Below you find hints on how to solve typical tasks with the BSCW system. Further tips on how to solve frequent problems are described in the usage FAQ.
To create a new folder, first go to the location where the folder should appear. Select File > New > Folder from the top menu or simply press the folder icon on the action shortcut bar (below the top menu) to create a new folder. In the screen that follows, enter the folder name and an (optional) description, then confirm with OK.
To make documents accessible on the BSCW server, they must first be transferred to the server. To add a document to a folder, select File > New > Document from the top menu or simply click on the document icon on the action shortcut bar (below the top menu).
Select a document from your local file system, provide a name for the document (optional). To upload the document to the BSCW server, confirm the selection with OK. (Note that you may provide an optional description and a rating for the document. MIME type and encoding may also be provided before upload, but are typically set correctly by the browser.)
Shared workspaces are normal folders that you share with other users on your BSCW server. After creating a folder on top level (in your private home folder), you are the only person who can "see" the folder. This applies to all documents and other objects in your folder and its subfolders. Other users have access to your folders and the data contained herein only after they have been invited and have become a member of the workspace. You can also remove members, thus denying them access to your workspace. To invite new members to a workspace, first navigate to this workspace and then select Access > Invite Member in the context menu. Alternatively, click on the corresponding icon located in the action shortcut bar on the top of the page. You are now presented with a form, which you can use to select one or more users from your personal address book. If you want to invite a user who is not in your address book or not yet registered on your BSCW server, select 'Type email addresses or user names' and enter addresses or user names directly. You may also 'Search for BSCW users' here and select users to invite from the search results. Select a role under which the new member will be invited to the workspace and if desired add a text that will be included in the invitation to the new members. The invitation can now be sent.
If you invite non-registered users to a workspace, they will automatically receive an email with instructions on how to register. A user's email address will be displayed in the member directory until the user registers with the BSCW server, at which time the email address is replaced by the user name. In addition, a corresponding event will be added to the workspace. To remind an invited user to complete the registration process, you can send a reminder using Re-invite in the user entry's action menu. The instructions for registering will be added to the reminder email again.
There are three basic ways to register new members with a BSCW server:
2. Invitation from an existing BSCW user
3. Establish a user account through the administrator
If the BSCW server permits self-registration, new users can register on their own via a specific web address using their email address. Your BSCW administrator can provide you more detailed information regarding this registration option. If you are a registered BSCW user and want to invite a new member to a workspace, who is not yet registered on the server, the system guides the new user through the registration process. To add non-registered users to a workspace, the BSCW system sends the user an automatic email with instructions on how to register. Your personalized invitation text is included in the email. BSCW administrators have various options to register new users. Ask your local BSCW administrator for more details.
In addition to submitting documents in a workspace, users often add brief notes or conduct entire discussions. BSCW offers various functions for this purpose. To start a new discussion in a workspace, follow the procedure below:
1. In the appropriate folder, select the menu item File > New > Discussion or click on the Discussion icon in the action shortcut bar on the top of the page.
2. Enter your discussion contribution in the form that appears next. Enter a subject, a brief note and then select the type of contribution from the drop-down list (a corresponding icon will be displayed in the New Entry column).
3. Press OK to submit the contribution and open the discussion. Other members of the workspace can now read your contribution, reply to it or start new discussion threads. To reply to a contribution, select Reply from the contribution's action menu and fill in the fields in the form that follows.
To edit a document in a folder, the document must first be transferred from the local computer or workstation. Follow the steps below to edit a document:
1. Switch to the folder where the document is stored.
2. Transfer the document to your local computer or workstation. Select the document and instruct the web browser to save it in a local directory (Save as).
3. Select a directory/folder that will enable you to easily find the document at a later point (e.g. My BSCW Documents).
4. Edit the document by opening the copy that is stored on your local computer or workstation with the appropriate application (e.g. Microsoft Word).
5. After editing the document, save it on your local computer or workstation and then upload it to the corresponding BSCW folder by selecting Replace from the document's action menu. In the document transfer form that follows, enter the document name (including the full path) in the field provided or locate it by using the browse function.
The edited document will now be uploaded to the folder where it will replace the previous version.
Note: Some document types can be edited directly in the BSCW system (e.g. text, HTML documents and — under certain conditions — Microsoft Office documents). This can be determined by selecting the document's action menu. If the Edit action appears, the BSCW system brings up the document in a separate screen where you can edit it directly.
Replacing a document with an edited version means that the original version is lost. To prevent this, the BSCW system offers a document version control mechanism. This feature is useful if document modifications need to be visible and older versions need to be maintained for future reference.
To place a document under version control, select Version Control from the document's action menu. In the form that follows, enter the relevant information for the current document version. An edited version of a document under version control is placed in the BSCW system through the Revise menu item.
Note: Keep in mind that when locally editing a document, other users may also make modifications, which can lead to undesired effects such as losing changes of the document. To prevent this, it is recommended that you inform others in the workspace that your are editing a document or as an alternative temporarily deny third-party editing by invoking Set Lock in the document's action menu.
When documents and other objects are jointly edited in a distributed workgroup, it's essential that all members of the workgroup keep informed about the on-going editing progress. The BSCW system provides team members two important sources for this information:
1. Integrated event symbols that offer a quick overview
2. Automatic notifications included in the daily workspace reports
When workgroup members perform actions on a document (e.g. read, change, rename), a corresponding symbol is displayed next to the document name in the folder directory. An overview of the activities since the last confirmation is available by clicking on the symbol.
The BSCW system can also generate daily workspace activity reports that provide updates on the activities in your workspace that occurred the day before. You can subscribe to the daily workspace activity report, which is sent via email, under the menu item Options > Default Event Filter.
There are several ways to send emails from the BSCW system. Select users from a workgroup member list and click on email to to start your standard email application (e.g. Outlook). The user's email address is automatically entered in the corresponding field. If you want to send the email within the BSCW system, select send instead. A form will appear with the recipient's email address already entered. Simply enter your text and click OK to send the email.
If you want to send workspace documents to other users (users who do not have access to this workspace, for example), first select the document and then select send. In the form that follows, enter the user's email address or select it from your address book and then enter a text or message.
If you've forgotten your user name or password, simply go to the user registration page (http://[your-server-name]/pub/bscw.cgi?op=rmail) and enter your email address again (use the same email address that you used to initially register on that BSCW server).
The BSCW server will then detect that you are already registered and will send you an email with information on how to register again. The email will contain a link (URL) that allows you to register on the server. Load the URL in your web browser and follow the instructions in the email message. You may then enter a new password for your account. Note that user names are case sensitive!