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RH 2020 - Version Control / Source Control

Community Beginner ,
Sep 06, 2021 Sep 06, 2021

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Hi all,

I use RH 2020 and I am looking into what version control does. 

As far as I understand, version control saves every version of the document so multiple people can simultaneously work on Topics. 
We have 2 authors. However, we will probably barely edit Topics within RH. We will most likely use Word documents as our 'source of truth'. The Word docs will be imported into RH > from there only minor things are edited within RH.
At the moment, I use an excel sheet for our version control. In this excel sheet we track: 1) when a document was last updated & by whom, 2) when a document needs to be reviewed again, 3) what has been changed per version. 

I was not able to find answers to the following questions:

1- Is version control useful at all if there's only 1 author?

2- Is version control useful if we don't edit Topics in RH, but we use Word docs as a source?

3- Is it possible to set reminders to review a Topic with RH version control? i.e. set a reminder 6 months into the future to review if a Topic content is still current. 

4- Is it possible to add comments via version control? i.e. to indicate what changed between the previous & current version. 

 

Thanks in advance,
Hannah

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Adobe Community Professional , Sep 06, 2021 Sep 06, 2021
Generally your idea is correct. However, just be careful of the term "version". This differs slightly from what is considered a document version. Each time you check in a file, the changes are stored as a version. Whereas for documentation the individual edits aren't considered versions, only the final document after all changes are made. For example, say you have a large change that takes 3 days to complete. Best practice says you check in at least at the end of each day so you don't lose much ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 06, 2021 Sep 06, 2021

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Generally your idea is correct. However, just be careful of the term "version". This differs slightly from what is considered a document version. Each time you check in a file, the changes are stored as a version. Whereas for documentation the individual edits aren't considered versions, only the final document after all changes are made. For example, say you have a large change that takes 3 days to complete. Best practice says you check in at least at the end of each day so you don't lose much work in case of disaster. Each checkin is a 'version' in source control. However, usually for documentation purposes only the version at the end of the third day, when you have finished making all the required updates, is considered a 'version'. Does that make sense?

 

1. Source control can be useful for a single author, however it adds an additional level of complexity to your projects. If your organisation doesn't already have source control used by your developers, I would not suggest setting one up just for the documentation - for source control, it's much better to have the technical support of your developers when something goes wrong. 🙂 However, without source control do make sure you back up your work at least weekly (I currently zip up my projects and copy to a network drive that is included in the corporate backup strategy) and after every major release.

 

2. It might be better to put your Word documents in source control, if those are the "source". However, that may not be possible depending on who will be contributing directly to them. However, including the RH projects in source control would give you an additional backup in case the Word documents were lost for some reason. You can always generate a new word document from  the RH topics, in that scenario.

 

3. I haven't used source control for a long time, but I don't think they are designed for review notifications. I think they are more driven by release/development milestones. You'd have to check with the specific source control tool you were planning to use, though, to see what's possible with that tool.

 

4. I think you should be able to add a comment each time you check in a file or set of files - certainly this was possible when I was using VSS years ago. When I was using VSS I could also manually add a comment to all files in a project when I considered a release finalised (I think it had a slightly different name, but can't remember as it was a long time ago).  The ability to add a comment may depend on the application you use to check in though - different applications provide different 'bits' of the overal functionality of a source control tool, I believe.

 

* Edited to make a small clarification

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 07, 2021 Sep 07, 2021

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Amber has given you an excellent answer that I will be linking to on my site to help others in the future.

 

My own method for years was to simply create a zipped backup at the end of each day and prefix the filename with the date in YYMMDD format to keep them in order. Then I would copy that file to the network so that it got backed up by IT. That way I had my copy and ITs if needed.

 

Periodically I would delete older ones locally and on the network except for the one for last day of each month.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 07, 2021 Sep 07, 2021

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I have added the link but in doing so I found I had posted a summary of an older thread some ten years back. In that there is a suggestion to use merged help in certain scenarios.

 

See Multiple authors - when to use source control.

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