Permissions are a set of activities that a user is allowed to perform on a website.

If you think about it, you probably deal with this all the time.

The best example is probably your ONID account.  You are allowed to log in to your ONID account, and you can view and change quite a few different things related to your account because you are permitted to do these things on your account.  You are not generally permitted to go onto your colleague's account and make changes, though.  In most cases, you and your colleagues might have some time of role called Member or User.

Sometimes, though, things go wrong with our accounts and we need someone who is permitted to work across the whole system to come in and fix it for us.  This type of user might be called something like Administrator or maybe Manager. It's this person's responsibility to fix things and provide support service to the other users of the system.  They are permitted to go into individual accounts on an as-needed basis to provide the service that regular users need.

Our OSU Drupal installation has five default roles, which are explained in the Roles section of this manual.  Each one of these roles has a different set of permissions.

For example, an author is permitted to create and edit content, create and edit menus, upload media, etc.

An author can't create custom content types, though.  The only role that is allowed to create custom content types is the architect.

An architect can't add people to the site.  The manager on an OSU Drupal site is the one who is responsible for this.

If a user needs to have a wider set of permissions, the manager of a site can assign that user multiple roles.  Additionally, the manager can also create custom roles and permissions sets.

For a list of the default permissions for a standard (non-group) OSU Drupal 7 site, please see our Standard Permissions article.