Exploring Web Source Control in Microsoft Expression Web

Posted by: Minal Agarwal , on 7/5/2008, in Category Expression Web
Views: 23904
Abstract: In this article we will explore an interesting feature of Microsoft® Expression® Web, which controls the website from being updated by more than one person at the same time. This feature is known as Web Source Control.
Exploring Web Source Control in Microsoft Expression Web

When you are working in a team, with a group of designers, documents can be assigned to individuals for review and Expression Web will track the review status. It could be unmanageable to avoid and ensure that two team members don’t modify the same file at the same time. To overcome this issue, Expression® Web offers a rudimentary source control system.

Expression Web Web Site settings

A source control system implements a document checkout system for a Web site. When you open a file, you are asked if you would like to check it out. If you choose Yes, the file is opened and checked out to you. Until you either check the file back in or undo your checkout, the file will be flagged as being checked out to you.

 

There are two types of source control systems supported by Expression Web: Expression Web’s own source control system and Visual SourceSafe integrated source control.

 

A.      Expression® Web Source Control System 

      Expression® Web’s source control can be configured by  selecting Site menu and Site Settings and then clicking the General tab.  Checking the Use document check-in and check-out checkbox enables source control for a Website. After you’ve enabled source control, when you open a file, you will be prompted to check the file out prior to opening it. If you select Yes to check the file out, the file will be opened and a check will appear next to the file in Expression Web.

 The file icons in the Folder List and other Expression Web views show whether or not a file is checked out.   

Expression Web Source control options

 

After you’ve checked a file out and made the necessary edits to it, you can either check the file back in or undo the checkout. If you undo the checkout, any changes you made will be discarded.

To check a file in, right-click the file in the Folder List and select Check In. Alternatively, you can select the file and then select Edit, Check In or press Ctrl-Shift-J and if you have to undo a checkout, right-click the file in the Folder List and select Undo Check Out. Alternatively, you can select the file and then select Edit, Undo Check Out. When a file is checked out by someone else and you attempt to open it, you will be asked to create a read-only copy of the file. Any changes you make to that file cannot be saved until the file is checked back in. 

 

CAUTION: If you open a read-only copy of a file checked out by someone else, make a change, and then save that file after the original user has checked the file back in, it is possible to overwrite changes that the original user made to the file. Therefore, it is always best to not make any edits to a file until you have successfully checked it out.  

If you open a read-only copy of a file in a different editor (other than Expression Web) and the file is checked out by someone else, it is possible to save changes to the file even though the file is already checked out by someone else. In such a case it’s best to not open files for editing unless you check them out yourself.  

 

B.      Visual SourceSafe Integrated Source Control   

Expression Web supports the use of Visual SourceSafe integrated source control via the FrontPage Server Extensions. Visual SourceSafe is a source control system from Microsoft that offers considerably more features than Expression Web’s own source control system.

Visual SourceSafe integrated source control must be configured on the Web server itself, and many find it to be a problematic process. It’s best to leave it to server administrators, even if you have access to the Web server yourself.   

Conclusion

You have now learnt how to save your website from concurrent modifications by using Microsoft® Expression® Web Source Control or Visual SourceSafe Integrated Source Control.  I hope this article was useful and I thank you for viewing it.
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User Feedback
Comment posted by daveh20 on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 2:19 AM
I am working in expression web, and when i open site settings, I do not see the document check in out menu.
Comment posted by daveh20 on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 2:22 AM
I don't see the option to use document check in and check out when I look under the general tab under site settings, any ideas?
Dave
Comment posted by Andrew on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 4:03 PM
I also do not see the check in option, which is incredibly annoying.
Comment posted by David on Thursday, July 28, 2011 6:32 PM
The later versions of Expression Web do not have Source Control. The above article is only for the old version of Expression Web.

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