Assign documents to users

The DITA CMS lets you quickly and easily assign documents to the people who will be responsible for them in the different phases of the document development cycle.

Note: User roles must be configured for each type of document.

The number of people that you can assign to a given document varies according to the role. For example, there may be several Reviewers assigned to a topic, but there will typically be only one Author. The Assignments dialog displays the maximum number of people that can be assigned to the selected documents per role.

Figure 1. Example of the Assignments dialog box Example of the Assignments dialog box

This function is available from all DITA CMS views.

Note: Deactivated users who are still assigned to documents are identified in grey. Once the document is reassigned to an active user, the deactivated user name will no longer appear.
The Assignments dialog also contains filters that let you restrict the number of people who appear. This feature is useful if you are working in a company with dozens of employees, and you need to limit the choices that are presented. You can filter:
  • By project - restricts the display to people that are on the team of a specific project. The document being assigned does not need to be one of the project's deliverables; however, the project must have members listed as part of the team.
  • My projects only - further restricts the display to projects where you are on the team.
    Note: Project coordinators are considered to be team members of any project they are currently managing, whether or not they are actually listed in the project.
  • By group - restricts the display to the selected group. Group names are configurable, and the exact list will vary.

The list of approval systems and the default approval system (if any) for each role are set during system configuration. Some roles do not require or allow for an approval system, so you cannot set an approval system for those roles.

If the selected documents are part of a project, you cannot set a more stringent approval system than what was set at the project level. If there is a conflict between user-set approval systems, the more restrictive system always takes precedence.


If you intend to use DITA CMS Web for users to contribute or review content, then you must set a Context Map when you assign the topic. A Context Map is the map in which the topic is contained. This map not only provides the user with context for the topic so they understand how the content fits in to the document as a whole, but it also provides the source from which to resolve any keys contained in the topic.

Note: Depending on the configuration in your Content Store, if you assign an individual to a topic under multiple roles, he or she might see what appears to be duplicate assignments on their Assignments page, but which are actually two assignments for the same topic under different roles. If this situation occurs and causes confusion, ask the DITA CMS Administrator to review the roles configured in the Content Store to make sure each role is configured with a different active status.

To assign documents to users:

  1. Log in to DITA CMS.
  2. Locate the documents that you want to assign; for example, you can perform a search.
  3. Right-click the required documents from a view.
  4. Click Assign to from the menu.
    The Assignments dialog appears with a left and a right pane. The left pane displays all the roles that are configured for the types of documents you selected.

    If any of the check boxes are selected, this means that some of the documents you selected are already assigned to people.

  5. If you want to filter the list of names displayed in the Assignee pane, select as desired:
    • To filter by project, select the By project checkbox and click the name of the project from the list. To further filter the choices of projects to those of which you are a team member, select the My projects only checkbox.
    • To filter by group, select the By group checkbox and click the name of the group from the list.
  6. In the Assignee pane, expand each role to see the list of people who are available and select the required people from each role.
    You can enter text in the Filter results on the first column's text... field to find certain people.
  7. Optional: If you are assigning documents that are part of a project and you want to use the project's default role assignments, right-click the role name and select Use Project Default(s) > projectname (where projectname specifies the project whose role assignments you want to use).
    If there are no available projects, this section will be disabled.
    The documents are assigned to the people who hold the default role assignments in the selected project.
  8. Optional: Expand each person’s name to assign selected documents to that person.
    In the following diagram, two reviewers have been assigned topics.
    Figure 2. Example of reviewers being assigned to topics

  9. Optional: In the right pane, set the due dates for the documents:
    1. Right-click a document and then select Set Due Date from the menu.
      An interactive calendar appears. For example:

    2. Select the required date, then click OK.
      The selected date appears in the Due Date column.
    3. Repeat for each document or role, as required.
      When these documents are assigned to specific people, the document names and their due dates will appear in their Todo Lists.
    Note: If you need to clear the date from a document, right-click the document and click Clear Due Date.
  10. Optional: Add comments as desired:
    1. Right-click a document and click Edit Comment.
      A Comment window opens. For example:
    2. In the Comment dialog box, type a comment and click OK.
      The comment appears in the Comment column.
    3. Repeat for each document, as required.
    Note: If you need to clear the comment from a document, right-click the document and click Clear Comment.
  11. Set the context map for topics (required when using DITA CMS Web):
    1. Right-click a topic and click Set Context Map.
    2. In the Set a Context Map dialog box, click the map in which the topic is contained. The associated map provides assignees context for the topic within its parent map and is also used to resolve the keys.
      Important: The parent map must be open in the DITA Map view for it to be available as a Context Map in the Assignments dialog box.
    3. Click OK.
    4. Repeat for each topic, as required.
  12. Set the approval system for the documents:
    1. Right-click a document and click Set Approval System.
    2. Click the approval system you want to use. The available selections are based on your system configuration.
      For example, you might have one of the following default approval systems included in DITA CMS:
      • Unanimous: All users in this role must approve a document or image before it can pass to the next status.
      • Simple majority: A majority of users must approve a document or image before it can pass to the next status. By default, this means that more than 50% of users must approve this document before it can pass to the next status.
      • Single approval: A document or image can pass to the next status once any user in this role has approved it.
    3. Set approval systems for each document or role, as required.
    Note: If you need to clear the approval system from a document or from a role, right-click the document and click Clear Approval System.
  13. Optional: Add a link to a web site to point the assignee to additional information; for example, provide a link to a wiki page or to a ticket in a bug tracking system.
    1. Right-click a document and click Set external link.
    2. In the External Link dialog box, type the HTTP or HTTPS-based URL to the web site.
    3. Click OK.
    Note: If you need to clear the external link from a document or from a role, right-click the document and click Clear external link.
  14. Click OK.
The people to whom you have assigned documents will see the document names in their Todo Lists.