Impersonating a User

Discover how to use the User Impersonation functionality

Last Updated

April 24th, 2020

Docebo Module

Learn

Reading Time

7 min

User Level

Introduction

As a Superadmin, you can temporarily login as another user in your platform to perform actions on his or her behalf to help with troubleshooting in his or her learning platform. When impersonating a user, you’ll have access to exactly what the user can access in the platform and you’ll be able to operate in the platform as if you logged in as that user. The main actions that you perform when logged in as another user are tracked in the system by the Audit Trail app and, when you log in as another user, a notification is immediately sent to the user to inform him or her that you accessed the platform on his or her behalf.

Use Case Scenarios

A useful scenario for this functionality is helping your users with troubleshooting issues. For example, if one of your users contacts you because he/she is facing a problem in the platform, as the Superadmin you can log in as this user and help him or her with the problem. Thanks to the impersonation functionality, both you and your users will save time and effort, because your users won’t need to provide you with a detailed (and not easy) explanation of what isn’t working in their platform and which actions you need to take in order to solve their issue. 

Impersonating a User

In order to log in as one of the users in your platform, begin by accessing the Admin Menu from the gear icon in the top right corner of your platform. Then, select the Users option in the E-Learning section. On the main Users page, find the user you want to impersonate, press the ellipsis button at the end of the user’s row and select Log In as This User. In the pop-up box that opens, from the dropdown menu select an available domain in which you want to login as the selected user, then confirm your action by pressing the corresponding button. Please note that if the Extended Enterprise app is not active in your platform, or the user you are impersonating is not linked to any domain of the Extended Enterprise, you won’t be prompted to select any domain.

impersonating a user

Once you confirm your action, you’ll be logged out from your admin profile and you’ll log in as the user you chose to impersonate. You’ll be redirected to the homepage of the user account you chose to impersonate. Please remember that the most important actions that you perform using the user’s account on behalf of this user (and that are actions usually tracked in the system by the Audit Trail app) are tracked by the Audit Trail app as if they were performed by the user you are impersonating. Note that also the admin account which impersonated the user (your account) is recorded in the actions tracked in the Audit Trail app. 

Please note that the system cannot recognize which user actually performed some of the actions.

Always remember that all of the actions you perform while you’re impersonating another user are real actions. If you complete a course while you are logged in as another user, then, when the user you impersonated logs into his or her account again, he or she will find that this course has been completed (and the course will be marked as completed by the user you impersonated, not by you). Similarly, if you progress the course, when the user logs into his or her platform again, he or she will be able to resume the course from the point where you left off.

As long as you are logged into the platform as another user, a warning bar will be shown at the top of the platform, on every page and menu you’ll navigate. The message in the bar will remind you that you are temporarily logged in as one of your users (the username is mentioned in the message).

Switching Back to Your Account

Whenever you want to end the impersonation and log in again as yourself, you just have to press the Switch Back to Your Account button on the right side of the bar at the top of the page (remember that you’ll find this bar on any page of the platform you’ll be).

switch back to your account

You’ll be redirected to the main Users page, exactly where you selected the user you wanted to impersonate. From that moment on, you are logged into the platform with your admin account. In this way, you won’t waste time logging out from the user account and then logging back into your admin account.

When you decide to end the impersonation session, please remember to always do it by pressing the Switch Back to Your Account button in the bar at the top of the page. Otherwise, if you end the impersonation by letting your session expire, the system isn’t able to track when the impersonation session ended and, as a consequence, cannot send a notification to the user.

Notifications

When you log in as one of your users, a notification is immediately sent to the user (in-platform and, if your user’s email is configured in the platform, via email) to inform him or her that you accessed the platform on his or her behalf. 

As soon as you log in as another user, the notification is immediately sent to the user, but please note that at that moment you as the Superadmin are currently logged into that user’s account. For this reason, as a best practice, please do not open and read the user notification, so that, when the user logs into his or her account again, will instantly see the unread notification (even if you open and read the notification, it won’t be deleted, but the user may not notice it when logging into his or her platform again, since there’s not the red dot over the bell icon indicating that there are unread notifications).

Then, when you switch back to your admin account, the user you impersonated receives another notification (in-platform and, if configured, via email) informing him or her that you logged out from his or her account.

In this way, your users will be informed about who logged into the platform using their accounts and at what time, and also about when the impersonation session ended.

Make sure that the Notifications feature is active in your platform, and that you have correctly configured the Your Superadmin temporarily logged into your user account and the Your Superadmin logged out from your user account notifications. Refer to this article for more information on managing and sending notifications.

Please Note: These two notifications are active by default in your platform, but you can deactivate them when needed. Moreover, you can edit the text of the two notifications, configure and also delete them by using the Notifications menu.

Important Notes

Please keep in mind the following important information when using this functionality:

  • For security reasons, only Superadmins can use the User Impersonation functionality (Power User cannot use this feature).
  • You as a Superadmin can log in as one of your users (also Power Users), but you cannot log into the platform as another Superadmin, or as yourself.
  • When impersonating another user, for security reasons, you cannot access E-Signature courses into which the user that you are impersonating is enrolled. When a user is enrolled in an E-Signature course, he or she has to go through a secondary authentication process in order to prove his or her identity. Accessing an E-Signature course of another user would mean having access to personal temporary One Time Passwords (OTP) needed for E-Signature authentication. As a consequence, the electronic signature will lose its legal validity (of course, in order for the learner’s E-Signature to have legal validity, the course must be completed by the user who signs it and in his or her own account). Please refer to this article for more information about the E-Signature functionality.
  • The most important between the actions that you perform using the user’s account on behalf of this user (and that are usually tracked in the system by the Audit Trail app) are tracked by the Audit Trail app as if they were performed by the user you are impersonating. Note that also the admin account which impersonated the user (your account) is recorded in the actions tracked in the Audit Trail app. Please note that the system cannot recognize which user actually performed some of the actions.
  • In order to use the impersonation functionality, the Audit Trail app must be activated in your platform.
  • In order to use the impersonation functionality, the Notifications app must be activated in your platform.
  • If a user has not accepted the Privacy Policy and/or the Terms & Conditions in the platform, the Superadmin will need to accept the Privacy Policy/Terms & Conditions on their behalf in order to log in as that user. Once the Superadmin has completed the tasks necessary while logged in as a user, the Superadmin can edit the user’s profile by reaching the user’s My Profile page via the pencil icon and then unchecking the acceptance box under the Privacy Policy and/or the Terms & Conditions section. This will log the Superadmin out as that user immediately and the user will be prompted to accept the Privacy Policy and/or the Terms & Conditions upon their first login.
  • If you have customized the domain of your platform through the Custom Domain app, when impersonating a user, you’ll be logged in as the user in the platform custom domain and not in the https://[platform_name].docebosaas.com domain.

Best Practices

Keep the following best practices in mind when using this functionality: 

  • When you decide that you want to end the impersonation session and you want to come back to your admin account, please always do it by pressing the Switch Back to Your Account button in the bar at the top of the page, as explained in the Switching Back to Your Account section above in this article. Otherwise, if you end the impersonation by letting your session expire, the system isn’t able to track when the impersonation session ended and, as a consequence, cannot send a notification to the user.
  • When you log in as another user, a notification is immediately sent to the user, but please remember that at that moment you as the Superadmin are currently logged into that user’s account. For this reason, as a best practice, please do not open and read the user notification, so that, when the user logs into his or her account again, will immediately see the unread notification (even if you open and read the notification, it won’t be deleted, but the user may not notice it when logging into his or her platform again, since there’s not the red dot over the bell icon indicating that there are unread notifications).