1.4 Scenarios for Using Archive and Version Services

Novell Archive and Version Services 2.1 for OES 2 Linux is a valuable asset in today’s diversified workplace. This section discusses the following usage scenarios:

1.4.1 Cross-Platform Work Environments

Novell Archive and Version Services for OES 2 Linux provides a Web-based interface to the archive database in Novell NetStorage with the Archive function. Users can retrieve file versions from any workstation operating platform, including NetWare, Microsoft Windows 2000/XP / Vista, Apple Macintosh, SLED 10, and SLED 10 SP1. All a user needs is a Web browser and an active network or Internet connection.

1.4.2 Group Collaboration

In a shared work group, a team works collectively to share information, create information, and process information. Files are regularly shuffled back and forth between users, and they are usually worked on by more than one person. Sections of a presentation are created by different people and either merged or are simply edited into an existing file that is passed around.

Research has shown that people tend to solve the problems associated with lack of versioning in PC network systems by attempting to do an ad hoc versioning system. Unfortunately, everyone does it a bit differently. Some put a version or date in the name of the file, such as MarketAnalysisv3.ppt. Others put dates in the filename, such as MarketAnalysis2002Oct03.ppt. Still others use file folders with versions or dates in the names of the folders. Most are not consistent with their techniques and many do not even try. It is especially troublesome when the files are shared, because not every personal scheme is alike. Even with these various methods, mistakes happen.

Novell Archive and Version Services for OES 2 Linux supports collaborative work environments. The archive interface allows a user to view previous versions and see instantly who was the modifier of each of the versions without opening file versions to attempt to ascertain who modified it.

For example, Tom and Alice worked together to prepare a presentation. Two weeks ago, Alice deleted some edits that Tom made to the file. Now, the team needs those edits back. Alice cannot recall when she deleted the edits. By going to the Web-based archive access, Alice can view previous file versions. The modifier of the file is listed next to each file version. Alice easily identifies the file version from about two weeks ago that shows up with Tom as the modifier of the file. She can view the file version or restore the file, as needed, to recover the lost modifications.

1.4.3 File and Directory Name Changes

File and directory names are likely to change during their lifetimes. Novell Archive and Version Services for OES 2 Linux supports file and directory renaming. It tracks changes to the filename, such as when a user renames a file at some point in the process of its creation and modification. It also tracks changes made to the file’s subdirectory (or path) if it is changed.

1.4.4 Selective File Versioning

It is not desirable or practical to version every file in a volume. Novell Archive and Version Services for OES 2 Linux allows administrators to determine which files on their OES 2 Linux servers get versioned and the versioning intervals on a per-volume basis.

For example, consider a source volume that comprises multiple directories: Users, Shared, and several directories for applications. Although the files in the Users and Shared directories change frequently, the files in the applications directories are fairly stable. Novell Archive and Version Services allows the administrator to exclude files in applications directories from versioning.

The administrator can selectively control the versioning frequency for each volume. For example, consider a Users volume with files that change intermittently throughout the day and a Shared volume with files that change at the end of each scheduled work shift. Novell Archive and Version Services allows the administrator to schedule 30-minute epochs for the Users volume and schedule the start time and subsequent epochs to coincide with shift changes for the Shared volume.

The administrator can control the types of files to be versioned. For example, consider a Productivity volume that contains both Web development applications and user files. With Novell Archive and Version services, the administrator can specify the extensions of files like .doc or .html to be versioned in a Productivity volume.