Online document Collaboration enables you to work together on documents with internal and external people. Key features include:
- Document Collaboration allows one or more documents to be co-edited by one or more collaborators.
- Collaborators can be any individual who has an email address and can be either internal or external to the business
- External Collaborators are not required to login to intelligentcontract in order to collaborate on documents although an optional password can be set to secure the document
- Documents that are part of the collaboration can be of any type. Microsoft Formats can be edited online using the online editors provided within intelligentcontract
- Notes are automatically created and shared when changes are made to documents in the collaboration
- Collaborators can co-edit Microsoft office documents online - changes made by one user are updated and reflected in other users' sessions in real time
Online Document collaboration can be used within intelligentcontract when creating new or editing existing Documents that have been uploaded into your account.
The feature enables you to select a group of documents from anywhere in the system, or alternatively you can create a new document uniquely for the collaboration. Once selected, you can include a group of people, both internal and external, and segregate them into a Collaboration record.
This will allow the people included in the Collaboration to view, download and edit all the documents held within the Collaboration. Once the Collaboration has ended, the documents will return back to their original location with the updated version.
The Collaboration feature is listed in the back navigation bar on the left of the screen.
Fig 1 - Collaboration feature
Anyone who is a User of the system and has access to the feature can create a collaboration.
There is a new option in the Configuration area Document Collaboration - here any configuration settings will be in the Configuration option.
Fig 2 - Collaboration Configuration
The current option in the Configuration is to have a mandatory password set for every Collaboration created. If this is set to 'No' then a password is optional, if 'Yes' then a password must be created for each Collaboration.
Fig 3 - Mandatory Password Setting
Creating a new Collaboration record
Click on the Collaboration feature and all your existing Collaborations will be listed in the summary screen as normal. The summary screen is the same as all the other summary screens in intelligentcontract, the columns are search and sortable and the summary view can be edited to display the relevant columns you require.
Fig 4 - Collaboration summary screen
All top level entities such as Contracts, Tasks, Alerts, People, Parties etc will have a Collaboration sub tab.
If a Document that has been added to this record (either in the header or in one of its sub tabs, i.e. Document or Notes) has been added to a Collaboration then the associated Collaboration will display in this sub tab.
If a Person has been added to a Collaboration as a Collaborator then all Collaborations they are assigned to will appear in their Person record in the Collaboration sub tab.
To create a new Collaboration record click [New] and a collaboration record will open for you to complete.
Fig 5 - Blank Collaboration record
Title: Give the Collaboration a title - this will be used in all correspondence
Collaborators: Select using the drop down the People who are involved in the Collaboration, these may be internal or external people, but they must have a Person record in the database and have a valid email address with their 'Communication Enabled' switch set to ‘Yes’ (for more information about this switch click here).
Attachments: Attach your documents here, you can attach documents to your Collaboration using all the standard options (file, Library, create new etc.)
Note: Documents selected for this feature must be physically saved into the account, external file links will not be suitable
Status: This is the current status of the Collaboration record, when saved, the record will be ‘Pending’ when Collaboration has started it will be ‘Live’ the remaining status are ‘Closed’ or ‘Expired’ the status will automatically change to 'Expired' when it has reached its End Date and Time.
End Date & Time: This is the Expiry Date and Time of your Collaboration, to inform your added Collaborators when the Collaboration must be completed by. If the creator does not end the Collaboration prior to this date then the status of the Collaboration will change to ‘Expired’ when this date is reached the Collaboration will no longer be active for edit.
Password: This will enable you to secure your Collaboration record. Tick the box and a field will appear for you to enter a password value. Passwords must be sent to Collaborators separately (external). If you have activated the Configuration setting to make the Password mandatory then this field must be completed to be able to save the Collaboration record.
Who can update?: You can choose who you wish to be able to edit the actual Collaboration record (change the End Date, add/remove Collaborators, add/remove Documents etc.) The choices are: 'Creator only', 'Creator and Collaborators only' or 'Use Security Groups'.
Complete your Collaboration record and then [Save]. When the record is saved you will see that the status of the record is now ‘Pending’. The Collaboration has not yet started, this will give you the option to make any adjustments to your Collaboration record until you are ready for the Collaboration to begin.
Fig 6 - Completed Collaboration record
When you have attached your documents to your Collaboration record you will have the option to set certain attributes to them, if you click on the [...] Action button next to each document you will see the option called 'Attributes'
Fig 7 - Document Attributes option
Here you will have the ability to set certain parameters for that particular document within the collaboration
Fig 8 - Document Attributes
Read Only - the Document whilst in the Collaboration will be a Read Only file and none editable
Enable Track Changes in the editor - when the document is opened in the Editor track changes will be automatically switched on
Version History - here you have 3 options:
- Full - will allow Collaborators to see all the versions of this document from when it was first uploaded
- Only this entity - will allow Collaborators to see only the versions that have been created during this Collaboration
- Hidden - no previous versions of the Document will be visible to Collaborators
Keep Original Document - if the Document is selected from another record such as a Contract Document record using the Library, then when the Collaboration has ended the original version of the document will stay in the original record, the updated edited version will only be available in this Collaboration record.
Starting a Collaboration
Once your Collaboration record has saved then you will see a green button [Start Collaboration] on the top right of the screen.
Click here to begin your Collaboration, you will be prompted to add a Submission Note, this Note will be sent to all Collaborators in an email informing them of the new Collaboration. Complete the Note and press [Start].
Fig 9 - Collaboration Submission Note
Your Collaboration record will now update to 'Live' status and your Submission Note will now display in the Note tab.
Fig 10 - Live Collaboration record
Your selected Collaborators will receive in email informing them of the new Collaboration. The email will contain all the details of the Collaboration along with a link to view the Collaboration record. If you have entered a password for the Collaboration then you must inform the Collaborators before they can access the record.
Fig 11 - Collaboration Started email notification
Users of the system can log into the account and view the Collaboration record as normal, or, Users and none Users of the system can use the link in the email to access a pre-portal which will display all the Collaboration details and Documents and allow them to complete their Collaboration action.
Once a Collaboration record has been created, any Documents that have been selected for a Collaboration that are attached to another record, such as a 'Contract Document' will be 'Locked'.
If any other User views this Document in its original location they will be informed that it cannot be Edited, Replaced, Renamed or Deleted as it is part of an existing Collaboration. This 'Lock' will remain until the Collaboration is over or the Document is removed from the Collaboration.
Fig 12 - Document locked for Collaboration
Editing a Collaboration
According to the setting against the record either only the 'Creator' or 'Creator and Collaborators' or a set 'Security Group' can edit a Collaboration record after it is 'Live'.
You can edit the entire record, such as change Collaborators, add/remove Documents alter End Dates, add a Password and even delete the entire Collaboration. You can also add Notes to the Collaboration after it has started.
Any edits made to the record will trigger email notifications to the Collaborators whilst the Collaboration is still live, so if you add or delete a Document for example, they will receive email notification of this update with a link to view the updated Collaboration record, existing emails previously sent out will also link to the updated record.
Collaborators Actions via portal
As a Collaborator you can log into the system and action your Collaboration requirements directly from the record.
You can make adjustments to the Documents in the Collaboration by using the [...] Action button next to each document.
Fig 13 - Editing Documents in a Collaboration
You have the option to Download, Edit, Replace etc, just like a normal document record, the options may be different depending on where the Document originated from and if it is currently being edited.
If someone is already Editing the Document then the screen will show a lock icon and a hover pop up will display which Collaborator is currently editing it.
Fig 14 - Document in editing icon
If a Collaborator is editing the Document you are still able to also edit the document if you are a Collaborator. The options in the [...] Action button will be limited if someone else it editing the document at the same time.
Fig 15 - Editing a Document with another Collaborator
The online Editor will open and you will be able to see each Collaborator that is updating the document at that time, complete your edits to the Document and then close the Browser window using [Save and Close] option.
Note: When you are editing a Document here it is still classed as an active session, if you keep the file open and idle to long and you login session times out then you will not be able to save your edits - as will all edits to documents, please make sure you save regularly.
Fig 16 - Multiple Editors Online
You can add Notes to the Collaboration using the Note tab - if a Note is added then all Collaborators will receive email notification
You can view the File History (adds , deletes, versions etc) via the File History tab, if a document attribute has been set to 'Only this entity' or 'Hidden' then you will only see the corresponding versions displayed here.
Complete your edits until you have finished all your Collaboration work and are ready to Complete your part in the Collaboration.
In the top right [...] Action button you will see three values directly relating to the Collaboration, depending on your access to the record.
Fig17 - Collaboration Action options
Complete my Collaboration - Actioning this option will complete your part in the Collaboration. Select the option and you will be prompted with a Note, adjust the text if required and press [Complete]
Fig 18 - Complete Collaboration Note
This will change your Collaborator status to [Complete] and your Note will appear in the Note tab
Fig 19 - Collaborator completed a Collaboration
All Collaborators will receive an email notification of your action.
If you are the creator of the Collaboration or have permission to edit the Collaboration record you will see two further options:
- End Collaboration for All - Choosing this option will end the Collaboration for all Collaborators. Their status and the status of the record will update to 'Complete'. Each Collaborator will receive email notification of this action.
- Change a Collaborators status - You may wish to change a Collaborators status manually, either to End their Collaboration or to Reactivate them. You will be presented with this pop up where you can End or Reactivate as required.
Fig 20 - Changing a Collaborators status
When you select an option either End or Reactivate, you will be prompted with a Note, adjust the text if required and press [Change]
Fig 21 - Change Collaborator status Note
Once complete, the Collaboration record will update with the new status - All Collaborators will receive an email notification of your action and the Note will appear in the Note tab
Collaborators Actions via the pre-portal
Please refer to this article that details how to use the Collaboration Pre Portal screen.
Ending and Re-opening a Collaboration
Once all Collaborators have completed their Collaborations, the status of the Collaboration becomes 'Complete'. At this stage all Documents will return back to their original location i.e. a Contract Document record, with the updated changes and can be accessed as normal.
If a Document originated from the Collaboration record, it will stay in the Collaboration record.
If you wish to re-open a Collaboration then use the [...] Action option of 'Re-open Collaboration'
Fig 22 - Re-opening a Collaboration
You will be prompted to add a Note, adjust the text if required and press [Re-open]
Fig 23 - reopening Note
All Collaborators will receive notification that the Collaboration is open again and their Collaboration status will be reset back to 'Live', the re-open note will appear in the Note tab.
Fig 24 - Re-Opened Collaboration
All Collaboration notification emails follow the system standard format, all templates can be found in the Templates area in the Configuration screen
Fig 25 - Collaboration Templates
You can format any of these email templates to your organisations requirements
Fig 26 - Collaboration email templates
You can read more about adjusting notification templates in this article.
Collaborations in the Library
There is a new folder in the Library called 'Collaborations' all documents displayed here are Documents that have been created specifically within a Collaboration. The documents displayed can be part of a Live Collaboration.
When a Collaboration has ended, the updated Documents in the Collaboration return back to their original record i.e. a Contract Document.
If you have chosen to keep the original document as one of the file attributes then the original document will go back to the original record. The updated Document will stay within the Collaboration record and can be accessible in this folder.
Documents that originated from the Collaboration will stay against the Collaboration and can be viewed in this folder.
Fig 27 - Collaborations in the Library
When you click on a Document in this folder then the whole Collaboration record is displayed, you can Delete or Archive the record using the [...] Action option on the top right of the record.
Fig 28 - Collaboration Library record
Note: If you do Delete or Archive this record - the entire Collaboration record will be Archived/Deleted, not just the Library Document.