All articles

Meet passbolt new ‘groups’ feature

3 min. read

Passbolt team

Passbolt team

23 May, 2017

Sharing a password with a group of users has been the most requested feature for quite some time. Guess what, the wait is over!

Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Prior to this version, users needed to be added one by one when sharing a password. Because there was no group support functionality, if you were working with a lot of collaborators, the exercise was quite time consuming. We are happy to announce that this new release finally solves this pressing issue.

fig. “look ma’, only one month late this time!”

It wasn’t exactly a walk in a park. We started working on the specifications for this feature in december 2016. It took us no less than 5 months of work, 452 modified files, 43742 line alterations and dozens of new unit / selenium tests.

The official release name is “Grapevine” from the song “Heard it from the grapevine”. It is dedicated to all proprietary password managers that are losing their users.

What does v1.5.0 include?

This release does not cover the entire scope mentioned in the functional specifications. We focused first on delivering the must-have stories which is enough to provide a fully functional implementation of “groups” (with the associated automated test suite).

fig. sharing a password with a team.

In details, v1.5.0 implements the features mentioned below:

  • Browse the list of groups.
  • Create a group.
  • View a group information.
  • View a group’s members.
  • Add and remove people to a group.
  • Change people’s access rights on a group (e.g. who is the group manager).
  • Share a password with a group.
  • Delete a group.

The following features still remains to be done:

  • Filter users by groups in the user workspace search.
  • Filter passwords by groups in the password workspace search.
  • Transfer of group ownership when deleting a user.
  • Email notifications related to group actions.
  • Manage memberships via drag and drop.
  • Manage user group membership through the user edit dialog.

And also…

We also used this opportunity to do some very much needed cleanup on our API and refactor some parts of the code. We also fixed a few bugs and improved the health check which is now accessible in command line. This feature is particularly useful to diagnose the status of a passbolt installation.

fig. passbolt healtcheck command line interface

If you are interested in the details, you can see the whole changelog here:

What next?

We’ll use the coming weeks to implement the missing “groups” stories as well as fixing reported bugs. We’ll still try to deliver some additional features depending on the resources and time we have at hands.

Indeed, the next months will be used to repay some of the technical debt. We’ll shift our firefox plugin to the new web extension model and upgrade cakePHP to v3.x. We know this type of work is not as sexy as shipping features, but it is needed to ensure the sustainability of passbolt in the long run. Your continued support during this maintenance cycle will mean a lot to us!


Finally, a big thanks to Virtua, a communication agency from switzerland, for their generous sponsor of the “groups” feature.

We’d also like to thank the other community members who dedicated some of their time to help test the release candidates: Didier Raboud, Zákaznícka Podpora, Peter Brilla, David Ducatel and Julien Guerder.

The passbolt community keeps getting bigger and bigger. Your encouragements and support means everything to us. Feel free to reach out to us and say hello, by email, on twitter or in the comments below.