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Managing Versions with eZ Publish

Friday 17 August 2007 3:00:00 pm

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You can resume working on a draft at a later time. However, only the user who created the draft can resume working on it, unlike the situation with published versions, where any content editor can edit them.

Managing drafts from the Website Interface

To view a list of your saved drafts and retrieve one for editing through the Website Interface, access your User profile page (My profile link in the top right when you are logged in) and click on the My drafts link.

This will display a list of drafts belonging to you. Click on the corresponding Edit button on the right to resume editing. You can also click on the name of a draft to bring up a preview, then click the Edit button. Deleting drafts is done by selecting one or more drafts, marking the corresponding checkbox, then clicking the Remove button below the draft. To remove all drafts, click the Empty Draft button.

Managing drafts from the Administration Interface

To bring up a stored draft and continue editing it from the Administration Interface, click on the My account tab, then select My drafts from the left menu. Editing, previewing and deleting drafts is done as described above for the Website Interface, provided that you have accessed your draft list.

Editing conflicts

The built-in version control mechanism alerts you when you trigger an editing conflict. This usually happens when two people are attempting to work on the same content object. Whatever the case, editing conflicts always involve unpublished drafts. Note that content editors do not have to be logged in to the system at the same time for editing conflicts to occur; editing conflicts are triggered whenever you try to edit an object where there is at least one unpublished draft that is newer than the published version.

The simplest way to solve an editing conflict is to decide whether you want to edit the published version or one of the drafts. Note, however, that this might only postpone the editing conflict until the other content editor resumes her work and re-triggers the same editing conflict. Therefore, we recommend that you examine the different scenarios described here.

Editing conflict scenarios

Sometimes when editing an object, you might accidentally close the browser or simply click the Store and exit button (with the intent of resuming the edit process later). The object will then have an unpublished draft. The next time you try to edit the published version of the object, the system will warn you about this. You can select one of the drafts and edit it. This is the most common scenario because there is usually only one unpublished draft. If there are several unpublished drafts, you might want to remove them to avoid further conflicts. Alternatively, create a new draft by clicking the New draft button, or go back by clicking the Cancel button.

A second scenario is that somebody else may be editing the same object that you wish to edit. The other person is either editing the object at the same time or has left an unpublished draft. When you try to edit the same object, the system will display a warning indicating that there is a conflict. The system is simply telling you that you should be careful, because somebody else is working on the same object. There might be several drafts in the list. Unlike in the previous scenario, you cannot edit this draft because it belongs to a different user. You can create a new draft by clicking the New draft button, or go back by clicking the Cancel button.

In the final scenario, somebody else may be editing the same object that you wish to edit (as in the previous scenario), but there are also drafts that you have left on the system. This is the worst-case scenario and you should definitely contact the other user(s) before doing anything else. You might also want to take the opportunity to sort through all of your other drafts.

Good editing practices

Each content editor can help to reduce the number and frequency of editing conflicts by adopting some easy and basic editing routines. You should always exit edit mode by clicking the Send for publishing, Discard draft or Store and exit button. Clicking your web browser's Back button is a very common mistake that is responsible for many stale drafts.

When you wish to edit an existing content object, remember that there might be unpublished draft(s) of this content. You can select one of the drafts and edit it either from the My drafts page, the Version history interface, or from the list that displays when you trigger an editing conflict.

We encourage all content editors to regularly check the draft list. Remove any drafts that you do not intend to work on and that have become deprecated. In other words, clean up this list on a regular basis and aim to have it contain only your work-in-progress drafts.

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