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Provides content types for creating and organizing personnel directories within educational institutions. Integrates with Plone's users and groups infrastructure and supports an extensibility framework for custom requirements.

Project description


FacultyStaffDirectory is a personnel directory, a provider of shared workspaces for committees, a way of keeping track of people’s areas of expertise, a floor wax, and a dessert topping. It integrates with Plone’s users and groups infrastructure and supports an extensibility framework for custom requirements.

Plone version compatibility

Works with Plone 5.0.

Older version of FacultyStaffDirectory will work with Plone 4.x, 3.x.


FacultyStaffDirectory depends on:

  • Products.membrane

  • Products.Relations

  • Products.ATContentTypes


FacultyStaffDirectory 5.0 has been updated to work with Plone 5.0 or greater. It may work with but has not been tested with Plone 4.x.

  1. Add the following to buildout.cfg

eggs =
. . .(other eggs). . .
  1. Re-run buildout (typically ‘bin/buildout’).

  2. Restart Zope (typically ‘bin/instance restart’).

  3. Install the FacultyStaffDirectory product using the Plone Add-ons panel under Site Setup. The necessary dependencies will install themselves automatically. (Membrane remains in the ‘available’ column, but is in fact installed.)


From FacultyStaffDirectory 1.x

To upgrade from 1.x, first upgrade to a 2.x release thusly:

Use the migration script in the Extensions folder of FacultyStaffDirectory. Follow the instructions inside To perform the migration under Plone 3, you’ll need the contentmigration product.

From FacultyStaffDirectory 2.x

To upgrade from 2.x to 3.0 use the “Upgrade” button on the ‘Add-on Products’ page. (in Plone 4.0, this is called “Add-Ons”).

Be sure to check the workflow and publication state of your Faculty/Staff directory. It has probably been changed to ‘private’.

If your Faculty/Staff directory was using a custom workflow, it is now in a new workflow which comes with FacultyStaffDirectory 3.0. You’ll need to change your custom workflow to manage the “FacultyStaffDirectory: Provides Roles” permission before you go back to it. Check out the ‘fsd_directory_workflow’ to see how it’s done.

Special Note for users upgrading to Plone 4:

Because FacultyStaffDirectory 2.x is not compatible with Plone 4, you must first upgrade FacultyStaffDirectory to version 3 then upgrade Plone.

Upgrading to Plone 5:

Use FacultyStaffDirectory 5.0 with Plone 5.

Using FacultyStaffDirectory

Adding a Faculty/Staff Directory

From the “add” dropdown menu in Plone, select “Faculty/Staff Directory”. A Faculty/Staff Directory will be created as well as several default items inside:

  • Faculty (a Classification)

  • Staff (a Classification)

  • Graduate Students (a Classification)

  • Committees (a Committees Folder, which can hold only Committees)

  • Specialties (a Specialties Folder, which can hold only Specialties)

Any or all of these default items may be safely deleted as needed.

Working with your directory

FacultyStaffDirectory provides content types for creating and organizing details of people. It has principally been developed for personnel directories in educational institutions but can be repurposed for use in a variety of settings.

The core content type is Person. This has a variety of fields (email, telephone number, job title, and so on). You can also easily add your own.

Out of the box, FacultyStaffDirectory 5.0 offers Classifications that can be assigned to Person objects: Faculty, Staff and Graduate Student. If these don’t work for you, you can add your own Classifications (e.g. Administrators, Technicians, Board Members, or whatever you like).

FacultyStaffDirectory also provides several content types for grouping people: Departments, Specialties and Committees. If these labels don’t make sense in your organization, you can easily relabel them. In each case, the association between the Person and the grouping (e.g. the Person-Specialty relationship) can be given a description. So, for example, if Person Jane Doe is in the Artificial Intelligence Specialty, you could give the Jane Doe-Artificial Intelligence relationship a description (e.g. “Interested in the cultural impacts of machine thinkers”).

FacultyStaffDirectory can be configured so people added to the directory automatically become Members of your Plone site and each person can edit his or her own page. It also adds some new roles, to facilitate management of people. For instance, the PersonnelManager role can create new Specialties and assign people to them.

Membership integration

Out of the box, FacultyStaffDirectory offers the following integration with Plone users and groups:

The Faculty/Staff Directory itself acts as a group.

All Person objectscreated in the Faculty/Staff Directory are automatically considered members of this group. This group also provides the option of assigning a global role to all Persons in the Directory. This option should be handled with care. It is generally best to select only the ‘Member’ role, as this is the most restrictive option.

Departments, Classifications and Committees act as groups.

Global role assignment is not available for these content types, but the groups they define may be granted local roles throughout the Plone site. For complex academic units, this can be a great time-saver, since personnel management can be tied closely to site security management.

Person objects act as users.

The Faculty/Staff Directory configlet in Site Setup allows you to choose whether Person objects provide passwords for authentication. If you are using some other PAS plugin for authentication, such as PloneLDAP, WebServerAuth, PubcookiePAS or CAS4PAS, you will want to disable password provision so that authentication will cascade to these other systems.

Persons own their own profiles.

Users defined by Person objects are automatically granted the Owner role locally for that object and its contents. This allows users to add to and edit their own biographies, contact information, etc. They also control sharing rights to their object and can thus allow assistants to edit content on their behalf without sharing their own passwords or user preferences.

My Folder action.

The ‘My Folder’ action, found on the personal toolbar, is altered by the Faculty/Staff Directory product to take users defined by Person objects directly to them. Users defined through the standard Plone UI will be taken to the usual location (portal/Members/<userid>). Likewise, the personal preferences link found in the personal toolbar and on the plone_memberprefs_panel or dashboard will take Person users to their Person objects.

Restrictions on group membership.

Owners are not granted the rights to add or remove their Person object from Departments, Committees, Classifications and Specialties, since these collections are used as authorization groups. Instead, this right is reserved for site managers and for the newly-created ‘Personnel Manager’ role, installed with the Faculty/Staff Directory product. The Personnel Manager is likewise not granted access to the ZMI or to personal preferences for Persons. This allows for fine-grained separation of management concerns.

Configurable integration.

Membership integration for Person, Department, Classification and Committee objects is configurable. A switch to turn the function on or off is in the Faculty/Staff Directory configuration panel in Site Setup. It may be necessary to disable membership integration for Person objects in systems that have established user bases built on LDAP systems, for instance.

Configuring the product

Several global settings, such as phone number and user ID formats, can be controlled through the Faculty/Staff Directory configuration panel within Site Setup.


Because every organization has a few unique requirements, FacultyStaffDirectory supports an extension mechanism based on the archetypes.schemaextender library. Using it, you can write plugin products which add fields to or otherwise modify our content types.

Design Rationale & Thoughts

Why the push for just one Directory in a site? Why not just add people to Departments?

The main thought behind this was that People could be members of multiple departments (i.e., faculty member John Smith teaches courses in both MSIS and Computer Science). So where do we put the Person object? We’d like to refrain from making two Persons if possible, and the alternative of making a Department both a container and a referenced object could be nightmarish.

Why add membrane?

We wanted a relatively simple way to let members modify their own profiles. With membrane, we get that right out of the box since that profile is the member. We also get nifty groups like “Faculty” and “Chemistry Department” and “Some Useless Committee”.

How do I manage People across multiple Plone sites?

We wish we knew. We suspect it will have something to do with LDAP. Suggestions?


This product was originally developed and maintained by the WebLion group at Penn State University.

membrane integration by Cris Ewing.

Special thanks to Andreas Jung for his early testing and code contributions.

Plone 5 compatibility updates courtesy of the Department of Meteorology and Atmospheric Science,


Version History

5.0 (2017-01-09)

  • Works with Plone 5.0 [vangheem, tkimnguyen]

  • Update to not use Products.ATReferenceBrowserWidget [vangheem]

  • Avoid finding extraneous people in classification query (e.g. graduate students) by looking up only classifications_people relationships [tkimnguyen]

  • Load only Products.ATContentTypes:base profile. Fixes [gil-cano]

3.1.3 (2012-11-14)

  • Added a to exclude the examples folder from being packaged with the egg to work around the SandboxViolation from EasyInstall when installing FSD via buildout on Windows systems. [cah190]

  • Work around membrane shortcoming which caused group property providers to be enumerated as users, raising an error and preventing further user enumeration. [Laurence Rowe]

3.1.2 (2012-04-20)

  • Added a ‘use site default’ option to the available editors list. Thanks to David Carter for reporting this issue and supplying a patch. [cah190]

  • Require Products.membrane >= 2.1.4 to get the property sheet typing fix which affects the ext_editor field. [cah190]

3.1.1 (2012-03-28)

  • Added a sample-content profile. [pumazi]

  • fsd_atoz_view and department_textual_view should now work on Department objects living outside the FacultyStaffDirectory root on a site. Warning: external Departments will only work reliably for situations where there is a single FacultyStaffDirectory object in a site. If there are multiple FacultyStaffDirectory objects, then use of external Departments will have undefined behavior. [cah190]

  • Fixes to author.cpt to support Plone 4.x. Thanks to Paul Roeland for reporting this problem and supplying a patch. [cah190]

  • Fixed fsd_atoz_view to work with last names having first characters outside the A to Z range. We now allow for any valid unicode character. Thanks to Toni Haka-Risku for reporting this problem and supplying a patch which served as a starting point for this fix. [cah190]

3.1 (2012-03-16)

  • Retagging as 3.1. [cah190]

3.1b1 (2011-08-18)

  • Rework templates to reflect the Plone 4.0 layout changes. [esteele]

  • All FSD content type interfaces now subclass IFacultyStaffDirectoryContent. Q: Why didn’t they do so previously? A: I have no idea. [esteele]

  • Drop support for Plone releases below 4.0. [esteele]

  • Remove the reliance on the documentactions viewlet (not shown by default in Plone 4+). vCard link now appears below the contact information in person_view. [esteele]


  • Add FacultyStaffDirectory to the content types controlled by the FSD Tool’s activeMembraneStates field. Corrects an issue with customized viewlets failing their permission checks. [esteele, pumazi]

  • Updated Spanish translation for plone and FacultyStaffDirectory domain [macagua (Leonardo J. Caballero G.)]

  • Moved the Python import of zope.i18nmessageid to and import the MessageFactory for FacultyStaffDirectory domain as FSDMessageFactory [macagua (Leonardo J. Caballero G.)]

  • Added more support for i18n to “default” profile generic setup. [macagua (Leonardo J. Caballero G.)]


  • Update in MobilePhoneExtender to be consistent with FSD’s (to fix Plone 4 compatibility). [cah190]

  • Added missing adapter registration to MobilePhoneExtender. [cah190]

  • activeMembraneStates in the fsdtool now uses a MultiSelectionWidget and the workflow states vocabulary. [cah190]

  • Updated for Plone 4. [cah190]


  • No longer support extenderInstallation install methods. installExtender and installExtenderGloballyIfLocallyIsNotSupported will now throw exceptions. uninstallExtender will stay around for at least the 3.0 releases to permit easy cleanup of old extender installs. [cah190]

  • Extender developers should use IBrowserLayerAwareExtender to register their extender against a browserlayer to make it possible to activate the extender per Plone site. MobilePhoneExtender has been updated as an example. [cah190]

  • Drop the icon for the vCard action. [esteele]

  • Slightly rearrange package layout. [esteele]

  • Stop creating a ‘my folder’ action. This went away in Plone 3. [esteele]

  • Stop using deprecated actionicons_tool and put the icon directly on the action. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Register facultystaffdirectory_tool via GS. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Catalog indexes and metadata are now loaded via GS. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Collection/SmartFolder indexes are now loaded via GS. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Register configlet via GenericSetup. [esteele]

  • Set up navtree properties via GenericSetup. [esteele]

  • Use an import step and GS profile to set up versioning and diffing, respectively. [esteele]

  • Reinstall/Refresh is not a Plone supported updating mechanism. Use portal_setup instead. Removing the code encouraging this sort of thing. [esteele]

  • Move kupu resource types registration to a GS import step. [esteele]

  • Drop the 1.0-2.0 migration script. We’ll no longer support a direct 1.0-3.0 migration. [esteele]

  • Moved css registry manipulation to GS profile, dropped css and js registry install code. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Install dependencies via GS rather than through [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Factory tool registration is now via GS. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]


  • Dropped the plone3 GS profile, paved over the types/*.xml with versions from a working FSD Plone instance. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Don’t call Products.Archetypes.Extensions.utils helpers, they seem to make Archetypes move itself in the portal_skins lists in a way that breaks TinyMCE. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Installer should not be installing ATReferenceBrowserWidget. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Register our skins directory the modern way (through ZCML and skins.xml) [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Pin to archetypes.schemaextender < 2.1 because 2.1 and higher use plone.uuid which breaks Products.Relations and older versions of Archetypes. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Fixed schema conditions and fsdtool data to prevent authorization failures for non-managers editing FSD objects. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Updates to facultystaffdirectory_tool access and security [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Made FSD not installable when creating a Plone 4 site (our GS profiles are not sufficient for a functional install). [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]


  • Added a lines field to the facultystaffdirectory_tool that contains the list of active states. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Inactive users will now fail to authenticate. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Inactive groups will now appear as empty groups. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Fixed author.cpt to work in Plone 4 by adding missing globals. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Replaced direct page template references to facultystaffdirectory_tool with getToolByName lookups to allow for anonymous viewing of listings. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Added missing icon references to GS type information. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Defined global variables (template_id, normalizeString, member) in skin templates. [lvb5153 (Luke Brannon)]

  • Removed document_action macros from FSD skin templates. [lvb5153 (Luke Brannon)]

  • Registered document_actions viewlet to abovecontentbody viewlet manager for FSD types (in configure.zcml, since there is no browser package). [lvb5153 (Luke Brannon)]

  • Replaced object_title global definition with context/Title in FSD skin templates. [lvb5153 (Luke Brannon)]


  • Add Plone 4.0 compatibility. [ems174, cah190, cewing, netropic]


  • Italian translation merged ( [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Updated portal_memberdata image generation based on suggestions from michael.lindig and updated tests accordingly ( [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Fixed Classification’s getPeople to account for effective/ expired, View permissions ( [par117 (Paul Rentschler)]

  • Added a termination details field and put it and the effective/ expired dates in a new Employment Information schemata [par117 (Paul Rentschler)]

  • Updated the file to hide all information except the person’s name and termination details if they are expired unless the viewer has editing rights. [par117 (Paul Rentschler)]


  • Owner role should be able to edit Persons in Hidden state. [ems174 (Eric Steele)]

  • Portuguese translation merged. [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]

  • Allow archetypes.schemaextender 2.x (now includes schema caching). [cah190 (Craig Haynal)]



  • Corrected a problem with the reference browser widget popup not displaying available items when used on a site using virtual hosting. [ems174 (Eric Steele)]

  • Corrected a problem with missing files in the 2.1.1 distribution. [ems174 (Eric Steele)]


  • Corrected a problem with that caused errors when anonymous users viewed a person with an assistant assigned. [cewing]

  • Corrected a problem that prevented versioning of Persons and Committees. [cewing]

  • Added a dedicated Committees Folder view (similar to the specialies folder view). [ajung]

  • A Specialty has an extra schemata “Overview” with an image and richtext field. Both fields are used for the speciality_overview view. [ajung]

  • Added microformats for person_view’s address block. [robzonenet]

  • Added Spanish translation [Gildardo Bautista]

  • Added French translation [Benjamin Klups]

  • List department in person_view [Gildardo Bautista]

  • Corrected a problem with viewing departments located outside of a Directory object. [ems174 (Eric Steele)]


  • Corrected some CSS display issues with Person pictures.

  • Users with the Personnel Manager role can now add Person objects.

  • Added a field to the classification gallery view to control the width of the Person images

  • Multiple FacultyStaffDirectory objects can now exist in the same site

  • Improved product reinstallation performance

  • Added an assistant field to confer profile editing delegation on other users

  • Added a “can manage personnel” field to the sharing tab

  • Added i18n hooks for all fields and templates

  • Removed a boatload of unused imports

  • Removed WebLionLibrary dependency

  • Eggified product

  • Configlet icon should now work properly in VirtualHostMonstered sites

  • vCard should handle unicode characters properly now

  • vCard images now display

  • Empty biographies stay empty


  • Added an A-to-Z listing view for Directories and Departments.

  • Forced Previous/Next display in the Person editor.

  • Bug fixes


  • Integrated with Plone users and groups.

  • Switched extensibility framework to archetypes.schemaextender. More than one extender works at once now, and all content types are extensible.

  • Added Department content type.

  • Sortable Name is now available as a SmartFolder index (mainly for sorting).

  • Added SmartFolder fields for Departments, Classifications, Committees, Specialties, and People.

  • Templates are faster.

  • Non-ASCII characters in Person titles work.

  • People now have a Middle Name field.

  • Specialties and other types of person groups can now live outside the Faculty/Staff Directory.

  • Specialties are now listed in a sane order.

  • Committees Folders are now addable within Departments.

  • Added a configlet in Site Setup to allow customization of phone number and user ID validation as well as the ability to disable aspects of membrane integration.

  • Silenced some deprecation warnings.

  • Added support for Plone 3’s versioning.

  • Renamed content types to avoid collisions with other products.

  • Added oodles of new tests.

  • Ditched ArchGenXML, making our code much cleaner.

  • Made more use of GenericSetup.

1.0.1 – Minor documentation tweaks

1.0 – Initial release

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