Why Is Version Control Important?
Over the years, we’ve spent a great deal of time listening to our customers to find newer and better ways to provide value for their organizations. We’ve spoken with IT departments, CEOs, document controllers, and, of course, engineers. When speaking with engineers about document management software, one feature always seems to get their attention – version control.
History of Version Control
Before we move forward, it’s important to know what version control is and where it came from. Version Control is not a new concept. It was originally developed in 1972 by Bell Labs, and since then has been improved upon by other various organizations. Bell Labs created a centralized version control system in 1986 and served as the first document-centric file repository. As the years progressed, similar companies entered the playing field, and in the 1999 eQuorum released ImageSite Version 1.
Why are Engineers so Concerned with Version Control?
Version control makes things simple in a job where nothing is simple. It’s the assurance that engineers need. In its purest form, version control makes sure users are employing the most current version of a file and assists engineers in tracking changes made to drawings and documents. Versioning also helps engineers merge changes to these documents before committing to specific drafts. Put simply, it takes the burden and worry of document management away from engineers, giving them more time to focus on the important aspects of their job. For architectural, structural, mechanical, or electrical engineers, version control is a great tool for tracking and managing drawings, while for administrative users (such as Accounts Payable and HR), it can be useful for managing submissions and transmittals as well as changes to key documents.
Version control systems (VCS) are often stand-alone applications; however, in recent years, more features have been embedded into version control software, rendering classic version control systems obsolete. Classic VCS can provide value for organizations; however, their features pale in comparison to the power and control provided by the features of document management systems like ImageSite or Engine-Box.com.
Check-out/Check-in features work in conjunction with version control systems by restricting document access to only one document editor at a time. In many ways, document management systems are similar to public libraries, but instead of checking out books, you’re simply checking out your documents.
The need for these features grows as companies continue to manage their documents electronically. Some companies prefer to keep their documents within the system, while others prefer to print or download documents to their local device. For this reason, eQuorum’s systems are fully configurable, so these controls can be changed based on your company’s security preferences.
Further Reading: What is a Document Management System?
Can Document Version Control Save Money?
Believe it or not, file tracking can be costly for engineers and administrative personnel. Rather than spending time (and money) handling documents, users can utilize a document management system to focus on completing the tasks assigned to them. In a perfect world, engineers can collaborate without error and don’t need to concern themselves with the menial tasks associated with document management. Since we know this isn’t the World we live in, engineers can rely on document management systems to properly manage their drawings or documents.
ImageSite is among the most robust document management systems on the market and includes all the functionality of a VCS and more. Unlike other document management solutions, ImageSite and Engine-Box support all electronic file types, making it perfect for engineers, creatives, and business administrators alike. Since eQuorum dedicates its efforts to providing value for our customers, our solutions are licenses at a fraction of our competitors’ cost.
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