You can version control articles in Service Desk to identify a particular snapshot of an article. When you configure the version control of articles, you can specify which specific attributes on the article are version controlled. Both automatic and managed versioning are available for articles:
Automatic version control – the version number automatically increments when you update attributes on an article that are version controlled.
Managed version control – you cannot directly modify version-controlled attributes on articles that have managed version control enabled. Instead, you create a future version of the article and when the change is approved, you make the future version into the current version. These changes in version can either be made directly from the Article window, or as part of a Change process.
Design changes required
You need to make a few design changes to implement the version control of articles.
For more information about the designers, see the Designer Guide.
To enable the version control of articles:
In Object Designer, open the Knowledge Management\Article object and select Article at the top of the Attributes tree.
In the Properties grid, set Performs Versioning? to True and then set Type of Versioning? to either Automatic version control or Managed version control as required.
When changes to these properties have been saved, you cannot change them again.
Click . The object is saved, and you can now specify which attributes for the article you want to place under version control.
In the Attributes tree, select the attribute that you want to place under version control, then in the Properties grid, set Attribute under version control? to Version controlled. For example, you could choose to version control Description, Solution, and Keywords Tags.
You cannot version control collection attributes.
Repeat for any other attributes as required and save the changes.
There are several other design changes that you need to make to get the best from the version control of articles:
using Window Manager, add the Versions collection to the Article window, so that you can see the different versions of the article.
using Window Manager, create a window for the Knowledge Management\Article Version object, including the Rank, Number, Status.Title, and the version-controlled fields. For Automatic version control, set the Protection Level property for each of the fields on the Article Version window to ReadOnly (you are not allowed to make changes directly to a version, so setting this value will stop users from trying to save changes and just receiving a warning message). For Managed version control, set the Protection Level property for the Number, Rank, and Status.Title fields on the Article Version window to ReadOnly and the version-controlled fields to ReadWrite. Then click the Make available in Web Access action. This defines the window that appears when a user clicks a row in the Versions collection on the Article window.
using Query and report Designer, create a query based on the Knowledge Management\Article Version object that includes the Rank, the version-controlled attributes, and the Status.Title attribute. In Object Designer, select this query as the Default Query for the Knowledge Management\Article Version object. This specifies the columns that appear in the Versions collection on the Article window.
Automatic version control
When you save a new article that has automatic version control, a Versions tab appears at the bottom of the window. Each time you save a change that updates a version-controlled attribute, a new version is created and a new row appears on the Versions tab.
Managed version control from the Article process
A managed article has one of the following statuses:
Future – a version of the article that is planned, or being prepared, but which is not ready for use
Current – the version of the article that is currently in use
Previous – a version of the article that is no longer in use
You can create, set, and rollback managed article versions directly from the Article process. There are three actions that you can add to your Article process that relate to version control:
Add Future Version – displays the Article Version window so that you can create a Future version of the article based on the Current version.
Rollback Version – rolls back the version of the article. The Current version becomes the Future version, and the latest Previous version becomes the Current version. Each time you click Rollback Version, the article rolls back through the list of Previous versions, and the Article window updates accordingly.
Set Current Version – displays the Set Current Version dialog, which displays a list of the Future versions for the article. Only those Future versions that are not associated with a Change are listed. Click the row that corresponds to the version that you want to make the Current version.
Managed version control from the Change process
You can manage the versions of an article directly from a Change process if you make some further modifications to your design.
To complete the design changes for managed version control of articles from a Change process:
Add the managed version control actions to your Article process as described in the previous section.
Add the Add Article and Commit Article actions to your Change process.
Using Query and Report Designer, create the following queries, selecting the Everyone option button on the New Query dialog:
Change – Articles
Purpose – specifies the columns displayed in the Articles collection on the Change window
Module – Change Management
Business Object – Change Article
Attributes – Article.Description, other version controlled attributes
Purpose – displays the columns that appear on the Article dialogs in the Change process, helping users to find the required article
Module – Knowledge Management
Business Object – Article
Attributes – Description, other version controlled attributes
The only articles that you can add to a change are those that are at a status where future versions can be added using the Article process. You can add a criteria to your Articles default query so that only those articles at such a status are displayed. For more information about designing queries, see the Designer Guide.
In Object Designer, open the Change Management\Change Article object.
In the Properties grid, alongside Default Query, select the Change – Articles query that you created above, then click .
Similarly, select the appropriate Default Query for the Article object and save the changes.
Using Window Manager, add the Articles collection to the Change window, then click . The columns that appear on the corresponding Articles tab are those specified in the Change – Articles default query that you created earlier.
Make sure that a Web Access version of the window is available.
When you have completed this design work, you can manage the versions of an article directly from a Change process.
To update a managed article from a Change process:
In the Actions list for the Change, click Add Article. The Add Article dialog appears.
In the Available list, click the article that you want to add to the change. The article moves to the Selected list.
Clicking an article in the Selected list removes it from that list.
Repeat to add further articles as required, then click OK. A Future version of any article under managed version control is created, and the articles appear in the Articles tab on the Change window.
The Detach Article action works in a similar manner, listing only those articles that are attached to the change.
Click the managed article in the Articles tab. The Article window appears.
Click the row in the Versions tab that corresponds with the Future version created by the Change. The Version window appears, with the version number displayed in the title bar.
Update the version controlled attributes, then click Save and close. The Article window reappears, with the updated value displayed in the Versions tab.
Click Save and close on the Article window. The Change window appears.
In the Actions list for the Change, click Commit Article. The Commit Article dialog appears.
In the Available list, click the article that you want to commit. The article moves to the Selected list.
Repeat to add further articles as required, then click OK. The Future versions of managed articles associated with the Change become the Current versions, and the Current versions become the Previous versions.
If you want to revert an article to an earlier version, the best practice is to use another Change to create a new Future version that matches the Previous version.