Document security is controlled by the user role’s security settings (permissions) for the document’s lifecycle state. However, there are times when additional security is required at the document field level. For example, many organizations need to prevent users from editing Major Version and Minor Version when initially creating a document. Field-level security allows Admins to set fields as read-only, hidden, or editable for specific users or groups.

Each field also has a default security level of editable, read-only, or hidden that applies user for which there is no override. Field-level security can only further restrict security applied at the document level by the security matrix. It cannot give a user more permissions on a field that they would otherwise get via document security. Field-level security is treated like any other security setting and is respected by the API.

Types of Field-Level Security

  • Editable: The field is visible and editable by all users with the Edit Fields permission. This is the default field level security setting.
  • Read Only: The field is displayed in read-only mode for all affected users and groups, regardless of whether the document itself is editable by the user. The only time this security level is exposed to the user is when they are editing a document and certain fields stay Read Only.
  • Hidden: The field is not available to affected users and groups. It does not appear on the Doc Info page in either view or edit mode, in the faceted navigation controls on the left side of the library page. Its field values are not searchable by the user, and it cannot be queried via the API. If the field is used on a report, the user will be unable to open the report.

When thinking about the information architecture of Vault, consider how permissions-based document security interacts with field level security. Document security varies by lifecycle state and is associated with roles, which can be filled by different users on different documents. Field-level security maps to specific users and groups and does not vary based on the document’s lifecycle state. Field-level security is useful for rules that apply at all times. For example, no users in a department should ever be able to update a certain set of fields.

Accessing Field-Level Security Settings

You can view the security settings for a document field from Admin > Configuration > Document Fields > [Field Label] > Security Overrides. Only Admins with the Document Fields: Edit permission can modify these settings.

About Default Security

The Default Security setting applies to any users who do not have a security override. Each field’s default security is automatically set to Editable. You can restrict this if, for example, you want only a few users or groups to have edit permissions on a field, and everyone else should be read-only. In this example, set the default setting to Read-Only and create overrides for specific users with the Editable setting.

About User and Group Overrides

To exempt a user or group of users from the Default Security setting, you can create overrides for them.

If a user is in a group specified in an override and also listed individually, Vault evaluates that user’s security to the least restrictive setting. For example, Bruce Ashton has the setting Editable and belongs to the group Viewers with the setting Hidden. Bruce Ashton’s setting will be Editable.

How to Set Field-Level Security

To set up user and group security overrides:

  1. From the Security Overrides tab, click Edit.
  2. In the Default Security picklist, select a security setting.
  3. In the overrides area, select a user or group and the security setting.
  4. Add additional overrides by clicking the + icon.
  5. Remove overrides by clicking the - icon.
  6. Click Save when done editing.

Viewing Which Fields Have Security Overrides

The list on the Document Fields page shows an icon to indicate the fields with security overrides. Click the icon to go directly to the Security Override tab on the appropriate field page.

Field Security Override Icon

Viewing Which Users Have Security Overrides

You can see if security overrides are assigned to a specific user through the user detail page. This page has a Security Overrides tab which displays all overrides that apply to the user, either directly or through a group membership.

Controlling Initial Version Numbers

By default, a document’s initial version number is editable to better support document migrations. However, allowing users to modify the Minor Version Number and Major Version Number fields on new documents that they create can cause version tracking and auditing issues for some organizations. You can prevent this by making the field read-only.

To ensure that the initial version is always 0.1, set the Default Security setting on Major Version Number to Read-Only. Major Version Number and Minor Version Number are linked, so any security changes that you apply to one of these fields will automatically affect the other.

When you create or update documents in Document Migration Mode, Vault will always allow editing of the version number for any documents created using bulk processes through the API.