Setting up document and version control numbers

You are able to set up Document Control Numbers and Version Control Numbers to meet your requirements for numbering schemes. Numbering schemes may be based on specific industry requirements and for compliance, such as for ISO compliance and other quality management systems.

Document and Version Control Numbers are essentially special metadata fields. You can use one or both types of control numbers in a schema. If multiple document schemas use the same Document or Version Control Field, they are subject to the same numbering scheme. If schemas use separate Document or Version Control numbering schemes, then separate Document or Version Control numbers should be created and applied to the appropriate schema. The following screen shot shows both Document and Version Control numbers being applied to the schema.

Document and version control fields on schema

The following is an example of a Version Control Number and a Document Control Number shown in the folder list view.

Document and version control numbers in folder view

Once the version and document control numbers are enabled, they cannot be disabled. The document schema cannot be changed to a different schema for documents that are using document/version control numbers. This is to ensure the integrity of these features in very demanding environments (aerospace, manufacturing, engineering, defence contracting etc) – without these strict controls the system is prone to human error. If the document schema needs to be changed over the document lifecycle, do not use this feature; instead create a regular metadata field.

Version Control numbers differ from the FileHold automatic versioning system. With FileHold automatic versioning, every time a document is checked out from the document management system, it becomes a candidate for automatic version control. The automatically generated version numbers start at 1, or optionally 0 for offline documents, and are incremented by 1 each time the document is checked in. Version control numbers allows managers to track the history of a document as it evolves; it records the date when the version was changed and by whom.

Version control numbers

Version Control Numbers provide a facility to create a version number with a common prefix that can never be removed from the document. Version Control Numbers are always optional on a document. They are entered when adding a document, checking in a document, or at any time the document metadata is edited in the document management system. By default the version number is carried over from the last version when the document is checked in.

Version Control Fields have a mandatory prefix which does not have to be unique. The prefix is always displayed with the field where ever the field is displayed. The value in the Version Control Field does not need to be unique.

Version control number example

Document control numbers

Some organizations work with large and complex documents that need to be tightly controlled. With Document Control numbers, you can assign a specific number to a document and use it throughout its lifecycle. This field can ensure a unique document control number is assigned to a each new document added under a schema. Document Control Numbers are mandatory, meaning they must be entered or created when adding a document to the system. Each Document Control Field has a prefix which must be different from all other Document Control prefixes. This ensures that each Document Control Number is unique across the entire library.

There are two ways to generate document control numbers:

  • They can be automatically generated by the document management. Automatic generation uses consecutive numeric values starting from a given initial value and a given number of digits. The automatically generated value is not shown before document is added which helps to ensure document number uniqueness. If the document management system provided a number in advance then there is a chance the user would not use the number or forget about it and then you would need to manage unused and cancelled numbers. The document number will not be changed when a document is checked out or in. The number is generated when the document is added and remains constant throughout the life of the document.

  • Entered manually by the user. Number uniqueness is checked upon adding the document. Manually edited numbers can be any alphanumeric strings with a given maximum length.

In either case, FileHold will ensure that the document control number is unique to the document and added to the schema. When used, document control numbers are mandatory. They must be assigned to a document when the document is added and they cannot be modified after the document is stored.

Document Control Numbers are visible in the version properties panel after they have been created.

Creating document and version control numbers

To enable control fields

  1. In the Web Client, log in as a system administrator and go to Administration Panel > System Configuration > Settings > General > Document/Version Control Fields area.

  2. Select the Enable Document Control Fields check box, if applicable.

  3. Select the Enable Version Control Fields check box, if applicable.

  4. Click Update.

To create control fields

  1. In the Web Client, go to Administration Panel > Library Configuration > Control Fields.

  • Alternatively, in FDA go to Administration > Manage Schemas > Control Fields and click Add Control Field (+ sign).

  1. In the Web Client, do one of the following:

    • Click Add Document Control Field.

    • Click Add Version Control Field.

  2. Enter a Name for the control field.

  3. Enter a Description for the control field.

  • In FDA, select the type: Document Control Field or Version Control Field. Select the Field Properties tab.

  1. Enter a Prefix for the control field. 

  2. Enter the Maximum Length for the control number from 1 to 16 numbers.

  3.  For a Document Control Field, select the check box if numbers are to be automatically generated.

  4.  For a Document Control Field, enter the Initial Value. This is the value the numbering will start from.

  5.  Click Save.

Document control field configuration
Version control field configuration

Copying documents with document control numbers

When a single document, using a manually edited Document Control Number, is copied to another folder, an additional page is displayed in the Transfer Wizard, prompting the user to enter the new document number for the copy of the document.

When one or more copied documents have an auto-generated Document Control Number, a warning is displayed saying that new document numbers will be automatically generated for the copies of these documents, and allowing the user to proceed or cancel the copy process. A similar warning is displayed when copying a folder, drawer, etc., containing documents with auto-generated document numbers.

When more than one document is copied and at least one of the documents has a manually edited Document Control Number, an alert is displayed saying that the documents cannot be copied and the operation is aborted. A similar alert is displayed when copying a folder, drawer, etc., containing documents with manually edited document numbers.