There are several possible situations:
- You have saved an updatable copy of the document on your hard drive and you want to modify it offline (to save an updatable copy of the document you have to click on the small drop-down arrow from the document's menu and select Save Updatable Copy… ).
Now you can all the time select Alert Me About This Document and the web page from Sharepoint will open and you can select to be alerted via email whenever changes are made to this document.
Let's say you don't do this and you only Save the Updatable Copy . Now if you continue to work on the document each time you'll click Save you'll see that the Status window from the right side pane changes and a message with Update Workspace Copy appears.
If you click Update Workspace Copy then Sharepoint verifies if the existing copy on the server it's the same as the last one you have started to work on. If it is the same old version that you started modifying then it will upload your copy and overwrite the existing one from the server.
If the version on the Sharepoint server was modified after you last updated your copy then it will mean somebody else modifyed it and Sharepoint will generate a conflict because both versions are modified . A window will appear and will ask you to either download and overwrite your copy, upload your copy and overwrite the one on the server, or the most appropriate way to open both copies and compare them to see what modified .
So this solves a big problem, because if this conflict wouldn't have been generated then some changes would have been lost either by one user or the other.
- The second possiblity would have been for you to select Get updates button when you open your document (in the situation above it was considered that the Don't update button was selected)
If you click the Get updates button Sharepoint will verify which version has been modified lately, if your version is the last that has been updated and the one on Sharepoint hasn't been updated then it will show you an option to Update the workspace copy . If the version on the server is the new one then it will update yours and the last possibility is when it discovers that both versions changed in the same time, and in this case it will create the conflict I talked about before.
Shortly this is what happens:
- If your version is the new one then it uploads your version of the file overwritting the one on the server
- If the version on the server is the new one then it downloads and overwrites yours
- If both versions changed then it creates the conflict giving you the option to compare them