Structuring your JCR workspace for performance

This page provides recommendations for customers dealing with large scale projects.

JCR is designed to store hierarchical structured data and doesn’t handle large flat hierarchies well. Flat hierarchies are, for example, when many hundreds or thousands of child subnodes are placed under a single parent node.

If you have more than a few hundred child nodes under a single parent node, you may encounter problems and should consider restructuring the workspace.

Potential issues

If you have a poorly structured JCR workspace, you may encounter things like:

  • Poor app performance (such as slow load time, slow to fetch data)

  • Lucene indexing issues

  • Publishing problems

Best practices

To avoid the aforementioned issues, you should consider the following best practices when structuring your JCR workspace.

Limit child nodes

Any workspace with more than 500 child nodes should be restructured to keep it under 500 child nodes for any parent node.

Consider the taxonomy of your data

Organize your data to create a structured hierarchy according to its taxonomy. For example, if your data is education-related, you could classify your data by subject (Art, Mathematics, Science), then grade level (Elementary, Middle School, High School), and finally by specific topic or subtopic within each subject.

Time-related content

If your JCR content is time-related, consider using a folder structure like /<year>/<month>/<day of month>/<hour>/<minute>/<second>/<child> to distribute child nodes across a deeper structure and limit the number of child nodes in a single folder.

Naming conventions

If your JCR content has a name, consider using a folder structure like /<letter range>/<initial letter>/<children>, for example, /a-d/a/<child with name beginning in a>. Make sure you keep it under the 500 limit for child nodes in a folder and bear in mind that purely syntactical structure (a-d / a / …​) should only be used when your data has no better inherent structure.


If you’re still having issues navigating through a tree view in the AdminCentral app, try increasing the size of the Jackrabbit caches to avoid retrieving many nodes from the JCR repository database.

Set with java properties
org.apache.jackrabbit.maxCacheMemory: default 16777216 (1)
org.apache.jackrabbit.minMemoryPerCache: default 131072 (1)
org.apache.jackrabbit.maxMemoryPerCache: default 4194304 (1)
1 Value listed in bytes.
Set with JVM command line
-Dorg.apache.jackrabbit.maxCacheMemory=268435456 (1)
-Dorg.apache.jackrabbit.minMemoryPerCache=1048576 (1)
-Dorg.apache.jackrabbit.maxMemoryPerCache=67108864 (1)
1 Value listed in bytes.

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