SharePoint Version Bug

Okay, now I'm pretty convinced that this is a bug or that I'm a complete idiot, one of the two. I'm working with our SharePoint infrastructure provider and Microsoft support on this, but at this point I have to call "bug" on this as I can faithfully reproduce it on as many SharePoint instances we have here (9) some of which were setup by me, others were setup by our provider. So either we're all doing it wrong or something is rotten in Calgary.

Create a document library, enable versioning and let's have some fun. First upload a document. The creation date and modified date will be current and the same. All is good and well. Now check out said document, do some editing (or not, doesn't matter) and check it back in.

Something happens. Something magical. Here's the document library before the update:

Now here it is after a few versions and specifically after a checkout/checkin.

Am I completely off my rocker or did anyone notice what happened?

Version 3 (before the update) had a modified timestamp of 6/14/2005 @ 3:52 PM. This is correct as I had checked that version in at that time. Now comes along big, bad Version 4. Version 4 is checked in at 6/22/2005 @ 4:33 AM and magically SharePoint has decided to modify something in Version 3 thus marking the timestamp for it as 1 minute before Version 4.

Sorry, that's just not right. Checking in Version 4 should not modify Version 3.

Let's see what we have here:

  • Checking in Version 2 of a document causes Version 1 to lose it's original modified date
  • Checking in Version N of a document causes Version N - 1 to have a new Modified date of Version N's Modified date minus 1 minute

Note that the Created date is always left alone but you can only get this by looking at the properties (or creating a view with it in it). This is fine except if you're relying on Version history for audit purposes (like SOX compliancy) then you're kinda screwed.

Of course YMMV but I keep finding this on all our SharePoint instances. I did find on Google someone who was experiencing this as well but didn't get any answer. Let me know if you can reproduce this as I don't feel it's how versioning should work.

Addendum: Okay, I'll concede (after a few comments from the community) that this is by "design" and not necessarily a bug. However this isn't the last of this as I don't believe in the "point of view" argument. Stay tuned tommorow for more.


  • The modified date changes because the document is moved from the one place in the Content Database to another. The solution, for SOX compliance, etc., is to write a handler for doclibs that extracts the last edited time on the file itself and update a new doclib field with that data.

  • It's been mentioned in the WSS FAQ for a while.

    Maybe not exactly this but a new version and new time stamp caused by checkout / checkin has.


  • Mike: Thanks. Again, I hadn't got down to this level of detail until someone brought it to my attention.

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