And I've never really been sure how to implement something like that. There's a lot of stuff to think about, and the logistics just thinking about it would give me a headache, so I put it off. And put it off. And put it off.
And while hiking the PCT, I thought about it some more and decided that if this feature would ever happen, I needed to actually DO something and play around with it. So shortly after I finished the trail, I followed through with the first step: Adding a column to the database that would do nothing more than point to a "parent" account. The master account. The family account. The primary account. Whatever you call it. It didn't actually DO anything, but it gave Atlas Quest a way to identify a simple relationship between to accounts.
And over the last couple of months, I've added a piece here and there--real functionality. First the ability to log into a sub-account using the password from the primary account. Then the ability for the master account to edit boxes and trackers if it was owned by the sub-account. Then the ability to read mail from sub-accounts through the primary account. And so on. A lot of little incremental improvements that, today, is quite a substantial feature in it's own right.
So now, you'll see a new link under the 'My Page' menubar option called 'My Accounts.' This is where you can control all of your accounts from one convenient location. =)
There are three distinctly different types of sub-accounts:
- Aliases: Your alter egos, if you have any. Something like the Mystery Mailer would be an alias for a real person. Registering an alias with your primary account will allow you to post messages and send AQ mail from your aliases without having to log into your alias accounts.
- Child: Child accounts are for the children in your family--typically those who aren't old enough to have their own accounts. Child accounts have additional restrictions that will not permit them to post to the message boards, send AQ mail, or drop into the chat rooms. Child accounts are generally only meant to record finds that your children have found--they don't really need all those other features. When recording finds, you'll be able to record finds on child accounts at the same time.
- Adult: These are like the child accounts, but without the restrictions.
While logged into the sub-account, everything works like it always has. You won't see any changes. The real power lies in the primary account. The password for the primary account can log you into any of the sub-accounts. You can also reset the passwords for the sub-accounts from the primary account. And like I said before, you can edit the boxes, trackers, events, etc. of sub-accounts directly from the primary account. The primary account is also capable of reading the AQ mail of any attached sub-accounts.
There's also a new widget for My Page for sub-accounts. If you plan to make use of this feature, you'll probably want to add the Sub-Accounts widget.