No, you haven’t stumbled upon a cracks & hacks website that’s going to tell you how to hotwire your Cumulus Server into a pirate’s treasure chest of illegal asset management! What you’ll learn here is perfectly legal, and it’ll make you even happier that you chose Cumulus.
First off, for those unfamiliar with licensing models common on client/server systems like Cumulus, let’s review the two basic types:
- Named licenses Using this model, each license purchased is permanently assigned to a given user. This is the licensing model used by website-based services like Salesforce.com.
- Concurrent licenses This is the model used by Cumulus. When you purchase a Cumulus Server, you purchase a number of concurrent user licenses. This means if you have a 10-user Cumulus Server, up to 10 users can be connected at any one time.
At first glance, the benefits of the concurrent licensing model used by Cumulus might not be clear, but they are significant. Concurrent licensing enables you to have an unlimited number* of user accounts on any Cumulus Server. The number of licenses you purchased is nothing more than the maximum number of users that can be connected at any one time. But is not a limit on the number of user accounts you can set up on your Cumulus Server.
You’ll likely think of many examples of how the Cumulus licensing model can help you, but below are a handful of ideas to get you started.
User Account Templates
Cumulus administrators that have ever created more than one user account, likely found themselves wondering, “Is there a way to make this process faster?”
There is a way to make the process faster, and here’s how it works:
- Create a new user account and configure it with all the permissions you typically set for a new user.
- Name the new account something like, “Designer (Template).”
- Then, when you want to create a new user account for a designer, select the “Designer (Template)” account and duplicate it.
Create as many templates as you need, and the process of setting up new users will take only a few moments each time. What’s more, using an account template, you’ll know for certain that the permissions granted to the new user are exactly what you intend.
One User, Multiple Accounts
If you’re a Cumulus administrator and also a user of the system, you might find it convenient to create two accounts for yourself. Here’s why:
Your administrator account grants you total access to your system, but total access isn’t always the best level of access. Example: as a Cumulus administrator, you have access to record view sets hosted on your Cumulus Server that you created for administrative purposes. When you’re using the system for non-administrative purposes, those extra view sets just get in the way. Further, during the rush of everyday production, you might find your administrative permissions enable you to delete things you’ll later regret.
Setting up a separate user account for everyday Cumulus use can not only provide you a safeguard against accidental deletions, it enables you to clean up the working environment by restricting your own access to things you don’t need.
Creating “Ghost” User Accounts for Faster, Easier Support
Cumulus administrators are the first line of support when a user can’t access something she needs. The phone rings, and the caller says, “Cumulus won’t let me access the XYZ File anymore. Help!”
As any support pro knows, the first step is to verify the problem. What better way than to just duplicate that user’s account, log in and see exactly what she sees? You can quickly verify the problem exists, and if you need to make permissions changes, you can test them on your ghost account without having to experiment with the permissions of an active user.
When the problem is resolved, just delete the ghost account.
When Enterprise LDAP Isn’t Enough
Cumulus Enterprise enables organizations to link their Cumulus system to their LDAP systems for account authentication. Though this alleviates the need to create duplicate accounts on the Cumulus Server (Cumulus uses the accounts from the LDAP server), sometimes you’ll need user accounts that are not on your LDAP server, such as when you have a temporary worker.
Fortunately, even when Cumulus Enterprise is deferring to an LDAP server for user account information, it can still use accounts created directly on the Cumulus Server. Take advantage of the account templates tip above, and you’ll have the new account for your temp worker created in a matter of moments, with no fussing on the LDAP server and no concern over granting improper permissions by creating a new account from scratch.
* The entire planet? Well, let’s throw some real world numbers at this to clarify this point. First off, the file that stores Cumulus account information cannot grow beyond 4 gigabytes in size. Other than this file size limit, there is no limitation on the number of user accounts that can be created on a single Cumulus Server. For reference, one of Canto’s customers hosts a Cumulus Server that includes over 11,000 user accounts. The size of that user accounts file is only 45 megabytes‚ÄĒthat’s just over 1% of the file’s maximum size.