Currently, there are only three ways to manipulate existing publications:
Do a full republish ("publish")
Retract the complete publication ("retract")
Update metadata of a publication ("republish/merge")
It would be desirable to have more flexibility and extend the publication/retraction workflow operations to support more specific manipulation of existing publications, e.g. add/replace/remove a distribution artefact to an existing publication.
Use Case Examples:
1. Incremental publication
A workflow could publish a low-quality version very quickly and later add different qualities to the existing publication. This would allow content to be available faster to end-users. In a long-term scenario, it would be imaginable that workflows themselves could be scheduled to run at idle times (over night) to process more formats.
2. Manually add distribution artefacts to an existing publication
Imagine an Event that already has been published. Now, you would want to add captions. Currently, this would require you to completely republish the Event which takes quite a lot of time, resources. If the publish operation would support adding distribution artefacts to an existing publication, the only thing it would need to do is to add that single new element