Being able to select the right architecture for a large list SharePoint project is very important. Such decisions are difficult to change after they have been initiated. It is a good idea to plan ahead and consider the size and volume of the content. You also need to think about how that content will be updated or new content will be added. Next, you need to take into consideration how the content will be accessed by users. These are all very important as they can take an effect on the way in which you want the content to be organized.
There are several considerations that need to be addressed when it comes to collecting. Single lists work well for items that aren’t logical to be in separate lists. This also offers the best experience for users. Multiple lists work well for large amounts of items when you can logically group them into lists. It can also offer a great experience for the user. This is a good option as long as users aren’t likely to get confused about what list to use or where to find content. Multiple site collection architecture should be considered when the repository requirements need more than millions of items to be supported by it.
The design of a large list solution is very important for you to consider. This could be possible if the single list architecture will be used. The decision for placing the content into a single list needs to be based on business requirements. This includes how easy it will be to work on and for discovering new content. There are instances when it may be more sensible for multiple lists to be considered. When this has been successfully implemented it will be more user friendly.
With a single list, it is easy for users to be able to find and to work on content. Therefore they don’t have to decide where they want to place that content. They also don’t have to decide which list they need to access in order to find a particular item. As the amount of content grows though it can become increasingly difficult to find the content. This is especially true if you are using methods for filtering views or that allow you to navigate the folders.
When a list starts to reach the hundreds of thousands of items with the metadata navigation it can become difficult in terms of management. There could be queries that return hundreds or thousands of results. This is because they aren’t being specific enough though. When a project has multiple types of distinctions to separate the content the use of multiple lists can be very useful.
There are some large scale points that can be archived. It can be worth considering the use of a multi site collection architecture. With SharePoint Server 2010 you are allowed to collect sites that can be grouped with each other. This helps to keep your balance of documents in place. There is a content organizing feature that can be useful for routing the documents from various site collections.
Search has to be implemented in order for the documents to be retrieved. This is going to help you with the long term storage. It allows content to be balanced for the multiple site collections. It also is used to offer support for many more documents than those which may be part of a single list.