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Incident record locking when someone has them open for editing
Answer ID 2152   |   Last Review Date 12/17/2018

When working on an incident, is the incident "locked" so that no one else can open it for editing?


Record Locking
Oracle B2C Service, All versions


Incidents are not locked when someone has the incident open for editing. That is, multiple staff members can open the same records to be edited. This functionality is by design based on the factors listed below:

Minimal Impact of Multiple Users: The effect of multiple users editing the same incident is minimized. In previous versions, when a record was edited, all data in the page was saved to the database, regardless of whether the value was changed or not. Only edited data is updated in the database.

As a result, even if two users edit the same incident, conflicts will only arise if they change the same field. Each save is recorded, so the value will reflect the value of whoever last saved the record. If multiple users add thread entries such as an incident response or an internal note, each entry will be added to the thread in chronological order. There is no conflict possible on threads. 
Contact and Org Records Also Open: When an incident is opened for editing, the corresponding contact record is opened for editing as well. If you open a child record such as a contact or org record, those records are also opened.

If the Organization feature is used, then the organization records and all associated contacts are also opened for editing. This is what allows agents to easily access and update information for contacts and organizations at the same time the incident is being edited.

If locks were implemented, having multiple records open in this way would result in showing many lock warnings to agents -- especially when agents are working on incidents submitted from the same organization. As a result, from initial testing, we determined that agents were overriding locks and that the lock warning were frequently ignored, which defeats the usefulness of the feature.
Queues and Inbox Features: The queue feature is designed so that agents pull incidents to fill their Inbox with incidents. As a result, staff members work the incidents assigned directly to them. When an agent needs more incidents to work, they simply pull incidents from the queue.

In previous versions, the only way to distribute new incidents to agents was to use automatic group assignment or have the agents work new incidents from a common view. By having the agents pull incidents from a queue instead of from a console view, the incident is worked by the assigned agent, which eliminates the need for locking.

One additional advantage of using queues is that incidents are assigned and worked in priority order, based on either the time received or by some other user specified priority. For more information on setting up queues, refer to Answer ID 1843: Routing incidents to staff members based on queues.

Given the functionality in Oracle B2C Service, a best practice that we recommend is that staff should never edit an incident that is not assigned to them, and should never take an incident from another agent without prior approval. Agents should only work incidents that are assigned to them, either manually or by pressing the Fill Inbox icon. This practice removes the need for incident locking.

Note: You can manually assign an incident to a staff member without opening the incident for editing. Right click on the incident and select Assign > Incident and select the staff member.