Introduction to FOLIO Permissions


FOLIO offers an integrated permissions system that is configurable and very granular.

Each app provides its own permissions that are defined in the app's front-end and back-end modules.

FOLIO users can also build their own permission sets (groups of permissions) through the FOLIO UI, and assign those permission sets to FOLIO users. This can be very helpful in setting up individual system roles configured to individual library needs. 

Naming Conventions

Permissions are named to indicate what a FOLIO user with the permission can do within the app.

Permissions are named in the following format:

    • [Appname]: [What the user can do]
    • Settings ([Appname]): [What the user can do]

Examples of permissions (current to Honeysuckle - Q32020):

That permission isn't named that way...

If a permission is not named following the standard naming convention, the most likely reason is that it is currently under development.

FOLIO product owners work with developers to request specific permissions be added to the code, and also to ensure the permissions are eventually named correctly.

If you have questions about a particular app permission, reaching out to the associated SIG or product owner is the right thing to do!

Permission example (screenshot)What this permission does

  • This permission applies to the Users app.
  • The name describes what the user can do - if they have this permission, they can go to a user record in the Users app and view service points assigned to that user.

  • This permission applies to the ERM Comparisons app (new to Honeysuckle.
  • A user with this permission can create jobs to run in the app.

Key Terminology Definitions

  • CRUD: CRUD stands for "Create, Read, Update and Delete." You may see it used as a shortcut terminology in permissions discussions.
    • Most FOLIO permissions are CRUD permissions - they give you the ability to create, read, update and/or delete FOLIO records.
  • Permission Set: A permission set in FOLIO is one permission that includes one or more subpermissions.
    • Permission sets can be created in the FOLIO system by a developer.
    • They can also be created by individual libraries in Settings → Users, gathering up multiple named UI permissions into one grouping for assignment to staff FOLIO users.  
  • Visible Permission: A visible permission is one that you can see in the list of permissions in the UI. They can be assigned to patrons directly, and/or you can add them to a permission set through Settings → Users → General →  Permission Sets.
  • Hidden or Invisible Permission: An invisible permission is hidden from the FOLIO user interface and is not usually assigned directly to a FOLIO user.
    • Invisible permissions are commonly part of a backend module and used in permission sets that are defined in the code and appear in the UI as visible permissions that can be assigned directly to patrons.

Try not to worry about terminology

The difference between a permission and a permission set can be very confusing. What a developer calls a permission may actually be a permission set, which looks different in the UI from the permission set that you can build in Settings → Users to assign to individual FOLIO users.

In practice, most community members use the term permissions when it could actually be a permission set. For most library workflows, distinguishing between the two terms doesn't really matter, and they are used interchangeably.

How to find permission information in a FOLIO module

It can be helpful, if you are not sure what a permission is intended to do, to examine information about the permission in the associated code in the FOLIO github repository. The FOLIO Source-code Map lists all modules, the module's GitHub README link takes you to the GitHub start page of the module.

How to find this information can vary by module, but general guidelines are as follows:

Permissions are usually defined towards the bottom of the descriptor file. Here are some examples of what a permission definition looks like.

Backend module, Simple permission with no subpermissions
	"permissionName": "customreports.item.put",
	"displayName": "custom reports item get",
	"description": "Edit an custom report"

Backend module, permission set
	"permissionName": "eusage.all",
	"displayName": "eusage all",
	"description": "All permissions for the mod-erm-usage module. An admin should get all permission, e.g. to edit aggregators.",
	"subPermissions": [

UI Module: Permission Set, Visible = True
	"permissionName": "ui-inventory.settings.loantypes",
	"displayName": "Settings (Inventory): Create, edit, delete loan types",
	"subPermissions": [
	"visible": true

Things to note:

  • A permission or permission set must have the attribute "visible": true in order to
    • Show up in the Users App for the assign permissions workflow;
    • Show up in Settings → Users → Permission sets to be assigned to a user-created permission set for a particular FOLIO tenant.

Where can I find examples of permission sets that correspond to library staff roles?

There are a few places you can find examples of permission sets that correspond to library roles - some that implementing libraries have come up with, and some that developers / POs have come up with. 

Implementing libraries have shared their permission sets here: Sample Permissions Sets from Implementing Institutions

In the FOLIO hosted reference environments, developers and POs have configured sample permission sets corresponding to roles. They have names like "acq-admin", "circ-student", etc. etc.

To see the list of what permissions are in each of those sets, you can click to view in the FOLIO environment, or you can look it up directly in the FOLIO github space, here:

Those permission sets correspond to user accounts in the hosted reference environments, so you can log in and see how they actually work. The username and password are the same as the name of the permission set. So, for example, to see how the permission set circ-observer works, you can log into with

  • username circ-observer
  • password circ-observer

Frequent Workflows

How do I assign permissions to a user in FOLIO?


How do I remove permissions from a user in FOLIO?


How do I create my own permission sets in FOLIO?


Deprecated Permissions - what are they?

See Understanding Deprecated Permissions in your FOLIO installation

Resources for More Exploration

FOLIO permission model (platform-level discussion)

Releases Home - search for release notes from current and past FOLIO releases to review permissions information and changes over time

Current Permissions Documentation by App Area - this is a Google sheet, maintained by individual product owners as permissions are added to apps they are responsible for.