Document Version Control

Document Version Control

What is Version Control Software?

Document version control software (a.k.a. revision control software) automatically recognizes new versions of a document as it’s entered into the system. The software assigns the next available version number, based on the organization’s versioning scheme, while automatically archiving the previous version. With ImageSite, there’s no need to rename files or append version designators and while other version control tools only use file names for versioning, ImageSite lets you define the parameters that make sense for creating a new major version of a file.

Version Control and Document Management

Version control is a feature of ImageSite and Engine-Box, eQuorum’s robust engineering document management solutions. Version control is highly configurable, as versioning schemes can be changed depending on an organization’s preferred system. Version schemes can be numerical, alphabetical, or alphanumerical, and remain consistent throughout the system, and can even be different by project. Versions can also be established on more than just a common file name or number to establish both major and minor versions of documents.

While version control was initially used in software development, it can now be seen in engineering, construction, and new product development. Today, any engineering-based organization can benefit from using a version control system, as it allows them to stay organized and in-control of their essential workflows while ensuring correct versions of files are being used. eQuorum’s engineering workflow and document management systems incorporate version control as a way to help organizations manage every aspect of their companies’ workflows from conceptual design to production.

Read the White Paper: Version Control – What’s Old is New

Types of Version Control

Local Version Control Software

Local version control systems track changes to files locally, meaning the documents are stored on a user’s local device and are versioned either manually or automatically by the computer’s operating system. Local version control is rudimentary in comparison to the functionality provided by document management version control software, as it leaves ample room for error when renaming or overwriting files.

Centralized Version Control Software (ImageSite and Engine-Box)

Centralized version control systems utilize a single server and accommodates all the versioned files.  The centralized server enables users to view file versions across locations and update version numbers in a centralized location as a file or document is changed.  Using a centralized system ensures there is a single source of truth across teams, departments, and organizations.

CAD File Version Control

In conjunction with version control, ImageSite and Engine-Box include a check-out/check-in feature that locks the file in the system to ensure a single source of truth across the organization. Checking out documents prevents accidental overwrites, eliminating duplicated efforts and rework. (Note: Users can only check-out a file if they have the appropriate permissions.)

Organizations can use the systems’ CAD Connectors to open and edit a CAD file within its native application while maintaining document version integrity.  When a file is checked-in, and if a new revision is created, the system ensures all file relationships are maintained, eliminating the need for users to manually re-establish these reference relationships.

Version Control for Engineering

As engineering projects are becoming more complex, the need for Version Control grows. ImageSite and Engine-Box allow drafters and developers to use the check-out and check-in functionality to work on projects with assurance that existing versions cannot be edited concurrently with their changes, though users can view and download files being revised by others, if authorized to do so.

Additionally, document version control improves collaboration by permitting users to share and edit versions from any location, on any desktop or mobile device, making it simple for engineers to communicate between design and development centers.

Version Control for SMBs

Small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) may not always see the value in using a version control system, however, these systems provide a number of benefits for growing organizations. Growth-oriented businesses profit from implementing a version control system early, as expansion inevitably leads to an increase in complexity, making it difficult to locate back revisions or historical files when needed.  Some SMBs hold a myopic view of their organizational requirements and often get blindsided by the challenges that lie ahead.  Fortunately, organizations can mitigate many of these challenges using a solutions like a robust version control system.

Version Control for Business Enterprise

A business enterprise can immediately benefit from a version control system, as it enables their remote workforce to collaborate over drawings and documents across multiple locations knowing they are using the most current and approved documents.  Since a version control system automatically appends version numbers to each document as changes are made, organizations can effortlessly control new document versions throughout the company and visit back revisions when needed.

Version Control Features and Benefits

Version control ensures accuracy, eliminating errors from using wrong drawing versions, and making it easier to manage file versions as changes are made to a document, increasing efficiency and productivity.  All back revisions can be stored and retrieved at any time, if the user has permission, eliminating the risk of losing valuable information that may be needed in older document versions.

Without version control, files can get overwritten, users have to manually amend a version number, identifying who made changes is often impossible, and there can be substantial, and expensive, rework from users utilizing incorrect versions of drawings and documents.  Version control software is also a must for regulatory compliance, helping to secure ISO 9001 and NIST compliances, and by establishing audit trails of document actions made over time.

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Manage your document review process by creating, maintaining and managing multiple versions of a document

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Ensure only the most current versions of files are being used

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Use document criteria other than file name to establish if a file should be versioned

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Implant appropriate retention policies around document/ drawing versions

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Maintain historical metadata so you can access a snapshot in time, as well as the complete document history

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Establish any version extension character and any versioning scheme

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Easy access to back file revisions by permissioned users

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Ensure an audit trail for each document is maintained throughout its life cycle

eQuorum

eQuorum specializes in engineering workflow and document management. Our comprehensive, yet easy-to-use software provides the solution to manage data from design to manufacturing and production, to sales, support and administration.