July 11, 2016

Storing Microsoft Word Documents in Surround SCM

Surround SCM
Version Control
While an SCM tool is often associated with source code, Surround SCM can be used across the enterprise to keep track of various Microsoft Word documents such as legal contracts or process documentation. Storing these types of documents in an SCM tool makes it easy to identify the latest version of the document and to answer the questions of who/what/when/why associated with each change. If you are looking to version control your Microsoft Word documents, check out the following Surround SCM features that will make your life easier.

Document differences

The History window shows a list of all the file’s historic versions. Select two file versions and then use the Differences command to view the changes made between the two file versions. Users can customize the differencing tool associated with a file extension via Surround SCM’s user options. By default in Surround SCM, the .doc and .docx file extensions are associated with the Microsoft Word Compare tool, so Surround SCM can seamlessly integrate with Word.

Find In Files

When searching file contents for a particular text, most SCM tools limit the search/grep capabilities only to text files. In addition to searching text files, Surround SCM also provides functionality for searching various binary file formats including Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), Microsoft Excel (.xls, .xlsx), Adobe PDF (.pdf), Open Document Format (.odf), and Rich Text Format (.rtf). In order to search binary files, turn on branch indexing, which also speeds up search operations.

Shadow folders

If some people who read the process documents are not SCM users, consider configuring a shadow folder in Surround SCM. A shadow folder contains a copy of the most recent version of files. By configuring a network directory as a shadow folder for your SCM folder, every time the document is modified Surround SCM will automatically store a copy of the latest version in this network directory. Other people can access this network folder at any point in time to see the most recent document changes without even needing the Surround SCM application. Configure a web server directory as a shadow folder and the document changes are automatically published to your website.

Email Notifications

When a process document changes, many companies require the document author to notify all relevant parties about the process change, but that depends on a person remembering to take action. Take away this human dependency by configuring Surround SCM to send an email to people every time the document is changed. The email message can include information such as who made the change and why the change was made. If a shadow folder is configured, the email could also contain a link to the shadow folder network location. Not only does automated emails ensure your notification process is consistently followed, auditors love this type of automation.

Electronic Signatures

Regulated or audited industries may require that process changes be signed off by a specific person for legal/contractual reasons. Surround SCM provides electronic signature functionality to fulfill this obligation. The electronic signatures are stored in the audit trail so auditors can inspect that the proper process was followed.

Microsoft Office integration

Surround SCM supports integration with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Project. This Microsoft Office integration gives you access to the following commands from the Surround SCM menu in Office applications: Add, Get, Check Out, Undo Check Out, Check In, History, and Properties.