Thanks for the information and welcome to our community, Francis.
While I won't be able to really assist with your questions, I do have a question for you if you don't mind.
You said:  is it possible to work round non-exclusive locking for operations like ToC edits, which update several files at once?
Why do you think a TOC edit involves several files? Normally when you edit the TOC, you are simply editing a single file. One with a file name that is the same as your project and ending in .HHC. So any edit to the TOC involves making a change to the .HHC file.
Thank you for the welcome, and the reply.
I see what you mean about the index, but I'm still concerned that changes to the ToC and similar operations which update central files (eg glossary?), will increase the likelihood of two developers, trying to keep to different topics, managing to overwrite each other's changes.
In other words, if I add Topic_A and my colleague adds Topic_B, and we both add our topics to the ToC, there is an opportunity for one of us to overwrite the other's ToC edit.
In experiments, if we both change the same ToC, the second person to do a check-in gets a message saying that they must do a "get" first. This is followed by a dialogue offering to do an auto-merge, then by a failure to auto-merge with no manual merge option, only over-write local or ignore changes.
In other words, even though we have working source control, and even though project-level operations like ToC edits may change only one file, we are still at risk of losing changes, and I need to minimise that risk.
I was also looking into this issue for quite sometime. Is there any update on this?
1. In Visual Studio 2008, open the Team Explorer
2. Right-click the TF project where your RoboHelp project(s) reside
3. Select Team Project Settings > Source Control
4. In the Source Control Settings window, select the Check-out Settings tab
5. Uncheck the Enable multiple check-out checkbox
6. While you're here, you can check the Enable get latest on check-out checkbox, if that is your preference.