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Creating Versions for Content Items

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Versions are saved states that items in Tempest have so that it’s possible to view what an item* looked like at a previous point and restore to any previously saved version if necessary.

How Can Versions Benefit Publishers?

  • Creating versions can save editors time when deciding upon which drafts might be best to focus on for publication.
  • Writers will feel relieved to know that they can go back, highlight, and copy and paste from old versions to their new versions or working copy (this includes making copies of deleted photo galleries). This can save both writers and editors time.
  • On the configuration side of things, saving versions can save you time by having the ability to easily reconstruct older content at a publisher's request. You could use Bulk Manage to pull specific versions from particular date ranges. This could be very beneficial to publishers.
Note that the site’s configuration files count as content items, so when this article refers to “content item” that includes site configuration files as well, and these have the same versioning behavior as any other content item in Tempest (e.g. Articles, Videos, Rich Terms, etc.)

Who Does This Apply To?

All publishers will benefit from these versioning tools. No matter what permissions anyone on the CMS has, everyone will have access to creating versions. The majority of publishers will commonly make use of this tool while writing articles. All users (including all contributors) have access to using this tool.

Do Versions Exist in Configuration as Well?

If you have access to configuration tools on Tempest (most publishers do not need to worry about configuration as you will reach out to pubsupport@thearenagroup.net to ask about any configuration changes you'd like made to your site), then you will have the option to make versions for all of these configurable items as well (including content templates). 

Where Can Publishers Find Versions?

The list of previous versions as well as the options to view or create a version are found in the Authoring Status menu. The Authoring Status menu is opened by clicking the button that shows the item’s current authoring status which can be either “Draft”, “Ready for Edit”, or “Complete”.

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The Authoring Status menu expanded. The button in this case is labeled “Draft” because that is the current authoring status of this content item.

Creating Versions

  • When editing content or a site’s configuration in Tempest, versions are automatically created when a new session is started. For example, if you open an Article and make an edit, that creates a new version associated with your user account which will represent any changes that you make during that session.
  • If you exit the editor or close the window, then go back and open the article again and make another edit, that would count as a new session and so it would create another version for any edits made during that new session.

Additionally, you can manually create a new version without needing to end/start a new session. To do this, click the “Save as a new version” button within the Authoring Status menu.

Note that merely viewing a content item without making any changes will not create a new version. But making a change and then undoing it will still create a new version, even though the content will be identical to the previous version. Versions cannot be deleted.

Recent Versions list

All of the versions that have been saved for a given content item are listed in the Recent Versions list within the Authoring Status menu. However, only the most recent versions will be shown upon the initial opening of the menu. To see older versions, click the “Load more versions” button. It may take some time for the new versions to load, but once they are loaded you can click the “Load more versions” button again until the desired version is displayed.

Each version has information associated with it that is listed next to that version in the Recent Versions list. This information is:

  • The name of the user who created the version

  • The timestamp when that version was last saved

  • If the version is the current working copy, indicated by a blue “working copy” label.

  • If the version is the currently published version, indicated by a green “published” label.

  • If the version has ever been published at some point in the past, indicated by a green dot.

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Viewing and Restoring to Previous Version

If you want to see what a content item looked like at a previous version, select that version from the list of Recent Versions in the Authoring Status menu. When you click a version, you’ll see a read-only snapshot of that version which you can inspect to compare it to the current working copy or other versions. These notes are for contributors, writers and editors, but the same basic principle applies for anyone with access to configuration.

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While you’re viewing a read-only snapshot of a version, the following header will be displayed at the top of the page:

  1. The Content Type, for example “Article” if you’re viewing a snapshot an article.

  2. Item Name or title. This is the name of the specific item you’re viewing.

  3. The date and time that this version was last saved. Will match the time shown on the version that you clicked in the version list to get to this snapshot.

  4. The Versions List can be found by clicking this button. This way you can navigate directly from one version snapshot to another without having to go back to the item in the editor.

  5. Clicking cancel will return you to the item in the editor showing the editable Working Copy, no changes will be made

  6. Clicking Restore will create a new version (associated with your user account) that is the same as the version you’re previewing and make that new version the Working Copy.

 

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