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The TopBraid EDG Vocabulary Management package works with taxonomies, ontologies, and crosswalks. With the Tagger and AutoClassifier add-on module, one can also work with corpora (document collections that reside in a content management systems) and content tag sets (data-sets that tag documents using terms defined in your vocabularies). Taxonomies, ontologies, crosswalks and content tag sets are collectively called asset collections.

A taxonomy is a vocabulary based on SKOS, the W3C standard ontology designed for managing taxonomies, thesauruses, and other controlled vocabularies with associated metadata. For the TopBraid EDG - Vocabulary Management package, this guide shows you how to edit a taxonomy, manage a set of edits, and review the history of changes. It also provides some information on how to work with ontologies.

The taxonomy editor in EDG lets you work with taxonomy concepts. It offers SKOS-based features, such as displaying a SKOS model's Concept Hierarchy (where concepts are connected by SKOS broader statements) starting with the defined Concept Schemes as hierarchy roots. Every taxonomy must have at least one concept scheme that identifies "top concepts" in a scheme. Although a taxonomy can have multiple concept schemes, a recommended practice is to use a single scheme per taxonomy. Like all asset collections, taxonomies can be included into other collections, which means that a taxonomy with multiple concept schemes can be assembled through the inclusion of several single-scheme taxonomies.

The set of predefined SKOS fields that a taxonomy uses can be customized. These customizations can apply to a single taxonomy, a subset of taxonomies, or to all new taxonomies created in EDG.

Accessing the EDG Application

To work through this guide, use a browser to access the EDG web-application running in one of the following environments.

  1. Create an EDG trial evaluation at TopQuadrant, and run EDG from the TopQuadrant servers. Submit an EDG evaluation request or contact TopQuadrant.
  2. Use TopBraid Composer - Maestro Edition (TBC-ME), and run its demonstration version of EDG. Download and install TBC-ME. If using sample data then, this will also require separate uploading of the EDG samples project.
  3. Install EDG on a server accessible to your network (which could also be a local Tomcat server, via localhost). For a custom install, contact TopQuadrant and see EDG Server Installation and Integration. If using sample data, this will also require separate uploading of the EDG samples project.

For the TBC-ME option, launch TBC-ME and then start the demo version of EDG via the top menu: TopBraid Applications > Open TopBraid EDG. Browse to  http://localhost:8083/edgLogging in as Administrator requires no password for the demo version. All asset collection types are available in the demo version.

For the other two options, the system administrator or TopQuadrant will provide you with a URL, a username, and a password. Browse to the URL and log in. Server licensing will determine the availability of the various asset collection types.

The EDG User Interface

For a basic orientation to the user interface, see EDG User Guide - UI Overview .

Vocabulary Management with Taxonomies

Selecting a Taxonomy

After logging in, the application's main screen will appear.

To see a taxonomy we will work with in this demo, click on Taxonomies  link in the left hand side navigation menu. It shows the list of taxonomies available to the logged-in user and some metadata about each one.

click image to enlarge it

This tutorial uses the Geography Taxonomy that is included with TopBraid Composer (Maestro edition, TBC-ME) and EDG evaluation-servers. If your server does not have it, an EDG administrator can upload it from TBC-ME.

Metadata about each taxonomy (or any asset collection) that is displayed in the list includes the user name of the person who created it, the date and time of its creation, its short descriptions and some information about the workflows in progress for that asset collection. Taxonomy titles are displayed as a hypertext link. Click on this link to go to the Geography Taxonomy.

If you do not see an asset collection that is known to exist in your system, you might not have the appropriate viewing or editing privileges for it. To gain access, a manager for that vocabulary must assign you a viewer (or higher) permission. Alternatively, if your organization uses governance roles you can be give a governance role for a business area or data subject area. You will the automatically get viewer permission to all collections in the area.

Home Page of an Asset Collection

The taxonomy's home page lets one see and modify its content, i.e,. concepts in the taxonomy. You'll see the editing screen that has three panels: a taxonomy tree that you can expand, a form that will show a concept you select and a collapsable search panel that lets you find concepts using detailed search criteria. Any changes made will apply immediately when saved.

Tab menu at the top provides access to various operations on the asset collection e.g., importing data, exporting data, collaborating with other users through tasks and comments, running certain pre-build reports like change history, modifying taxonomy's status, name and other metadata. There is also a configurable dashboard that summarizes the overall status of an asset collection.


Instead of editing the taxonomy directly, we will create a workflow, which will isolate a set of changes we will be making, keeping them in a working copy until the workflow completes and changes are committed to the production copy.

Workflows and Working Copies

TopBraid EDG differentiates the production copy of a vocabulary as the version of the vocabulary currently in use. For example, an online store that organizes menus of product categories based on a managed vocabulary would use the production vocabulary when it builds the menus used on their website. In this case, the production copy is a Geography Taxonomy.

EDG supports making changes through workflows. When you start a workflow, an associated working copy is created to hold the changes that will go through the workflow process and, eventually, may get committed to the production version at the discretion of the users who have permission to make and execute such decisions. working copy is a virtual copy of the production vocabulary created for editing purposes.

It is possible that several “in progress” workflows, each with its own set of working copy changes, exist at the same time. These workflows are shown in Workflows tab. Out of the box, EDG has a built-in review and approval workflow called “Basic”. Users can create their own custom workflow templates. More information is available in the Workflow Overview section.

When you edit the taxonomy and save your edits, those changes will be visible by everyone using it. They will also show up in any working copies created for this vocabulary. When you edit a working copy, changes will only be visible in that working copy.   EDG users with the appropriate permissions can choose between making changes directly to the vocabularies and using the workflows and associated working copies to change, review and publish new versions.

Basic workflow template

TopBraid EDG comes with the prebuilt Basic workflow template. Users can define custom workflow templates to support an organization's own vocabulary management processes. Working copies managed by the Basic workflow can be in the following stages aligned with the states of the workflow:

  • Uncommitted working copies are copies of the production vocabulary that people are currently making changes to. Changes are not reflected in the production vocabulary until the workflow completes successfully and changes are committed, or published, to the production copy. Uncommitted working copy can be frozen for review or it can be directly committed to production without a review step by users with appropriate permissions.
  • Frozen for review working copies are working copies that are going through a review. No one has permission to modify them. This is useful to allow people to review changes while knowing that no further edits can be made during the review period. Users can enter their review comments. Frozen for review working copy can be rejected, approved or simply unfrozen to allow further changes to be made. The latter choice returns its state to Uncommitted.
  • Rejected working copies are working copies that cannot be edited or published. A rejected working copy can be opened for further changes, changing its state back to Uncommitted. Another option at this point is to cancel the workflow. When a workflow is cancelled, all changes in a working copy are permanently deleted.
  • Approved working copies are working copies that have been approved but that have not been committed yet. No one has permission to edit them and the only possible next step is to commit them. This is useful as a final review stage late in the editing workflow to explicitly record that the approval was granted and by whom.

 If any workflows were in progress for the Geography Taxonomy, you would see them by clicking on the Workflows tab. You can also start a workflow from this tab. Alternatively, as shown on the first image, you can start a workflow directly from the page that lists all taxonomies. Finally, you can start a workflow for a specific concept in a taxonomy when viewing taxonomy contents. We do not have any workflows yet, but we will start one shortly.

Permission profiles

On the vocabulary's Users view you can see a list of users and their permissions. EDG supports permission profiless and governance roles. EDG has three permission profiles: viewer, editor, and manager. EDG also provides a set of governance roles, which is open to customization.

A user can have one of the following permission profiles for a vocabulary (production copy):

  • Viewer can browse a production copy, viewing the concepts and their metadata as well as any change history associated with that data. A viewer can also generate reports about the vocabulary, export it in other formats, and start workflows.
  • Editor has all viewer permissions plus can make changes to the content.
  • Manager has the most capabilities. In addition to the editor permissions, a manager controls access for other users. Manager can also perform actions in the Manage tab - including ability to delete a vocabulary. A user that creates a vocabulary automatically gets  manager permissions for it.

A user can have one of the following permission profiles for a working copy of a vocabulary:

  • A Working Copy Viewer can do the same things with a working copy that a production copy viewer can do with a production vocabulary: view its data, view its change history, generate reports, and export the data.
  • A Working Copy Editor has working copy viewer permissions and can also edit a working copy.
  • A Working Copy Manager has working copy editor permissions and controls access to the working copy for other users. A user that starts a workflow automatically gets manager permissions for the associated working copy.

When you are logged in as Administrator, you have manager permissions for all asset collections. Users assigned less powerful permissions for the Geography Taxonomy will not see as many choices available. For example, someone with editor permissions for the Geography Vocabulary would not see the  Manage tab at the top and, thus, will not be able to perform any operations available on the Manage page. A user with viewer permissions for the Geography can click on the Taxonomy tab and see contents of the taxonomy, but they will not be able to change it. 

Who can do what in a basic workflow is defined in terms of permissions. For example, a basic workflow allows a working copy manager to freeze a working copy for review and revert a frozen copy back to uncommitted status so that those with the appropriate permissions can continue to edit it. A user that only has editor permissions for a working copy will not be able to freeze it for review.

Starting a workflow

Click on the Workflows tab. Then, click the Start new Workflow link to start your first workflow and create associated working copy. If your server environment has multiple applicable workflow templates, you will be asked to select the workflow that corresponds to your change. For example, changes to existing concepts may follow a different process from the process that proposes new concepts. TopBraid EDG packages a single, default or basic workflow template. Thus, you will not be offered any selection.

You can start a workflow for the taxonomy as a whole, when you are expecting to be making changes to several concepts, or for a specific concept, if your changes will be only for that concept. In the latter case, you start the workflow from the concept's page. In our example, we will be changing information about an existing concept (South Korea) as well as creating a new concept, so we will elect to start a workflow at the taxonomy level. Although, arguably, since all these changes will be scoped to South Korea, we could have navigated to South Korea and started the workflow there.

On the Start new Workflow on Geography Taxonomy screen, enter "South Korea Updates" as the workflow's name. In the Description window enter "Fix country name and add Busan". Click the Submit button. After creating the new workflow EDG will send you to the newly created workflow's management screen, where in the Workflow tab you'll see the current status of the workflow and the next steps that can be undertaken. The possible next steps for the basic workflow is to Freeze (the working copy) for review or to Commit changes. However, you only have one action button - Freeze for review. This is because right now there are no changes to commit.

The workflow diagram shows you all workflow actions and the resulting state of the workflow after an action is performed. Users who are authorized to perform the action (transition the workflow) are displayed under the action name.

Basic workflow combines two possible approaches to promoting changes:

      • It lets users make changes and directly commit them to production without any review and approval cycle.
      • It also supports a process where changes are made, then the working copy is "frozen" to allow a review cycle during which changes can be approved, rejected or a working copy can be re-open for changes without recording an explicit approval or rejection. When changes are approved, then next step is to commit them by explicitly accepting them to production. If they are rejected, manager of the workflow can decide to re-open working copy for re-work or they can cancel the workflow.

Your organization may want to separate these two different way of working into two workflows i.e., with approval cycle and without approval cycle. Users can design custom workflows to support different processes including voting, timed escalations, the use of governance roles instead of permission roles, performing automated steps, etc.

Basic workflow template is defined in terms of permission roles. For example, only a user with the manager permission role for the workflow can freeze it for review. Workflow templates can also be defined in terms of governance roles. Governance roles are business roles like data steward or taxonomist. They are configurable for your organization. Workflow templates can specify what permission is given to a governance roles. If you use governance roles, you do not need to define permission roles for each instance of a workflow. This can be handled in a template.

Editing a Working Copy

To make changes, from the workflow's home page, click the Taxonomy tab in the header, and you'll see the same editing screen that you experienced when you first clicked on the taxonomy. It has three panels: a taxonomy tree, a form that will show a concept you select and a collapsable search panel that lets you find concepts using detailed search criteria.

You can drag the dividers between the panels to resize them. The side panels can be collapsed to make more room. If your search pane is displayed, collapse it now by clicking the dark candystriped part of the divider (pointed to by the arrow) between the center pane and the search pane:

This leaves plenty of room to display data about the vocabulary's concepts. (We'll come back to searching later.)

The user interface for viewing taxonomy and making changes to it in the workflow looks exactly the same and has the same functionality as the user interface for making changes directly to the production copy . In either case, you will see the same panes and will have the same options for navigation, editing and searching.

In the Concept Hierarchy tree, clicking the little arrows will expand and close up sub-trees of concepts. Note that SKOS organizes concepts into concept schemes. So, the root of the tree will always be a concept scheme. It is differentiated by the blue icon while concepts have manila folder icons.

Click directly on a concept's name to see data about it in the panel on the right. For example, click on the arrow next to "Europe", and then click on "Belarus", and you will see information about this term on the right of your screen. This includes information that is part of the W3C SKOS standard for vocabulary management, such as an alternative label for the concept and a history note about it. It also includes custom properties added to extend the SKOS standard for this vocabulary, such as the area figure for the country and their calling code.

Alternative label and history note are both attribute properties. Relationship properties such as Belaurus's "has broader" and "has related" values describe relationships to other concepts, which may or may not be in the same vocabulary. Relationship properties are hypertext links; double-click Belaurus's "has related" value of "Soviet Union" and the same panel will display data about that concept. (Use your browser's Back button to return to the Belarus screen.)

In addition to the Concept Hierarchy, another way to find specific concepts is to use the quicksearch

To quickly locate specific concepts in the tree use the lookup field in the upper-left of your screen, under the Concept Hierarchy heading. Type the word "South" there, and a list will show you the concepts beginning with these letters.


Select "South Korea" from the list, and EDG will take you to that concept on the Concept Hierarchy and on the main panel. We're going to change its preferred label value to the country's official name of Republic of Korea and make South Korea the alternative label, and then we'll add the city of Busan as a new concept that appears as a child node of Republic of Korea in the Concept Hierarchy.

Even if you have the appropriate rights to edit a given vocabulary, if that vocabulary includes data from other sources, you will not be able to edit or delete the included data. See Included-By and Includes in the User Guide for more information.

Once you have the South Korea data displayed, click the Edit button at the top of the screen to display the edit screen for this concept:


Before you clicked the Edit button, the form only displayed the concept properties that had values assigned to them, but the edit screen displays all possible properties for the concept that you are editing so that you can add new ones. There is the scroll bar on the right of the editing screen above (hidden or not, depending on the browser) - there are enough potential properties for this concept that they won't all fit on one screen.

Replace the preferred label value of "South Korea" with "Republic of Korea".

By default, one can add multiple values for a single property unless its underlying ontology explicitly limits the property's number of values (its cardinality). We're going to add the Spanish term for "South Korea" to this concept. Click the plus sign next to preferred label and a new blank appears under "South Korea". Enter "Corea del Sur" there, and pick "es" from the drop-down list to the right of it. (Your EDG administrator can customise the list of language code choices offered on this list.)


EDG has a built-in set of rules to implement constraints defined as part of the SKOS standard, such as the rule that says that you shouldn't have two different preferred labels for the same concept in the same language. (Your EDG administrator can customize these rules for each vocabulary and add new ones depending on your vocabulary management requirements).

Another SKOS rule says that you can't have an alternative label that is the same as the preferred label in a given language. Let's break this rule and see what happens. Enter "Republic of Korea" as the alternative label for this concept, with a language code of "en", and click the Save Changes button at the top of the screen. A message box will tell you about the problem, and the label for the property with the problem is displayed in red behind the message box:


Click this message box's Cancel button, set the alternative label to "South Korea", and click the Save Changes button again. You'll be returned to the concept display screen, where you'll see your new values; also note that the node of the Concept Hierarchy tree on the left that had been labeled "South Korea" is now called "Republic of Korea".

Next, we're going to add a new concept. First, click the arrow next to your "Republic of Korea" node to see its children. It only has one: the city of Seoul. To add a new child node, make sure that "Republic of Korea" is selected on the tree and click the "Create Concept" button  at the top of the Concept Hierarchy pane. EDG will display a Create Concept message box to ask you for some information about the new concept:

  • The Label is the preferred label for the new concept. Enter "Busan" here. As we saw when we edited the "South Korea" preferred label, we can always change a label later.

  • The Identifier is the internal ID used by EDG to track the concept. (Because SKOS is based on the W3C RDF standard, this ID is a URI.) Advanced users sometimes have reasons to customize this, but you can't go wrong by just leaving the default value that appears.

  • The Type identifies whether the new Concept is a regular concept or a specialized class. EDG lets you create these classes so that specialized properties can be stored for some concepts but not others—for example, so that forms for editing or searching countries include the calling code, but forms for editing and searching continents do not. Leaving this set at the default value of "Concept" is usually fine, but because you're adding a city and a City type has been included with the Geography vocabulary, pick that and click the OK button.

EDG will add Busan as a new child of Republic of Korea on the Concept Hierarchy and display the editing screen for it on the right.

For more descriptive properties, EDG includes rich text formatting controls. Give Busan a definition of "Largest city after Seoul", then select the word "Largest" with your cursor and click the  I button to set it in italics. You can also create a link to a concept representing Seoul concept. Just click on and follow the instructions.


Click the Save Changes button at the top of your screen, and you'll see the note you added on the display screen for your new Busan concept.

Try following similar steps to create a new concept as a child of Busan. Give it a label of "Test", and leave the Type value at Concept. On the editing form for this new concept, just click the Save Changes button without adding any new data.

We don't really want this test node, so we're going to delete it. At the top of your screen, next to the Edit button, there is the Delete button. With your Test node selected on the Concept Hierarchy, click Delete to delete it, and a message box will ask you whether you're sure that you want to delete the selected node and its associated information. Click OK to complete the operation.

Note the button for the gear menu  , which lets you perform several additional on your concepts e.g., clone them.

History of edits

Select "Republic of Korea" on the Concept Hierarchy and click the Show History checkbox in the right-top corner of your screen. This displays an alternative version of the concept data form that shows who made what changes when:


Each change entry shows who made it and when they did. It also includes a hypertext link that lets you revert the change.

As you might imagine, the "Show history" view can get cluttered after a while. That's why it's handy that the checkbox lets you toggle it on and off.

Uncheck the Show History checkbox before continuing.

Using the search pane

Click the dark blue part of the right border of your screen to display the search pane. The following shows the results of searching for all concepts with "land" in their preferred label, with their "has broader" value retrieved with the resource names:



Scroll down to see additional properties that you can use as search criteria and retrieve. Checking a property on the form indicates that you want that property's values included in your search result; entering a value in one of the search fields shows that you want to search for concepts that have that string in their settings for that property. Each field also has menu, accessible by clicking the triangle on its right, that gives you additional ways to specify the data to search for; see Searching for substrings, exact strings, and other alternatives in the user guide for a description of the options.

The Search for: field at the top of the search form lets you search among specialized classes and adds any custom properties for those types to the search form. For example, if you search among the Geography Vocabulary's Country concepts, you will see the custom calling code, capital, and language properties on the search form along with the standard SKOS ones such as preferred label and has broader.

In search results, concept preferred labels will be included by default as the resource name, so there is no need to check "preferred label" on the form. In the illustration above, the user wanted to search for all concepts with "land" in their preferred label and to retrieve the "has broader" value as well. The Search Results panel below shows the first 10 results of this query after the Search button was clicked. In order to see more results use Next button in the bottom-right corner of the Search Results window. The gear button next to the Search and Reset buttons lets you edit the search results as a batch as well as exporting the search results to XML or to a tab-separated value file suitable for importing into a spreadsheet program like Excel. See the Searching Within a Taxonomy section of the user guide for more details on these possibilities.


Click the darker part of the divider bar at the left of the search form (see the figure above) to collapse the form back to the right.

Navigating back to production copy

You can exist the working copy and return to the production copy of the Geography Taxonomy by clicking on the button next to the workflow name.

You will see that the preferred label of South Korea is still there, with that name and no Busan child. You've been editing a working copy, so the official production version has remained unchanged. We'll see shortly see how to complete your workflow and update the taxonomy with your working copy's edits.

Reviewing and Commuting Workflow Changes

First, imagine that you're part of a taxonomy management staff and that it's time to review the changes you've made before accepting them into your taxonomy. Click the Workflows tab at the top of the screen to go to the workflow. Select your workflow from the table. Currently, there is only one workflow in progress, but there can be multiple workflows. Click on the Go To Workflow button at the top of the table.

You will see the page that shows workflow status and possible next actions.

There is another way to navigate to a workflow and associated working copy. The blue left hand side navigator menu has My Workflows link. If you click on this link, you will see all workflows for which you have actions - meaning workflows that you can move to the next state. This page will show all workflows you have actions for across all asset collections.

The Workflows tab for a specific asset collection shows only its workflows. And you will see all asset collection's workflows - whether or not you have an action. You will also see completed workflows.

Click Freeze for Review. Now, everyone—including yourself, the Administrator—only has read access to the the changes in the working copy.  Three new links —Approve changes, Reject changes and Request further changes—replace Commit changes to production and Freeze for review links. Now, no one can edit the working copy associated with the workflow, regardless of their roles, until an administrator like yourself clicks Request further changes which opens working copy for additional changes.

When you click on Taxonomy tab at the top of the screen and you'll see that the interface for working with the data is pretty much the same as before except that, when you have a resource selected on the concept hierarchy, there is no Edit button at the top of the screen so that you can't edit the data. (This is the same interface that users who only have Viewer privileges see.)

In a typical production cycle, you would let anyone interested in updates to the vocabulary know that you were finished creating your South Korea Updates working copy and that they should review the changes before you published the changes to the production version of the vocabulary.

In a large metadata management environment, you might have one person creating the working copy, several others editing it, additional people reviewing the changes, and another person publishing the changes to the production copy, but for this tutorial, you're doing all of these yourself.

Click the Reports tab at the top of the screen, and then click the Comparison Report link. This displays a report that shows where this working copy differs from the production copy—a handy report to run during the final review cycle for a working copy:



Let's say that everyone who needed to review these changes has done so, everyone approves, and you're ready to make the changes official. Click the "workflow status and transitions" gear button , then click on Approve changes and then Accept changes to production. After a message box confirms that you want to do this, you'll see a message that this working copy has been committed. You will be forwarded to the Workflows tab for the Geography Vocabulary where you will see your workflow listed under Completed Workflows.

Click the Taxonomy tab and check Asia's child concepts again. You will see that the Republic of Korea is there instead of South Korea, and it will have Busan as its child along with Seoul.

Working with Ontologies

Geography Taxonomy includes the Geography Ontology that is also provided as a sample. When you create a new taxonomy in EDG, it will automatically include a model of SKOS. It defines a class (entity type) Concept together with a number of properties (attributes and relationships) that describe concepts. You already seen them when you worked with Geography Taxonomy. For example, preferred and alternative labels and broader relationship between concepts.

However, when creating taxonomies, one may want to define custom properties that are specific to the concepts they are working with. In the Geography Taxonomy examples of custom properties are calling code, language and capital. Since these custom properties may not be applicable to all taxonomy concepts, one may want to create custom classes and define some of the properties only for certain classes. In our example, we have custom classes such as Country, City and Continent. Countries can have capitals, but cities do not have capitals. These custom extensions to SKOS are defined in the Geography Ontology which is included in the Geography Taxonomy. When you were disabling the hidden label you were viewing all classes and properties defined either in SKOS or in the Geography Ontology.

Click on the Settings tab of Geography Taxonomy

Take a look at the information listed under Includes heading: Geography Taxonomy includes Geography Ontology. It also has a "system includes". Click to see what it is. It is the SKOS model which is automatically included when a new taxonomy is created.

If you click on the Includes link, you will get a dialog that lets you add and remove included vocabularies. However, you will not be remove a system include. Should you want to combine two taxonomies, you would do this by either including one of taxonomies into another or by creating a third taxonomy and including two taxonomies into it. You will not be able to delete any content from an included taxonomy because it is included by reference. You can only add to it. For example, if you combine two taxonomies using includes, you can not remove any of their concepts or nor can you delete descriptions of the concepts they contain, However, you can add additional descriptions and build new links between these concepts.

If you need to have some common inclusions apply automatically to all taxonomies created in EDG, an administrator can set them via Server Administration > EDG Configuration Parameters > Configure Collections .

If you click on the Geography Ontology link under Includes, TopBraid EDG will take you to the ontology. You can also use the hamburger menu button to left of the taxonomy's name in the header for quick navigation to any asset collection.

But we will navigate to the Geography Ontology in yet another way. Click on Taxonomy in the header. Navigate to South Korea. You will see that its type is Country. If you click on the arrow to the right of the word "Country", TopBraid EDG will take you to the asset collection where Country class is defined - the Geography Ontology, by opening it in a new browser tab.

For Taxonomies, you see Concept Hierarchy on the left. For Ontologies, you will see Class Hierarchy. As with the Concept Hierarchy, you can expand the Class Hierarchy by clicking the arrows next to each type name. Mustard circles represent types, green rectangles represent attribute properties, and blue rectangles represent relationship properties. Below we see that the Geo Concept class has been customized with the addition of area and verified date attribute properties, and that the Country type has been customized with three additional properties: calling code, language attribute properties and a capital relationship property. (The additional properties added to Geo concept will also appear on its subclasses such as City, Continent, and Country.)


Buttons across the top of the class hierarchy tree let you create new classes, attributes, and relationships as children of the currently selected class, as well as new concepts for the selected class. The Delete button delete the selected node from the Class Hierarchy tree. The class hierarchy section of the User Guide chapter explains these features in further detail.

You need to be very careful about deleting classes or properties from ontologies that are already in use because there may be data that is using these classes or properties. For example, if you delete the class Country, all countries in the Geography Ontology will loose information associated with their type. Countries will still be there, but without type information, you will not get useful forms to edit data and to create new countries. Also, the names of the fields such as "capital" will disappear since they are defined in the ontology. You will still see the capitals, but instead of the human readable field name "capital", you will see a long URI - id of the "capital" property.

Disabling relationships and attributes

While editing, you may have noticed that there are a lot of fields available for concepts. SKOS (Simple Knowledge Organization System) is W3C standard for expressing taxonomies and thesauri. Many of these come from SKOS. You may not want to use all of these in your taxonomy. To simply add/remove (enable/disable) some of the fields for Geography Taxonomy or any other taxonomy that uses Geography Ontology, click on a property you want to disable e.g., editorial note.

In the Local Property Characteristics section of the property form, click on the property shape that is associated with the class for which you need to edit the shape. In this case, property shape for the editorial note is defined only for Concept. Click in side of the rectangle that is displaying shape information. Then click on the Edit button and set deactivated to 'truth'.

This will disable the field for all instances of Concept.

Similarly, you can define new properties and new shapes.

To apply common fields to sets of taxonomies (e.g., ones associated with a business area) define one or more ontologies that describe them and then include them into the applicable taxonomies. Ontologies also support defining custom extensions to taxonomy concepts, such as adding non-SKOS properties and specialized subclasses.

Learning More

You're now ready to explore the User Guide chapter to learn about all the other features available as you use TopBraid EDG - Vocabulary Management package. You'll find out how to view reports on vocabularies, how to export them to and import them from spreadsheets and other formats, how to perform batch operations on them, and more.

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