Folder Hierarchy Structure – KIS (Keep It Simple)

When setting up a cabinet/folder structure in a repository, a lot of people ask what is the appropriate number of cabinets and folders that one should initially create. As you can probably guess, there is no magic answer.

If your company well organized, it makes sense to establish cabinets that mimic your business units (eg departments). You may have to abstract higher (eg division) if you are setting up a repository for the enterprise; especially if your company is very large. If your company is not well organized or your application is not centered around business units, you may want to allow a free-form folder structure. See my other blog entry on locked-down vs free-form folder structure.

I follow the KIS methodology and try to limit the number of public (visible) cabinets to up 10. I also try to apply this philosophy to folders and subfolders as well. Any more than this, navigation can become cumbersome.

Be careful not to create too many tiers in your folder hierarchy – this too becomes cumbersome to users if they have to drill down a lot. I try to limit the number of tiers to up to 5. This might not be practical if you are setting up a repository for an enterprise. Then again, you might want to get a consultant if you trying to do this on your own without any prior experience.


8 responses to “Folder Hierarchy Structure – KIS (Keep It Simple)

  1. Hi Johnny,

    I completely agree with you. We are building an enterprise level application with several divisions(Level-1) and Departments with in (Level-2). We have come out with an approach to create an enterprise level document with 2 custom attributes depatment and division. This type is derived from dm_document and will be the parent type for all kinds of documents in the organization. Though the number of levels under dm_document increases by one, this step removes lot of hassles in future while managing documents in bulk.

    Any better approach is welcome from readers 🙂


  2. Johnny

    It is taking forever for us to apply security policies. Is there a limitation to this? It takes 10 hours to apply policies to 10,000 objects.

  3. What do you mean by security policy; do you mean applying ACL or lifecycle? How are you applying this?

  4. In the Documentum RMA, we have created security policies and containment policies. We have cabinets that have each anywhere from 15,000 to 60,000 objects in them. Now we need to apply our security policies to each cabinet, so that it inherits through all of the sub-folders and documents. It takes very long to do this and usually it doesnt inherit all the way through the sub folders.

    Is there a limitation to the system?

  5. I havent used RMA before, so I cant really speak to this. But I do know that attaching a lifecycle (dm_policy) on a document can take awhile, especially if you are performing this operation on 10,000+ document. This is really dependent on if you have lifecycle actions associated with the lifecycle object. It would be different story if you were just updating a single attribute on 10,000+ document.

  6. Johnny,

    We are trying to determine if our system is slow or if this is just how the product is designed. It is preventing us from getting our system into production.

    Also, sometimes, when we apply a sec. pol. to a cabinet, it will not inherit fully throughout the cabinet structure. Currently, EMC etch. support is trying to recreate the scenario.

    Also, our FAST index server is very slow.

    Everyone keeps saying that Documentum can handle millions of documents. However, it seems very slow in performing moves and applying policies.

    Are you in Florida?

  7. You can change some of the FAST configuration settings to speed up indexing if you have enough memory on the server.

    Again, I dont exactly how/what RMA is doing as part of moving and applying policies to explain the slowness. You are doing the right thing by contactingTech Support.

    I will contact you with regards to the last question.

  8. Pingback: From Google to Folders: Finding Best Way to Search in the Enterprise - Enterprise Content Management Blog - A Perficient Blog

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