Depending on your business you may want to make your ScreenSteps knowledge base public or private. This article will explain the options you have for protecting your content on your ScreenSteps site.
1. Public Sites
Public sites are accessible to anyone on the internet. Making your product documentation public can make it easier for your customers to find it since your ScreenSteps pages will show up in Google search results.
To make a site public all you need to do is uncheck the "Protected" checkbox on the Settings page.
2. Private Sites
Private sites are accessible to only those individuals who have been authorized. Making your site private protects your content and requires a username and password to authenticate and view your site.
3. Configuring Single Sign-on
Single Sign-on will allow you to authenticate users to your ScreenSteps private site through your own application or users management system. This takes a little more set up but provides a better experience for their users since they don't need to remember one more username and password.
ScreenSteps offers two options for configuring single sign-on:
- SAML - An industry standard for single sign-on
- ScreenSteps Remote Authentication - A customized single sign-on solution
How to choose SAML or ScreenSteps Remote Authentication
The decision on whether to use SAML or ScreenSteps Remote Authentication is usually pretty simple depending on your goals.
Use SAML for an internal knowledge base
SAML is most often used when you have a user management application that offers SAML support. This usually happens when you are authenticating employees at your company to an internal knowledge base.
Examples of platforms that offer SAML support are Salesforce, Active Directory Federated Services, Okta and OneLogin.
Use ScreenSteps Remote Authentication for your company's product
If it is your job to support a software product that your company has created then it will most likely be easiest to add ScreeSteps Remote Authentication Support to your application. You will need your developers to do a little bit of work, but it will be much easier than adding SAML support to your application.
How remote authentication users are added to your site
Definition: Identity provider - The application that will authenticate your users for single sign-on.
When a user signs into ScreenSteps via single sign-on they are automatically added to a special user group that is created when you set up single sign-on through a third party identify provider. That group is attached to one or more sites on your account. When they sign in the following will happen:
- A user record will be created in ScreenSteps for them if it doesn't already exist. ScreenSteps checks for users based on their email address.
- They will be given access to any sites that are assigned to the single sign-on reader group.
You don't need to manage any passwords in ScreenSteps. That is all handled by the single sign-on provider. Once a user is removed from the identity provider then they will no longer have access to your ScreenSteps site the next time they try to log in to ScreenSteps.
4. Hide a Site from Search Engines
Sometimes you don't want to make your users login to your knowledge base site, but you don't want your knowledge base showing up in search engines liked Google. To do that simply, hide your site from search engines.
You need to be aware that anyone who knows the full URL of your site will be able to access. But they will not be able to search for your content in web search engines.
5. Allowing users to access your site by clicking on a link
If you want to require a username and password to access your site, but don't want to create individual user accounts for each user you can allow your users to login via a URL. In this approach you will:
- Create an API Access User (this is a shared user that only has reading rights).
- Add the user to your site
- Embed the user credentials in a URL and add it to your site
See here for details:
6. Create Reader Accounts
Reader accounts give users permission to view your ScreenSteps site.
You can create reader accounts in the ScreenSteps web administration console or send user an invite email that will allow them to configure their own user account. You are never billed for reader accounts.
Assign Readers to Groups
Readers that you create can optionally be assigned to Groups. Groups can make it easier to control permissions for a larger number of users.
Assign Readers or Groups to Sites
You can assign your readers or groups to as many sites as you would like.