what we tested (but finally dropped) was to create a department with only me as admin.
Then we shared libraries within this department “the old way”, sometimes read-write, sometimes read-only.
This is what you explained above and is a workaround to share read-only libraries from a department.
The disadvantage in this were:
- no history settings for the libraries
- no clean of trash possible
- no transfer if we later must change it.
Also the nice feature of having the users and libraries listed on 1 page (in the department overview) was lost and there is no clear overview with whom you have shared and with whom not.
So we simply created libraries under my name and I share them with others.
What we also discovered is that if you remove a library from a Department (maybe by mistake) and you Restore it, it will say that it is belonging again to department “X” but it is not listed in this department.
We did not find a way to re-integrate a restored library in a department.
For enterprise you would have to explain clearly in the manual what you mean by “Department”, etc.
The term “Department” might mean different things for Universities and Corporations so people might not understand right away what it is all about and what the impacts are.
I was more of a trial-and-error process for us to find out what this feature does, how it works and what the limitations are.
In general I think it is a good idea but very much related to your main customers and after having trouble with it, we simply dropped it and don’t use it at all.
What we also tested was setting “read-only” attribute on a subfolder.
In our case the default admin of Seafile is me, as a regular user.
The reason for this is that we exactly need 9 licenses and thus can not afford an extra administrator.
I then restricted some subfolders to “read-only” also for me (the admin) and it worked.
But I was unable to remove this attribute from the subfolder and I was stuck.
I’d have expected that I would not be able to remove this folder and/or create modify content in it but still be able to set back the attribute to read-write.
It was not possible - I was stuck.
So finally I just have full access of all libraries and share them with others.
No department, no groups
It was just too complicated for a small company - I’d love to use the group/department feature, but not now.
Maybe if later on I can transfer to departments, we’ll consider, but for now it’s just easier “the old way”
I know how hard it is to come up with a concept that works for many customers (we do software ourselves).
In your case I recommend to make a document that explains what is behind the department feature and explain in an example how it works, what limitations are to be expected, etc.
I spent about a full day playing with it and finally concluded that it was not worth the effort for our size.
So I guess some documentation would help others.
Keep up the good work