This Client Server article is republished in its entirety from 2002 for reference purposes.
By Maureen Madden, Technical Support Analysts, Bentley Corporate Office 12 August 2002
MicroStation V8 can track the history of elements in a file, recording what happened, who made changes and when they took place.
Design History is a tool for tracking design changes in an active design file. It keeps track of what elements were modified, who made the changes and when they were done. Design History works at the element level to give a timeline to the design file. Having a "history" is essential to observe the progress of a file. In the current release of MicroStation V8, a single client uses Design History to track the changes in a file. The history of the element changes is stored with the file, saving space on the hard drive.
To start using Design History, go to the Tools pull-down and select the option for Design History. This tool palette can be docked along with your other tools (see Figures 1A through 1D).
There are four tools in this toolbox:
Figure 1A: Initialize Design History tool button. Initialize History for This File: Holding the mouse over the last tool button shows the tool tip (see figure 1A). Clicking this tool button will cause MicroStation V8 to take a "snapshot" of the active design file and initialize its history. This is done once per file. Once initialized for a design file, this tool button will become inactive. Design History can be turned "off" in a file by using the Utilities > Packager tool. More information on Packager can be found in the MicroStation V8 Help file.
Tip: You can initiate Design History in your Seed File to be sure that it is active when a new file is created.
Figure 1B: Show Design History tool button. Figure 2: Design History dialog. Show Design History: (See Figure 1B) Clicking on this tool button will open the Design History dialog, which is used to review history and restore revision states (see Figure 2). This box displays the history of the file. Each time changes are committed, a new revision number is created.
Restore Elements from History: (See Figure 1C) Clicking on this tool button will restore elements from the Design History; you also can choose from the history which elements to restore. This tool button opens the Restore Elements dialog. You can choose which revision you would like to restore elements. Choosing this tool will expand the view of revisions (see Figure 4).
Figure 1C: Restore Elements from History tool button. Figure 3: Restore Elements from History dialog. Commit Changes as a Revision to This File: To commit changes to a file, click on the Commit tool button in the Design History dialog. It is the first tool button on the left (see Figure 1D). A commit is a copy of the elements changed in the file since Design History was initialized. Clicking on this tool button will open a dialog that displays a message field where you can add a description of changes that were made (see Figure 4). Clicking OK will create a new revision for this design file. Each time changes are committed, a new revision number is created. Clicking Cancel will allow you to go back and make more changes.
Figure 1D: Commit Changes tool button. Design History only records the "net" of the changes between commits. For example, suppose you do a Design History Commit and then draw 1001 lines, move each of them 100 times and then delete 1,000 of them. Then, if you do another Design History Commit, the only thing that will be saved in the history will be the addition of one new element. The size of your history would only be larger by that one new element-none of the intervening changes to the file (the elements that were added, moved and then deleted) mean anything and are not saved anywhere.
Figure 4: Commit Changes dialog. To put it another way, get the file the way you want it before you commit; nothing else matters. Also, between commits, nothing is saved in Design History.
NOTE: If one user has not committed changes and closes the file, and another user opens the file, it brings up an Alert dialog that says another user is working on the file and has not yet committed the most recent changes (see Figure 6). At this point, the user takes ownership of the file if OK is selected. If the user selects Cancel, it will close the dialog. The user who has taken ownership of the file must commit the changes.
Figure 5: Alert dialog.
Click on the Show Design History tool button (see Figure 1b). This will open the Design History dialog (See Figure 2). This box displays the history of the file. The Design History dialog contain icons that use color-coding to show the changes made to the Design file (see Figure 2). These icons are the first four icons on the top left of the dialog. They are listed below:
Figure 6: Design History dialog with color-coding enabled. Use Color Coding To Show Changes: Clicking on this icon will use color-coding to identify the elements affected by the selected revision. Clicking on this icon will also enable the rest of the icons in this dialog to be active (see Figure 6).
Show Elements That Were Added: Select this icon to show all elements in green that were added to the selected revision.
Show Elements That Were Deleted: This tool will show all elements that were deleted, in red, in the selected revision.
Show Elements That Were Modified: This tool will show all elements in blue that were modified in the selected revision.
Show Elements Before They Were Modified: This tool will show all elements that were modified in blue and will also show you what the element looked like prior to modification in cyan.
Figure 6A: List Filter, Isolate History, Undo, Redo, Zoom to Changes and Show Element Revision icons. Other icons (See Figure 6A) listed in the dialog are as follows:
List Filter: Use the List Filter to search for changes. Search options are revision, date, author and description. Syntax is provided to filter attributes with wildcards * and ? similar to Windows Explorer search criteria (see Figure 7).
Figure 7: Search for changes using List Filter. Isolate History by Fence or Selection: This tool shows the changes made to the elements that you define with a fence or pick with the selection tool.
Undo Selected Historical Changes: This tool will undo any elements that were added, deleted or modified. They will be changed back to their pre-revision state.
Redo Selected Historical Changes: Selecting this icon and placing a fence will redo any elements that were added, deleted or modified. They will be changed back to their pre-revision state.
Zoom To Changes: This tool allows you to fit the selected view to show all elements in the highlighted revision in the Design History dialog.
Show Elements Changed in Selected Revisions: Selecting this icon will bring up an element changes dialog (see figure 8). This dialog shows the element type and the change made to it. If you select an element in this dialog the element in the DGN file will highlight, showing the color-coding of the element. If an element was deleted it would show red, if it were modified, it would show blue, etc. This dialog also allows changes to be made.
Figure 8: Element Changes dialog. It is recommended that you save your work often and only do a commit after a significant amount of work is done. Doing a commit will clear the MicroStation Edit > Undo/Redo buffer and create a revision. Saving does not change the revision history; revisions are only changed after a commit is made.
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