Topics and articles in Tribal Habits include the ability to have both an editing (creator) and published (exploring) version with built-in version control. This allows explorers to access the published version, while a creator continues to make changes to their editable version. When ready, the creator can publish changes to a new published version.
Admins can also copy topics and articles to create a new 'branch' of an existing topic as an alternative to managing versions.
Let's explore how this works for both creators and admins in Tribal Habits.
A starting point: Creators and explorers share the same initial (unpublished) version of a topic or article.
When a creator starts creating a topic or article, they can immediately start to preview how it will appear to explorers in real-time. Creators can use the 'Preview' button on the top right of their creator view to preview their topic or article.
As they make changes, they hit Preview again to see those changes in action.
Creators can just continue to use their topic or article like that. Explorers can be enrolled into the topic or article. Any changes the creator makes to their topic or article will be instantly applied for explorers.
Essentially, at this point, explorers are using the same version of the topic or article as the creator.
This does mean, however, that if an explorer is using the topic or article at the very same time a creator is making changes, the explorer may encounter some inconsistencies. For example, they may try to complete a poll that the creator just deleted.
If you don't make many changes to your topics or articles, or you make them outside the time explorers use your topics or articles, then that's fine.
Copy your topic?
A simple way to manage topic versions is to copy your topic or article. This creates a duplicate of your existing topic or article, which you can edit and enrol new explorers in. You can learn how to copy topics and articles here.
Copying is quick and simple. It retains the original version of your content. It also provides a partial audit trail. However, it can create a lot of topics and articles. Copying to create an entirely new topic or article makes more sense when you want to make large changes.
What does it mean to publish a version of my topic?
Alternatively, creators can publish their topic.
When creators publish their topic or article, it creates a version just for explorers. It's like saving and exporting a copy of that version of your content for explorers to use.
Explorers will use the published version, while creators can edit and preview the editable version. This allows creators to test changes without impacting anything for explorers.
TIP: Do not publish your topic or article until it has been tested and is finished. Once you publish version #1 of your topic or article, you will need to keep publishing updates to push changes from that point. So wait until your topic or article is finalised and further changes are less likely.
How can creators publish a topic or article?
There are two ways to publish a topic or article. Either option is fine - they do the same thing!
The Preview button has a drop-down menu which has the option to Publish (or Update if already published) a topic or article.
You can aks Sage to publish your topic or article.
What version and update options do creators have?
When creators publish a topic or article for the first time, it creates version #1. The creator name, version number and date and time are recorded.
When creators want to update their topic or article, they can use the same process to apply an update and select either...
Minor update. This will update the decimal of the version number (e.g. from version 1.1 to version 1.2). The creator name, date and time are still recorded.
Major update. This will increase the integer of the version number (e.g. from version 1.1 to version 2.0). The creator name, date and time are still recorded.
Creators should use a major update when the changes are substantial - so substantial that an explorer who previously conquered the topic or article may want to explore it again. This may be important for compliance or regulatory topics, product knowledge topics or topics containing processes that have changed significantly.
How are versions and updates tracked?
Admins can monitor version history.
Topics. The current version of each topic (or no version if unpublished) is visible to Admins when viewing topics in the admin portal.
Version history. When an Admin views a topic in the admin portal, they can also see a list of all versions of that topic, including version numbers, creator names, dates and times. Admins can click on any version of the topic and view it like an explorer. This allows an Admin to verify what information existed in every version of a topic for audit purposes.
Version notes. When a creator publishes a new version (other than version #1), the creator can optionally leave notes about that version and what changed.
Explorer history. When an explorer conquers a topic or article with a version number, we also record the version they completed (version number, date and time). Admins can easily filter explorers by version number and download all version completion details.
Are any URLs impacted by versions?
No. Your URLs, internal auto-enrol URLs, external auto-enrol URLs and LMS links will always point explorers to the correct version of the topic or article - either to the unpublished version or, once a topic or article has been published, to the latest published version. You do not need to change any URLs.