Data Access Settings, Descriptors and Restrictions

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There are a number of attributes we can place on screens, fields and sometimes data. This article will outline the following settings:

  • Access: Settings which apply to the screen, field, or data level to determine whether all users, users with access to Manage Data, or no users have access to edit records for the screen, data for the field, or specific data elements. Access settings must be shared by all units using a specific screen or field. Access settings can not be applied to specific security roles. 
  • Descriptors: Settings which apply to the data which affect how a user interacts with the field. These are both informational settings, display oriented settings, or validation settings for the data itself.
  • Restrictions: Settings which apply to a screen, field or report to determine which units have access to store or report data. Restrictions are always positive – a list of units which will see a screen or field, rather than a list of units with will not see a screen or field

The options available for each of these settings are outlined below.


The following table shows the types of access settings you can apply to screens, fields, and/or data in Faculty Success.

Each access type is mutually exclusive. For example, a screen cannot be both hidden and locked.

If there is a conflict between screen, field, and data access, the more restrictive access is enforced. For example, if we have set a screen as locked, and a specific field on that screen as hidden, that field will be locked rather than hidden.

Table 4: Screen, Field and Data Access, from least to most restrictive.

Type Capability Usage Example
None (Default) Users with permission can view, add, edit and delete data.
  • Intellectual contribution titles
  • Description of accomplishments
  • Teaching interests
  • Research interests
Read-Only Users with permission can view and run reports on data.

Users with Manage Data: Read/Write permission can also add, edit and delete data.

  • Date of hire
  • Date of tenure
  • Scheduled teaching data
  • Course evaluation data
Hidden Users with Manage Data: Read/Write permission can view, add, edit and delete data.

Users with Run Ad Hoc Reports can run ad hoc reports containing hidden data by default. You can suppress Hidden fields in ad hoc reports by removing Show Hidden Data from the security role.

  • Source of Imported Data fields
  • Confidential/sensitive data
Locked Users with permission can view and run reports on data.

No one can add/edit/delete data.

  • Data populated from another source. This setting ensures that any data updates are made to the original source of the data.


Hidden screens and fields are still visible to users with Manage Data: Read/Write access. For this reason, Faculty Success recommends that you delete any fields you do not intend to use rather than changing their access type. You can always add back screens and fields can later, if needed.

In addition, by default, users cannot add or delete records on a screen that has one or more read-only, hidden, or locked fields. Faculty Success can override the default behavior that prevents a user from adding or deleting records when a screen has one or more read-only, hidden, or locked fields. With the override in place, users are able to add and delete records on screens with one or more read-only, hidden, or locked fields. The override only changes a user's ability to add records to or delete records from a screen; it does not change their access to individual fields on the screen. Faculty Success can put the override in place for all users or only users with the Manage Data permission.

Warning: The override also enables users to delete records created through a data import. If you intend to import data for a screen, Faculty Success recommends that you do not put the override in place.

When a screen contains one or more read-only, hidden, or locked fields, a standard system note appears at the top of the screen to alert the user that they may not have access to view or edit one or more fields on that screen. Our intention with this note is to encourage caution in handling these records, as there may be information contained within them that are necessary for reporting but are not currently visible to all users. Furthermore, this note provides the user with a point of contact – their Faculty Success Administrator – in the event that they are unable to update the record but needs to change a value stored. While you cannot customize this note, you can add instructional text to the screen itself if your users need further clarification of the read-only, hidden, or locked fields.


The following table shows the types of descriptors you can apply to screens and fields in Faculty Success.

Unlike access types, descriptor types are not mutually exclusive. For example, a field can be both publicly available and required.

Warning: Use required fields judiciously. A user will not be able to save a record if the required data are not available when they create the record.

Table 5: Screen and Field Descriptors

Type Description Usage Example
Default A value used when the user does not update the field.
  • Questions for which the answer is the same for most users
Maximum Highest numeric value a user can enter.

Highest number of characters that can be entered in a text field.

  • Day fields
  • Credit hours
  • Abstract
Minimum Lowest numeric value a user can enter.

Lowest number of characters that can be entered in a text field.

  • Day fields
  • Credit hours
  • Title
Publicly Available Notifies the user that the data may be made available outside of Faculty Success. Faculty Success does not automatically make data publicly available. It serves as an indicator of what the campus intends to make publicly available outside of Faculty Success.

Denoted on screen by a red letter P.

  • Data that may be displayed on a public website using web services
Required A user must enter data in the field before they can save the record. Denoted on the screen by a red asterisk (*).
  • Title
  • Contribution type
  • Current status



Restrictions enable you to restrict screens, fields, and reports to users associated with specific colleges. Restrictions can be useful for collecting and reporting college-specific data, such as professional accreditation reporting, that users associated with other colleges do not need to provide.

The restriction options that are available to you depend on the configuration choice you made when implementing Faculty Success. 

With the "Single Campus Instrument", in which a user can be associated with more than one college, you can use restrictions to add or remove access to specific screens and fields for each college or unit. In most cases, this level of customization meets the needs of the individual units.

In some cases, however, a unit will want to restrict screens or fields further, such that their users see different drop-down list options, or completely different versions of one of the activity screens. This level of customization requires the "Single Campus Instrument (only primary unit customizations visible)" configuration, in which a user is only associated with one college. This ensures that Faculty Success can always determine the correct version of a screen or field to display to the user.

Important: We determine a user's access to data collection screens and fields restricted by college using the user's college assignment(s) on his or her most recent Yearly Data record. If a user's college appointments change over time, the restricted screens and fields to which he or she has access will change accordingly.

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