Kavi® Members Help

Chapter 8. How to Configure Kavi Members

The Importance of Correct Configuration

Kavi Members manages company, user and membership data and handles most of the access control functionality for your organization's website, so it's important that all Kavi Members configuration options are set according to your organization's requirements before the website goes live. Kavi Members configuration has a profound effect on all aspects of the website, since other applications draw on Kavi Members for user access permissions and data management.

Kavi Members options are used to set organizational properties that determine site configuration at the global level, such as whether the organization is company-based or individual-based or both. In a company-based organization, most users are company representatives, and have a relationship with the organization only because their company has a relationship with the organization. In an individual-based organization, users have a direct relationship with the organization.

The Membership feature has profound effects on the application database and behavior when enabled, as does the option that enables nonmember accounts. Other Kavi applications installed on your organization's website can affect Kavi Members user interfaces, tool behavior and add fields or data to the database, even though they primarily draw information from Kavi Members. Kavi Members offers a rich set of configuration options that have smaller impact than those already mentioned, but each of these options may add fields to the database. The organization may also require data that isn't present in Kavi Members by default, and these fields also need to be added to the database.

The goal of setup is to create a fully functioning website, including a database that contains all the necessary fields. This doesn't mean that the organization's website can't evolve over time or be tweaked after setup, but it is good to begin with a website and database that are properly configured and ready to capture the information the organization needs to run smoothly and effectively.

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Comprehensive and Detailed Requirements

Before a site can be configured properly, the organization's requirements must be well defined. Experience indicates that this isn't as straightforward a task as one might expect. Requirements are unique to each organization and therefore generally outside the scope of help documentation, but some of the key issues can be discussed here. Kavi professionals and consultants are available to lend their best practices expertise and in-depth knowledge of Kavi applications to help your organization with requirements preparation.

The first consideration is organization structure, as mentioned above. Who participates in the organization and how does the organization classify these participants? Which organization participants will be given website accounts? Are all account holders at the same basic level or is there a hierarchy? Are website accounts given to nonmembers as well as members? Will the website make any provisions for public visitors? If there are different classes of account holders, what kinds of access are appropriate for each class?

What type of organization is this and what are the organization's goals for this site? How exclusive or inclusive is the organization? Will member accounts granted to anyone who applies, are applicants screened or is membership invitation-only?

Memberships and membership processes must be comprehensively defined before they can be encoded properly in the software. Organization leaders are often surprised to find the issue more complex and nuanced than it appeared when the organization was small enough that memberships could be handled casually. Many organizations find they must open up discussions aimed at taking their membership policies to a new level of formality and refinement. It is possible to set up the site without Membership enabled, then enable it later when the organization's membership policies have been formalized. Time spent investigating the organization's options and selecting those that are the best fit for the organization will pay off in a solid set of requirements, quicker configuration, a smoother running site and less need for administrator intervention.

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Scoping the Site Setup Process

The amount of time it takes to configure Kavi Members depends on the complexity of the organization structure and its processes—especially whether the membership feature is enabled, whether the site needs to handle nonmembers and how extensively application forms need to be configured or customized to meet the organization's requirements.

It is possible to successfully configure a basic Kavi Members installation—capable of issuing passwords and providing controlled website access—in about thirty minutes. Complex configurations, such as those for organizations with many membership types, online application and signup processes, or an extensive set of scheduled email notifications, may take several hours to configure, even when detailed requirements are available.


The last step of the site setup process,the migration of legacy data, isn't included in these time estimates. Data migration can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Its scope depends on factors such as the condition of the legacy databases, what kind of gap exists between the legacy data and the data requirements imposed by site configuration, the number of custom fields, etc.

New organizations that don't yet have a formally defined membership structure may benefit from a phased approach to configuration and implementation. The site can be configured simply at startup so that the organization can immediately begin to enjoy the advantages of having its own access-controlled web-based collaboration site without the need to formally define its membership structure. As the organization matures and adopts a formal membership structure, membership can be enabled and the site can be configured to support membership processes, possibly adding Kavi® Billing and Kavi® Commerce for online processing of membership fees.

Once Kavi Members configuration is fully established for a site, it requires little effort to maintain and automates many of the mundane tasks that administrators would otherwise have to perform manually, such as sending email reminders to members. Configuration options may need to be tweaked as the organization grows and changes over time, but are unlikely to require extensive reconfiguration unless the organization's structure changes dramatically.

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Installing Kavi Members

Kavi Members is installed on all new sites by default, but if it hasn't been installed yet for some reason, a Kavi administrator can easily install it through the Zope Management Interface (ZMI).

Customizing Kavi Members Vocabulary

Kavi Members uses the terms "Company" and "User" by default. These terms can be changed throughout the application to terms that are more appropriate for your organization, although the help will still use the default terminology. If Kavi Members vocabulary is to be customized on your site, this step should be performed immediately after installation.

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Step 1: Organizational Properties and the Signup Process

The layout of the Super Admin menu reflects the basic order in which the application should be configured. You may be able to skip certain steps when setting up your site if the organization is new or membership is not enabled. Performing steps out of order won't harm the software in any way, except that data migration must always be done last because many configuration settings affect database structure. Remember to install and configure any other applications needed for your site, such as Kavi® Groups or Kavi Billing, so you can successfully launch a fully functioning website.

As soon as you have set the organization properties (so that email sent from the site will have the correct organization name and return email address), you can begin adding users and assigning default types to grant regular or administrative access to the website.

Set Organizational Properties

Organization properties include the organization's name, administrative contact email address, Organization Type and whether nonmembers are allowed to have website accounts. You can also decide which contact fields will be requested or required when new companies or users are added. For more information, see the Set Organizational Properties page help.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Set Organizational Properties tool.

Company Representative Signup

You only need to perform this step if the organization uses Kavi Members for online company representative signup. If this is an individual-based organization or company representatives are added by administrators, you can skip this step.

You can configure Kavi Members to present applicants with a click-through terms and conditions agreement and set options that determine how moderation and billing steps are handled in the membership workflow. You can also configure whether accepted domains are enforced and whether a moderation step will be included in the company representative signup process. For more information, see the Configure Company Representative Signup page help.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Configure Company Representative Signup tool.

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Step 2: Privacy Options

Kavi Members Privacy Options allow the organization to provide privacy opt-out for its members. By default these options are set so each user and company has the ability to opt-out of sharing their contact information and receiving members email. Depending on the organization's published privacy guidelines, you may need to reconfigure the privacy options. For more information, see the Configure Privacy Options page help.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Configure Privacy Options tool.

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Step 3: Roles and Types


Kavi Members is installed with a set of default roles and types that are sufficient to get most standard Members websites up and running. If the site has special areas that should only be accessible by certain kinds of users you will have to add a role that controls access to that area and custom types that can be assigned to the appropriate users. Sites for organizations that gives nonmembers access to the Members Area have to be customized and custom roles and types usually have to be added to give appropriate levels of access to nonmembers and screen them from areas that are reserved for use by members only. This kind of customization is outside the scope of this document, but the concepts document on Roles and those on types (listed in the following paragraphs) discusses these topics in depth.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Manage Roles tool.

Company Types

If your organization offers memberships to companies, you need to define Company Types that correspond to the company membership types that you will add in the next step. Other Company Types can be added as needed to provide access or categorize companies so they can be managed as a group and retrieved by type in searches and reports. For more information, see Company Types.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Manage Company Types tool.

User Types

If your organization offers memberships to individuals, you need to define User Types that correspond to the individual membership types that you will add in the next step. Some organizations also add types that are used merely to categorize individual members and nonmembers so they can be retrieved by type in searches and reports. Kavi Members and other Kavi applications automatically install privileged administrative and editorial User Types by default. These types may be adequate for most organizations but can be edited and other User Types can be added depending on the needs of the organization. For more information on adding user types, see User Types. To review default types, see Default User Types.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Manage User Types tool.

Contact Types

Kavi Members and other Kavi applications automatically install Contact Types by default. These types may be adequate for your organization, or they can be edited and expanded by the addition of new types depending on the needs of the organization. For more information, see Contact Types. To review default types, see Default Contact Types.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Manage Contact Types tool.

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Step 4: Membership

If your site doesn't offer memberships, you can skip this step.

Configure Kavi® Billing

If your organization wants to collect membership fees as part of the online membership application process, be sure to install and configure Kavi Billing before adding membership types so you can define membership fees. Kavi Members only provides fields used to set membership type fees if Kavi Billing is installed.

Configure Global Membership Applications

Set the text that appears at the top of the page that lists your organization's memberships and provides links to membership applications. If Kavi Billing is installed, configure the membership workflow with respect to billing and moderation processes. For more information, see the Configure Global Membership Applications page help.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Configure Global Membership Applications tool.

Add Membership Types

At a minimum, you will need to set the membership type names, terms, and descriptions to begin automating the membership renewal and signup process. Try to provide enough details about each membership type to clarify the membership structure and minimize questions from prospective members. For instructions, see How to Set Up Memberships.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Manage Company Membership Types tool or Manage Individual Membership Types tool.

Configure Company Membership Applications

Set options that determine how information is collected through the company membership application, set a post-signup URL and terms and conditions agreement. For more information, see the Configure Company Membership Applications page help.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Company Membership Application Options tool.

Configure Individual Membership Application Options

Set how the organization's individual membership application assigns users to companies, set a post-signup URL and terms and conditions agreement. For more information, see Configure Individual Membership Applications page help.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Individual Membership Application Options tool.

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Add Custom Fields

Identify any custom fields that have not yet been added. These should be installed before email is scheduled so they will be available as email template variables. It's easiest to add these after all other configuration steps are complete, but before the final data migration step.

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Step 5: Schedule Email

Scheduled email is template-based email scheduled to go out when certain kinds of events occur, such as when a company or user is added to the database. Scheduled email is such an important part of an organization's day-to-day business processes and member interaction that its worthwhile to devote some attention to the way the schedule and template text fit the organization's needs. For information and instructions, see Scheduled Email and How to Schedule Email.

Email Templates

Each scheduled email uses a specific email template to construct email messages. The text in default templates is designed to be both informative and inoffensive, but lacks character and may not include all the information your organization considers pertinent. Because the content and tone of an email message support the organization's goals and work to establish its reputation in the community, your organization may wish to review and custom-tailor the default templates. You may also want to add new templates so you can add new messages to the email schedule.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Manage Email Templates tool.

Scheduled Email

A basic email schedule is created by default when Kavi Members is installed. This schedule can be edited or expanded at this time or the organization can rely on the standard email at setup, then customize and expand the email schedule later.

Super Admins can click here to visit the Manage Email Schedule tool.

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Step 6: Data Migration

This step is only applicable if your organization needs to import legacy data into the Kavi Members database. The Kavi Members Upload Data tool is used to populate the database, but the real work occurs during data file preparation, as described in the Upload Data page help and supplementary instructions.

Make sure you have added all custom fields before populating the database so that data migration can proceed smoothly. If you try to add data files with custom fields that do not yet exist in the database, the upload will fail and you will have to remove the custom fields from the data file. This data can be added later in a separate batch operation after the database has been reconfigured.

Prepare the Data Files for Upload

Upload new companies first, then new users. Once all the users and companies are in the database, you'll be ready to send out passwords to your new website.

The last step of the site setup process isn't included in these time estimates: the migration of legacy data. Depending on the current state of the organization's databases and the amount of work required to bring that data into compliance with the specific set of requirements imposed by the website's configuration (including any custom fields), data migration can be one of the most complex and expensive tasks performed during site setup.

Populate the Database

Companies have to be uploaded first, then users. Once all the users and companies are in the database, you'll be ready to send out login links for your new website. If your organization has preexisting memberships, they can be added when a company or individual member is added to the database during the initial upload or as a separate step.

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