A logical structure used in Next® to reflect structures in the real world - often a company or a business unit

The way you organize information in Next® should reflect your real business as closely as possible. An archive is the bigger logical unit in Next®, and you can run multiple archives in a single instance of Next®

If your company has multiple legal entities - for example, international subsidiaries - you could consider running each legal unit in its own archive. Then by default, no one from one company can access information from another. 

The drawback of this setup is the fact that you have a hard time accessing information across companies. That's why our best practice suggests setting up a single shared enterprise archive. 

In Nextway we have an international mother company - Nextway Software, and a number of local companies - Nextway Software Finland, Nextway Software Germany, etc. We have chosen to implement Nextway in a single unified archive, simply because we work a lot across borders, and consider ourselves as one company.

Best practise

Do not implement individual archives for a single department or a specific application.

In Next® you can easily protect your information with permissions, and implementing separate archives creates information islands that contradict the concept of Enterprise Archiving.  

For the interested audience

If you use multiple archives, it is important that your users can tell what archive (or business unit) they are working in. For that purpose, we have made it easy to customize the top banner image shown at the very top of the Next® UI.

Sample case: when to do what

A customer has five individual companies. 

Company A, B, and C work closely together and many employees will benefit from having access to shared information.

Even if they run 3 different ERP systems we suggest putting all documents into one single shared archive (1).

You are still able to limit people's access to information based on their company relation.
And for those who need to work cross-company, the benefits are immense. 

Company D is a holding company, with a completely different organizational structure. 

We may consider having this company's documents in its own archive (2).
But remember that document access is much easier inside a single archive.

Company E is a completely different business. They share little or no information with the rest.
They run their own infrastructure in the data center and manage it themselves.

This company we would consider to put into a separate archive (3) and ins it's own Next® instance (ii).
An own Next® instance requires slightly more system management but also allows this company to have their own schedule for backup and upgrades.     

Companies, archives, and Next® instances can be combined in many ways