These days, most corporate mainframes have a large number of users accessing them, and many of those users are located outside the main building, working from branch offices. In our increasingly paperless society, demands for data access are on the rise and will never end up reversing or slowing down.
As a result, the twin challenges of distributed file storage and document revision control loom large for every modern IT department. As you will soon see, the solution to both challenges is the same.
The Challenge Of Distributed File Storage
Users accessing the same file present the challenge of making sure that the most accurate and up to date version of the file is available to all. It's a real problem when multiple users are accessing the same file but don't have access to the changes that each user is still in the process of making to their copy of the data.
A distributed file system employs a uniform naming convention in addition to a mapping scheme in order to keep tabs on file location. The data retrieved from the server to the client's machine appears as a normal file, and the user can work on it and make changes as if it were stored locally. Once the work is done, the saved, newly updated version goes back to the server.
The Challenge Of Document Revision Control
Version control involves naming and distinguishing between multiple versions of the same document, which eventually lead to a final version though this final document may itself be edited in the future.
Document revision control is crucial in a user environment where multiple versions of stored documents are pulled up and changed. If users have editing permissions, the result can be countless versions of the same document, with no means of tracing and tracking all of the changes.
Consider something like a purchase order, where multiple users are tinkering with it, adding or removing items, changing delivery times or locations, and renegotiating things like warranties. There needs to be a system in place to make sure that the final version of the document contains all of the changes, plus a record of who changed what, and when.
The article "Streamlining Data Centralization and Delivering Collaboration Across the Miles" advocates centralized data as the solution to both issues.
The best way to overcome the challenge of distributed file storage is to make sure that a centralized data storage system is employed. The mainframe keeps ultimate control of the files, setting up the proper authorization and permissions, and storing and processing data while the individual users can access the files and make and save the necessary changes.
And by employing a system of document revision control on that centralized mainframe, it becomes easy to change and store documents, keep a history of every draft and the changes made, and which user accessed the records. Data centralization is the ideal environment for revision control implementation, with all pertinent data stored in one location.
For insights into data management, check out "Securing Edge Data At The Center."