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easyDITA has two tiers for how our customers interact with the application: Users (Administrators, Editor/Managers, Authors) and Reviewers. The distinction is important because we charge a seat fee for Users but not for Reviewers. In this post I’ll outline the differences in these roles and how they affect your workflow and cost structure.

Users Are Creators and Managers

Anyone who creates content, edits that content, or makes changes in the content’s status and  its associated metadata in easyDITA is a User. User accounts have much more access to the full set of features in the application. That level of access may vary with the role (writers may not have access to administrative tools, for example), however, anyone who can interact directly with the content is a User.

Reviewers Can Access and Review

Once content has been drafted, the usual workflow involves assigning that content to a subject matter expert (SME), manager, or outside expert for review. Because review functions can be spread across an organization and even be outside of that organization, and may go to persons on a very intermittent basis, we offer a Reviewer access level. At this level, the Reviewer can receive assignments, view the document, and comment on the document within easyDITA. These comments are tagged for author and time, and the document ‘owner’ is notified that a comment has been added. Reviewers may have other capabilities but their ability to interact with the file can be limited within easyDITA. It is up to the Users to make any actual changes to the document as requested by the Reviewer. The Reviewer cannot edit the content or its attributes.

Limiting Reviewer access not only saves money, it also helps the content team maintain a consistent voice and conform to editorial standards. They also retain control over how the content is organized and published.

Assigning Roles

The determination of roles when you set up your instance of easyDITA is driven by the above criteria. Generally speaking, if a person has input or an approval role that can be handled with commenting, they should be Reviewers. If you find that your workflow will work better if they can edit directly in the content, then they should be upgraded to User status.

These distinctions offer the content manager greater ability to manage workflows and overhead while retaining a level of control over content quality and relevance.

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