I am creating a desktop application that persists the data in the cloud. One concern I have is a beginning to edit an item in the application and leaving it for a while causing the data to become stale. This can obviously also happen if 2 people try to edit the same item at the same time. When they finish up their editing and want to save the data I would either need to overwrite what currently exists in the database or check that they started editing after the last change and either force them to discard their changes or perhaps give them the option to risk overwriting someone else's changes.
I thought about adding a fields
lock_timestamp to the DB table. When a user begins editing the item the row would change
is_locked to true and set the lock timestamp to the current time. I would then have some amount of time for which the lock is held (ex. 5 minutes). If anyone else tries to edit the item they would receive a message saying the item is locked and when the lock automatically expires. If the user walks away while editing the lock would automatically expire after a relatively short period of time and once it does the user would be warned that the lock has expired and be forced to restart the edit after the data is refreshed.
Would this be a good method for preventing overwriting stale data? Is it overkill (I don't expect the application to be used by more than a few people concurrently on a single account).
(Another concern I have is 2 people getting a lock for the same item, however I believe that is a race condition I am comfortable with.)