Using Penn Groups to collaborate with Penn Box
Gary Gehman, Uncategorized

ISC now provides a way to simplify collaboration through use of Penn Groups.

Anyone want to use PennGroups to manage groups of people with access to Penn+Box files and folders? See instructions below. PennGroups is an online tool that enables users to electronically manage access to Penn resources, from web applications to physical resources (such as printers), and more. For more information, please visit the PennGroups service page on ISC’s website:

Why would you want to do this?

  • Easier to share files/folders to a group than to a set of people
  • Easier to manage existing shares when team members are added/removed
  • Automatically control access e.g. based on payroll org or class list
  • Maintain consistent access to Penn+Box documents with privileges in other applications that tie in to PennGroups
  • Leverage PennGroups auditing capabilities to know who added/removed someone to the group, and when. Or see point-in-time history of who was in the group at a time in the past or even a range of time
  • The more applications that use centralized authorization, the easier it can be determined centrally “who has access to what?” “how can I deprovision a user that leaves” “how can I copy privileges of an existing (or past user) for a new team member”
  • Delegate group membership management to others, possibly even to managers not in the group itself
  • Automatic reminders to review group memberships of manually maintained groups

PennGroups to Penn+Box

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I add a PennGroup to Penn+Box?
    Contact to have a PennGroup added. In your request:

    • Specify the name of the PennGroup. The name must begin with: group_
      e.g. group_iscStaff (the group_ prefix followed by a short alphanumeric label).
    • Provide the name of an existing PennGroup of staff that you own and who should be able to manage that Group.
    • Let us know if this Group will be data driven (e.g., based on employee organization) and provide the requirements. Queries originate from Penn Community or Data Warehouse.
  2. Are automated notifications sent out to Group members when they are added to a Group?
    A user will NOT receive automated notification.
  3. Are automated notifications sent out to Group members when Box files or folders are shared with the Group?
    A user will NOT receive automated notification.
  4. Who can change memberships in PennGroups?
    The Group of staff specified on Group creation will have UPDATE on the group and can update the memberships in PennGroups. Data driven groups can have manual includes and excludes
  5. Who can change memberships in Box?
    PennGroups is the system of record, so changes to memberships cannot be made in Box
  6. Who can see the members of a Group?
    Members of the Group can see fellow members in Box. The Sharing tab on the upper right of the Box interface contains the members that have access to that folder resource. The Group managers identified at Group creation also can see the members in PennGroups.
  7. If added to a PennGroup, how long does it take to see it in the Box application?
    Changes in PennGroups to existing Box users propagate to Box usually after a few minutes.
  8. What happens if I add a user to PennGroups, but they don’t have a Box account yet?
    New Box accounts require that the user first log in. Once they’ve done that, they will appear in the group on Box upon the completion of the next full sync, which runs early each morning.
  9. What do you need to be able to access Box?
    You need a PennKey and an active Affiliation.
  10. Basic navigation in BOX for inviting collaborators, setting roles and uploading files.

Information via SUG: Chris Hyzer, UPenn Information Systems and Computing. May 30, 2018