Determine if Your Data Is in a U-M Box Shared Account or a Shared Folder

Environment

U-M Box

Issue

How to determine whether a file/folder in U-M Box is owned by a U-M Box Shared Account or if it is just within a shared folder.

Resolution

To check if a file or folder that is shared with you resides within a U-M Box Shared Account, look at the uniqname of the Owner.

  • If the Owner on the file/folder has a uniqname that is at least nine characters, then the file/folder is owned by a Shared Account
  • Individual U-M accounts have uniqnames that are three to eight characters long
  • Shared Accounts should have a uniqname that is at least nine characters long. Another way to confirm is to take the Owner's email address and search for the account/person's name in MCommunity

Example of a file/folder within a Shared Account:

Screenshot of the Sharing tab on a folder in U-M Box. The folder Owner has a red box around their name: "collaborate"

When you click on the Owner, “collaborate,” you will be taken to a list of all the collaborators on that folder and can see that the Owner “collaborate” has the email address "collaborate@umich.edu." Since the uniqname is at least nine characters, it is a Shared Account. If you would like to confirm, you can check the MCommunity entry for the account name.

Example of a file/folder within a shared folder (i.e., owned by an individual; not a Shared Account):

Screenshot of the Sharing tab on a folder in U-M Box. The folder Owner has a red box around their name: "Lindsay"

When you click on the Owner, “Lindsay,” you will be taken to a list of all the collaborators on that folder and you can see that the Owner “Lindsay” has the email address "lindsays@umich.edu." Since the uniqname is fewer than nine characters, it is an individual Box user’s account (which you should notice has the name of the person). If you would like to confirm, you can check the MCommunity entry for the person's uniqname.

Important things to remember:

  • Shared Accounts should have at least nine characters in their uniqname/email address (e.g., collaborate@umich.edu)
  • MCommunity groups (which are technically not the same as Shared Accounts - even if they look similar) cannot be the full Owner of any data in U-M Box
    • For example, I have an MCommunity group called madi-testgroup@umich.edu which is not a Shared Account. I share a folder that I (madiatk@umich.edu) am the Owner of with the MCommunity group, assigning it as the Co-Owner. There is no way for me to change full ownership of that folder to the MCommunity group - Box does not allow it.
  • Box has a "waterfall" permissions model. This means that permissions set at the root-level folder are applied to all subfolders and files within that root folder
    • As a result, a Shared Account will be the Owner for all subfolders and files within its root folder.
  • With Box, users see folders starting with the top-level at which they are granted access, and those folders appear in the All Files view of the user's individual Box account
    • This means you may not see the root level folder of a Shared Account because that root level is not shared with you. But you can still tell if the folder/file shared with you is inside a Shared Account (see explanation above).

Additional Information

Note: There was a period in the past where there were no character limits on MCommunity group and Shared Account names. Because of this, there are rare cases where a Shared Account may have fewer than nine characters in length. The above still applies, however, you will want to focus on the name of the owner, rather than the character length.

Need additional information or assistance? Contact the ITS Service Center.

Details

Article ID: 4732
Created
Mon 3/29/21 2:12 PM
Modified
Tue 3/30/21 9:52 AM