Plenty of large list scenarios exist and it all depends on the types of design decisions that are made. With a collaboration effort users will be adding content all the time and updating what is already there. This means you don’t want the list size to get too large per item. Otherwise it becomes extremely difficult to be able to filter content.
When you work with unstructured document libraries you need to be aware that there are limits and throttles in place. The offer protection for SQL Server brokering performance. As a result there can be times when you want to change the throttle to support a scenario with a smaller list in mind. As your list increases in size you need to be able to understand how information architecture and data access will affect it. Such information helps you to make decisions for the design of the list and to support various scenarios.
Let’s consider a few different scenarios:
Unstructured document library This can be offered with hundreds of items in the list. There isn’t any manager. With high reads and balanced adds and updates it is very versatile. You have to manually upload the new content. There can be tens of users at a time.
Collaborative large list Thousands of items can be in the list. There are information subject owners. High reads are possible and you will have more updates than adds. New content is manually uploaded. You can have hundreds of users at one time.
Structured large repository Tens of thousands of items can be in the list. There is a dedicated contend steward for the information to be managed. You will have very high reads, few additions, and you will have only a handful of updates. New contents can be both submitted and uploaded. There can be tens of thousands of users.
Large scale archive There can be millions of items in the list, with a team of stewards to manage them. There are low reads, low updates, and high adds. New content can be submitted. There are tens of thousands of users.
There are times when an unstructured document library should be used. Typically it is a good idea when you have a team that is working on something. It can hold thousands of documents and allow librarians to run through lists without any planning of operations in place such as the specifics of adding columns. There can be some problems though such as a user that gets a list view result that has more than 5,000 items in it.
That is why it is important for the monitoring libraries to approach the list view limit. Then they can keep a good idea on when any given document in a particular library is getting close to that limit. There can be hundreds of users for such a set up but few that will be using it all at the same time. With that in mind there isn’t too much trouble with loading a single library at any given point in time.
Yet there can be many of these types of libraries in place. Instead of planning to support specific scenarios though it should be set up to support a large number of such libraries.
When you leverage a collaboration library you offer large lists that can have hundreds or thousands of items stored in it. These types of large lists are very common when you are trying to offer solutions, for engineering purposes, and even for marketing or sales strategies. Users are able to continue adding and updating information. The structure and the management can be organized but there are many elements that are controlled by the users.
As a result of this lists often grow extremely quickly, and often beyond what was anticipated. This can also have many more types of changes on an administrative level than with a structured archive. That can include adding more folders or even deleting some that already exist. Such actions can be implemented as a method of preventing the list view limit from being exceeding as the size of the list continues to increase.
When a large repository is structured there can be thousands of items in place. The content is usually only submitted to users or the system once they have been finalized. They are often used for different types of record keeping. This can include archives, documents of great value that need to be stored, and many of the final documents that are displayed on the internet.
Such content is typically structured and easier to manage. As a result this makes it easier to control how quickly the list grows. There can be thousands of users that access it all at the same time. There are many more people actually reading the materials though than writing it. While updates do occur they are only occasional.
With a large scale archive you can have millions of items if you need to. They can be on one large list or broken down into several smaller lists. There can also be many site collections if you like. The idea is that you will have very few amounts of reads going on or updates. This is a general type of storage facility for documents. You may not use them often but you do need to retain them for long periods of time. This includes those that may be audited for a period of up to certain amount of years. Search is used to retrieve such documents when you need them.