More improvements for collaborative or team authoring

The dev team have done a wonderful job in placing some safeguards that help prevent team members from overwriting each others’ work.

Increasingly, we find that great cases are a team effort. But not many virtual patient authoring platforms out there support team authoring. The collaborative touches that we mentioned in January have been improved.

But the big thing is that there is now a check-out mechanism in place. When one author starts editing in a case, other authors are prevented from working in conflicting areas. Some of the editing modules like the Visual Editor open the entire labyrinth at once. So, when such a tool is in use, many other dev tools are locked for that case by OLab.

But when an author is working with a tool that is more focused, such as the Node Editor, only that node in that case is locked. So two authors can be working in two separate areas of the case concurrently.

This is not completely bullet-proof. There is only so much that is feasible in a browser environment, given the funds that we have. But it generally works pretty well and has saved my bacon several times now over the past couple of weeks while we had a team working on some competition cases.