"Time machine" for Document libraries

Kasper Bo Larsen
  • "Time machine" for Document libraries Kasper Bo Larsen

    Last week I got an interesting request from a customer: They would like to be able to see what a document library looked like at a given date. As far as I know this will require that the library 1) uses versioning, and 2) no limit to the number of versions

    A brute force approach would be to iterate each item in the SPDocumentLibrary and check the created date of the SPListItemVersion but that is far from an elegant solution.

    Is there a better way to identify the documents that existed at that date and return the current version at that date?

  • You could use the Lists Web Service to get at the versions using a Data View Web Part. Regardless, it'll be a bit of a logic challenge, as you allude to. I'm interested in what the use case sounds like on this one. Easy to ask for, perhaps hard to develop, but to what actual use?


  • Interesting request. If we continue the Time Machine analogy, do they just want to be able to 'see' what documents where there at that point in time or be able to open a document from that moment in time (would require lots of BLOB duplications)?

    You could attach a Workflow to the Library that every time a CRUD event fires, it writes the metadata to a history tracking List so they could see what items where there at that moment with anything you were tracking. Pretty quick and easy way to do this, as I had to do it once for a customer.

document versioning
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