Business Metadata overview

Atlas allows you to define your own attributes as key-value pairs to add to the technical metadata Atlas stores for data assets. These attributes are grouped in Business Metadata collections so you can control which users have access to create, update, and assign these attributes.

There's a fixed set of attributes that Atlas collects for each entity type from services on the cluster. You can augment these attributes by updating the entity model, but this requires changing the code in the plugin that manages metadata collection for the service. Defining business metadata attributes allows you to add to the technical metadata for an entity type, but also to control access to those attributes in groups. You can use business metadata groupings or collections in Ranger policies to determine who can view business metadata attributes, who can set their values, and who can create additional attributes. For example, you could create a business metadata collection called "Operations," that included attributes such as IT-owner, Operational Phase, Processing Strategy, and Processed Date. In a Ranger policy, you could expose these attributes only to the IT staff or expose them to all users but only allow the IT staff to set their values. You could define attributes that had meaning for a specific entity type or applied to any entity types.

In Atlas, you define a business metadata collection—simply the label for a group of attributes. You can than define attributes in that business metadata collection. After you've defined business metadata attributes, you can add values through the Atlas UI or apply them in bulk to entities using a bulk import process.