Kavi® Members Help

Chapter 16. Contact Types


In Kavi Members, every user is associated with a company and must be assigned a Contact Type that characterizes the way that the user represents their company in the organization. This applies to every user, even staff and individuals. Kavi Members provides a set of Contact Types out-of-the box that are adequate for many websites, but additional Contact Types can be created as needed.

Contact Types may confer roles that grant access to protected areas of the website. In organizations that offer membership to companies, Contact Types often confer the 'company_admin' role, which provides access to Company Admin Tools and permission to manage the company roster and data. Contact Types can be assigned or revoked by company administrators, as well as organization administrators.

Contact Types are somewhat similar to User Types, because both are assigned to users, rather than companies. The key differences are that the scope of Contact Type permissions are limited to Company Admin Tools and company data, and can be assigned by company administrators — while the scope of permissions conferred through User Types is broader, or even global. User Types can only be assigned by Organization Admins or Super Admins. Semantically, Contact Types represent various kinds of company contacts, while User Types categorize the user's position in the organization independently of any company affiliation.

Like other types, User Types can be used in searches and filters, to select email recipients for Scheduled Email, retrieve users in reports, etc. This document assumes you are familiar with the concepts introduced in Purpose, Roles and Types.

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Default Contact Types

There are two kinds of default Contact Types: the first is used to classify users based on Purpose, and the second classifies and confers permissions on company administrators so they can access Company Admin tools and company data.

Purpose-based Contact Types

Kavi Members installs three Contact Types that are roughly analogous to User Purposes. By default, these are auto-assigned to users based on their purpose. While your organization may use different Contact Types, these default types illustrates the use of Contact Types as a general user classification mechanism.

Table 16.1. Purpose-based Contact Types Descriptions

Contact Type Description
Employee The default Contact Type 'Employee' is automatically assigned to users who have the 'Company Representative' User Purpose (applies to mixed or company-based organizations).
Individual The default Contact Type 'Individual' is automatically assigned to users who have the 'Individual Member' or 'Individual Nonmember' purpose (this applies to individual-based or mixed organizations).
Staff The default Contact Type 'Staff' is automatically assigned to users who have the 'Staff Person' purpose.

Contact Types for Company Administrators

The default Contact Types for company administrators provide roles needed by contacts. These roles give access to Company Admin Tools and permission to manage company data.

Kavi Members installs one Contact Type for company administrators by default: the 'Primary Contact' Contact Type, which confers the 'company_admin' role. Other Kavi applications, such as Kavi Showcase, install Contact Types that provide access to their Company Admin Tools and to company data managed through these tools. Most of these default Contact Types are required, so they are not deletable.

Users who act as company administrators may be required to subscribe to the 'members' mailing list. When a Super Admin creates or edits a Contact Type, the 'Force Email Subscription' option is set to determine whether a user assigned this Contact Type can unsubscribe from the 'members' list or not.

Primary Contact

Primary Contact is the most important default Contact Type in company-based and mixed organizations. The Primary Contact functions as the point person for organization contact with the company. Primary Contact information is usually collected through required fields on the company membership application so the organization has someone at the company to whom it can send email about the company's membership and other important messages. When the application is approved and the company is added to the database, the user is added and assigned the 'Primary Contact' Contact Type (along with the 'Employee' Contact Type, assuming the out-of-the-box settings are used).

By default, the 'Primary Contact' Contact Type confers the the 'company_admin' role, giving the user access to Company Admin Tools and permission to manage company information and the company's representatives. The Primary Contact (or any other company administrator) can edit company information such as the company name, logo and contact information. The Primary Contact can also view the Full Company Roster through the Manage Company Roster tool, where the company administrator can edit user information and deactivate users who no longer represent the company.

The Company Administrator Access option in the Set Organizational Properties Super Admin tool determines whether company administrators can edit the company name, URL or add users.

Other Default Contact Types

Other Kavi applications installed on your site may add default Contact Types that can be managed through Kavi Members tools. Kavi® Showcase installs 'Showcase Company Admin'. For more information, see Default Contact Types in the Appendix.


There are no default Contact Types that convey Kavi Edit access or access to the Admin or Reports Areas, and it would not be a good idea to add any, because Contact Types can be assigned by company administrators. Instead, this high-level access is conveyed through User Types. For more information on Kavi Edit types, see Manage Editor Types in the Kavi® Edit help.

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Additional Contact Types

Your organization may have additional Contact Types that are specific to your site. In most cases, these are semantic Contact Types that have no roles. Some organizations have more than one kind of company administrator, so they'll have an additional Contact Type named 'Company Admin', 'Alternate Contact' or somesuch, and this type is associated with the 'company_admin' role.

Some individual-based organizations use "companies" to group individuals from regional or other divisions within the organization, and if the organization designates contacts within these divisions, it may have additional semantic Contact Types.

A few organizations have a 'Marketing Contact' Contact Type that confers a 'marketing_contact' role. These sites have built-to-suit marketing areas and functionality added by Kavi Web Developers.

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How Contact Types Are Assigned

Since every user must have a Contact Type, users are always assigned at least one Contact Type as they are added to the database. Unlike Company Types or User Types, Contact Types cannot be assigned through membership.

  • At least one Contact Type is assigned automatically as a user is added to the Pending tables during the membership application or company representative signup process.

  • When a Super Admin adds users in bulk through the Upload Data tool, the data file may specify the Contact Type or else one is assigned automatically.

  • An Organization Admin adding a new user manually through the Add a User tool must assign at least one Contact Type. The default Contact Type for a user with this User Purpose is preselected. The administrator may check additional Contact Types if desired, and may unselect the default (providing at least one other Contact Type is selected).

  • After a user is added, the Organization Admin can edit the assigned Contact Types through the Edit a User tool, or a Super Admin may use Upload Data when Contact Types for multiple users need to be edited.

  • A company's Primary Contact or other company administrator can edit the Contact Types assigned to their Company Representatives through the Manage Roster tool.

In Company-based and Mixed Organizations

Most Company Representatives acquire basic access to the Member Areas of the website through roles inherited from Company Types assigned to their company. For example, a member company is usually assigned a Company Type that confers the 'member' role when the company acquires membership. Everyone who belongs to the company inherits the 'member' role, which gives them access to Member Areas and tools.

The purpose-based Contact Type assigned to most of these Company Representatives doesn't confer any roles. But the company's contacts are assigned Contact Types that do confer roles. A Company Representative may be assigned more than one Contact Type, especially if the organization has additional Contact Types.

Some company-based and mixed organizations have many different kinds of contact positions and require a number of additional Contact Types. In these organizations, each Member Company may be asked to provide several kinds of contacts. A company may designate a different person for each type of contact, or assign one person to multiple contact positions. This is especially true of new members, since the person completing the signup form may add their own name and contact information for every kind of contact.

In Individual-based Organizations

Individual-based organizations generally interact directly with their members so these users are usually only assigned the default purpose-based Contact Type 'Individual'. An individual-based organization generally has no use for 'Primary Contact' or other company administrator Contact Types unless its Individual Members are organized into divisions with designated contacts. If this describes your organization, the previous section applies to you.

To Staff

If your organization has its own staff or has an outside company provide administrative services, you may have one or more users with the 'Staff' Contact Type. Since these users tend to be highly privileged, they acquire administrative access by being assigned User Types such as 'Organization Admin' and 'Super Admin', etc. Staff have to belong to a company, so some organizations create a "company" called 'Organization Staff' and assign the 'Primary Contact' type to one or more administrators.

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Viewing and Managing Contact Types

All Contact Types installed on the site are managed through Kavi Members. The only exception is Kavi Showcase's semantic Contact Types, which function differently than other Contact Types. If you are managing a website with Kavi Showcase installed and want more information on this topic, click the link to the Kavi Showcase help at the top of this page.


The My Account page displays Contact Types, but they are not editable.

Company Administrators

Company administrators can view types assigned to other users on their company's roster, and assign or revoke Contact Types from these users.

Organization Admins

Organization Admins can view, and assign or revoke, user's Contact Types through the Manage a User tool. All available types and roles can be viewed through the View Access Configuration tool.

Super Admins

Super Admins can view and manage Contact Types through the Manage Contact Types tool, and can view all installed types and roles through the View Access Configuration tool. Super Admins can edit default Contact Types as required, and add, edit and delete custom Contact Types. You can change which roles are associated with a Contact Type by editing the type.

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Adding a Contact Type

As a Super Admin, you may create additional Contact Types for positions in your organization that aren't covered by the default set. Go to Manage Contact Types and click the link to the Add a Contact Type tool. Use the Edit a Contact Type tool if you want to rename any one of the general default Contact Types (i.e., 'individual', 'employee', 'staff') or edit descriptions or roles.

Table 16.2. Configuring Contact Type Options

Option Tips
Naming Conventions Contact Types tend to follow the same naming conventions as roles used by these types, and usually include the terms 'company' or 'contact'.
Description The description should spell out any access granted through the type. If you edit a default type by adding or removing roles, be sure to update the description to reflect the new level of access.

Roles associated with Contact Types should provide company-level access only. These roles usually contain 'company' in their name, such as 'company_admin'. Roles that provide administrative or editorial access outside the scope of a specific company should be assigned through User Types.

Unless the type is to be assigned to staff only, a Contact Type should only confer roles that provide access to company data, as opposed to roles that grant global access to organizational data. If a Contact Type associated with the 'admin' role is assigned to a Company Representative, the Company Representative can view and edit other companies' data and users — whereas a Contact Type associated with the 'company_admin' role would give access to the representative's own company data, a generally more appropriate level of access.

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