that group
  • Assign and remove group manager permissions from other members in that group

Adding a member to a user group

NOTE

Users can become members of a group only if they have been provisioned and have verified their email with Airtable. Note that external collaborators and read-only share link users can not be added to user groups at this time.

You can add members to a user group by navigating to that user group’s view page and clicking the “Add members” option to bring up the list of available users.

add_members_to_group.png

You can select the user(s) you’d like to add to the group, by checking the box next to their name. You will then have the option to click the “+ Add # members” button to add those users to the group.

add_brooke_to_group.png

Setting permissions for a user within a group

Group manager permissions for a particular group are indicated by a green checkmark in the “Group Manager'' column. The green checkmark indicates that the user has group manager permissions.

If you are a group manager within a user group, you can grant and revoke group manager permissions for other users within that group. This is done by toggling the checkbox next to that user’s name in the “Group manager” column.

Note that by granting group manager permissions to another user, you will be giving them the ability to add new users to groups—and therefore, add new billable collaborators to a group. This may cause billing changes.

add_group_manager_permissions

Removing members from a group

If you are a group manager within a user group, you can remove users from that group by checking the box next to their name, then clicking the “Remove # members”

remove_users_from_group

Members of a user group can also choose to leave a group by clicking on the "Leave group" button:
Leave_user_group_spotlight_button.png

Sharing with a user group

Sharing a base with a group
The experience for sharing a base with a group is very similar to sharing a base with an individualcollaborator. When sharing a base with a user group you’ll need to do two things:
  1. Pick the user group you’d like to share the base with
  2. Set the permissions level for all users in that group within the base you are sharing

Start by opening the base share dialog and searching for the name of the user group you’d like to share the base with.

share_base.png

If you need to doublecheck the members in a group, you can do so by typing in the name of the group and then clicking the “View members…” option.

After selecting the user group, you will then set the permission level granted to every user in that group for that base. This is done using the permissions dropdown.

share_base_permissions.png

Here is what the process of sharing a base with a user group looks like all together:

share_base_with_user_group

If you need to change the permission level for a user group on a base, you can do so from the share dialog from that base as you would with an individual contributor. You can also remove a user group from that base by clicking the “X” next to the permission level for that user group.

user group.set_base_permissions_for_group.png

Sharing a workspace with a group

The interface for sharing a workspace with a group is very similar to sharing a workspace with an individual collaborator. Note that we do not currently allow groups to have “Owner” permissions in workspaces at this time.

When sharing a workspace with a user group you’ll need to do two things:

  • Pick the user group you’d like to share this workspace with
  • Set the permission level for all users in that group within the workspace you are sharing

Start by opening the workspace share dialog and then typing in the name of the user group you’d like to share this workspace with.

share_workspace.png

If you need to double check the members in a certain group you can do so by typing in the name of the group and then clicking the “View members…” option.

After choosing the user group, you will then set the permission level granted to every user in that group, for that workspace. You can do this using the permissions dropdown.

dropdown.share_workspace_witpermissions.png

Here is what the entire process of adding and assigning permissions to a user group looks like:

share_workspace_with_group

If you need to change the permission level for a user group on a workspace, you can do so from the share dialog of that workspace as you would with an individual contributor. You can also remove a user group from the workspace by clicking the “X” next to the permission level for that user group.

set_permissions_for_group.png

@Mentioning User groups

Just like individual users, User groups can be mentioned in various parts of Airtable. This means that when you need team-wide input on a project you can @mention groups rather than having to mention each collaborator individually. You can use this feature in these places:

  1. Comments on individual records.
  2. Long text fields.

user_group_mentioning.png

FAQs

Is there a limit to the number of users in a single user group?

Currently, there is a limit of 1000 users per user group. Over time we will look to increase this limit as technical improvements allow.

My organization has a Flexible License Agreement (FLA) with Airtable. Are there any changes to how groups work?

All functionality remains the same; the only caveat is that all users in a group must be part of the same FLA.

Within the management UI, you will have to select the relevant FLA within a dropdown if you are a:

  • User who is part of multiple FLAs.
  • An admin taking action on a user who is part of multiple FLAs.

Who will be able to create and manage user groups?

We encourage Admins to enable all collaborators to have the ability to create and manage user groups to improve ease and scalability of collaboration. However, for organizations with security requirements that preclude this from being an option, user group management and creation can be limited to only Admins. Simply go to the admin panel, select settings, and enable the “only admins can create groups” setting.

What actions are available to group managers?

Group managers can add/remove group members, delete a group, rename a group, and assign/remove group manager permissions to other members.

Which users can be members of a group?

Users can become members of a group only if they have been provisioned and have verified their email with Airtable. Note that external collaborators and read-only share link users can not be added to user groups at this time.

Will user groups be tied to SSO (i.e. Okta, OAuth, etc.)?

We currently have an integration built out for Okta that you can learn more about here. We plan on offering similar functionality for other IdP services in the future.

Can user groups functionality be handled through the API?

Currently, we only support creating and managing user groups within Airtable. We intend to support group management through the API in the future.

Will admins have access to all groups?

Admins can access and manage all groups on their account.

Is there a default permission level of access for users in a user group?

Groups are invited to workspaces and bases just like individual collaborators. User permissions are determined when the group is invited to the workspace/base, and all group members will inherit the same permissions level. Permissions for a group can be changed in the share dialog, just as they can for individual collaborators.

What happens when a user is in multiple user groups and is invited with different levels of access to a base or workspace?

If a user receives different levels of access to a base due to multiple sharing rules, they will receive the most permissive access level granted to them. For example, if a user is invited as a base collaborator with ‘editor’ access, and then invited as part of a user group with ‘commenter’ access for the same base, they will receive ‘editor’ access. This will hold true even if the user group’s plan changes. Using our same example, if the group’s access level changes from ‘editor’ to ‘creator’, the user will receive ‘creator’ access since it is the most permissive.


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