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3.4 Notes and Bulk Mail

In this lesson we will carry on learning about items in Joomla, and then focus on adding in a user note to our newly created user note category. Then we’ll review the mass mail feature in the user manager component: this will allow for bulk mailing user groups for promotional reasons and others.

3.4 Notes and Bulk Mail

Hi guys welcome back to A beginners guide to using Joomla. In this lesson we want to carry on learning about items in Joomla and also we want to learn more about the user manager component. So continuing on from where we last left off. We were modifying the Bad Notes category. And inside of here, what we can do is change their permissions again. So we have the test manager and the last thing we did was deny the editing of this item. But now also we can deny the edit state of this item as well. So I can set that to denied. And so what I can do is then say save and close. And then we can take a look at this in Google Chrome. Now you'll notice that we have this button right here that allows us to publish and unpublish. So that will change the state of the item. If I was to ticket and then say put it in the archive or trash it, again I'm changing the state. So let's go ahead and click on that and see if we can unpublish this item now. So I'm going to click and what it would do is refresh the page. We're now notice that the button has sort of got a bit of the pastel on that telling me it's disable. And what it is doing here is telling me that I do not have the permission to edit the state of this item. So if I take it and say trash, I can't even put it in the trash anymore because again I don't have the ability to edit the state of the particular item. And then, finally with the last permission or action with the test managers group, we have the edit own. So Edit Own means that only the user that created the content can edit that content. As opposed to editing all the content. So now that we have our permissions right here, and we can set them and play around with them. Now let's take a look at versions. So versions are very useful for a content management system especially when you have lots of people logging in and able to edit certain items. Because somebody may make an edit and that's not really what you wanted. So as a system administrator you can go back through time and go through the different versions. Also other users may be able to do this as well. If granted permission. So if we take a look at this we have bad notes. And what I can do is take a look at the versions of this item. So, we can see here that we have this star. So, this star indicates the current version that's in use. And it gives us the date and the time. We can also see whether it should be kept forever. So, you can be limited on how many versions you can actually have. So, as soon as you start going over that, so let's say I have a maximum of five versions and I can't go over that. Well, as soon as I start saving new versions it's going to start overwriting old versions. So, with this we can say yep keep it forever so it can't be overwritten. But however as soon as we set that back to no. It can be automatically deleted and overridden. So that's important to note. We can also see who offered this version. And the character count. Now on top of that we can also tick a different version and restore it. So, what I want to do is create a new version. So, how do we do that? Well, let's make a change. I'm going to say, to the description, I'm going to say, yep, right here. And I'd like to save this. But before I save it, let's add in a nice version note. So, you can be very descriptive with this or you could just keep it real basic. So, I'm going to say 1.2D, something like that. And I'm going to go ahead and save it. So now this is saved as a version, so let's look at our versions right here. So I can see we have a star next to this version. We've got the date and the time, and also the version note. You'll also notice that the version note field will go blank after you save it. It's only there just so that we can see what this version is all about, but you don't have to provide that. So that's looking okay, but let's say that now I want to go back. So I want to just very quickly take a look at this version before I restore it. So let's ticket and then say Preview. Well, now this gives me a nice little dialogue that tells me the field and the value of this particular version. So we know what the values have been set to. And I can see the description there and it hasn't got the yup on the end of there. Also I can compare. So now let's compare this version to the latest version. So I'm going to say compare. And this is really nice because, again, we get all of the different fields. Then we get the values of the fields for these versions. So that was the previous one and this is the latest one. You can tell by that 1.2b. So that does help a little bit. I can see, all those values. And then we have the changes being highlighted. So if there's no change it's fine, but if there is a change, you'll notice it'll highlight sort of a green color or a different color. And I can see here that Yup has changed right here. You've got a different color indicating the change with the description. Also the modified date would have changed as well. And again we have that nice highlighting to indicate the change. So on top of that, again we could take certain versions and tell them not to be automatically deleted, and keep them forever until we set it back to No. Again, right here, so they can be deleted and overwritten. ... And also we can delete versions as well, if we want to. So, that's pretty interesting. Now let's go ahead and say, right, well this older version was more what I was looking for, so I'm going to tick it and restore it. And so now you'll notice that version of this item has been restored. And it's the same thing for articles, and so on and so forth. So it's a great time saver if you have a lot of people editing and maybe they do things wrong. At least you can go back through your versions and restore them. So now that we've gone through all of this information about a particular item and setting up our categories, it's now time to start adding notes into the categories. So notes are very, very simplistic. So let's drop down to User Notes and again you have your filters and search tools and sorting data and so on and so forth. It's important to note that if you haven't got that many filters it'll be in the sidebar, whereas if you have a lot of filters, meaning a lot of fields that you can start to filter. Then what you will have is search tools right here and you're filter drop downs will be here. So now let's go back to user notes and let's go ahead and add in a user note so we can provide a subject. So this will be a test note. We can select which user we'd like to associate the note with. So I can go ahead and click there and again I have my table full of users. Let's associate it with the Test Manager. And then we need to find a category, so I can easily see which categories are nested inside of which categories. And let's say this is a good name. My test manager is a good manager, so he's done a good job. Then I can also select the status of the note. So is it published, is it enabled, is it viewable? Is it unpublished, not viewable, disabled? Is it archived, or is it trashed? On top of that we can set a review time, so this could be the current time that we have right here, so the 16th of October, 2014. Or you could set it to a future date. Full review, so really it depends upon you. On top of that you have your version note, and I'll just set this as one, that's version one. And then we'll say all is good for the note. And what's really nice about the note is that you can add images in here and you can make it really descriptive and almost make it like a page if you will. And then we can say save and close. So there is my note. Now I've also associated an image with this category just like I did with Bad Notes. With Bad Notes I had the window.jpg. So let's go back to there, and let's change it to Bad Notes. And save it. You'll now notice we have that window image. So you can associate an image with it. Kind of nice. And you can see here we can check the status and so on and so forth. And if we go back into this created item, we now have the versions. So now I'm going to set this to version two and say all is bad. And then we're going to save that and then show our versions. And we have version 1, and then version 2, and so on and so forth. Very, very nice. Very clean and very simple. So now what I'd like to do is move on and take a look at mass mail in Joomla. So mass mailing is very good if you have lots of users and you want to promote something or you want to notify users of some activity or anything you'd like. Then you can create a message that can go out to multiple users. So underneath the users menu, you have mass mail at the bottom. So you can provide a subject, and also a message of course. And then you can send the email, or you can just cancel out a bit and forget it. But, over here we have some interesting options. So for example, we can say mail to child user groups. So right here we can select which group we'd like to mail to. So, I could say we'll mail it to all of the users within the manager user group. Now, don't forget that by default, it will not email the administrator or the test manager user groups. That's very important. It's only going to email the manager user group. So specifically those users. But you could tick this option to say Mail to Child User Groups and now because we've got the parent, Manager selected, it will also send an email to the child user groups, such as Administrator and Test Manager. On top of that we can say, Send in HTML mode. This can be useful to create nice looking email. And you can start to put HTML into the message area but if you let's say start putting HTML into the message area and you don't tick this box, it will actually send it like that. The HTML will be visible to the recipient. So be very, very careful and make sure that if you are sending HTML you tick that and then also you can say send to disabled users. So let's say we have a few managers. And their accounts have been disabled for whatever reason. Well by default they won't receive the emails, but if we take that across they will receive the email even though that user account has been disabled. And then also we're saying Recipients as BCC. So what does that mean? Well it hides all of the recipients. So let's say I have 100 managers. And so what that means is when I send an email it's going to send it to 100 different email addresses. Now, this is the problem. If you don't tick that, and you don't hide their identity, let's say I have a spammer that's managed to get in and turn themselves into a manager. Well that's a very, very big problem because then that spammer is going to be able to see all of those different email addresses. Your users are not going to like that at all, because you're sharing their email address with everybody, and it's not preserving their privacy, and then they can start getting spam emails. So, for your users' sake, that's picked by default, and I recommend you leave that ticked for security reasons. So, saying Recipients as BCC. All right so, I'm going to leave it here. We've discovered some more things about the user manager component but in the next lesson what I'd like to do is talk about the configurations and the settings of the user manager component itself under the system. So thanks for watching and please join me in the next lesson.

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