Kavi® Members Help

Chapter 17. User Types


User Types classify users, and may also confer roles that grant access to protected areas of the website. Users can be retrieved through User Type in searches and reports tools, such as the User Data Report. User Types can classify users based on membership level, geographic region, market sector, area of interest, or any other classification that is meaningful to the organization.

In an individual-based or mixed organization, Individual Members and Individual Nonmembers may get the roles that confer site access through a User Type.

If Kavi Membership is installed on your website and your organization offers memberships to individuals, your site needs a User Type for each Individual Membership Type. User Types assigned through membership usually convey the 'member' role, which grants access to the Members Areas of the site.

Roles that confer high-level administrative access are usually associated with User Types so they can be assigned selectively to specific individuals. Highly privileged User Types convey administrative or editorial roles that grant access to Admin Tools or Kavi® Edit tools used to manage website pages and content.

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, Types and Membership Types.

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User Type Categories

Every organization has at least three categories of User Types: Admin User Types, Editor User Types and General User Types. If Kavi Membership is installed on your organization's website, you'll also have the Category General : Assigned through Membership Only.

General User Types

General User Types are custom to your organization. They are often unprivileged types (i.e., types without roles) used primarily for classification. They may be used to model classifications within the organization that are not directly based on membership, such as geographic region, nonmember liaisons or other types of nonmembers.

General: Assigned through Membership

If Kavi Membership is installed and configured to provide Individual Membership Types, additional User Types that correspond to the Individual Membership Types are needed. These User Types are automatically assigned to an Individual Member when the membership becomes current. In most cases, there is a one-to-one correspondence between a User Type and an Individual Membership Type. In some cases, organizations have a single User Type that corresponds to multiple Individual Membership Types, or several User Types that are assigned through a single Individual Membership Type.

User Types assigned through Individual Membership Types are usually associated with roles that confer access privileges, such as the default 'member' role that grants access to Member Areas and tools. They may also be associated with roles that are unique to your organization's website, such as a 'board' role that might be associated with a 'Board' User Type that is assigned to an individual who acquires a Board membership. Non-default roles are only needed on sites that have role-protected pages added by Kavi Web developers.

Admin User Types

These User Types confer access to administrative areas such as the Kavi Members Admin Area, Reports Area and Super Admin Area. The tools in these areas provide access to organization data. Administrators selectively assign these types to staff or other users as necessary. To assign an Admin User Type to another user, you must have the same Admin User Type, or a higher-level User Type. Only a Super Admin can assign the Super Admin User Type to another user.

Most of these are default User Types, as described in the following section.

Editor User Types

These User Types provide access to Kavi Edit Tools and webpage content. There is one default Kavi Edit User Type: Editor. Additional Editor User Types can be created through Kavi Edit Super Admin Tools. For more information on Kavi Edit types, see Manage Editor Types in the Kavi® Edit help.

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Default User Types

By default, Kavi Members installs two types that provide basic website access: Members Area Access (the confers the 'member' role) and Groups Access (that confers the 'wg_access' role). Other default User Types are all privileged administrative or editorial types that confer high-level access to the website (e.g., Organization Admin, Super Admin, Reports Admin, etc.). These are documented in Default User Types in the Appendix.

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Additional User Types

Unless Kavi Membership is installed on the site, additional User Types may not be needed. In some cases organizations define semantic User Types (i.e., types without associated roles). These might be used to classify users by geographic region, market sector, interest category or other attributes that are of interest to the organization.

The most common example are User Types that correspond to Individual Membership Types. These types are usually named after the membership types to which they correspond (e.g., 'Supporting', 'Sponsor', 'Academic', etc.), which allows users holding these types of memberships to be retrieved by the corresponding User Type. This kind of User Type is usually associated with roles conferring general access to the Members area (i.e., 'member') and custom roles conferring access privileges to areas used specifically by this type of member (e.g., 'board').

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How User Types Are Assigned

It isn't mandatory for every user to be assigned a User Type, but it is rare to see any who haven't. User Types based on purpose are used to classify individual members, nonmembers, staff and administrators. They may convey roles that grant access to the Members Area, Kavi Groups, Admin Area, Super Admin Area or Kavi Edit tools. If the organization allows nonmembers to login, these users need to acquire the 'member' role through a User Type or a Company Type assigned to their company, so they have access to Member Area Tools that allow them to manage their personal account data.

  • A User Type may be 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 one or more User Types, or one may be assigned automatically.

  • An Organization Admin adding a new user manually through the Add a User tool may assign a User Type. If there is a default User Type for a user with this User Purpose, it is is preselected. The administrator may check additional User Types if desired, and may unselect the default.

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

In Individual-based and Mixed Organizations

In individual-based organizations or mixed organizations, Individual Members may acquire basic access to the Member Areas of the website through User Types. For example, users with the 'Individual Member' User Purpose may be automatically assigned 'Members Area Access' and 'Groups Access' User Types when they are added to the database.

If Kavi Membership is installed, Individual Members are assigned types through their membership.

In Company-based Organizations

In company-based organizations, most users inherit the roles required to access the website through Company Types assigned to their company. This kind of organization may not have any additional User Types, and User Types might be assigned to staff and Individual Nonmembers only.

To Staff

Most of the default User Types are administrative or editorial types that are assigned to staff.

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Viewing and Managing User Types

All User Types installed on the site are managed through Kavi Members.


The My Account page displays User Types, but the user cannot edit them.

Company Administrators

User Types are not visible to company administrators.

Organization Admins

Organization Admins can view, and assign or revoke, user's User Types through the Manage a User tool. Organization Admins who are managing a user or company can click the link to the View Access Configuration page to view all available types and roles on the website.

Super Admins

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

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Adding a User Type

Super Admins may add User Types for Individual Memberships or other needs that aren't met by the default set. Go to Manage Contact Types and click the link to Add a User Type tool. Use the Edit a User Type tool if you want to rename any one of the default User Types, or edit descriptions or roles.

Table 17.1. Configuring User Type Options

Option Tips
Naming Conventions

User Types can be named after the roles they use or another semantic tag that has more meaning to your organization. Avoid using the terms 'company' or 'contact', which are associated with Contact Types.

Since User Types are displayed in pulldown lists for searches and reports, the name of the type should mirror the name of the membership type or be otherwise meaningful so that it will be instantly recognizable. If the type provides any access, this should be included in the description.

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.

In most cases, only the 'member' and 'wg_access' role should be associated with build-your-own User Types, if any. Default roles reserved for Contact Types (e.g., company_admin) won't be available when configuring User Types, and it is generally not a good idea to create User Types that confer default administrative or editorial roles.

On sites where additional roles are added to provide access to areas or support functionality created by Kavi Web Developers, User Types may be added and named after the role they confer.

Adding User Types for Individual Memberships

If you are adding a type to be assigned to users when they acquire an individual membership, here are some hints. Every organization's membership structure is unique, so these hints aren't universally applicable.


  • These types belong in the category 'General (only through membership)'.

  • At least one of the User Types assigned through membership should be associated with the 'member' role to grant access to the Members area, or else you should associate the default Member Area Access User Type with the Individual Membership Type, so that multiple User Types are automatically assigned when a user acquires this type of membership. If your organization uses the 'wg_access' role to provide access to Kavi Groups, include this role or associate the default Groups Access User Type with the membership type. If there are areas that are unique to your website that this type of member needs to be able to access, associate the role that controls access to this area as well.

  • Most User Types assigned through membership correspond 1-to-1 to an Individual Membership Type, but this isn't applicable to all membership structures. Some organizations assign multiple User Types through a single membership type, and others assign a single User Type through multiple membership types. Do whatever makes the most sense for your organization's membership structure.

    For example, if there are multiple types at the same level that have only slight differences, the same User Type might be appropriate for all these Individual Membership Types. Conversely, if your organization has member chapters, members might be assigned two types, one that is assigned to everyone with this type of membership and a second type assigned only to members in this region. This approach is uncommon and the User Types are generally handled by Kavi when implementing this kind of built-to-suit solution.

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