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Overview of Glossaries

A glossary is collection of terms in a particular domain (i.e., field or subject) of knowledge with the definitions for those terms. Unlike dictionaries, which are more general collections of words, glossaries only concern themselves with terms that will enhance one's comprehension of a certain topic. Glossary terms are often highly specific to a particular business subject or area of operation. They could be thought of as a 'jargon'. Just about any business activity and organization you can think of has its own jargon to go with it - from professional disciplines to operational activities.

A business glossary goes beyond just a list of terms. Linking terms to IT assets establishes a connection between business and IT and enhances organizational collaboration. Glossary lets you create and manage a common vocabulary of terms important to your organization to ensure clear communication and improve productivity. These terms can be categorized in a way that is relevant to your organization. Multiple glossaries can be developed, interlinked, searched and explored. Valid definitions of values and business rules can then be managed and made available across the organization. 

Glossary terms can be a 'flat' alphabetical list or they can be organized into hierarchies. In TopBraid EDG, the primary user interface (UI) for viewing and editing glossary terms looks like a spreadsheet. When working with glossaries, users can also switch into a hierarchical view and pick any defined relationship between terms to present them as a taxonomical tree. TopBraid EDG also supports a category of vocabularies that are called "taxonomies". Depending on your licensing, you may see this category of asset collections in your installation of EDG and, as a result, may wonder about the difference between glossaries and taxonomies and when to use each - especially, if your terms are organized hierarchically. Unlike glossaries, taxonomies always assume that terms are organized and presented as hierarchies and that the hierarchical relationship between them is "broader concept" which is defined by the SKOS standard. SKOS doesn't use the word "term" that is common to business glossaries. Instead, it uses the word "concept".

Even more importantly, glossaries are designed to improve understanding of data’s context and usage. Glossary terms not only have descriptions of their meaning, but they also define business context of use and can be linked to the underlying technical metadata to provide a direct association between business terms and data sources and data elements. In TopBraid EDG, glossary terms include description of business rules and permissible values - both, in plain English as well as in structured, executable rules that are used to automate connections between data elements and business terms. They may also connect to reference datasets and enumerations that hold lists of values specific to a given term such as "customer status".

Taxonomies, on the other hand, describe some domain of knowledge in general. They are often focused on providing a rich set of synonyms that are used in search, text mining and document classification.

Main Classes of a Glossary

SuperclassClassDescription
 Glossary Term Business term

Business terms are a subcategory of glossary terms. Business terms are related to business, for example, words and phrases about human resources, finance or business operations. Some business terms and their meaning are very specific or unique to a given organization or a department within an organization. For example, a term ‘high value customer’ may be defined differently by two different organizations.

  Industry term

Industry terms are a subcategory of glossary terms. Industry terms represent industry terminology that tends to be common across all or most businesses operating in a specific industry. Industry terms often come from standards bodies, consortiums and organizations external to a business.

 Technical term 

Technical terms are a subcategory of glossary terms. Technical terms are typically related to technologies and may be connected to or used to describe organization's technical assets.

Glossaries Home

Selecting the Glossaries link in the left-navigation pane of TopBraid EDG lists all of the Glossary collections currently available to the user and, it allows authorized users to create new ones.

Prerequisites: Licensing and Enablement

The availability of any collection type (including Glossaries and customer-defined types) is determined by what is (a) licensed and (b) configured under Server Administration. To install a license or to view the currently licensed features, see Setup > Product Registration. To configure which licensed collection types are currently enabled or disabled, see EDG Configuration Parameters > Configure Asset Collection Types. For general licensing information, see the TopQuadrant website, which describes the TopBraid products and the  data governance packages that determine the available collection types.


Listing of Glossaries

This home view shows a table with all Glossaries that you can access in some way. For each collection some brief metadata is available in columns of the table. Columns are sortable and you can filter content of the table by typing search strings in the Refine field at the upper right of the table. To access an asset collection, click on its link.

To create an asset collection click on Create New Glossary button. 

You can also select an asset collection in the table and start a workflow for it.

This page provides a focused view on Glossaries. To see a view of all asset collections, irrespective of their type, that you have a governance role for, click on your User Name in the upper right corner of the page. To see all asset collections you have access to organized by their subject areas, click on the Governance Areas link in the left hand-side vertical Navigation Bar.

If a Glossary is either missing or it is lacking expected features in your views, you or your security role(s) may lack proper permissions for the Glossary.  A manager of the Glossary can give you the needed permissions via its utilities' Users settings. For background information, see Asset Collection Permissions: Viewer, Editor, and Manager.

Another possible cause of a missing feature is that it requires administrative setup to become active. See EDG Administration for relevant within-application settings and/or see other EDG Administrator Guide documents for relevant external installation and integration setup.

Create New Glossary

The Glossaries > Create New Glossary link opens a form with fields used to define the new Glossary. Note that you can also create a Glossary by using a Create link in the Governance Areas page. 

Nobody will have a link for creating any asset collection until an administrator configures EDG's persistence technology as documented in Server Administration: Teamwork Platform Parameters: Application data storage . Additionally, each user will not have a create link unless the user or their role has a Create permission for the EDG Repositories project as documented in  EDG Rights Management .

The Create dialog creates a new Glossary and automatically grants the Creator a Manager's permission for it. When Glossary creation starts from the Governance Areas page, new Glossary is automatically associated with the selected area. When Glossary creation starts from the Glossaries home page, new Glossary is not connected to any governance area. To change this after creation, update in utilities: Settings > Metadata > Edit > subject area

The Create dialog box asks for the Glossary's Label (name), its Default namespace and, optionally, a Description. The default namespace will be used to construct URIs (unique identifiers) for the resources in the Glossary. EDG will automatically pre-populate the default namespace based on the system-wide, configurable settings. Creator can change it. Recommended practice for all collection types is to use a '/' (slash) at the end of the default namespace. For ontologies, it is typical to use '#' (pound sign). However, '/' can be used as well. 

Search Indexing

If using Search the EDG with Lucene indexing (the default option), the Create dialog will offer an option to add this collection to the index. You can later change this setting at the Manage tab.

URI Construction Rules

The Create dialog will also offer you an option to specify URI generation patterns for instances for each newly created graph. There are 3 different options to choose from:



  • New Instances Class Prefix has a selection of: Default, name and acronym. Default means that after a namespace the local name will be added. In case of name and pattern the name or pattern will be added in between the namespace and local name.

    Acronym property is set for most of the asset collections in EDG, however, if you can't find acronym property in your model an extra setup needs to be done. By default ontologies don't have the edg:acronym property defined in a model. It requuries creating a a property SHAPE on an edg:acronym (<http://edg.topbraid.solutions/model/acronym> property. The shape would need to associate the property with all instances of RDFS class (in a Manage tab change Root Class of Hierarchy to rdfs:Class, add edg:acronym property to rdfs:Class with the appropriate SHAPE defined, then change the root class to owl:Thing and start adding acronym to a class for which instances will be using acronym in their URI pattern)
  • New Instances Construct Method allows to choose from: Default, label, uuid, counter, or custom. In this case, the local name would be either predefined by the label, uuid or counter. The Default option will be a label. Custom option allows creation of a completely custom URI (namespace and local name).

    To use custom instances construct method you'd need to provide a custom method of URI creation.  It requires creating a new SWP file in IDE, importing swa.ui.ttlx, and overwriting ‘swa:createResourceDialogUsingCustom’ class accordingly.

  • New Instances User Cannot Modify URI: Default, true or false provides the option to allow modification to the URI during the creation of assets in the asset collection. By default, Create dialog for assets will allow users to modify URI

This setup can later be changed. The option is available in the Manage tab. This however wouldn't change the already created instance URIs, but will take effect for the new ones.

Includes

Collections often have natural relationships to other collections (e.g., each reference dataset's main entity class is defined in an included ontology). Any collection using outside resources needs to include the collections that contain them. Some inclusions might be required while others might merely be permitted. For example:

  • Taxonomies always include the SKOS ontology, and they may include other taxonomies.
  • As mentioned above, each reference dataset and data graph must include at least one ontology to define the dataset's entities.
  • Glossaries always include the pre-defined EDG ontology that describes business glossary terms.
  • Catalogs of data assets always include the pre-defined EDG ontology describing data assets and are expected to include definitions of relevant physical datatypes.

These requirements can be further configured. When creating a collection, any required reference to another collection will either be handled automatically or be presented for selection. 

You will not be asked to provide any inclusions for a new Glossary on create.

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