Applies to: Starter, Pro, Plus, & Enterprise Plans
An extremely important subject in the use of Files (and indirectly with Folders as well) are the different ways in which Absorb can be used to help manage access. The access control method that Absorb offers can provide an Admin with a significant degree of control over their content, simply based on how and where an item is uploaded to the LMS. The File distinction here becomes the difference between items that are made globally available and those that are only privately available.
The default access for a File uploaded to the LMS via the File Manager is for it to be globally available. While users of the LMS have no easy way whatsoever to go about looking for any of Absorb's Global Files, the File's URL (when it is copied from the web browser window via the Preview File Action) can in fact be accessed by any user of the LMS, provided they have the item's address.
Another aspect of Global Files is their ability to be accessed without a verified Absorb session. This reason that this capability is a part of Absorb, is in order to accommodate various training scenarios - for example like when a third-party application needs to be able to directly access an uploaded File, perhaps in order to display externally created content to a Learner as part of their training. In short, the option is provided as the default so that if the Admin needs a File to be ready for more than a single application in the LMS, it already is.
The second type of widely accessible LMS content is the Global Resource. A File uploaded to the LMS via the Global Resource tool is once again globally available - but in this instance, it is limited only to those Learners that are permitted access, as per the File's configured Availability Rules. If a given user qualifies for access, then the File that makes up the Global Resource will be available to them at any time in the Resources tile of their Learner Dashboard.
When it is more important to control access to a File more stringently, Admins should choose to designate their upload as a Private File in the LMS. For this type of File, only Users with credentials to your portal are permitted access to the content - exclusively. Similar to Global Files, the URL as copied from the Preview File Action, is what is exchanged between Admins and User in order to allow them to view a File's contents. Alternatively, every Admin in the LMS also has the option to go through the File Manager and directly access Private content that way as well, if they need to work with actual File instead - regardless of which individual Admin was the one to add it.
To make a File private, an Admin simply needs to set their upload destination to the Private Folder located in the File Manager. Additional Folders can also be created inside this location and anything stored in them will be Private as well. This choice is not permanent however. In the event that an Admin needs to change a File from Global to Private (or vice versa) all they need to do is drag and drop the File from the old location to the new one.
Private Course Files
The second type of restricted access for LMS content is the Private Course File. But as was the case with Global Resources, it is important to briefly review this File type in order to appreciate the role they play within the LMS.
A File uploaded to the LMS as a Private Course File is again viewable to all Absorb Admins as a shared URL (by using the File Preview Action when inside a specific Course). Learners that are enrolled in the Course where the File has been added as a Learning Object or Learning Resource can also access it, but only at the point where it is provided to them in their lesson.
To access the actual File itself, the Admin again must go directly to the Course where it was added. When inside this specific Course, the File Manager will show the uploaded item inside its own dedicated Folder. This Folder's File Path will be shown as: being located in the main 'Private' Folder; and then, inside an additional hidden sub-folder named 'Courses'; and then, yet still one final level further down in a sub-folder which is named after the Course ID that Absorb generated when the Course was first created and saved.