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GroupWise Document Management: Checking Documents In and Out

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GroupWise Document Management: Checking Documents In and Out

This is the fourth in a series of articles on the topic of GroupWise Document Management. This article does not deal specifically with the GroupWise Macintosh Client, which will be covered at a later date.

By Andrew McGregor, Messaging Support Specialist

One of the neat features of the GWDMS is the ability to check documents out. In some situations, you may have several people working on a single document at the same time. But you may want to edit the document yourself, and “lock” the other users out. Although opening the document “locks” users out, it only does so while you have it open. When you check a document out, it becomes inaccessible to the other users until you check the document in. In this way, you don’t have to leave the document open in order to “lock” the document.

Checking Documents Out

Let’s look at how this is done. Start off by selecting a document to check out.

document_reference.gif (11363 bytes)

There are a couple of ways to get to the next part. The first way is to “right click” on the document and choose “Check out…”. The next way is to click on “Actions” in the main menu bar, and choose “Check out…”. We’ll look at the “right click” method in this section.

document_reference_right_click.gif (17416 bytes)

After clicking on “Check out…”, you’ll see the screen below.

checkout_screen.gif (7055 bytes)

In the “Check-Out” screen, you’re given two options for check out. “Check out and copy document” means that the document will be checked out and a copy of it will be placed in a location of your choosing. “Check out only” means that the document will be inaccessible to everyone including you. So, if you want to work on the document while it’s checked out, I suggest you choose the first option. Below the "selected documents" window, there are two fields. The first one is for the file name. You can use the default name, or change it to whatever you would like. The second field is for the path to the folder where the document will be saved. As with the name, you can use the default or choose where you want the document to go. If you are satisfied with your choices, click on the “Check Out” button.

checkout_screen_method.gif (7811 bytes)


When the document has been checked out you will see the text in the “Selected documents” window change, and reflect, “Checked out…”. At this point, you know the document has been checked out. Now, you should have a document in the folder that you chose that you could open and edit, but no one in the GroupWise system can edit it.

checkout_screen_checkedout.gif (7546 bytes)

Checking Documents In

Checking a document in is just as easy as checking one out. The first thing you will need to do is select the document reference of the document you want to check in. Then “right click” on it and choose “Check In…”. This will bring up the “Check-In” window. The “Check In” window has a number of options that we will look at. First, we will look at the “Check in method:” window.

checkin_screen.gif (8917 bytes) 

There are four options for the “Check in method:” field. I will explain each.

1. Check in and move document– If you chose “Check out and copy document” when you checked the document out, this option will update the document in the library with the changes, delete the copy, and unlock the document in the library. If you chose “Check out only”, this option won’t work, because it needs a valid file path to update from.

2. Check in and copy document – This is the same process as the first one except the copy is not deleted.

3. Check in only – This option unlocks the document and does nothing else. No changes get made to the document in the library.

4. Update without checking in – This option is used when you have a copy of a document made and you want to update the document in the library without making the document available for other users to edit.

So make your choice of how you want it checked in and then we will look at the next window.

 checkin_screen_methods.gif (9456 bytes)

The “Check in as:” field has three options to choose from. Here is an explanation.

1. Checked out version - If you made changes to a document and just wish to update the document you checked out, you need to choose this option. This will leave the document as the original version.

2. New version - If you made changes to a document and would like to use the changes to form a second version of the document, then choose this option. This will use the updated version of the document that you are checking in to create a new version.

3. New document - If you don’t want to update the original version and you don’t want to create another version, then you will want to create a whole new document. If this is the case, you need to choose “New document”.

After you have decided which option to choose, go ahead and click “Check In”. Poof, your document is checked in.

 checkin_screen_checkin_as.gif (8914 bytes)

Sometimes when checking in a document, you may want to open that document quickly thereafter. When doing this, you may get a message saying that the document is not available or that someone has it opened or checked out even though you know it’s checked in and not being used. What you need to do is reset the document’s status. You do this by “right clicking” on the document reference and choosing “ Reset Document Status”. The screen below will appear. Sometimes the document is not properly returned to the library or it hasn’t been “unlocked” yet, which would cause you to not be able to open the document, so putting a check mark in the two boxes and choosing “OK” should normally take care of the issue.

reset_document_status.gif (3420 bytes)

More Information

Stay tuned for more neat GroupWise Document Management features next time. If you want to do some reading in the meantime, check out the topic of "Document Management" in the Novell GroupWise Cool Solutions vault.