Is there a provision to add properties to an association?

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ramprasad
Member II

Is there a provision to add properties to an association?

There are certain types of associations that should have properties (attributes). I could not see a way to add attributes/properties to an association. Can you please confirm?

6 Replies
afaust
Master

Re: Is there a provision to add properties to an association?

Associations cannot have any attributes.This is different to a graph database, say like Neo4J, which can have labels / attributes on relations. But you can always model a two-step association using an intermediary object / node to hold the attributes.

ramprasad
Member II

Re: Is there a provision to add properties to an association?

There are always ways to model around the constraint but this comes at a cost. If we have large structures to manage with association attributes one could well get into a performance issues. 

Fundamentally not sure why the notion of "qualified associations - associations with properties (attributes and associations)" are not supported. If Alfresco is used as a platform for many industry solutions then the need to provide such support will be there. 

afaust
Master

Re: Is there a provision to add properties to an association?

From my experience of close to 8 years working with Alfresco, associations with properties are rarely relevant in an ECM / DMS scenario. Only if you try to create a graph-like database would you need that, and in that case it is typically considered a bad practice to try this. Alfresco simply is not meant to be used like a graph database.

I agree that modelling associations with properties in the way I mentioned does not scale very well. It only is an option for small / controlled use cases.

ramprasad
Member II

Re: Is there a provision to add properties to an association?

Thanks for responding Axel.

Content could mean different things to different companies. I am not looking at content only in terms of Document and file folders. Hence the need for qualified associations. If this is a limitation what is the procedure to request an enhancement from Alfresco? The Alfresco framework is quite solid but support to have properties (attributes and associations) on associations will have a positive impact on its potential use beyond small use cases.

afaust
Master

Re: Is there a provision to add properties to an association?

Probably the best bet would be to go ahead and implement such a feature yourself as an extension to the Alfresco core, publish it as an open source addon, market it extensively to the Alfresco community and then hope for Alfresco to consider putting it into the actual core product.

You could suggest the implementation of a prototype of such a feature or drafting of a design document as a project idea for the upcoming Global VIrtual Hack-a-thon.

If that seems like a bit of a hassle, then you could create a JIRA enhancement ticket and wait for Alfresco to add it to the product. Be as comprehensive as possible when defining the requirements, both functional and non-functional, direct and indirect. Ideally, the request should already be close to a concept document...

There is no guarantee an enhancement request will be processed at all - priorities of Alfresco engineering are entirely managed by Alfresco the company, and those priorities are primarily based on their long-term product strategy and immediate feedback from (paying) customers. So you might want to do some marketing / lobbying within the Alfresco community to raise awareness for your request...

ramprasad
Member II

Re: Is there a provision to add properties to an association?

Hi Axel,

Looks like there is no response to the project I created. Can you please send an email to yogish.kode@tripudiotech.com? I would like to talk to you directly about some of the questions I have.

Regards,