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Using the Versioning Feature

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Versioning Pages, Postings, Templates, and Resources Versioning Pages, Postings, Templates, and Resources
Viewing Revision Histories Viewing Revision Histories
Creating and Working with Revisions Creating and Working with Revisions
Comparing Revisions Comparing Revisions
Viewing Revisions By Date Viewing Revisions By Date
Purging Revisions By Time Stamp Purging Revisions By Time Stamp

Versioning Pages, Postings, Templates, and Resources

In the Web Author, revisions are based on postings. Changes to the posting itself are not versioned, but changes to a posting's page, template, or resource gallery items can be viewed as revisions of a posting that uses them.

About revision histories

Revision histories display the following information for maintenance and tracking purposes:

  • For the latest unapproved page revision (if one exists):

    • date and time the revision was last modified

    • status.

  • For approved revisions:

    • date and time the revision was approved

    • type of revision

    • name of who approved the revision.

  • For both approved and unapproved revisions. there is an option to preview and compare to another revision

Enabling the versioning feature

The versioning feature is always enabled. There is no user-defined numeric maximum for the length of the revision history because revision histories are versioned instead by date and time.

About site deployment and versioning 

A posting's revision history can reflect changes to its dependants. If a page containing two resource gallery items is deployed and during deployment the page and its template and the two resources are replaced, then any posting that uses this page will have four new revisions in its revision history: one for the page replacement, one for the template and two for the resources. Revision histories cannot be exported. For more information on site deployment issues, see Chapter 7, "Using the MSCMS 2001 Site Deployment Manager" in this guide.

Viewing Revision Histories

You can display revision histories from within both the Site Builder and Web Author environments. To view a revision of a page in the Web Author or posting in the Site Builder, you must have subscriber rights to that posting and authoring rights to at least one page in the site. To display a revision history in the Web Author:

  1. With the object in edit mode, select Revision History from the console. The Revision History window appears.

  2. Select the type of revision to be displayed from the Display Options dialog box.

  3. Click Apply.

  4. Select the preview link corresponding to the revision to be viewed. It opens in a new window.

    Screen shot

Creating and Working with Revisions

For both the Web Author and Site Builder, a posting displays a revision when first published only if created before the associated page is approved.

In the Web Author, the posting and page are created such that a posting is always created before it its associated page is approved. A newly published revision created and approved in the Web Author always has one revision in its revision history.

By contrast, in the Site Builder, it is possible to create a posting from a page that has already been approved. In that case, the posting will not have a revision in its revision history when it is first published. 

Note A copy operation is the same as creating a new object in the versioning sense. Creating a copy of a template, for example, does not create a revision of the original template. Further, if a template with revisions is copied, those revisions do not get copied.

Versioning and connected pages and postings

The revision histories of connected pages appear similar except the one created more recently may have fewer revisions in its history, and their template revisions differ if they use different templates.

In the Web Author, it is possible to create a connected posting. A connected posting displays separate revisions for all approvals of its associated page that occur after the creation of the connected posting. A connected posting does not create a revision marking its first approval unless its associated page happens to also be waiting for editor approval and both approvals occur at the same time.

Comparing Revisions

Changes to a template or resource cannot be directly compared. They must be viewed in the context of an associated page. You can compare any two revisions and are not limited to the most recent version. To compare revisions using the Web Author:

  1. Select the type of revision you want to display from the Revision Types to List options.

  2. Click Apply.

  3. Select any two revisions from the list of revisions displayed.

  4. Click Compare from the Revisions to Compare dialog box.

  5. Click the appropriate tab to compare the appearance, source code, or properties of the two revisions selected.

Screen shot

About revision tracking

Changes are shown in a different color or with strike throughs. The "Source" option compares the HTML code. The "Property" option compares text-based properties. Only the name of the person approving the revisions and custom properties of the revisions can be compared.

If you were to click the Appearance tab and compare two revisions of a posting in the Method Systems Marketing channel called "Next Gen Computers," the revision tracking would resemble the following:

Screen shot

Viewing Revisions By Date

The View Revision by Date option can be accessed from within either the Site Builder or Web Author. To select a date and time for viewing revisions, you must have authoring rights to at least one page in your site and subscriber rights to the selected posting. You can see those revisions for which you have at least subscriber rights.

With the View Revisions by Date option, you can preview a page (in the Web Author) or a posting (in the Site Builder) at a point in the past. The revision history of a template or resource report cannot be viewed directly, but must be viewed as part of a posting revision history. The preview option uses historical templates and resources, and hyperlinks to other pages are preserved. Therefore, you have limited site-wide navigation capability in historical mode.

Important note

When previewing revisions by date, they may not appear exactly as they did at that time. For example:

  • postings that have been moved appear in their current location

  • non-versioned properties, such as Owner and Name, contain their current values

  • current rights are applied to all items

  • anything that has been deleted or purged is not visible.

Accessing View Revisions by Date

From within the Web Author do the following:

  1. With the object revision in edit mode, select View Revisions by Date from the console.

  2. Select a date and time for the site preview from the drop-down lists.

  3. Click Apply. The page revision that was approved at that time is displayed.

Purging Revisions By Time Stamp

From within the Site Builder (and only the Site Builder) administrators now can permanently delete all object revisions that are older than a specific time. MSCMS 2001 purges all revisions in the site that are older than the date and time specified.

  1. From the Tools Menu, select Purge Revisions. The Purge Revision window appears.

  2. Using the calendar's drop-down lists, select the month, date, and time corresponding to the revisions to be purged.

  3. Click Purge. A confirmation message appears.

  4. Click Yes. All revisions older than the date you specified are now purged.


  • Revisions can be purged by time stamp only.

  • The default value for the date is the current date.

  • It is not possible to purge revisions in only one part of the site.

Best Practices

  • The number of revisions on your system is limited only by the size of your database. There is no option to automatically purge revisions or disable creation of revisions. While the overhead for a revision is not large, be mindful of repeatedly replacing large resources as they become historical revisions and remain in your database taking up space until purged.

  • Treat the purging of revisions as a database maintenance task that must be done regularly to recover space or remove sensitive material.

  • Back up your database before purging because this operation cannot be undone. All revisions older than the specified date are permanently removed.

  • Do not purge revisions from your site at times of high use because users can be locked out of the system during the procedure.

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