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0501 Schema Elements

Schema are used to represent the structure of data. They show the fields (also known as attributes or properties) of the data along with its type.



SchemaElement describes the common attributes that are present in any entity that is part of a schema definition. Notice it inherits Referenceable which means that it can be tagged with glossary terms, valid values and feedback.


The SchemaType describes the structure of data. It has many subtypes, each covering a specialized structure.


The LiteralSchemaType is used to describe a data field that has a fixed value. It is used where literal values are encoded in the schema.


The SimpleSchemaType describes a data field that has a single value. It includes a string name for the specific name of the data type and an optional default value. The value of dataType is not controlled by the open metadata types. You can choose to use the technical type name used to encode the data field in the schema, or you can define a Valid Value Set to define the list of valid values and use those values.

There are two main subtypes of SimpleSchemaType:

  • PrimitiveSchemaType for representing primitive types such as strings and numbers.
  • EnumSchemaType for representing a fixed list of values (often called an enumeration or enum). Any schema type can have a list of valid values attached to it via the ValidValueAssignment relationship to show the values that the data field may have. This practice is particularly relevant for EnumSchemaType data fields.

SchemaTypeChoice and SchemaTypeOption

Some schemas include choices in how data can be structured. Each choice is described as a schema type. The place where the choice occurs is represented using a SchemaTypeChoice entity, and it is linked to each choice using the SchemaTypeOption relationship.

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