Skip to content

Open Metadata Archives

The open metadata archives provide pre-canned content (open metadata types and instances) to load into an open metadata repository. There are three main types of open metadata archive:

  • Content packs - read only metadata types and instances that are reusable in many organizations. The type definitions for the Open Metadata Types are managed in a content pack. They are also used for distributing standard glossaries or other types of definitions.

  • Metadata exports - metadata exported from a specific open metadata repository that can act as a backup. It is read-write if loaded into an open metadata repository with the same metadata collection id as the originating repository, or read-only if loaded into a repository with a different metadata collection id.

  • Repository backups - used for creating a back up for an open metadata repository.

Figure 1 shows a content pack being loaded into a metadata repository. It is stored in the local repository and distributed around any connected cohorts. These types of archives can be provided by the Egeria community and third party organizations. Notice that due to the distribution of this metadata across the cohorts, it is only necessary to load the archive into one of the servers.

Figure 1

Figure 1: Loading a content pack

When data and other types of assets are being transported between organizations, it is possible to use a metadata export open metadata archive to pass the related metadata as well. This is shown in figure 2.

Figure 2

Figure 2: Exporting and reimporting metadata between unconnected repositories

Figure 3 shows a metadata export archive to create a backup of selected metadata. This can be used to recover the metadata repository content after a bad load or other operational error.

Figure 3

Figure 3: Selective back up of metadata elements

Creating open metadata archives

Open metadata archives are created through Java utilities. There are two approaches:

  • Content packs are created using the repository services archive utilities. The Egeria supported utilities for open metadata archives described at the bottom of this page use this approach.

  • Metadata export archives and repository back-ups are created by using the repository services clients to extract the metadata elements from a live repository and the to store them in the archive using the repository services archive utilities.

Loading open metadata archives

A metadata server's configuration document can list the archives to load each time the server is started. This is useful if the server does not retain metadata through a server restart (like the in-memory metadata repository). Open metadata archives may also be loaded while the server is running using a REST API call.

The archive is loaded once and its content is immediately available. If the repository persists metadata over a server restart then this archive content continues to be available after the server restarts.

It does not matter how many times an archive is loaded, only one copy of the content is added to the repository.

These Administration Guide articles describe how to load open metadata archives into a server:

Inside an Open Metadata Archive

The open metadata archive has three parts to it. This is shown in Figure 4. The header defines the type of archive and its properties. Then there is the type store. This contains new types and updates to types (patches). Finally there is the instance store. This contains new instances (entities, relationships and classifications).

Figure 4

Figure 4: Inside an Open Metadata Archive

The archive loads in the following order:

  • Attribute Type Definitions (AttributeTypeDefs) from the type store.
  • PrimitiveDefs
  • CollectionDefs
  • EnumDefs

  • New Type Definitions (TypeDefs) from the type store.

  • EntityDefs
  • RelationshipDefs
  • ClassificationDefs

  • Updates to types (TypeDefPatches)

  • New Instances

  • Entities
  • Relationships
  • Classifications

More information about the design of the open metadata archives can be found in the open metadata archive concept.

Supported utilities for open metadata archives

Egeria supports the following open metadata archives. Associated with each archive are utilities that help you build additional archives of your own content.

  • Open Metadata Types - the Egeria Open Metadata Type Definitions. This archive is always loaded by each OMAG metadata repository server at start-up. This is to reduce the chance that new types developed by a third party have names that conflict with the open metadata types. There is also a utility to create the archive file for these open metadata types. To find out more about the Open Metadata Types click here.

  • Open Connector Archives - provides utilities for building open metadata archives containing information about one or more connectors that follow the Open Connector Framework (OCF). In addition, there are utilities for building an open metadata archive containing the connector type definitions for Egeria's data store connectors.

  • Design Model Archives - provides utilities to manage common/standard model content from third parties. It includes an example archive for the Cloud Information Model (CIM).

Back to top