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a conceptual Group dilemma – need Ideas please

  • Mike Pratt


    At (an alumni site), we have a (perhaps) unique situation/requirement. We have 2 groups that we auto join everyone (Class Year and Cadet Company e.g “1987” & “A4”) Every West Point Cadet has both and we have groups created for both. Affinity does not stop there, however. Members of ’87 in the company A4 ALSO have an affinity, even deeper than just 1987 or all classes who happen to be in A4. So a new “group” can be defined literally by the intersection of “1987” and “A4”

    Problem: We have members now asking to create groups along these lines e.g. “87/A4” Well, with 60+ years of grads and 36 Cadet Companies, we’re talking 2,000 more groups…unwieldy and yet another group to join/manage.

    We’d like to use the Group API to create a sort of “virtual” group formed, as previously mentioned, by the “intersection of membership of 2 other groups.

    Thoughts? Is this even possible? Is there another way to approach this problem?

    One thought was to make 87/A4 an extension of 1987 Group. Maybe filtering views and posting privileges based on the dual membership. It would be accessible via 1987 but then appear as it’s own group. Tricky, maybe.

    “westpointer” and I would appreciate any thoughts, direction and feedback you can think of.

    Many Thanks,


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  • Jeff Sayre


    I suggest going back to index cards and card catalogs. They worked so much better.

    Actually, I think that you are on the proper path. In essence, you need to create a virtual subgroup–the intersection of the two groups. This virtual subgroup would be a child to both the class year and the Cadet Company.

    I take it from your description that the class year has precedence. Even though members of a given Cadet Company are allowed to communicate with members in different class years, a given member is not allowed to communicate with a member in a different Cadet Company unless they are in the same class year.

    So code a function that will create a subset of data corresponding to the intersection of class year and Cadet Company. It will be a virtual subgroup even though it does not exist as an actual group in the DB. Provide a link, an icon, within the Class Year group that triggers a function that filters out the data of the Cadet Year to only display members in that Cadet Company who are in the same class year. You can do the same in the Cadet Company group as well.

    Actually creating a new group would be redundant as the data already exists. It’s best to simply pull it from the two existing groups as needed.

    Having never done this in BP myself, I’m not sure how you would go about it. But it should not be too difficult.

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