ParentEve supports multiple people working on the same event simultaneously by using merge operations. A merge allows two event files to be combined together without losing information. In order to merge two files together, the two files must represent the same event (i.e. the event name and date must be the same). To perform a merge, first load the "master" file into ParentEve, then go to the "File" menu and select the "Merge Changes..." option. Choose the file to merge from and click "OK". ParentEve will then import all the changes from the incoming file and present you with a report showing what it has done. It is important to note that the result of your merge is then in memory, and has not been saved. If you are happy with the result of the merge you can save as normal, but if you do do not want to keep the changes simply exit from ParentEve and the original file will not be changed.
One vital point to emphasise is that ParentEve does not support multiple people editing the same file. In order for multiple people to work on the same event safely, each person must have their own copy. If multiple people edit the same file, you will almost certainly lose data, and there is a chance that the file could become irretrievably corrupted. You must always use separate copies of the data files, one per person.
Multi-user operation saves a lot of time when the appointment requests from parents need to be entered. Typically one person (called the co-ordinator in this example) will create a "master" copy of the ParentEve event file by importing lists of teachers, parents and pupils, setting up start and end times, and so forth. Once this master file is created, the co-ordinator will then distribute copies to people who wish to help in entering data. Copies can be sent via email, via USB drives or by saving them to a shared network drive. Each helper will work on their own separate copy of the file, entering appointment requests and possibly defining new start and end times for parents based on the responses received. Once a helper is happy with their entries, they save the file and send it back to the co-ordinator. The co-ordinator then simply merges the helper's copy of the file into their own. This procedure is repeated with all the helpers - the changes that each helper makes to their files are merged into the master file one by one. Note that the co-ordinator does not need to re-issue updated files to helpers, because ParentEve's merge operation will only merge in the new information that each helper creates. A merge will never delete anything. The co-ordinator eventually ends up with a fully populated master file which can then be optimised, printed and emailed as normal.
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