Alfresco approach and design question

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Established Member

Alfresco approach and design question

Hi there ,

 

I am new to Alfresco Development . I have few basic question to start with. The following is my project requirement. 

 

  • I am looking at Alfresco primarily for storing content/documents which are images, text files , HTML and PDF files only. 

 

  • The above mentioned files are generated dynamically by some other application/process. 

 

  • I need to do use an APIs to store and retrieve files from Alfresco DMS. 

 

  • Currently I am using Windows file system to store file with following format

 

PROD/<<year>>/<<month>>/<<month&&date>>/file1.pdf

PROD/<<year>>/<<month>>/<<month&&date>>/file2.html

PROD/<<year>>/<<month>>/<<month&&date>>/file3.jpg

 

Example 

 

PROD/2018/January/jan1/file1.pdf

                                           /file2.html

                                           /file3.jpg

 

PROD/2018/January/jan2/file1.pdf

                                           /file2.html

                                           /file3.jpg

 

Questions

  1. When I am designing a content storage in Alfresco ,  can I use the same file structure as mentioned above  or is there better way of defining the document folders in alfresco with different approach ?
  2. How is content model definition helps in defining above folder structure in Alfresco DMS? Should I define a content model for the above structure ?
  3. I work in Insurance industry , is there better way to do define this by making use of any insurance specific Alfrescos  feature ?
  4. What’s custom content model ? Should I consider this for the above implementation ?
  5. Is CMIS connector supports for retrieving and creating  files and folder for the above mentioned structure ?
  6. Can I use metadata concept for the above structure , how to define a metadata for the above mentioned requirement ? what all the consideration for implementing meta data in Alfresco ?
  7. Should I define folder structure manually or through java program or XML configuration .

 

Can some one please provide pointer  or links for the above queries please ?

Thanks a lot

3 Replies
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Alfresco Employee

Re: Alfresco approach and design question

Probably some information is missed in order to provide you a helpful reply.

IMO your first-approach should be: why I need Alfresco? As you said, you are storing your files on folders and everything seems to be fine. 

So, why do you want to change your current deployment to Alfresco?

Software Engineer in Alfresco Search Team.
Highlighted
Active Member

Re: Alfresco approach and design question

Hi,

  • The missing information are :
  • How do you access to your document ? Is it via the other application, via Share, windows explorer ...?
  • How do you link the document between Alfresco and the application ? Do you keep the alfresco-id in your application ? Such links imply transactionnal problematics to keep in mind.
  • Do you search the documents in Alfresco ? If yes, you should define a custom content model to find them by metadata.
  • How do you define your user access on the documents ? Is it handled by Alfresco or the Application ?
  • What actions do you need to do on the documents ? (searches, audit, edit, workflow, save metadata ...) ?

Some answers to your questions :
1) When I am designing a content storage in Alfresco , can I use the same file structure as mentioned above or is there better way of defining the document folders in alfresco with different approach ?
Yes you can use the same file structure. But you have to keep in mind how do you plan to use your documents and Alfresco.
For example, a technical structure by date can be good performance wise (you can keep your document/folder ratio < 1000). However it wouldn't be good if your users had to navigate to the document or define access.

3) I work in Insurance industry , is there better way to do define this by making use of any insurance specific Alfrescos feature ?
You can use custom content model to keep insurance information on your document (see bellow)

4) What’s custom content model ? Should I consider this for the above implementation ?
Custom model allows you to keep additionnal information on the document. It can be usefull from a technical and a functional point of view.
Example :

  • you can keep the application/process that pushes the document in Alfresco
  • if your application generates contracts, you can save the amount, contractorName ... directly on the document

Such information are very usefull for searches, processes, audit ...

https://docs.alfresco.com/5.2/references/dev-extension-points-content-model.html

5) Is CMIS connector supports for retrieving and creating files and folder for the above mentioned structure ?
Yes, but it has some limitations on what you can do and performances.
https://docs.alfresco.com/5.1/pra/1/concepts/opencmis-ext-intro.html


6) Can I use metadata concept for the above structure , how to define a metadata for the above mentioned requirement ? what all the consideration for implementing meta data in Alfresco ?
https://docs.alfresco.com/5.2/references/dev-extension-points-content-model.html

7) Is CMIS connector supports for retrieving and creating files and folder for the above mentioned structure ?
Through Java program (Alfresco behaviour https://docs.alfresco.com/5.1/references/dev-extension-points-behaviors.html or custom upload API)

If you just keep documents in Alfresco without using some capabilities from the product (metadata, searches, access, collaboration, ...), well, a filesystem is just as good Smiley Happy
I hope these answers will help you to define your requirements and your architecture.

Highlighted
Established Member

Re: Alfresco approach and design question

Hi thanks a lot  Charles for the response , the links and  answer helped me alot  to start with basics .