Visit the workspaces page in order to login or logout, to enter an AGORA workspace, and to manage your profile.


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Glossary of important AGORA terms. 

"Workspaces" page

The “Workspaces” page provides you with an overview of the website. You are taken here directly after logging in, and also via the CommSy-Bar, via the link “Goto Workspace”. The page has an overview of workspaces and current portal news, as well as the AGORA menu and myAGORA. You can also create a workspace from here, look up our contact details, and check the server status.

Apply for membership

If you want to access a Project Workspace, you may be asked to specify a reason for joining (rather than entering a code). If you are a participant in the Workspace Moderator’s seminar, inform them of this in a short note here. The Moderator will subsequently be able to activate your membership; once this has occurred, you will receive an email notification, and can then access the workspace at any time.

Tip: Please see our corresponding tutorial for more details on this topic.


CommSy stands for “Community System”. It is a web-based system to support networked project work. CommSy is the area of AGORA that you are taken to upon logging in – i.e. the Project and Community Workspaces, and everything you need to use them.

CommSy is Open-Source (GPL) and can therefore be freely used. The newest version (CommSy8) has been running on the AGORA-Platform since March 2013. 


In CommSy8, the CommSy-Bar refers to the dark grey bar that you can see in the upper part of the screen when you are logged in. This bar displays a range of buttons, which offer the following standard options (from left to right): Navigation, Workspace settings (accessible for moderators, only within a room), Repository, Online Clipboard, View and edit profile or log out of CommSy (power symbol on right).

You can change the settings for what appears on the CommSy-Bar by clicking on your name on the right side of the bar to access profile settings. In the settings, select the fourth tab (“CommSy-Bar”) and choose the icons to switch on or off, such as the calendar, widgets, your repository, or your online clipboard.

You can learn more about setting up your personal CommSy-Bar in the “My Profile” tutorial.

Community Workspace

Institutes or other groups can make a request to the AGORA-Team to set up a so-called Community Workspace. This enables higher-level community organisation of several Project Workspaces. In addition to the usual functions of a Project Workspace, it also has the options “Project Workspaces” and “Institutions”. Associated Project Workspaces can be assigned to this Community Workspace, and it can be used by members of the Community to set up and store relevant documents, without having to do this individually in each of the assigned Project Workspaces.

Drag & Drop

Drag & Drop describes the method of moving objects by dragging them with the mouse to their destination. Drag & Drop is commonly used in AGORA for sorting lists (e.g. the Navigation).

Drop Down Menu

A foldable menu. By clicking on the window, a list of options for selection will be displayed either above or below. Drop-Down menus are commonly used when there are too many options to be displayed on the page.

Entry conditions

In the general settings under "participants", three options are available for Project Workspace Moderators to allow access to other AGORA users: “always approving”, “without approving”, and “with membership code”.

Tip: Please see our corresponding tutorial for more details on this topic.

Group Workspace

The “Groups” option enables the members of a Project Workspace to form smaller groups – e.g. for tutorials, work groups or for individual topics. The groups can establish an access-protected Group Workspace, subordinate to the Project Workspace. The Group Workspace has the same functions as the Project Workspace itself and it can be activated upon creating or editing a Group.


The first rubric of a Project Workspace is always “Home”. From here, the user can get an overview of the categories where new entries can be found, or how many people have recently actively used the Workspace. The search function is particularly useful, as terms can be searched in the whole Workspace (in the other categories, only the respective category is searched). This Project Workspace “Home” should not be confused with the AGORA homepage, which is also occasionally referred to as “Home” -

Membership code

Under Workspace basics in the general settings menu, the Workspace Moderator has the option of selecting “with membership code”, and entering a chosen term for this. The advantage of this is that new members, by means of this password-like membership code, immediately gain complete access (but not unchecked) to the workspace when they apply to join. Membership codes for Workspaces are not to be confused with passwords.

Tip: Please see our corresponding tutorial for more details on this topic.


myAGORA allows you to access most of the functions of the CommSy-Bar. You can find myAGORA on the Workspaces page.


The newsletter contains information about changes since your last visit to rooms that you have created or joined, e.g. about new Workspace members, new entries for materials or discussions, new announcements, events or tasks. Your personal newsletter is sent to the email address from your contact data, and contains new items that are linked, allowing you to access them with a simple mouse click. Please note: The newsletter does not contain general portal news. You can also choose whether or not to receive the Newsletter daily or weekly.


The password (in combination with the User ID) is used to log in to AGORA. It should not be confused with the Membership codes, which are solely for entering AGORA-Workspaces.


Plugins are extensions for your Workspace, which, when activated, are displayed as icons in the right hand column below “Search in the Workspace”. Possible plugins are the Workspace-Wiki, Workspace-Chat, an editor, and the text analysis tool Voyant.

Tip: Please see our corresponding tutorial for more information on plugins.

Project Workspace

Project Workspaces form the core of AGORA. Here, members can work on projects together, exchanging materials or conducting discussions. After logging in to AGORA, Project Workspaces can be accessed via their virtual “door”. Depending on the settings selected by the Workspace Moderator, this can be achieved by either (a) clicking on the door, (b) via the membership code given by the Workspace Moderator, or (c) time-delayed with manual activation by the Workspace Moderator. For (c), the system requires you to enter a reason why you want to join the Project Workspace. The option of creating a new Project Workspace is open to anyone with a User ID for AGORA. To do this, after logging into AGORA, click on the link “Create new Project Workspace” in the bottom part of the screen.

Tip: Please see our tutorials "Create a workspace" and "Workspace settings" for more information on setting up workspaces.


You have access to your repository via the CommSy-Bar. This partly takes the place of the Personal Workspace from the old CommSy7. You can create entries here, and also store them from your online clipboard, in order to paste them into a Workspace at a later time. The types of entry are: discussions, events, materials and tasks. 


A material entry can be subdivided by creating so-called sections. To do this from the material entry screen, click on the second link from the left of the icon bar ("Add section"). Then give the new section a title, and it can subsequently be placed in the section list in the position you require.


In the “Settings” section, the Workspace Moderator can configure their Project Workspace, e.g. setting up a membership code for new members, or activating other plugins. To access this section from a Workspace, the Workspace Moderator must click on the tool icon in the CommSy-Bar (above). If the mouse hovers over this icon, the term “Settings” will appear.

Tip: Please see our corresponding tutorial for more information on workspace settings.

User ID

Any interested party can access AGORA by means of a User ID in combination with a password. Via the “Source” option, you can choose whether to use your Stine data, or to log in via the “Source: AGORA (CommSy)”. The second option also allows access to AGORA to non-university members, who are perhaps students wanting to attend events or are working together with UHH members in a research project, using AGORA for communication and documentation. If you select Stine as your source, the Stine-User ID and password will then also be your AGORA-User ID and password. However, if you access via the source AGORA, then the User ID and password can, in principle, be freely selected, as long as the User-ID is not already taken by another AGORA user.

Not to be confused with: Password, Membership Code

Tip: Please see our tutorial for information on setting up a user ID.


Voyant (formerly Voyeur) is a tool for text analysis. Before this tool can be used, it must first be activated by ticking the box in the "Plugins" tab of "Workspace Settings". The “Analyze” button is located in the menu bar for material entries. This function allows you to analyze the text of the material entry itself, as well as any files attached to it. You can specify, for example, the number of attached documents and the most frequently mentioned words, or view the number and distribution of the individual words within the entire entry or the individual documents.


Widgets display an overview of the latest activity in your subscribed Workspaces. Additionally, shared entries and your own entries from your repository or portfolio are displayed here. The Widgets are found via the CommSy-Bar if you have ticked the corresponding box in your profile settings (under “CommSy-Bar”) to activate the icon. You can also find them on the Workspaces page under "myAGORA".


The Wiki is a Wikipedia-like Workspace on a separate AGORA website, where users can collate and edit content together. Text and a wide range of media can be incorporated into the Wiki, e.g. pictures, videos and audio. All manner of links can be integrated – from internal Wiki contributions to content from any external URL. Only one Wiki can be assigned to an AGORA-Workspace.

Tip: Please see our detailed tutorial for more information on the Wiki.