If I have a series of PDFs as key resources to be called up on various web pages on a site, I wanted to know what tool, extension or module should be implemented into the content management tool in order to manage and control the PDFS globally with great ease? For example, on some pages they will need to be pulled into categories.
Anything out there that you know of? What is best practice for managing these? Obviously, it seems they will require their own database vs. a basic folder on the site called 'pdf'.
This really depends on what you are trying to do.
If a PDF is going to be due to a certain condition, an answer to a questionnaire, etc., then what I would do is to use server-side code to deliver it to the web page as a link. PDFs cannot be "included" as a graphic element on a web page, so they have to be linked for either download or display in a browser that has a plugin that allows it to display a PDF.
If it's something that is related to a particular page, as in a physician's website where the patient can download, print and fill out a new patient form prior to visiting the physician, then it may be included simply through a link.
In the first case, you may either create an array (if you just have a few PDFs for the website) or a MySQL database (if you have a lot) with the names of and links to the PDFs as they reside on your web server. Then it's simple server-side code to include them in a web page when they are needed.