When inside a session, a user needs to open a tab to share content with the other participants. You can share any web app, your screen or documents, depending on the settings. What you and others can do with this content shared inside a session depends on the respective role(s) of each user. 

Each user joining a session is a Participant. The minimum they are able to do is see the content shared by others, respecting any information masking put in place. They can further annotate, join/start video chat, leave or end sessions depending on the settings.

Host is usually a participant who starts the Surfly session and so the first participant to enter the session. The Host is therefore also the person who has certain control over the session. For example, a Host can admit or deny other people entry into a session, switch between multiple open tabs, make other participants Host, accept or deny their request for Host rights and so on.

The scope of these rights depends on your settings options of course. For example, you might have switched off permission for participants to request Host rights.

Tab Owner is a participant who opens a tab inside the session and shares content. Any tabs they open inside the session are rendered in their own browser and only DOM updates (lossless visuals) are shared with the other Participants while respecting any masking put in place. The same goes for cookies, they will be stored in the Tab Owners’s device only. The Tab Owner is therefore the person who has complete control over the tab(s) opened by them. They are automatically in control of any interaction (input, click, scroll) if the Host switches to a tab owned by them. They can switch between any of  their own tabs when one of their tabs is active.

Only if enabled, a Host is allowed to request control of another Participant’s tab. Tab Owners can allow this request, and take back control anytime they wish to. They can also close their tab(s) anytime they wish to.

To summarize above

  • Host rights allow for you to manage sessions, switch tabs, request control of tabs owned by others and interact with them when allowed.

  • There can be only one active Host in a session at any given time. 

  • Host rights can be requested and/or transferred, if enabled.

  • Tab ownership is not transferable. Giving control to a Host does not transfer ownership.

  • If a Tab Owner leaves the session (expectedly or unexpectedly), all their tabs become inactive.

  • There can be one or many Tab Owners in a session. Depending on the setting options. Every user who opens a tab, owns it.

Using your settings options, it is possible for you to enable a mode where only one Participant can be a Tab Owner and the other Participant(s) can only get visual updates and/or draw annotations, etc. This type of configuration is commonly preferred in Customer-Agent support journeys where you want your Agents to join your Customers who might be stuck in their web journeys.