Re: Simultaneous Author Access to files [Cross-posted to HATT And Tec hwr-L]

Subject: Re: Simultaneous Author Access to files [Cross-posted to HATT And Tec hwr-L]
From: Max Wyss <prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 2000 16:35:01 +0200


you are not asking for the holy grail here, but you are asking for biiig problems. It has been quite a long time fundamental of networking and document managing to give _write_ access to one and only one user (read access is OK, as reading does not modify a document).

Imagine, your five writers makes changes on a file, and all have write access to the document. Now, also imagine that every one changes the same sentence. So, which one will now be in the document when you read it afterwards. OK, all writers changing the same sentence may be a bit esoteric, but if every writer changes a different paragraph, it would always be the version which gets saved last which becomes available. And this one will not have the four other changed paragraphs.

So, there is a bit a workflow problem. Actually, it would be much better to give the _editing_ responsibility to one writer, who then will process all the comments. If this is actually not possible, for whatever reasons, it would be a good idea to look at the documents and to chop them up into units for which one single writer has the responsibility. If that too is not possible, you would have to put your documentation into a database where again the logical units would have to be made much smaller, so that there will be no need for concurrent write access (also, a database would make available the write permission to a record as soon as the writer has left that particular record).

Hope, this can help.

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering
Low Paper workflows, Smart documents, PDF forms
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37
e-mail: mailto:prodok -at- prodok -dot- ch

[ Building Bridges for Information ]


I have five writers in my group, and we're constantly tripping each other up
when we try to access our files for updating. Currently we're using Word 97
(Word 2000 just doesn't cut it) and ForeHelp. Neither of these tools lets us
work efficiently as a group since only one person can have read/write access
to any one file at a time.

Are there ANY tools and/or Document Management Systems that will let us have
free rein to open and edit whatever needs editing, regardless of whether
someone else is using it or not? Or am I asking for the Holy Grail here?

Thanks ... and I'd also like to hear how many of you are running into the
same problem. If it's a big deal, perhaps the tool vendors will take notice
and add more DMS capabilities to their applications.

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