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Manage versions

You can manage geodatabase versions using the Versions view. The Versions view displays all versions and their properties in a given enterprise geodatabase or web feature layer (feature service). Using the ribbon items and the right-click context menu, you can edit, modify version properties, delete versions, create versions, or reconcile and post edits.

The image below shows the Versions view and its ribbon. You can see that a user named ANN has created a child version from the default version, named it Manager, and set the Access for the person to Public:

A user named ANN has created a new version named Manager from the default version

Version access

The type of versioning you use determines what data source you access to manage versions and who can manage a version.

Traditional versions—To manage traditional versions, access the data directly from an enterprise geodatabase using a database connection in ArcGIS Pro. Version ownership and access are based on the connected database user.

For traditional versioning, the Versions view is filtered based on the current database user and the access level configured for the versions.

  • The connected database user can view traditional versions that he or she owns and all public and protected versions for the geodatabase.
  • The connected database user can manage traditional versions that he or she owns.
  • The geodatabase administrator can view and manage all traditional versions for the geodatabase.

Branch versions—To manage branch versions, access the web feature layer from your ArcGIS Enterprise portal connection. The web feature layer's underlying feature service must have the Version Management capability enabled. Version ownership and access are based on the portal user.

For branch versioning, the Versions view is filtered based on the active portal user's permissions and the access level configured for the versions.

  • The connected portal user can view branch versions that the user owns and all public and protected versions.
  • The connected portal user can manage branch versions he or she owns.
  • The following portal users can view and manage all branch versions for the web feature layer:
    • The owner of the feature layer
    • The portal administrator

    Dive-in:
    When you use a database connection to access a geodatabase that contains branch versions and you connect as the geodatabase administrator, the Versions view is not filtered and will display all branch versions.

Open the Versions view

You can open the Versions view through the Data Source tab, which becomes available when an enterprise geodatabase or portal connection is selected in the List By Data Source view of the Contents pane.

  1. Click the List By Data Source button in the Contents pane.
    The List By Data Source view of the Contents pane
  2. Select the enterprise geodatabase or portal connection data source for which you'd like to manage versions on.

    The Data Source tab appears.

  3. Click the Versioning tab and in the Versioning group, click the Manage Versions button Version Manager. This opens the Versions view.

Create a version

You can create a branch or traditional version in the Versions view or on the Versioning tab. When you create a version, you specify its name, an optional description, and the access permission for the version. As the owner of the version or the geodatabase administrator, you can change these properties or delete the version at any time.

Access permission—The access level of a version is set to protect it from being edited or viewed by users other than the version owner. You can set one of the following three permissions on a version:

  • Private—Only the owner or the geodatabase administrator can view the version and modify versioned data or the version itself.
  • Protected—Any user can view the version, but only the owner or the geodatabase administrator can edit datasets in the version or the version itself.
  • Public—Any user can view the version. Any user who has been granted read/write (update, insert, and delete) permissions on datasets can modify datasets in the version.

When setting access permissions on versions, consider your version workflow strategy along with the needs of the various users working within that framework. Use version access along with dataset permissions to control access to the data.

Create a version in the Versions view

You can create a traditional or branch version in the Versions view that will be owned by the connected user.

  1. On the Versions tab, in the Manage Versions group, click the New Version button New Version.

    This adds a new row to the table, and a cursor appears in the Name column.

  2. Provide a version name by typing in the Name column.
  3. Double-click the Parent column and select a parent version for the new version.
    Note:

    For branch versioning, the parent is always DEFAULT.

  4. Double-click the Description column and provide a description for the new version.
  5. Use the Access column to select an access level. The default for new versions is Private.
  6. Click Save Save Edits on the Versions tab to commit the changes.

Create a version from the Versioning tab

You can also create a branch or traditional version directly from the Versioning tab.

  1. On the Versioning tab, click the New Version button New Version to open the New Version creation dialog box.

    The Parent Version for the new version is listed at the top and is the version you are currently connected to.

    Note:
    For branch versioning, the Parent Version will always be DEFAULT.
  2. Select the Name text box and provide a name for the new version.
  3. Select the Description text box and provide a description for the new version.
  4. Choose one of the access permission levels from the options in the Access Permission section.
    • Private
    • Protected
    • Public
  5. Optionally, you can check the Change to this new version check box. If you do, when you click OK, the map will immediately switch your geodatabase connection to reference the new version you've just created.
  6. Click OK to create the new version.

Modify version properties

Properties for existing versions can be modified by the version owner or the geodatabase administrator using the Versions view.

Version properties that can be modified include the following:

  • Name
  • Owner (branch versions only)
  • Description
  • Access

To modify properties of an existing version, complete the following:

  1. Open the Versions view.
    1. Click the List By Data Source button in the Contents pane.
    2. Select the enterprise geodatabase or portal connection data source for which you'd like to manage versions on.

      The Data Source tab appears.

    3. Click the Versioning tab and in the Versioning group, click the Manage Versions button Version Manager. This opens the Versions view.
  2. Double-click the column of the property you want to modify and make edits.
    Note:

    To modify the Name or Owner properties, there must be no active connections to the version.

  3. Click Save Save Edits on the Versions tab.

Protect the default version

When setting access permissions on user versions, it is also important to pay attention to how you'll safeguard the default version. The default version is the ancestor of every other version in a geodatabase and usually represents the published version of a geodatabase. It is essential to protect the default version to prevent accidental alterations or corruption.

If you've chosen a strategy in which no one directly edits the default version, the geodatabase administrator should set the access level of the default version to protected. With the permissions set to protected, any user can view the default version, but only the geodatabase administrator can edit the version directly and post edits from other versions.

To change the default version to protected, a database connection must be used that is established as the geodatabase administrator. Use the same steps as above via the Versions view to modify the default version properties. The Alter Version geoprocessing tool can also be used.

Delete a version

Versions can be deleted when they are no longer needed. For example, if a version was created for edits made on a certain project, all edits that were made in that version have been reconciled and posted to a target version, and the project is over, you can delete the project version.

For traditional versioning, deleting unneeded versions simplifies version management and also keeps the version from potentially blocking the default version from being compressed to state 0.

Only the owner or the geodatabase administrator can delete a version.

If you are connected as the geodatabase administrator through a database connection (not a portal), you are still able to delete branch versions in the Versions view.

Be aware of the following important information before you delete any version:

  • If you delete a traditional version that has child versions that you own (or, if you are connected to the geodatabase as the geodatabase administrator), the version and all its descendent versions will be deleted.
  • If you are not connected as the geodatabase administrator and the traditional version you want to delete has any descendent versions that you do not own, you will not be able to delete your version.
  • If you delete a version that contained edits that had not been reconciled and posted to a target version, you will lose all those edits.
  • If you delete an historical marker that is currently in use in another map or project, that map will lose its data sources that pointed to that historical marker.
  • You cannot delete the default version; it is required for your geodatabase to function.

To delete a version that you are sure is no longer needed, do the following:

  1. Open the Versions view.
    1. Click the List By Data Source button in the Contents pane.
    2. Select the enterprise geodatabase or portal connection data source for which you'd like to manage versions on.

      The Data Source tab appears.

    3. Click the Versioning tab and in the Versioning group, click the Manage Versions button Version Manager. This opens the Versions view.
  2. To delete a version you own, select the row by clicking the left-most column next to the version name you want to delete. With the whole row highlighted, right-click the row and select Delete from the context menu. You can also press the Delete key on the keyboard, or click the Delete button Delete on the Versions tab.
  3. On the Versions tab, in the Manage Versions group, click the Save button to commit your changes.

    If you want to discard your changes without committing them to the geodatabase, close the Versions view.

    If you have not saved your edits and want to return the deleted version to its original state, right-click the row and click Restore Version. The strikethrough will be removed, and this version will not be deleted upon saving your edits.

    If you are deleting a traditional version that has child versions, you will be prompted to be sure you want to delete the version and all of its children. Select Delete Child Versions and click OK if you want to delete the traditional version and all child versions.

Search, filter, or refresh the versions displayed in the Versions view

To find and modify a specific version in the enterprise geodatabase or portal connection, you can filter the versions by owner, search for a specific version name, or refresh the view.

To filter the versions listed in the Versions view by owner, click the Owner drop-down arrow in the Filter Versions group on the Versions ribbon. The drop-down list includes geodatabase users that own a version. Select the desired owner name from the drop-down list, and the Versions view displays only the versions owned by that user. To clear the filter and view versions owned by all users, select the empty value at the top of the drop-down list.

To search for a version by the version name, you can use the Name search box in the Filter Versions group on the Versions tab. As you type text, only those versions that have the matching text display in the Versions view.

Click Refresh Versions in the Filter Versions group on the Versions tab to refresh the view to display the most recent information for all versions in the enterprise geodatabase.

Reconcile and post edits in the Versions view

To reconcile and post edits in the Versions view, click the Reconcile/Post button Reconcile and Post on the Versions tab. Clicking this button opens the Reconcile/Post tool. This is similar to the Reconcile Versions geoprocessing tool, which you can use to reconcile, and optionally post/delete versions. Alternatively, you can use the Reconcile Reconcile and Post Post commands from the Versioning tab to complete the process. This allows you to interactively view and resolve conflicts in the Conflict Manager before posting.

To learn more, see Reconcile and post edits to a version.