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Content modeling with Model Manager

Model Manager allows you to create and manage your own custom models in Alfresco Share. This is a user-friendly tool that enables you to add custom types, aspects, and properties to your models. Alfresco provides several out-of-the-box content models for specifying the core content types in the repository.

The Model Manager is available to users in the ALFRESCO_MODEL_ADMINISTRATORS permission group. To create or edit a model you must be a member of this group. By default, the System Administrator is a member of the ALFRESCO_MODEL_ADMINISTRATORS group and can create models.

This information is primarily aimed at business analysts who need to define and manage content models in Alfresco.
Note: The Model Manager does not allow editing existing dynamic models and content models that have been configured in XML and bootstrapped through Spring (static models).

What is a model?

A model is a fundamental building block of the Alfresco content repository that provides a foundation for structuring content and working with content. A model has the following characteristics:
  • It describes the data being stored in Alfresco.
  • It allows the management of content metadata by applying custom types or aspects to the content and folders.
  • It is uniquely identified by its defined Namespace, Prefix, and Name.
  • It is defined using a small set of building blocks: custom types, aspects, properties, and constraints.

Custom types

A custom type enumerates the properties and relationships that a file of that type can support. Typically, types represents nodes in Alfresco with support for properties and the ability to inherit the definition of a parent type. Content and Folder are the two important types defined out-of-the-box.


An aspect is a collection of properties that can encapsulate both data and behaviour, providing a flexible tool for modeling content. Aspects add extra functionality and properties to the models by attaching them to custom types. A file in Alfresco must be of a single type, but may have one or more aspects attached to it. By default, the content repository comprises of some out-of-the-box aspects, such as Classifiable, Versionable, and so on. To know more about aspects, see About aspects.


Properties are metadata which describes the content. For example, Author is a property which specifies the person who wrote the content.


Constraints control the input property values. For example, you can specify that the author name must not be more than 40 characters.

For more information on content modeling, see Content metamodel.