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User-Defined Metadata (Master Data Services)

User-defined metadata is information that you use to describe model objects. For example, you may want to track the owners of a particular model or entity, or track the source systems that supply data to an entity.

In Master Data Services, user-defined metadata is managed by a model called Metadata. This model is automatically included when Master Data Services is installed.

After you populate the Metadata model with user-defined metadata, you can view the metadata in the Explorer functional area of Master Data Manager. As you work in Explorer, you can choose to view metadata for the displayed object.

The Metadata model includes five entities, each of which represents a type of master data model object that supports user-defined metadata.

Entity Name

Purpose

Model Metadata Definition

Contains the user-defined metadata for all models in a Master Data Services instance.

Entity Metadata Definition

Contains the user-defined metadata for all entities in a Master Data Services instance.

Attribute Metadata Definition

Contains the user-defined metadata for all attributes in a Master Data Services instance.

Hierarchy Metadata Definition

Contains the user-defined metadata for all explicit and derived hierarchies in a Master Data Services instance.

Attribute Group Metadata Definition

Contains the user-defined metadata for all attribute groups in a Master Data Services instance.

All model objects that support user-defined metadata are represented as members in one of these five entities. For example, in the Model Metadata Definition entity, a member might represent the Product model, while another member might represent the Customer model. In the Attribute Metadata Definition entity, a member might represent the Price attribute.

To define metadata for a model object, you populate a member's attributes. For example, you might populate the Price member's Description attribute with the text: The product price when sold to a customer. When users are working with master data in Explorer, they can view all metadata that is defined for the attribute.

The members in the Metadata model are automatically updated whenever model objects that support user-defined metadata are added or deleted.

The Metadata model cannot be versioned, have version flags added or changed, or saved as a model deployment package. However, it has all the same other functionality available to other master data models. For example, you might implement a set of business rules on the Metadata model to enforce data policies.

Each metadata definition entity includes Name, Code, and Description attributes. You may want to create additional attributes to further describe your model objects.

For example, you might create:

  • A domain-based attribute named Owner, which you use to track the owner of each model object.

  • A free-form attribute named Last Review Date, which you use to track the date that an object was last reviewed by the owner.

  • A domain-based attribute named Sources, which you use to track and manage the source systems that interact with the Master Data Services instance.

Content update

Added information about functionality that is not available to the model.

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