Dashboard Administration

This section describes the user interface for organization administrators to manage data access through roles and permissions.

User, permission and role administation can be accessed by clicking the User Administration link in the Account menu in the top right corner of the site.

Note that these menus are meant to assist organization administrators in viewing and managing permissions, and users without administrative privileges may not see anything on these pages.

Data Access Components

Organization administrators will use the Solar Forecast Arbiter’s data access controls to grant users access to their data or to allow users to submit data on their organization’s behalf. The Solar Forecast Arbiter uses a Role Based Access Control System to control access to data. There are four main components in the access control system:


Organizations are groups of users. All data submitted by users within an organization will belong to that organization. An organization’s administrators will control access to all of the data belonging to the organization.


Framework user accounts determine what actions an end user can perform within the framework. A user is granted access to data through the roles they are assigned.

User Classifications

Users of the Solar Forecast Arbiter are described by one or more of the following classifications.

Organization Point of Contact

An organization’s point of contact is a representative of the organization who is authorized to approve or request changes to the organization. There may be more than one point of contact for an organization.

A point of contact may coordinate with framework administrators to:

  • Add and remove users from the organization.

  • Promote users to organization administrators.

  • Coordinate organization participation in a forecast trial.

Organization Administrators

Organization Administrators are users with special permission to manage users, roles and permissions. Organization administrators are also granted full access to their organization’s data. An organization’s point of contact may request that users in their organization be promoted to an organization administrator by emailing a request to admin@solarforecastarbiter.org.

Administrators may grant and revoke roles from users in their organization and add or remove permissions from roles. Roles may be granted to members of other organizations provided their organization has aggreed to the Data Use Aggreement.

All administrative permissions other than read access, e.g. those allowing create, update, grant, revoke or delete on users, roles or permissions, are restricted to sharing with users in the same organization. For example, attempts to grant a role with permission to update users to a member of another organization or to add the update users permission to a role that has been granted outside the organization will not be allowed.

Standard User

Solar Forecast Arbiter users are added to the Unaffiliated organization by default. Unaffiliated users will have access to the reference data set but may not gain further access until they have joined an organization that has accepted the data use agreement.

An organization’s point of contact may submit a request to admin@solarforecastarbiter.org to add a user to their organization. Users new to an organization have no access to the organization’s data until an organization administrator grants them access.


Roles are a collection of permissions that may be granted to a user. Best practice is to only grant users the permissions necessary to perform their job function. For instance, an organization administrator’s roles will have permissions to create new roles and permissions, while a non-administrative user’s roles may only have permission to view and write data to the organization’s forecasts. Roles may also be created to share data with users outside of the organization.


Permissions allow a user to perform an action on a piece of data or pieces of similar objects in the framework. For instance, a permission may allow a user to view the metadata of an observation or post values to all forecasts. Permissions are added to roles to enable users with that role to perform the permission’s action. A permission can only allow actions on data owned by the organization in which it was created.

Default Roles

When a new organization is created, a set of default roles will be created for the organization. These roles are intended for use within the organization as they permit actions on all existing and future data in an organization. Administrators are encouraged to create new roles with permissions tailored to a specific user or group of users. When sharing data with users outside their organization, organization administrators are strongly encouraged to create roles with specific permissions that apply to only the data they would like to share.

The default roles are described below:

  • View all data and metadata: Access all of the metadata and values in the organization. This includes observations, forecasts, probabilistic forecasts, sites, aggregates, and reports.

  • Write all values: Allows a user to submit data within the organization e.g. adding measurements to an observation.

  • Create metadata: Allows a user to create new sites, observations, forecasts, probabilistic forecasts, reports, and aggregates.

  • Delete data and metadata: Allows a user to delete sites, observations, forecasts, probabilistic forecasts as well as any associated values.

  • Administer data access controls: Granted to organization administrators, this role allows:

    • Create and delete new roles and permissions.

    • Add and remove permissions from roles.

    • Add or remove data objects from a permission.

    • Grant and revoke roles on a user.

Managing Users

Users are associated with an organization through the signup process outlined in getting started. Administrators have access to a listing of users in their organization and a page for each individual user in their organization and the roles they have been granted.

  • The Users tab of the user administration menu will list the users you have access to administer(users within your organization) or view (users outside your organization that have been granted access to your data).

  • Clicking on an individual user will list information about the user and their roles. See the users within your organization section of granting roles to a user and revoking roles from a user for how to manage a user’s roles.

Create New Role

  1. Navigate to the roles listing with the Roles tab of the admin menu. This page lists all of the Roles you have access to administer or view.

  2. Click the Create new Role button. Complete the form with a name and description of the role. After the role is created you may add permissions to the role or grant it to users.

  • Created Role pages

    Clicking on an individual Role will list information about it and the permissions associated with it. Use the tabs below the metadata section to switch between the list of permissions on the role and a list of users the role has been granted to.

    Role permissions listing Role users listing

Create New Permission

  1. Navigate to the Permissions listing with the Permissions tab of the admin menu. This page will list all of the Permissions you have access to administer or view.

  2. Click on the data type you would like to create a permission for in the “Create new Permission” box. You will be prompted for a description of the permission, the action the permission allows and a list of objects. Click the checkboxes for each object that the permission should allow its action on. Selecting Applies to all will cause the permission to affect all current and future objects of the permission’s type.

    Permission form for observation permsission

  • Clicking on an individual Permission will list information about it and the objects it applies to.

Data Sharing

An organization admin can share data by granting roles to a user. Granting a role permits the user to perform actions defined by the role’s permissions. Roles granted to users outside of the organization may not contain administrative permissions. Administrative permissions are those that allow users to perform an update, create, or delete action on roles, permissions, or users. Similarly, administrative permissions may not be added to a role that is currently shared with a user outside the organization.

Grant Roles to a User

Users within your organization

  1. Navigate to the User for which you would like to grant permissions and click the Add Roles button.

  2. This page will list each role that is not already granted to the user. Check the box for each role to add to the user and submit the form. You will be returned to the user’s page.

Users in other organizations

  1. Navigate to the Role you would like to grant to a user. Click the Grant Role button.

  2. Enter the email of the user to grant the role to and click submit.

Revoke Roles from a User

Users within your organization

  1. Navigate to the User you would like to revoke a role from.

  2. Locate the Role to revoke in the roles table, and click the remove link in the far right column. You will be presented with a confirmation page before the role is removed from the user.

Users in other organizations

  1. Navigate to the Role you would like to revoke from a user and click on the Users tab.

  2. Locate the user in the users table and click the remove link in the far right column. You will be presented with a confirmation page before the role is removed from the user.

Add Permissions to a Role

  1. Navigate to the Role you would like to add permissions to and click the add permissions button.

  2. Check the box for each permission to add to the role and click submit.

Remove Permissions from a Role

  1. Navigate to the Role you would like to remove Permissions from and click on the Permissions tab.

  2. Locate the Permission to revoke in the table and click the remove link in the far right column. You will be presented with a confirmation page before the permission is removed from a role.

Permissions Reference Table

This table gives a brief description of the effect of each type of permission on each data type. In certain circumstances, a combination of permissions may be necessary to perform a particular action.

Data Type create6 read update delete1 read_values write_values delete_values grant revoke
observations create new read metadata n/a delete metadata and values read timeseries values and quality flags add timeseries values to observation n/a n/a n/a
forecasts create new read metadata n/a delete metadata and values read timeseries values add timeseries values to forecast n/a n/a n/a
cdf_forecasts create new 2 read metadata add a constant value to a cdf_forecast delete metadata and values read timeseries values of each bin add tiemseries values to bins n/a n/a n/a
aggregates create new 3 read metadata add/remove observation from aggregate 4 delete metadata and values read timeseries values 5 n/a n/a n/a n/a
reports create new read metadata set report status, store report metrics and raw_report delete metadata and values read processed values of report store or update processed report values n/a n/a n/a
users create new read metadata n/a delete metadata n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
roles create new read metadata add and remove permissions from role delete metadata n/a n/a n/a add role to user remove role from user
permissions create new read metadata add and remove objects from permissions delete metadata n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
  1. Deleting any data type will remove that object from all permissions that affect it.

  2. The creation of a probabilistic forecast (cdf_forecast) requires both the create and update permission.

  3. The creation of an aggregate requires the create permission to create an empty aggregate, and the update permission to add the observations that make up the aggregate.

  4. Adding an observation to an aggregate requires that the user has read permissions on that observation.

  5. Reading a the full values of an aggregate requires read_values permissions on all of it’s constituent observations. A partial aggregate value will be returned to users.

  6. Create permissions are only effective within the organization that they are created. When users create metadata, the metadata is owned by that user’s organization. User’s that are granted create permissions outside their organization will not be allowed to create new metadata, they will require create permissions from their own organization.