Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health
Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) is an independent, not-for-profit organization responsible for providing Canada’s health care decision-makers with objective evidence to help make informed decisions about the optimal use of drugs and medical devices in our health care system.
CADTH delivers evidence, analysis, advice, and recommendations to health care decision-makers so that they can make informed decisions. Our approach is customer-focused and our products and services are designed to meet a broad spectrum of needs.
In April 2014, another organization from Toronto came under CADTH's umbrella. One of the tools that this organization used was a collaborative workspace that allowed internal and external users to exchange documents. However, there was a significant business need for an extranet solution that would allow user delegation, governance, and secure authority from multiple sites. These issues were based on:
- Managing multiple accounts
- Allowing certain users permissions to only specific sites
- To be able to separate authority from one site
These concerns were felt amongst various committee members and users in the organization. CADTH needed a solution that would free up their IT group from the day to day problems while still being flexible to provide permissions as well as user friendly so that IT wouldn't have to spend so much time provisioning new and existing accounts.
The EUM Solution
Extranet User Manager provided CADTH with a SharePoint-compatible and user friendly solution to manage external accounts. The solution provided security and governance over these external accounts while enabling a simple yet effective delegation of user management. The Envision IT team took it one step further and provided CADTH with specific customizations and specializations in four separate areas.
The first example was to simplify the site creation process by automating some of it:
- The EUM API was called upon within the SharePoint site creation process to create the underlying groups that would manage user permissions
- The owners were automatically added to the EUM groups for delegated account management once the group was created
- And lastly, the EUM groups were systematically added within SharePoint allowing users to access the site after it had been provisioned
CADTH with the help of Envision IT built a site provisioning event receiver to create sites. This allowed IT to administer sites and have the required groups and site permissions created in a consistent and simplified manner. Also, it allowed IT to only use the EUM administrative UI to manage permissions for all sites created.
The second example is their web pages. The web pages needed to be able to display a separation between:
- A listing of internal staff members on a site and projects
- And a second listing for the external participants
CADTH was concerned that they would not be able to find a solution, but Denesh Sohan and his team built an entirely new custom web part, AD type of group. This custom fix showed the separation between external and internal listing.
The third example came early in the project when CADTH wanted the ability to do a mass import of accounts. They needed:
- Several hundred accounts to be imported
- The ability to allow them to release them in blocks at their discretion
- Each of these blocks would have a pending message
- Once the blocks were released the users would receive a message asking them to sign up
Envision IT was able to create this custom solution to selectively choose which ones CADTH wanted to enroll.
The last example is the challenges that the session cookies presented when attempting to log off a session:
- Even if you wanted to log off it wouldn't let you
- Had to come up with a way to override the session above the cookies
- They were able to execute a solution that allowed a user to be logged off, forcing the situation, and closing the tab
CADTH affirms that Extranet User Manager is an "absolute necessity from a business value" perspective. CADTH needed a business environment that was secure and a space that promoted collaboration. The solution certainly met the mark and surpassed CADTH's expectations from a product and customer service position. They said that working with Envision IT made the execution of the customized solution flawless because of the creative conversations that promoted the sharing of ideas and results.
CADTH's web team has said that they could even replace a number of their other extranets because Extranet User Manager is a critical collaboration tool that opens up possibilities to have that two-way dialogue. The customized EUM solution has surpassed CADTH's business requirements and their original need for the product and as such has become a central tool that continues to increase business collaboration and communication amongst committee members and users.