Posts Tagged ‘aspect’

Sample Types and Aspect – Config Files

Monday, May 16th, 2011

Back in January I posted a blog about how powerful the Aspect feature was in Alfresco. It included two videos – one showing how to apply an aspect and one showing how to search on an aspect. A number of people have asked about getting access to my configuration files so they could try it out themselves. So here are the instructions and sample files.


These customisations will add a number of new types and one new aspect:

Types Attributes Aspect Attributes
Contract Contract ID Customer Info Customer Name
Standard Operating Procedure SOP ID Customer ID
Report Report ID Customer Contact
Case File Case ID
Issue Log Issue ID
Proposal Proposal ID
Meeting Notes Meeting ID


The demo configurations consist of 5 files. Copy these to the relevant location within the Alfresco install (note: if you already have some of these files, with local configurations, you will need to merge the changes).

Copy to

(note: you will need to create the messages folder)

Copy custom-slingshot-application-context.xml and share-config-custom.xml to

(note: you will most probably already have a share-config-custom.xml file. This one can replace the default one if you have not modified it)

Copy demo-context.xml and demoModel.xml to

Now restart the server. If everything goes right you should now be able to…

  1. Change the type
  2. Add an aspect
  3. Set the meta data
  4. Use the advanced search feature.

The Versatility of Alfresco Aspects

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Recently I was having a conversation with Alan Weintraub, Principal Analyst at Forrester. We were discussing the importance of building the right taxonomy for managing content. Both of us have been in the content management business longer than we cared to remember, and both have worked on systems that needed to create hierarchical type taxonomies with metadata held at different levels. Spending many hours trying to decide the most appropriate place for a certain attribute.

Enter Alfresco Aspects. An aspect is a collection of attributes that can be overlaid on to any file, irrespective of type. The system may have a number of types defined – Contracts, Reports, Issue Logs and Case Files. If I create a contract and then want to identify it as a customer contract I just add the customer aspect. Aspects can be applied manually, with the user choosing to add an aspect, or automatically – applying an EXIF aspect to hold extra photograph information once a JPG is uploaded. Of course multiple aspects can be applied to a file.

Using aspects makes it much easier to deploy Alfresco; it simplifies the metadata model and makes content much easier to find for the end users. I just wish it had been invented 20 years ago!

Video: Adding an aspect
Video: Search an aspect

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