Hi - we've been able to use permissions in the Content Collection to share documents via a direct link, e.g.
I don't have much experience with Content Collection so this is just a guess, but did you have "Tab Entry (Direct Access)" (used to be called "direct portal entry") enabled on your Gateway settings before your upgrade?
On the Learning System side, the underlying function of that setting is to automatically grant users a session token as "guest" as soon as they connect to the system, before they've logged in, so they're granted guest access and can see tabs and modules on the main My Institution page. I don't know if it works the same way with Content Collection/webdav or not, so it would be helpful to know if that setting's changed on your system.
Thanks for the reply. We had "Gateway Page" selected before and after our SP7 --> SP8 upgrade.
The only other thing that occurs to me is that in SP8 Blackboard started enforcing adaptive release rules on files in the content system that were linked from a course. From p. 24 of the SP8 release notes:
Release 9.1 SP8 will also provide the instructor options to also grant access to other files in the same folder or selected files in the content collection to handle mini websites and packaged content. In SP8 we ensure student access is constrained by adaptive release rules and these rules and access to the files will be propagated along with the files when the course is copied. This means that packages of files that together constitute a mini website can be constructed within a course and controlled by a single index.html entry point.
So, it seems like access restrictions within a course where the content is linked may also come into play even if students try to access the files directly. Still, the current instructor help docs (http://help.blackboard.com/instructor/Content/_user_content_management/cm_permissions_folder_add_public.htm which seem to reflect SP8/9) seems to indicate that you cam make content available to the general public by setting permissions exactly the way you describe.
However, you might have a look at the KB article on enabling guest access to course content at https://blackboard.secure.force.com/btbb_TSGArticleView?Id=50170000000WYN3AAO&RecordType=01270000000Hip5AAC, just to see if there are other settings there that you need to check on. If that doesn't help, though, you may need to open a ticket with Blackboard Support to see if there are other changes that aren't mentioned.
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