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0220 Files and Folders

A metadata catalog typically contains information about the data files that can be processed and their location. Files and folders describe physical files and how they are organized on the file system.

UML

DataFile

DataFile catalogs a physical file. It inherits from DataStore to declare that it is a physical artifact. It adds the following attributes to DataFile:

  • pathName - this is the fully qualified path name for the file.
  • fileName - this is the file name for the file including file extension.
  • fileType - this is the typical file extension for this type of file. The values for this attribute can be managed in a valid value set.

There are subtypes for DataFile that identify the format of the file:

FileFolder

A FileFolder entity represents a folder or directory used to group related files together. It adds the pathName property which contains the fully qualified path name of the folder.

FolderHierarchy

The FolderHierarchy relationship links FileFolder elements together to form a hierarchical organization.

NestedFile

The NestedFile relationship links a file to a folder.

LinkedFile

Files can also have a symbolic link (LinkedFile relationship) to an element to show that it logically belongs to the other content in the element.

DataFolder

DataFolder is a special case of FileFolder for cataloguing directories that are contained a collection of data. The files and nested folders within it collectively make up the data content. They are not individually catalogued.

Hierarchical file structures

The diagram below illustrates the structure of a file system.

The FileSystem is typically a Software Capability. The root folders (of type FileFolder) are connected to it using the ServerAssetUse relationship. Beneath that are FileFolder entities with DataFile entities nested beneath them.

File system structure