Document Versioning in SharePoint 2010
Written By: Arshad Ali -- 11/9/2010 --
(826) comments --
Categories: Configurations, Document Management, Features, MOSS 2007, SharePoint 2010, SharePoint Foundation 2010, WSS2, WSS3
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article explaining about
versioning in WSS3 or MOSS 2007. This article demonstrates the same functionality
highlighting the new interface options in SharePoint 2010.
When you store critical documents in the SharePoint libraries,
sometimes it becomes necessary to track all the changes and to maintain version history for them.
There might be a time when you would need to restore files back to an older
version if any inadvertent change happens. You can also track changes for
So how does SharePoint allow creating
different versions of documents? How does version history work? What are the different
types of versions we can maintain for our library or list and how can we revert back
to an older version?
SharePoint allows you to enable (by default it's disabled) versioning on lists and
libraries. Once enabled, SharePoint will maintain multiple
versions of the document or list which gets incremented on each change
iteration. There are three different versioning settings:
versioning - This is the default setting in which the current version overwrites
the older version. There are no previous versions stored.
This setting is not recommended especially if your document library
contains critical or important documents.
major versions - Also called simple versioning, in this setting the
document versions will be numbered with whole numbers, called major
versions, i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4 etc.
major and minor (or draft) versions - In this setting document
versions will be numbered with whole numbers (1, 2, 3, 4 etc.) as
well as numbers with decimals (.1, .2, .3, .4 etc.). The whole number is
called the major version (indicates final copy) and the numbers with a decimal
are called minor versions (indicates work is still in progress). You use
this setting if your document goes through several
iterations/drafts/reviews (minor versions) and you want only the final
copy (major version) to be published to a broader audience.
Please note for a list or list
items, the only option available for versioning is creating major versions, no
minor versions are created.
versioning is enabled SharePoint automatically and transparently creates
the next version of the document whenever a user updates a document in the
library. These are some of the different scenarios when SharePoint will
create a new version for your document or list item:
- When a new document or list
item is created or uploaded into SharePoint, version 1 is created if the
option Create major versions option is enabled or version 0.1 is
created when Create major and minor (or draft) versions is enabled
(not applicable for list items) and when you publish it then next higher major version is created.
- When you upload a document
with the same name as an already existing document in the library and check
the Add as a new version to existing files check box, the existing file
becomes an older version and the new uploaded document will have next higher
- When any properties (metadata fields) of the
document or list item is changed.
- When you Check-in a document that was previously Checked-out.
- When you open a document in
the associated application, edit and save it for the first time. On
subsequent changes no new versions will be created as long as you don't
close the application and re-open it.
- When you restore the old
version of the document.
Please note, although the demonstration in this tip has been shown in SharePoint
2010, the versioning feature has been part of previous SharePoint versions as
library for which you want to enable versioning in the Quick Launch on the
left side (or by going to All Site Content if the library is not
visible in Quick Launch), under the Library Tools ribbon, select the
Library tab. You will
notice the Library Settings icon on the right side of the ribbon
below), Click on it.
Document Library Settings page, under General Settings click on
hyperlink as shown below:
Versioning Settings page you will see four sections. The first
Approval, lets you define a protocol to make versions available to
everyone with the required permission only after that version has been approved by the authorized person
or else changes will remain in draft versions.
section, Document Version History, is the place where you enable versioning
for the library. By default the No versioning radio button is selected. Change it to either Create major versions or Create major and minor (draft)
versions. Optionally you can define maximum number of major or minor
versions that will be retained by SharePoint. If it crosses the defined
limits SharePoint removes the oldest/first (lowest number) version and this
way it maintains the maximum versions.
The third section, Draft Item
Security, allows you to define who all will be able to see the draft/minor
versions of the document, i.e. only users with read only access or only
users with edit permissions or only by the author and persons who are authorized
to approve the versions (people with Design or Full Control permissions).
The last section,
Require Check-out, allows
you to enforce Check-out to edit documents of the library by the users.
versions for a list, you will notice a slightly different second section on the
List Settings page as you can see below. As I said before only major versions
are created for list items and this is exactly what you see here. Other
sections remain same as discussed above for document library:
is enabled, you can click on any document (tiny down arrow icon) and see the
context menu as shown below. To review version history for that particular
document, click onthe Version History menu and you will see one screen
with all the versions of that document as below.
You can click on
any particular version of the document to either read it, delete it and
revert to your current version with the selected older version. If you restore an
old version, you will be prompted to confirm the replacement and if you
select OK, the older version will be restored with a new version and the
version will become an old version.
If you delete
the original document, all the associated versions will also be dropped with it,
though you have the option to delete a particular version as shown above. All
those deleted versions move to the Recycle Bin as you see below (I deleted some
of the versions of the document), if required you can restore back the document
versions or delete it
from Recycle bin permanently.
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