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Categories vs Aspects: what to use?

Question asked by rtitov on Feb 9, 2014
Latest reply on Mar 7, 2014 by rtitov
We are thinking of using Alfresco in our organization. We have several millions of documents which have to be categorized. The question is, should we categorize using categories or custom aspects? As far as we understand, each approach has its pros and cons.

Categories seem to be better integrated with the Share UI: the node category is shown under the node and there is a category tree which could be used to select all nodes belonging to the same category, e.g. “Contracts”. However, since we will have several thousands of documents in each category, possibility of such navigation does not have much sense anyway.

On the other hand, custom aspects give a possibility to define custom metadata for each type of document, e.g. all contracts can have a “Contract Number” field.

So, what should we choose for our categorization: categories or aspects? Are the any downsides of using aspects instead of categories(e.g. would we have the same search capabilities)? Are there any best practices in this area (i.e. in terms of records management)?

Thank you in advance for a reply.