A system and method is described for the efficient management and storage of documents in a multi-user environment by implementing a three-tiered content model for storage and a context resolution mechanism for retrieval. Source objects may logically reference target objects where the target objects dynamically exist in different versions. In particular, the content model contains three classes in a collection wherein each subsequent class inherits the properties of the previous class. The classes comprise logical objects, physical objects, and components. All physical objects that belong to the same logical object are context specific variants, such as different versions of each other. Physical objects in a collection can be related by different criteria, as well as by user-defined relations. The system provides for versioning of objects, such as variations based on content, format, language, etc., to create variants of objects in the same collection, however variance among physical objects which belong to one logical object is not limited to different versions. Such versioning is controlled through a check-in/-out mechanism to allow use in a multi-user environment. The context resolution mechanism is used to retrieve the most accurate version of an object pursuant to certain user-supplied criteria in response to a call from a client front-end application. The system is linked to various independent front-end editor/browser applications through application programming interfaces. The system also provides for references between various objects in the Knowledge Provider. A dynamic logical hyperlink mechanism is provided to maintain references from source to target objects while a different version of the target object is being created.