Chaning Versions and Changing History…

Chaning Versions and Changing History…


The term ‘version’ refers to a particular state or stage of design in the development of an application. A ‘release’ is a version that has been issued (released) for use. In the spreadsheet world, these distinctions are largely blurred because there is not the same clear separation of logic and data as there is with software applications deployed from development into use.

If changes are made to formulas or to the structure of the spreadsheet, a new version should be created – so the file should be saved using a name that incorporates a separate version reference. Some versions may be saved to provide a development history and to permit easy reversion to previous working stages, even though they are never released to users. If other workbooks link to this one in question, changing the name will mean that the others will continue to refer to the previous version of this workbook. Be sure that that is what you intend.

Change history data should be recorded in a separate worksheet or document. The data held should include the version number, date modified, the file name, author, and a brief comment summarising any changes made. For critical spreadsheets it should also record the identity of those who requested and approved the change, those who made it, the tester and the list of tests applied and passed.

The save date and print date should be included in the spreadsheet header or footer. This enables users reading printed or PDF versions to easily identify the “version of the truth” they are viewing.

Spreadsheet Safe Programme
Syllabus Reference: List the spreadsheet requirements. Give the author name, change history, version number.

Patrick O’Beirne
Excel/VBA consultant

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