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Introduction to Versioning

WebGUI's versioning system stores each revision, or version, of an asset. This allows you to view and work off previous versions of content on your site. In WebGUI versions 7.5 or later, it is necessary for a site administrator to make Version Tags and the commit screen visible on the site. If not, you may not actually see the Version Tags tab or screens as described here. This is done in the Content tab of the Admin Settings screen by setting the “Automatically Request Commit?” and “Skip Commit Comments?” fields to No. Users can also set their version tag modes on an individual basis through the Profile>Preferences tab in the user account screen.


If versioning is made visible on your site, you will notice a new tab in the Admin Bar called “Version Tags” any time you create new content or revise existing content on the site. A version tag is essentially a place where your changes are stored until you are ready to publish them.



When an asset is edited, but those edits have not yet been committed, you will notice a change in that asset’s toolbar. Where previously you saw an edit button you will now see a closed lock. This indicates that the piece is locked and can not be edited. So, if you were to change the content of an article, log out of the site, and then return the next day to work on the article again, the asset would be locked. This prevents another user from altering your content. To unlock the asset, simply click on the version tag name in the Admin Bar. This will let WebGUI know you have returned to work on the asset, and will restore the edit button to the asset toolbar.


Before publishing your content to the website, you must “commit” your changes. Visitors to your site will not see the changes you have made until you have committed your work. If you feel that you are ready to commit your content to your website, click on the words “Commit My Changes” in the Version Tag tab of the Admin Bar. A new screen will appear called “Version Tags.” On this screen you will see your “Version Tag Name” near the top left corner. This contains the date and time your tag was developed and your username. Check to make sure this is accurate so you don’t accidentally commit someone else’s content.



In the “Comments” field you can enter comments about the content you are committing to the site. Your comments should be specific, so people in the future can tell why you made a change to the site. For example, “I found a typo,” or “Changes for new product launch,” are good. “This is the content I worked on,” or, “Made some changes,” aren't useful comments. If “skip comments” is enabled on your site, you will not see this field.


The “Start Time” and “End Time” fields are used to create a beginning and expiration date for content stored within this specific version tag. This allows you to publish content to the site for a limited amount of time. The content in this tag will appear on the site on the Start Date, and will expire, or be removed from the site, on the End Date. A separate workflow will need to be enabled to remove the content on the date indicated in the End Date field. Your site administrator might need to set this up for you. Clicking in these fields will display a calendar picker from which to enter the values.


At the bottom of this screen are listed all the revisions contained within this version tag. To see an individual revision, simply click the View button to the left of the asset. You will be directed to a normal page view.


When you are ready to commit your content, click “save,” and your content will be published to your website. At times it may take awhile for your content to appear on the site. There are a number of reasons why this may occur:


  • If your content must go through an approval process, it may take awhile to appear on the live website.

  • You may have been redirected to the cached page. Try refreshing the page, and your content should appear.

  • The content hasn't finished moving through the workflow system. The workflow system will be discussed in greater detail later in the book. Just know that the workflow system handles the actual publication of the content.


Be aware that a version tag's content must move through the workflow before it will exist on the site. Even though the version tag will appear to no longer exist, any function related to the content within that tag will not be able to be performed until the asset has officially moved through the workflow.


Edit a Version Tag

If you are working under more than one version tag, you may want to name the tags for easy reference. This will help you, and others working on the site, stay aware of what content is stored under what tag. You may also select a specific group allowed to work in a version tag and a specific workflow for it.


Note: Content can be committed directly from the Version Tags screen. Simply click on the “Commit” link. You may also select the “Set As Working Tag” link to designate which tag you would like to work under.


To edit the name of an existing tag:


  1. Click on Version Tags in the Admin Console. This will take you directly to the Edit Version Tag screen.The Version Tags screen will open. Alternatively, you can simply click on the name of the Version Tag you are working on in the Version Tags tab of the Admin Bar.

  2. Locate the tag you want to edit.



  1. Click the tag's edit button. The Edit Version Tag screen will open. In this screen you can enter a Version Tag Name, assign the version tag a specific workflow, and assign a group of users allowed to work in this version tag.



  1. Edit the “Version Tag Name” field, and if necessary make a selection from the “Workflow” and “Group to Use” fields. Click Save.


To create a new tag with a unique name:


  1. Click on Version Tags in the Admin Console to open the Version Tags screen.

  2. On the far right hand side of the screen click the “Add a version tag” link. The Edit Version Tag screen will open.

  3. Enter a “Version Tag Name” and set its workflow and group properties. Save.


Delete a Version Tag


If you have been working under a version tag but for some reason do not need to commit its content, you may delete that version tag from the system. In essence, this is like deleting a single revision.


  1. Select Version Tags from the Admin Console.

  2. The “Version Tags” screen will open. On this screen will be listed all the version tags currently in the system.


  1. To the left of the Version Tag Name, click on the red X button. This is the delete icon.

  2. A warning will display to ensure you want to delete the tag and its content. Click “OK” and the tag is deleted. The tag and its content can not be restored.


Manage Revisions in Tag


Sometimes you might find it necessary to delete a revision, or move an asset contained in one version tag to another version tag in the system. For example, you might accidentally create content under the wrong version tag. WebGUI will allow you select a single revision within a version tag and transfer it to another existing tag within the system.


  1. Select Version Tags from the Admin Console. This will open the Version Tags screen.

  1. Click on the Version Tag Name that contains the content you wish to manage. This will open the Revisions in Tag screen.


  1. The Revisions in Tag screen contains all the content revisions that have taken place in this Version Tag.


  • At the top of the screen are two fields: Start Time and End Time. Use these fields to create a limited time period during which to display the content stored within this tag. Click the update button once dates and times have been entered.

  • To view an individual revision, click on the View button to the left of the asset title.

  • To remove, or delete, a revision, select its corresponding checkbox, and click the Purge button next to the “With Selected” field above the revision list. More than one revision may be selected and purged at a time.

  • To move a revision to a new tag, select the checkbox(es) next to the revision, and then select the version tag to move it to in the Move To dropdown menu to the right of the With Selected field. When you are ready, click on the Move To button to complete the transfer.


  1. When you are finished managing revisions, use the links on the right hand side of the screen to move to a new version tags screen or go back to the site.


Roll Back a Committed Version Tag


If you make a mistake and commit a version tag before it is ready for publication, don’t fear. You can “roll back” that tag. The difference between rolling back a tag and deleting a tag is the tag’s commitment status when the action takes place. You can delete a tag that hasn’t yet been committed; you roll back a tag that already has been committed. Rolling back a tag basically resets the site as if the version tag never existed; all content will appear as it did before the content was edited and the tag was committed. This may result in you having to redo some work, but at least content that was never meant to be published won’t appear on a live site!


To roll back a version tag:


  1. Select Version Tags from the Admin Console. This will open the “Version Tags” screen.

  2. On the far right hand side of the screen, click on the “Manage committed versions” link.

  3. The “Committed Versions” screen will open. On this screen is listed every version tag committed to the site. Displayed will be the tags’ names, committed on dates, committed by usernames, and the rollback link. The list might be lengthy; naming your version tags will make locating them in the screen easier.

  1. Locate the tag you need to rollback, and click the “Rollback” link on the far right hand side of the screen.

  2. A warning will be displayed. If you rollback a version tag all content in the tag will be lost, and can not be restored. Be certain that you are rolling back the correct tag.

  3. Click OK, and the version tag will be rolled back and the site returned to its state before tag creation.


Keywords: commit revisions roll back Versioning workflow

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