Glossary - Metadata Connect

The following terms appear throughout the Metadata Connect web sites and application.


Metadata Connect
The product name.

Metadata Connect Definition
The definitions of the Information Types and Connection Types used by the metadata. Synonymous with Schema or Dictionary in other systems.

Information Item Type
The definition of an individual type of Information, e.g. Evidence, Document, Lawyer, etc. Synonymous with Class in other systems.

    Item Type
    Shorthand for “Information Item Type”.

Information Item
An single piece of metadata information, e.g. a Document named “Report On Report Writing”, or a Person named “Freda Hope”. Synonymous with “instance” in other systems.

    Shorthand for “Information Item”.

Information Item Detail
Individual pieces of Information that are generally unique to a particular Information item, e.g. a Person may have a “Last_Name”, “Middle_Name” and “First_Name” plus a “Date_of_Birth.” SYnonymous with “Attribute” or “Field” in other systems.

    ’Item Detail‘ or ‘Detail
    Shorthand for Information Item Detail.


Information Detail Type
One of a preset list of descriptions of a particular Detail, e.g. Integer, Decimal, Alphanumeric, Alphabetic, Date, Time, Date_Time etc.

    Detail Type
 Shorthand for Information Detail Type.

A Detail Type which is a sequence of characters consisting of a mixture of alphabetic and integer characters, plus spaces and special characters, such as /*#$@!&% etc.

A Detail Type which is a sequence of characters in the range A-Z plus spaces.

A Detail Type which is a non-integer number in the format 1.3, 1,234.56 etc. Sometimes known as “floating point”.


Connection Type
The definition of a type of connection between two kinds of Information Item Type, e.g. “Ownership” might connect “Person” and “Property” item types. Synonymous with “relationship or association type” in other systems.

A single link between two Items, e,g. Between a Person item with Person_Name = “Fred” and a Vehicle item with California registration “ABC 123 D”.

Sequences and Structures
Connection Types usually connect two different Information Item Types. However, the standard connection types within Metadata Connect are generally between Items of the same type. There are two distinct patterns:
Sequences: These are like lists, but they can include other Sequences, e.g. Workflows are a list of Mechanisms (Applications, Tools and Procedures), but they can also include other Workflows.
Structures: These are used for building hierarchical or network structures, such as organization trees. “Item-Item” and “Org_Structure” can be used this way.

A network of pre-defined connections between related items, represented by Ancestor and Descendant connection types. It may be a simple list - Version 1, Version 2, Version 3 etc., or a more complex structure with many branches (chains) of connected items.

A Metadata Connect query that traverses the links between items, e.g. from an Incident to Evidence to Photos to Suspects. Looking up the ancestors and descendants of an item are forms of navigation.

A Metadata Connect query that finds all of the connecting paths, particularly the shortest path, between two items. This is often useful in establish cause and effect. Person_X cut the brake lines of Vehicle_V, but it was stolen and subsequently crashed into a bus causing injuries to Passenger_Y on board the bus. A Metadata Connect pathfinding query would find that path between Person_X and Person_Y

The history of things that happened to an item, particularly who created/updated or deleted, connected other items to it or disconnected it from other items. It also includes manipulation by other mechanisms, such as computer applications or tools. It is most useful in conjunction with the lineage information in the database.


Abbreviation for the Application Programming Interface used by programmers to enhance applications that update the metadata.

Active Directory
A security mechanism provided by Microsoft Corporation. It allows the allocation of capabilities to users, groups and roles, e.g. “Administrator”.

A cloud service owned and operated by Microsoft Corporation. Metadata Connect currently only runs on Azure.

A term used to describe services or resources that are available over the Internet,rather than using software and hardware on the owners’ premises.

Abbreviation for Comma Separated Value, the file format used to bulk load Items and Connenctions into Metadata Connect.

A mechanism for finding particular items or ranges of items based on a similar detail, e.g. all Documents produced in 2017. A query may also involve connections.

A mechanism for looking for all occurrences of a particular item on the Metadata Connect application, marketing or support websites.