Provider Concept

A Provider is a partner or customer that “owns” a number of TeamDrive users. In turn, every TeamDrive user is associated with a particular Provider.

A Registration Server may have any number of Providers. Most Registration Server settings can be set per Provider. This means a Provider has significant control over its users. This includes the following:

  • Client-side settings can be specified in order to configure login, registration, and to determine the behaviour of the client in general.
  • Clicking links in the TeamDrive Client re-directs the user to Provider specific URLs.
  • Users are directed to a Hosting Service or Registration Server that belongs to, or is associated with, the Provider.

The Provider Code

Each Provider has a globally unique Provider Code. The Provider Code is a 4 character sequence. The allowed characters are A to Z and 0 to 9. All new Provider Codes have to be approved by TeamDrive Systems GmbH.

The main TeamDrive Systems Provider Code is TMDR.

The DISTRIBUTOR File for a Provider

The DISTRIBUTOR file is part of the installation of a TeamDrive Client. The file is signed so that it cannot be altered after installation.

The DISTRIBUTOR file contains the Provider Code, a list of URLs that reference the Registration Server associated with the Provider, and a number of client settings.

On registration, the Provider Code in the DISTRIBUTOR file is sent the Registration Server. The code is then used in the process of “user allocation”, as described below.

User Allocation

The Provider of a user is fixed at the moment they login or register. User allocation is generally determined by the Provider Code in the DISTRIBUTOR file or by the Provider Code panel in the first page of the client registration.

Providers with a TeamDrive OEM client should offer their own download site. These installations are packaged with their own DISTRIBUTOR file. This way, user’s that download and install this version of TeamDrive are automatically allocated to that Provider.

Providers without a TeamDrive OEM client will use the standard TeamDrive client. Users have to enter the provider code to register at the right Registration Server. Pre-Registered users could just login using their username and password. The standard client will do a lookup over TDNS to direct the user to the correct Registration Server. To allow the standard client to connect to your Registration Server, the communication with TeamDriveMaster must be enabled in the admin console (see “Manage Servers” chapter in administrative guide).

Network Allocation

The process of Network Allocation can override user allocation determined by the DISTRIBUTOR file. In this case, the IP address of the TeamDrive Client is used to determine the Provider of the user.

Each Provider can specify its ownership of a number of IP networks (see CLIENT_NETWORKS setting in CLIENT_NETWORKS). If a TeamDrive Client is started in one of these networks the server can detect this from the IP address of the client and allocate the user to the Provider that owns the network. Network allocation has priority over DISTRIBUTOR file allocation.

In this way, it is not necessary for every Provider to have their own version of the TeamDrive Client or their own DISTRIBUTOR file.

The Provider determined by the DISTRIBUTOR file or the IP network that the client using is called the “Candidate Provider”.

Allocation Phases

We distinguish between two “allocation phases”. The first is called “pre-login” and the second is the “post-login” phase.

The pre-login phase is before a user has logged in or registered. At this point the user’s true Provider is unknown, so the client uses the Candidate Provider (i.e. either the Provider in the DISTRIBUTOR file or the Provider associated with the IP network that the client is using) instead.

The post-login phase is after a user has logged in or registered. At this time the user’s Provider is fixed. When a user registers, the Candidate Provider becomes permanently associated with the user. So in the post-login phase, the Candidate Provider is irrelevant, and is ignored by the TeamDrive Clients.

However, if the user logs out, he reverts to the “pre-login” phase, and the Candidate Provider is once again associated with the user.

Provider Parameters

As mentioned before, there are a number of Registration Server settings that are associated with a Provider. The settings are described in Provider Settings.

Please check the settings after adding a new provider and modify the default values to your requirements (see Administrative Guide).

Hosting Service for each Provider

Each Provider can register their own Hosting Service at a Registration Server (only possible with Enterprise Hosting Service). It’s also possible to register more than one Hosting Service for the same Provider at a Registration Server, but only one Hosting Service can be used for the default storage accounts of the users for this Provider. You could define your own logic to distribute users to different Hosting Services and use the API to create default space depots on the right Hosting Service.

Client License Keys

Each Provider receives their own range of client license keys, which all start with the four letter Provider Code followed by 3 blocks of 4 characters each (ex: TMDR-1234-1234-1234). For every user a default license is created (if no global default license is defined, see DEFAULT_LICENSEKEY). Each license has one or more features which enable actions in the client (for more details, please look at TeamDrive Client-Server Interaction).

If a license has an “owner” assigned (who must be an existing user of the license’s provider), then this user will automatically receive the license key when they first install a TeamDrive client. Licenses without an assigned owner (which may be the case for multi-user licenses) can not be automatically assigned (unless it is specified to be the default license, see DEFAULT_LICENSEKEY). Instead, a user must manually enter the license code into the TeamDrive Client or have the license assigned to them through the admin console (see “Devices” chapter in administrative guide).

Please note that the owner of a license is not necessarily the same as the user who is using the license. Multiuser licenses will always have users other than the owner. The admin console will show all licenses which are owned and/or used by a user. The admin console also allows you to set the owner of a license or to assign a license from a different owner to existing devices of other users.

License properties:

  • Type: Permanent, Monthly Payment, Yearly Payment, One-off Professional Trial License, 1-Year Professional License Subscription, Not for Resale (not possible in the API and Admin Console)
  • Feature: WebDAV, Professional, SecureOffice, Agent and Restricted (see DEFAULT_FREE_FEATURE for details).
  • Single` or ``Multiuser license. License usage is counted per user, a single user can install and use any number of devices with one license

API Access

The Registration Server and Enterprise Hosting Service offer an API interface, so that other systems can execute functions on both systems. The API is using the XML-RPC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XML-RPC) protocol. For more informations please read the additional API documentation.

Accessing users on the Registration Server using XML-RPC is limited to the users which belong to same Provider. Detecting the Provider depends on the IP address of the request. For each Provider one or more IPs must be enabled. Users which belong to other Provider are not completely invisible, but accessing the email of these users is not possible.

In case that the Registration Server is connected to the TDNS (see TeamDrive Name Server (TDNS)) a user might already exists on another Registration Server within the TDNS. These users can not be accessed using the API unless the owner of the foreign Registration Server allows API access from you.