Plan for versioning (Windows SharePoint Services)

Applies To: Windows SharePoint Services 3.0


Topic Last Modified: 2009-04-15

In this article:

  • Content versioning

  • Site versioning

Versioning is keeping and being able to review more than one version of an item or site. Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 supports content versioning and — through the use of database snapshots — site versioning.

Content versioning

Users can lose data by overwriting a document. The versioning feature in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 provides a means of recovering that data. In the event of an unwanted change, an overwritten document, or a document corruption, a previous version can easily be restored by an end user. Working with document versions is a frequent and small-scale activity that is performed by end users.

Content versioning is managed by site owners (that is, members of the Owners SharePoint group), and is configured separately for each library or list. You cannot control versioning at the server-farm level except indirectly by setting quotas.

Therefore, when you plan for sites that use versioning, be sure to:

  • Set size quotas on your sites.

  • Train site owners to actively monitor their versioned sites.

Site versioning

You can store versions of sites by using the database snapshot feature in Microsoft SQL Server 2005 database software. A SQL Server database snapshot is a read-only view of a database as the database existed at the time that the snapshot was created.

You can use snapshot technology to create a read-only, point-in-time copy of a content database in Windows SharePoint Services 3.0. You can associate a snapshot content database with a SharePoint site to enable users to view or retrieve content from a different point in time.


The snapshot version of the Web site does not have full functionality. For example, you cannot write to the snapshot version or upload a file to it.

For more information about using snapshots with Windows SharePoint Services 3.0, see How to use SQL Server to take a snapshot of a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 content database ( in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

We recommend that you support site versioning through database snapshots only for sites in which being able to quickly view or retrieve data from many prior versions of the site is important.

Download this book

This topic is included in the following downloadable book for easier reading and printing:

See the full list of available books at Downloadable books for Windows SharePoint Services.