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One of the value propositions of versioning is the ability to retrieve previous versions of an object. There are two approaches to doing so:
Copy a previous version of the object into the same bucket
The copied object becomes the latest version of that object and all object versions are preserved.
Permanently delete the latest version of the object
When you delete the latest object version you, in effect, turn the previous version into the latest version of that object.
Because all object versions are preserved, you can make any earlier version the latest version by copying a specific version of the object into the same bucket. In the following figure, the source object (ID = 111111) is copied into the same bucket. Amazon S3 supplies a new ID (88778877) and it becomes the latest version of the object. So, the bucket has both the original object version (111111) and its copy (88778877).
GET will retrieve version 88778877.
The following figure shows how deleting the latest version (121212) of an object, which leaves the previous version (111111) as the latest object.
GET will retrieve version 111111.