User Profile Visibility

User Profile Visibility is a concept in Appian that allows a user to view and interact with another user in Appian.

If a user is visible to another user, their profile and contact information is displayed throughout the Tempo, Portal, and Designer interfaces.

A user can be set as not visible to other users so that the user's contact information does not display on user interfaces, the user does not show up in searches and generic user lists, and other users can not take action on the user. The specific impact on the interfaces, search, and user interaction are detailed in the sections below.

NOTE: Just as it applies to other securable objects (for example, documents), it is still possible for process designers to output the details of any user by storing the information as a variable and presenting it on a form or dashboard, regardless of the user's visibility.

Impact on User Interfaces

If a user is not visible to other users, it affects the following aspects of the user's information in the Appian interfaces.

User Lists

If a user is not visible, the user will not show up in generic user lists, such as the Users record list in Tempo or the initial list displayed when accessing the People tab. He or she will, however, still display in the membership list of any groups the user is a part of. In this case, only the user's username displays.

Display Names

If a user is not visible, anywhere a user's display name would appear is replaced with their username.

Keep this in mind when creating usernames for new user accounts. If you plan on creating an application that restricts the visibility of users, make sure to create usernames that are not personally identifiable. If you have already created a username, you can use the updateUsername() and commitUpdateUsername() APIs as part of the Rename Users Plug-in to modify an existing username.

User Cards

If a user is not visible, only the username and profile image displays on user cards.

User cards appear when you click on a username within the Portal Interface and when you hover your mouse over a username within the Tempo Interface.

See also: User Cards

User Records

If a user is not visible, his User record will not be accessible.

Impact on Notifications

Display names of users are used in email notifications regardless of a user's role map. In order to set notification emails to include usernames instead of display names, you must set the system default visibility in the Appian Administration Console.

See below: Setting the Default Visibility

If a user is not visible, the user does not show up in any search results, including the People Picker. As discussed earlier, the user can still be found through group membership lists, but only the username appears.

Impact on User Interaction

If a user is not visible, other users can only remove the user from a group or Favorites list.

All other actions are restricted. This includes sending a message, creating a social task, and giving kudos on Tempo.

Configuring User Profile Visibility

Two factors determine whether a user is visible within an interface:

  • The default visibility of all users within the system.
  • The user's role map, which determines the specific visibility of a user to a set of other users.

NOTE: Regardless of the property values and user role map settings, users will always be visible to themselves and System Administrators.

Setting the Default Visibility

The default visibility of users in the system is managed on the User Profile of the Appian Administration Console.

Modifying a User's Role Map

In addition to the system-wide default for user profile visibility, you can also set the user's visibility at the user level through their role map. The role map of each user works similar to role maps of other Appian objects and is set by the Modify User Security Smart Service. Only users or groups entered in the Administrator, Editor, and Viewer inputs of the smart service can see the target user in the application.

Each time you implement the Modify User Security Smart Service you write a new role map for the user. Keep this in mind when working with the smart service and make sure to enter every user or group you want as part of the role map each time you implement it.

See also: Modify User Security Smart Service for more information.

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