Everyone who has worked with someone else will understand and appreciate the need for versioning. One member of the team may create the document and others may engage in critical evaluation of the contents of the document. Each modification to the document results in the original contents of the document being lost forever. If at some point, the team would like to go back to the original version of the document, the same may not be available to them if all changes have been made to the original document, and the changes have been saved. Versioning helps teams save the first document as the original version and every modified document as a modified version of the original. In the circumstances, if the original document has to be revisited or restored, users will simply have to call up the document saved as the original.
Versioning technology is often packaged as part of a Document Management System (DMS). Each vendor of the technology may apply a different versioning algorithm and logic for identifying and numbering different versions of a document. But, fundamentally, versions are registered sequentially. For instance, a versioning algorithm may number a Document as A v.1 and all subsequent versions may be numbered as A v.1.1, A v.1.2, and so on till the ceiling on the number of versions that can be stored is reached. The date of creation of the document version (generally the system date) may also be used as the version numbering mechanism.
Most backup and recovery systems have a limitation on the number of versions of a document that can be saved on the DMS. Some vendors allows users save only a few tens of versions while others may permit storage of a hundred versions of the document. As new versions of the document are added to the database, older versions may be archived, deleted or removed automatically from the storage repository. Users who wish to store more than the stipulated number of versions of a document may have to rename the document and store versions of the new original.
Versioning technology may be linked with de-duplication technology. Since de-duplication technology looks for exact duplicates for elimination, all versions of a file that are duplicate of the original will be automatically eliminated. Versioning may be linked with incremental and differential backup to ensure that only portions of the file that are modified are stored in the new version of the document with references to the original portion of the file for file build up during recovery.
With the advent of cloud backup and cloud computing, versioning technologies have become immensely sophisticated and document management has been fine-tuned to accommodate the multi-various needs of its patrons.