The Key to Collaborative Work: Versioning and Related Capability

Collaborative work environments are on the rise, but this style of working introduces significant challenges. When multiple users are working on a file, for example, unwanted changes can occur that may put the entire project in jeopardy.

Luckily for the customers of leading document management solutions, version control functionality is in place to help workers stay productive while maintaining document integrity. This post blog provides background on version control capability, and how it helps employees.

Figure: Today’s workers require advanced digital collaboration tools, like version control


Version control in a nutshell

Version control is the management of changes to documents, files, and a wide variety of projects that staff are working on. It is a system that records changes to a file or files so that previous versions can be recalled later, if needed.

Saving time and effort

Say, for instance, an employee makes changes to the annual expense report that are incorrect. With version control, a previous version of the document can be elicited so the previous work of the group is not lost. Software developers depend on this type of system—with the help of sites like GitHub—for moments when a team member manages to break an application with just one line of code.


Many of the leading document management platforms offer users the ability to check a document in and out for editing. Once checked out, the file is “locked” and no other team member can make changes until the file is checked back in again. This, along with other document versioning features, ensures the most important files maintain integrity.


While collaborative features can be a huge gain for workgroups, they ultimately require diligence on behalf of the users to make them beneficial. Making sure one individual properly checks out documents or works with the optimal version of a file require conscious effort from all members of a team, and letting these tasks fall by the wayside is all too easy in some environments. That said, as software advances these processes will become increasingly automated—requiring less intervention on behalf of employees.


Versioning and check-in/check-out features stand to prove as essential tools in collaborative environments. Workgroups can often be chaotic, but with these functions—provided by document management platforms—customers need not worry about the files that matter most to them and their operations.