Revision tracking & edit history records

Content management techniques

Each time you save changes to any object, Author records who made the changes and when the changes were made. This information can be used to find objects, and provides you with a complete audit trail of changes.

Certain events also create history records. A history record works as a "snapshot" of an object. You can view the history compared to the current revision, to a previous revision, or any two revisions to each other. You can also revert to a previous revision provided the history record is available.

When history records are created

There are multiple events that determine when a history record is created:

  • System events which are triggered automatically on indirect actions that cause an object to be modified. These events include:
    • History Revert - saves a revision when an object reverts to a previous history
    • XML Import - saves a revision when an object is changed by setting properties using XML:
      • by localization update
      • by importing a translation job
      • by importing an XML file
    • Import from another Library - saves a revision when an object is changed by being overwritten during an import from another library
  • User events which are triggered by save points.

    Note: Save points are optional and turned off by default.

Configuring history records

To use history records, you'll need to do the following:

  1. Set save points that will trigger history records.
  2. Select Show History on an object to view, compare, and revert to previous revisions.
  3. Archive your history records.

Save points

Save points are a combination of a trigger and a save and prompt action. For example, a revision point is created so the user is prompted to make a comment describing their changes in the History Comments window each time they close an object.

You'll define the combination of trigger points and save and prompt actions based on how content changes in your library and the requirements you may have to revert the object to an earlier revision.

Save and prompt actions

Use these options to define when a save point is created and whether a comment is required (comments can be used to give a brief explanation of the changes made, or why the changes were made to the object).

Save Points tab

Save and prompt action

 Description

Edit History Settings Window

(none):

  • Does not create a history record, and
  • Does not prompt for a comment

Save without comments:

  • Creates a history record, but
  • Does not prompt for a comment

Save with optional comments:

  • Creates a history record, and
  • Does prompt for an optional comment.

Save with mandatory comments:

  • Creates a history record, and
  • Does prompt for a mandatory comment.

Minimum length of comments:

Sets the minimum number of characters that must be used when adding a comment for the save point.

 

 

Triggers

You can set a save and prompt action against one or more of the trigger actions on the Save Points tab. A good practice is to have a minimum of the Object close (if changed) action set. Note, the Change of author option is affected by the setting applied to the Object close (if changed) action, refer to the the Change of author option for information.

 

 

Object close (if changed):

 

To trigger the prompt, the save and prompt action must be set to a minimum of Save without comments.

Note the different behavior between Author and Quick-Editing Mode:

In Author:
To trigger the prompt, the user must make changes to the object. The prompt is displayed whether or not the object has been saved prior to closing.
The prompt is not displayed if no changes have been made to the object before it is closed.

In Quick-Editing Mode:
To trigger the prompt, the user simply saves the object that he/she has edited.
Note: If the user closes the object without saving, Quick-Editing Mode abandons changes, does not save, does not create a save point, and does not prompt.

 

Important considerations:

  • This only applies when an object has been modified; if you open and close an object without editing, there is no need for the history prompt.
  • If you want the user to make an optional or mandatory comment, there is a further configuration step: you need to select the Author-it User Options > General tab > "Prompt for unsaved changes".
  • If you are working with Author-it Reviewer you must set this option to "Save with mandatory comments".

 

 

Change of release state:

Creates a save point when an object's Release State is changed.

Change of author:

Note: The following behavior occurs if the Object close (if changed) action has been set to (none), but the Prompt for unsaved changes option has been selected.

(However, if the Object close (if changed) action has been set to (none), and the Prompt for unsaved changes option is not selected, then the object will be closed, the changes will be abandoned, and the prompt will not be displayed.)

Note the different behavior between Author and Quick-Editing Mode:

In Author:
To trigger the prompt, the user must not save, but simply close the object that he/she has edited.
Note: If the user saves first and then closes, the prompt will not display.

In Quick-Editing Mode:
To trigger the prompt, the user simply saves the object that he/she has edited.
Note: If the user closes the object without saving, Quick-Editing Mode abandons changes, does not save, does not create a save point, and does not prompt.

 

Important considerations:

  • This only applies when an author modifies an object that was last modified by another author.
  • If you want the user to make an optional or mandatory comment, there is a further configuration step: you need to select the Author-it User Options > General tab > "Prompt for unsaved changes".

 

 

Change of template:

Creates a save point when a user modifies an object by changing the template the object is based on.

Publish (if changed):

Saves a revision / save point when a user publishes an object and the last modified record doesn't have an XML history attached.