Local roles


Creating and setting local roles of Plone members programmatically.


Local roles allows user accounts to have special privileges for a folder and its children.

By default Plone has roles like Contributor, Reader, Editor, etc. and you can view these on the Sharing tab and in ZMI Security tab.

Good introduction to roles: Basic Roles and Permissions in Plone

Creating a new role

New Plone roles can be created through the GenericSetup rolemap.xml file.

Example profiles/default/rolemap.xml

<?xml version="1.0"?>
    <role name="National Coordinator"/>
    <role name="Sits Manager"/>

Adding a role to the Sharing Tab

To let the newly created role appear in the @@sharing tab, create a GenericSetup sharing.xml file.

Example profiles/default/sharing.xml

<sharing xmlns:i18n="http://xml.zope.org/namespaces/i18n"
      id="Sits Coordinator"
      title="Is a sits coordinator"
      permission="Manage portal"

The title is the name to be shown on the sharing page. The required_permission is optional. If given, the user must have this permission to be allowed to manage the particular role.


For Plone 3, there is the collective.sharingroles addon. Since Plone 4, this is merged into plone.app.workflow.

Setting local role

manage_setLocalRoles is defined in AccessControl.Role.RoleManager.


context.manage_setLocalRoles(userid, ["Local roles as a list"])

Getting local roles

The get_local_roles() method returns currently-set local roles. This does not return all the effective roles (which may include roles acquired from the parent hierarchy). get_local_roles_for_userid() returns roles for a particular user as a tuple.


# get_local_roles() return sequence like ( ("userid1", ("rolename1", "rolename2")), ("userid2", ("rolename1") )
roles = context.get_local_roles()

Deleting local roles

manage_delLocalRoles(userids) takes a list of usernames as argument. All local roles for these users will be cleared.

The following example (membrane-specific) will reset local roles based on external input

def _updateLocalRoles(self):
    """ Resets Local Coordinator roles for associated users.

    Reads Archetypes field which is a ReferenceField to membrane users.
    Based on this field values users are granted local roles on this object.

    # Build list of associated usernames
    usernames = []

    # Set roles for newly given users
    for member in self.getExtraLocalCoordinators():

        # We are only interested in this particular custom membrane user type
        if member.getUserType() == "local_coordinator":

            username = member.getUserName()


            self.manage_setLocalRoles(username, ["Local Coordinator"])

    membrane = getToolByName(self, "membrane_tool")

    # Make sure that users which do not appear in extraLocalCoordinators
    # will have their roles cleared
    for username, roles in self.get_local_roles():

        sits_user = membrane.getUserAuthProvider(username)

        if not username in usernames:
            print "Clearing:" + username

Local role caching

Resolving effective local roles is a cumbersome operation, so the result is cached.


Unit testers: Local roles are cached per request. You need to clear this cache after modifying an object's local roles or switching user if you want to get proper readings.

Unit test example method:

def clearLocalRolesCache(self):
    """ Clear borg.localroles cache.

    borg.localroles check role implementation caches user/request combinations.
    If we edit the roles for a user we need to clear this cache,
    from zope.annotation.interfaces import IAnnotations
    ann = IAnnotations(self.app.REQUEST)
    for key in list(ann.keys()): # Little destructive here, deletes *all* annotations
        del ann[key]


Set your breakpoint in Products.PlonePAS.plugins.local_role.LocalRolesManager.getRolesInContext() and Products.PlonePAS.plugins.role.GroupAwareRoleManager.getRolesForPrincipal(). There you see how roles for a given context are being resolved.

Check the acl_users.portal_role_manager tool via the ZMI.

Please see the zopyx.plone.cassandra add-on product.