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Content Modeling
Aspects are a fundamental concept related to content modeling in Alfresco.

Aspects allow addition of functionality to already existing content types.  Aspects can have properties, and thus when added, they enhance content types with their properties.  Additionally, behaviors and workflows can be attached to Aspects.

For example, you may have two content types - legal memo, and marketing promo.  Some of the memos and promos you may want to publish onto the website, but not all.  The information you'd need to store is whether it's publishable on the web, and maybe (for marketing promotions) the start and end date of when the document should be visible. 

There are two ways to approach this.  One of them is to enhance the root content type with three properties - 'isPublished', 'startDate', and 'endDate'.  However, if a document is not published, these properties are not used and are not needed.

The better way to approach this would be to create a 'Publishable' Aspect.  The aspect would have two properties 'startDate' and 'endDate'.  The mere presence of the aspect serves as the marker that the document is a candidate to be published.  Now, you can add the Publishable aspect to any document, giving it two extra properties and allowing you to manipulate it based on presence or absence of the aspect.

Out-of-the-box Aspects

  • Classifiable Aspect: Enable Categorization so that categories can be linked to the document.
  • Complianceable Aspect: Add a compliance property called Remove after to the document.
  • Dublin Core Aspect: Add Dublin core metadata to the document. Dublin core metadata includes properties such as Publisher, Contributor, Subject, and Rights.
  • Effectivity Aspect: Add effectivity properties called Effective From and Effective To to the document.
  • Emailed Aspect: Add a set of properties called Email Data to the document. This is useful to capture the email information if the document is an attachment to email.
  • Localizable Aspect: Add a property called Locale to the document.
  • Summarizable Aspect: Add a property called Summary to the document.
  • Templatable Aspect: Enable template view.
  • Translatable Aspect: Add a property called Translations to the document.
  • Versionable Aspect: Enable versioning.