Alfresco Reason for Document Editing

Never get stuck on document lockout again. See who is working on the document that you need — now.

The Skytizens Alfresco Reason for Editing addon is a quick feature with a pragmatic job. It gives users a convenient way to communicate with each other while they are editing files from the Alfresco document library. Editors easily let other users know that they are editing a document, the name of the editor, and any other message that might be helpful.

If you have ever urgently needed a document from a shared file storage system only to get the document lockout message, you will understand the usefulness of this addon immediately. With no information about who has the document open on their desktop, when they will be finished, and zero access to an older version, it is easy to enter into panic mode. Use the Reason for Editing addon and never face this common business crisis again.

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What is Reason for Editing?

Never get stuck on document lockout again. See who is working on the document that you need — now.

Reason for Editing is a Skytizens Alfresco addon that allows users to communicate with each other as they are editing the content of files in the Alfresco document library. Reason for Editing is an uncomplicated way to let other users know what you are doing, why, and when you’ll be done. It is useful in avoiding the frustration that users feel when they don’t have access to a document. It is also useful in time-sensitive tasks.

May from the Marketing Department is updating the company price list. Stacy from Sales attempts to open the document before her 3pm meeting with a customer. The Reason for Editing text displays “This document is locked by May for editing. Updating prices. Done 5pm.” Stacy then phones May to ask what date the new prices go into effect, since she needs the correct price list for her meeting. Crisis averted.

Why is Reason for Editing so important?

  • Enhanced internal communication – clear messages between content editors
  • Prioritizing on-the-fly – users can contact the current editor to request document access or get more information

The Benefits of Reason for Editing

The Skytizens Alfresco Reason for Editing addon is a communication tool developed to help with document lockout and assist with prioritizing tasks. Document lockout is a necessary feature when editing shared documents and a common headache as well. Issues arise when another user needs immediate access to the document. Alternately, a user may not properly close the document after editing and it restricts access to other users for an unreasonable amount of time.

How Does It Work?

The Reason for Editing addon provides document editors in Alfresco with a simple text field to alert other users about their editing session. The text box is intended as a place to write the reason for the current editing session and other useful information (e.g. estimated end time). The Reason for Editing text is visible to other potential editors who attempt to view the document at the same time. With Reason for Editing, content editors have a clear understanding of why they cannot access a document, what is being worked on, who is currently editing the document, and the ability to contact that person if necessary.

Main Features

Edit in Progress banner – In the document library, a file being edited will display a yellow banner with information about the editing session.

  1. Username of the person who is editing
  2. Type of editing session (e.g. offline editing or not)

Reason for Editing text field – In the document library, a file being edited will display blue banner with information about the reason for editing.

  1. Text Field appears to the editor as a pop-up. Skytizens recommends listing a reason and an estimated time for the end of the editing session.
  2. Unlimited space is available for writing this message.

Message Broadcast – Once the editor saves the message, both banners appear above the file name in the document library. All users who navigate to that folder can see the Reason for Editing messages.

Limited Access – In traditional shared files, secondary users are barred from access to a document while it is being edited. This is called document lockout. With the Skytizens Reason for Editing addon, Alfresco does not have 100% complete document lockout. Secondary users still have limited access to the document in question.

  1. Preview – Secondary users can view the document in preview mode.
  2. Download – Secondary users can download the last available version of the document for distribution.
  3. Check Version – Secondary users can check the preview menu to see which version they are using and who was the most recent editor.

Conclusions

The Skytizens Alfresco Reason for Editing addon is a quick feature with a pragmatic job. It gives users a convenient way to communicate with each other while they are editing files from the Alfresco document library. Editors easily let other users know that they are editing a document, the name of the editor, and any other message that might be helpful.

If you have ever urgently needed a document from a shared file storage system only to get the document lockout message, you will understand the usefulness of this addon immediately. With no information about who has the document open on their desktop, when they will be finished, and zero access to an older version, it is easy to enter into panic mode. Use the Reason for Editing addon and never face this common business crisis again.

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