- Document Download Links

Introduction

With this feature users can create links which allow downloading a PDF copy of a controlled document without having to log into iPassport. It provides a convenient way to share documents with external resources. For example, brochures and customer facing documents can be controlled in iPassport and be made available to the public by posting the link on a website.
The links can be generated to always refer to the latest version of a document so they don’t need to be updated once shared. They can also be set to expire on a given date and they become disabled if the document is retired.
A link history area provides information about all the links created for a document, including when they were last used and how many times they have been downloaded. Links can be managed in this area.

Permissions and Settings

Permissions

There is one permission for each type of document (except for ‘External Documents’) so for example, a user can be granted permission to create document download links of ‘Policies’ but not of ‘SOPs’.
The permissions and the system roles they are included in are:

Permission System Roles
COSHHs:Manage Document Download links Global Editor (excluding admin)
Global Editor (excluding admin and personnel records)
COSHH Editor
Documents:Manage Document Download links Global Editor (excluding admin)
Global Editor (excluding admin and personnel records)
Document Editor
Health And Safeties:Manage Document Download links Global Editor (excluding admin)
Global Editor (excluding admin and personnel records)
H&S Editor
Job Descriptions:Manage Document Download links Global Editor (excluding admin)
Personnel Management Editor
Policies:Manage Document Download links Global Editor (excluding admin)
Global Editor (excluding admin and personnel records)
Policies Editor
SOPs:Manage Document Download links Global Editor (excluding admin)
Global Editor (excluding admin and personnel records)
SOP Editor

Settings

The setting, “Allow external Document Download links.”, found under Administration > Settings > Organisational Unit Preferences > Document Control, must be enabled in each OU with documents for which ‘public’ links are to be generated.
If the setting is disabled, existing links in the related OU will be disabled too. Upon clicking one of the links, the message, “Document Download Error - Document Downloads are disabled for this OU” will display in the browser tab.

Document download links can only be created on authorised or under review documents. This is to stop users from accidentally sharing a draft or superseded document.

To create a ‘public’ download link:

  1. Open the authorised controlled document
  2. Click the Actions field
  3. Select ‘Create Download Link’ from the dropdown menu and click ‘Go’

The form which pops up allows configuring the link’s settings:

  • File Name - This field defaults to the document’s name in iPassport but it can be changed to any name; this will be the name of the PDF files downloaded through the link

    Due to the constraints of operating systems, the file name can’t contain any of the following special characters: <, >, :, “, /, \, |, ? or *. If any of those characters is present in the file name, it will be replaced with an underscore (_).

  • Link Type - Can be either:

    • Auto updating - this link will update the PDF every time a new version of a document is authorised. It’s best used when you want to post a link that always points to the most recent version of the document.
    • Anchor - this link will point to the document version it was created on, so even after the document is updated this link will always point to the same version.
  • Expiry Date - if a date is entered, the link will automatically become disabled on that date; if left blank the link will remain enabled indefinitely or until it’s disabled in another way

  • Include Footer? - When checked, iPassport will add a footer to each page of the document, including the following fields: ‘type of document’ , ‘index’ , ‘title’ , ‘version’ , ‘authorised on’ (date) and ‘authorised by’.

  • Comments - The user can leave optional comments. It can be used to explain why the link was generated and where it was published so it’s easier to track.

Click Create Link to finish.

Comments, and all the other fields, can be edited at any time after the link is created.

When the link has been created, another lightbox will pop up with a button to copy the link to the clipboard.

Clicking this button will count as the first download of the link and successive clicks of the pasted link will increment the downloads count. If a link is disabled for any reason, attempts to download it will not increment the download count.
This link can be pasted in a document or posted on a website. Whenever it’s clicked, a copy of the associated document will be automatically downloaded to the user’s default ‘downloads’ folder.
When a link has been disabled for any reason, a browser tab will open to display the reason why the document couldn’t be downloaded.

A link history area is provided for every document which has download links enabled in its OU.

To view and manage download links of a particular document:

  1. Open the authorised controlled document
  2. Click the Actions field
  3. Select ‘View Download Link History’ from the dropdown menu and click ‘Go’

This opens a lightbox which lists all links created in any version of that document.

The information displayed includes details of when the links were created, the file names, link types, comments and usage statistics.
- Each link will have details of whether it is active or disabled, when it was last accessed and how many times it has been accessed.
- The Actions column has:
- a pencil icon (✎) which allows editing the link when clicked, - a toggle button to enable/disable the link, and - a ‘copy’ icon to copy the URL of the file to the clipboard. The toggle button won’t display if the link has been disabled because an ‘expiry date’ has been reached.
- If the the link is anchored to a version, the version will be displayed.
- Auto updating links always point to the latest published version of the document. If the latest version is ‘Awaiting Release’, then the link will point to the previous authorised version.

A CSV report which can be viewed and manipulated in Excel™, can be downloaded by clicking ‘Export List’. The report includes expiry dates but not the number of times links have been accessed. It does include the URL for each link, making it an easy way to share the information externally.

FAQ:

Q: What happens to the links when an authorised document is reverted to draft?
A: Anchor links will be set as disabled until the document is authorised again. Auto updating links will automatically refresh to point to the previous authorised version of the document.

Q: Why can’t a link be created on a document ‘Pending Release’?
A: Links can only be created on the latest PUBLISHED version of a document. Documents in ‘Pending Release’ state are not considered as published; the system uses the previous authorised version as the official copy in circulation.