I gather that there is a hierarchical ID given to all attachments like this: https://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Hierarchical+File+System+Attachment+Storage. But if I were to attach an image to a page does the numerical ID simply reference the actual image file somewhere else? Or is the data file converted from the image in some way?
Basically, people I work with continually attach an image with a specific name to a variety of pages. Would the image continually overwrite itself everytime it's saved? Or are they creating a new file to store everytime they attach that image?
I have a pretty haphazard understanding of this information so if I'm way off the mark please let me know.
You can either store the attachment in database or file system. The documented that you pointed is when you store the attachment in file system.
The attachment ID will be pointed to some directory in file system, and in that directory there will be an actual image with its version. If you attach image with same name twice, you would be able to see two images in that attachment ID directory with different version number.
Everytime you attach an Image, it will not be overwritten, however it will be added to that directory based on its version number. Which means they are creating a new file everytime they attach the image. For example when you first time attach an image it will be version one, and upon uploading the same image, it will be version two.
Hope this information helps, and feel free to ask if anything unclear.
Attachments are stored where you tell Confluence to store them. Go to the Admin Panel, and click Attachment Storage. You can choose to store them on the file system or in the database. Based on how it is stored, the answers to your other questions can be explored...
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