30th June 2016

How does the permissions system work in the Group module for Drupal?

Kristiaan Van den Eynde
Senior Developer

We’ve been getting questions about the Group Drupal module and how it relates to the general permission system that ships with Drupal. More specifically, the difference between group roles and user roles. So we figured we’d post a short explanation. 

Consider a regular Drupal site as a one-level thing.

There’s roles and permissions that allow you to do things, but it’s a flat structure. Either you have a permission across the entire site or you don’t. Group adds depth to that structure, allowing you to create smaller levels underneath the main one.

Inside those sub-levels you can have roles and permissions too, just like on the main level. The difference lies in the fact that they’re called group roles and group permissions and they only apply within their section of the site within their group.

Let’s use a practical example to demonstrate this. Suppose you’re building a news website and you allow John and Jane to post articles. But John only writes about sport and Jane only really knows about fashion. Yet they can both publish articles about anything. This is the default story in any Drupal website.

Group would allow you to divide the website into sections such as “Sport”, “Fashion”, “Domestic”, etc. and allow John to only publish articles in Sport and limit Jane to writing about Fashion.

This is just one of the many use cases Group can solve for you.

Interested? Try it out! It’s available for both Drupal 7 and 8, find out more here: https://www.deeson.co.uk/labs/9-reasons-group-drupal-8-awesome