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Document Check-In / Check-Out

What is Check-In / Check-Out when working with documents?

To Check-In documents means uploading a document and its metadata into the electronic archive or to make a document available in the Document Management System. The contrary - a Check-Out - refers to removing a document from general access. Via this function bitfarm-Archiv allows implementing a temporary write protection on a document for other users, that can be reversed via Check-In. Thereby, users can block documents, they want to work on offline, e.g. while traveling. Later the document can be reuploaded without leading to conflicts in changes made by other users. Checking documents in and out plays an important role, when introducing QM workflows according to DIN EN ISO 9001 ff. in the company with the help of an electronic Document Management System.

How does a Document Check-In / Check-Out Software work?

Let's take a look at how it works when using our bitfarm-Archiv document management system. We can open editable documents via the "Original file" button in the correspondingly responsible application - and edit them as usual. Of course, this requires a corresponding application to be installed on the computer. So in the case of the .docx document, MS-Office or Open-Office would be required, in the case of a .dwg file, a CAD system would have to be installed, and so on.

document check in version details

Old versions can of course no longer be changed. However, they can be used as a template for new documents. The used storage space for version management on the server is small, because bitfarm-Archiv stores only the respective differences of the document versions to each other - and not the complete documents. By the way, the open source software SVN is used for this purpose.This does not only work with Office files - almost all formats can be edited and versioned this way.

If a user wants to work exclusively on a document for a while, he can use the "checked out" button. This prevents other users from making parallel changes to the same document. This state is maintained until the user checks the document back in.

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Further reading: Sources and interesting links



Stony Brook University


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