Multi-user editing protection

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2/18/2012 5:15:30 PM
Total Posts 537
feet planted firmly on the ground

Multi-user editing protection

We have found that mojoPortal offers no protection if two users edit the same content at the same time; the second user to save overwrites the first user's edits, without any way of knowing. This is a fairly high risk of this on some of our sites with multiple authors collaborating on projects.

I think two things could be done to improve this.

  1. warn a user if another user has already started editing the feature. I appreciate that in stateless web apps there is no way of knowing whether that user will go on to save or abandon their edits, but this would still be a useful warning. For example when I start editing an html content feature, I might get a message "User xxx started editing this feature at yyyy-mm-dd hh:mm:ss" (proceed or cancel). There would need to be a way of cancelling out edit-starts that went nowhere; for example each successful save scrubs any old starts, as they are no longer relevant.
  2. detect on saving whether the record has been changed since the current user started editing. If it has, display the comparison, as can be done in the history of past edits, and allow the user to choose whether to proceed or cancel, and which version to save (plus scrape content to clipboard etc).

These two strategies together would prevent against accidental loss of content.


2/20/2012 6:05:15 AM
Total Posts 18439

Re: Multi-user editing protection


I will consider these possible approaches in the future.

For now my advice would be to enable content versioning by checking the "Force Content Versioning" checkbox in site settings. This will ensure that every edit is kept in history at least for the html content feature and the blog so that at least you'll be able to recover any content and correct the problem more easily in those cases where this problem may occur.



2/20/2012 2:34:29 PM
Total Posts 1203
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Re: Multi-user editing protection

Hi Crispin, you might want to turn on Content Approval as well. It won't help with this problem directly, but when people start to work on content, they can save it periodically in draft mode. This way any other signed in editor going to that page will see that it's already in draft mode and know that there are edits underway by someone else. Anyone who can edit an instance can also approve it (unless in roles that are specifically set to only edit as draft), so everyone will be able to self-approve their edits when finished. 


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