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Coupa Success Portal

Site Structure


Sites are how contracts are grouped in CLMA and provide an area where users can share content and collaborate with other site members on related contracts.  The framework for grouping contracts within CLMA is referred to as the site structure.  This is an important design consideration as sites are the point from which users will access contract templates to create new contracts; the centralized repository where contract documents are stored; and the place from which contracts transactions are initiated.

Scoping Questions

  • How are contracts grouped and shared in your CLM currently?
    • This question is asked to understand if there are any natural groupings that can serve as a framework for site structure setup in CLMA.  For example, some enterprises may group their contracts by business unit and store all contract types for a particular business unit together.  Other enterprises may want to group theirs by geographical regions.  Smaller businesses on the other hand may want to group by contract type.
    • Other ways contracts can be grouped include by business function i.e. Finance vs. Human Resources vs. Procurement.
    • Note that you can have multiple site structure design for a given implementation.  For example a client can have sell-side contracts grouped by business units while their operational contracts are grouped by business functions like Procurement, Finance, Human Resources, etc.
  •  Are there any restrictions on contract access across the organization?
    • This question is related to the first one regarding contract groupings.  Typically the way contracts are grouped also plays a role on how permissions and visibility to the contracts are defined.  You can have a range between being very open to being very restrictive when it comes to permissions and visibility.
    • Some enterprises may not have any hard requirements to restrict access to the contracts and the site structure serves more of a way to index their contracts for ease in finding and working on the contracts. On the other hand, there are enterprises that need to keep their contracts secure between each business unit.
  • If there are restrictions on contract access, you will need to probe and understand how deep the restriction goes.  This will help in setting up the right site structure to cater to the access requirements.
    Some additional questions to ask:
    • Are there restrictions on who can see an MSA and its children (SOWs and other orders)?  This is typical in a situation where different contracting teams work on different orders and cannot share information with each other.
    • Are there restrictions based on pieces of metadata associated with the contract?  If there are, this may mean the contracts will need a different permission set than other contracts in the same site.

Design Options

The recommended design is to create a site structure that simplifies the permission scheme while also balancing the number of sites required.  In practice this means defaulting the site to use site level permissions when possible and limiting the number of created sites.  This will help with the user experience as end users navigate from site to site while working on contracts during their daily interaction with CLMA.


  • There is a performance consideration when more than 1000 (master/standalone) contracts get created within a given month. The system automatically stores contracts within an invisible folder structure as dates. (The dates used are based on the Contract Effective Date):
    • Year 1
      • Month 1
      • Month 2
      • Etc.

If there is a likelihood that volumes per month will exceed 1000, then the parent folder structure would need to be modified to a formulae that avoids more than a 1000 contracts “in a folder”. Refer to for more detail.

  • Limit the number of sites to less than 100 to avoid performance issues associated with too many sites.  This relates to performance as well as usability.
  • Vet the security model for the sites thoroughly.  Make sure the client is aware that contract level permission setting is manual at the moment and must be done by a contract administrative user.
  • CLMA currently does not have auditing features of user permission set as it relates to site structure (i.e. a report/feature to see which sites a user has access to. You need to review each site to see who has access to it).  Keep this in mind when you notice that the resulting site structure becomes too complex.
  • There is no facility to move contracts in bulk from one site to another. It is possible to move contracts individually. As such, design the sites for the future as it is not easy to chop and change the site structure afterwards (bar adding additional sites).

Things to avoid

  • Creating too many sites.
  • Creating overly complex permission settings if it is not absolutely necessary.  Explore if creating a separate site for the restricted contract makes sense.
  • Setting permissions at the contract level.
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