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Writing an Open Discovery Service

An open discovery service is a component that performs specific analysis of the contents of a digital resource on request. The aim of the open discovery service is to enable a detailed picture of the properties of a resource to be built up.

Each time an open discovery service runs, it creates a new discovery analysis report linked off of the digital resource's Asset metadata element that records the results of the analysis.

Asset with discovery analysis reports

Each time an open discovery service runs to analyse a digital resource, a new discovery analysis report is created and attached to the resource's asset. If the open discovery service is run regularly, it is possible to track how the contents are changing over time.

The discovery analysis report contains one or more sets of related properties that the discovery service has discovered about the resource, its metadata, structure and/or content. These are stored in a set of discovery annotations linked off of the discovery analysis report.

An open discovery service is designed to run at regular intervals to gather a detailed perspective on the contents of the digital resource and how they are changing over time. Each time it runs, it is given access to the results of previously run open discovery services, along with a review of these findings made by individuals responsible for the digital resource (such as stewards, owners, custodians).

Operation of an open discovery service

Operation of an open discovery service

  1. Each time an open discovery service runs, Egeria creates a discovery analysis report to describe the status and results of the open discovery service's execution. The open discovery service is passed a discovery context that provides access to metadata.
  2. The discovery context is able to supply metadata about the asset and create a connector to the digital resource using the connection information linked to the asset. The discovery service uses the connector to access the digital resource's contents in order to perform the analysis.
  3. The discovery service creates discovery annotations to record the results of its analysis. It adds them to the discovery context which stores them in open metadata attached to the discovery analysis report.
  4. The discovery annotations can be reviewed and commented on through an external stewardship process. This means choices from, for example, a list of potential options proposed by the discovery services, can be verified and the best one selected by an individual expert. The resulting choices are added to annotation reviews attached to the appropriate annotations.
  5. The next time the open discovery service runs, a new discovery analysis report is created to link new attachments.
  6. The discovery context provides access to the existing attachments for that asset along with any annotation reviews. The discovery services is able to link its new annotations to the existing annotations as an annotation extension. This means that the stewards can see the history associated with the new information.
Runtime for an open discovery service

Open discovery services are packaged into Open Discovery Engines that run in the Asset Analysis OMES hosted in an Engine Host.

The metadata repository interface for metadata discovery tools is implemented by the Discovery Engine OMAS that runs in a Metadata Access Server.

An open discovery service may be triggered by a REST call to the Asset Analysis OMES, via an Engine Action or as part of a governance action process.

Open Discovery Service

Implementing open discovery services

An open discovery service is implemented as a specialized Open Connector Framework (OCF) connector. This means it has two parts to it: a connector provider that is responsible for creating a new instance of the open discovery service and the open discovery service implementation (that is the connector implementation in the OCF terminology.)


The interfaces and base classes of the connector provider and open discovery service implementation are provided by the Open Discovery Framework (ODF). This means you need to include the following Egeria modules in your build script:

  • Open Connector Framework
  • Open Discovery Framework
  • Audit Log Framework and Repository Services APIs for audit logging and exceptions.
  • The digital resource connector(s) used to gain access to the digital resource being analysed.





           Digital resource connectors need to be included

dependencies {
    implementation project(':open-metadata-implementation:frameworks:audit-log-framework')
    implementation project(':open-metadata-implementation:frameworks:open-connector-framework')
    implementation project(':open-metadata-implementation:frameworks:open-discovery-framework')
    implementation project(':open-metadata-implementation:repository-services:repository-services-apis')
    implementation project(' store connector...')  

Connector provider for an open discovery service

Each connector provider for an open discovery service extends the following base class:

This assumes:

  • The open discovery service implementation class is instantiated with the default constructor. This means all of its configuration information is contained in the Connection object supplied on the initialize() method.

If your open discovery service implementation matches these requirements, its connector provider implementation need only implement a constructor to configure the base class's function with details of itself and the Java class of the connector it needs using:

  • a GUID for the connector type
  • a name for the connector type.
  • a description of what the connector is for and how to configure it.
  • the connector class it instantiates.
  • a list of the additional properties, configuration properties and secured properties needed to configure instances of the connector.
  • a description of the connector for its audit log (if the connector implements AuditLoggingComponent).
 * XXXDiscoveryProvider is the OCF connector provider for the XXX open discovery service.
public class XXXDiscoveryProvider extends IntegrationConnectorProviderBase
     * Unique identifier of the connector for the audit log.
    private static final int    connectorComponentId   = 10001; /* Add unique number here - Egeria uses numbers under 1000 */

     * Unique identifier for the connector type.
    private static final String connectorTypeGUID      = "Add unique GUID here";

     * Descriptive information about the connector for the connector type and audit log.
    private static final String connectorQualifiedName = "MyOrg:XXXDiscoveryService";
    private static final String connectorDisplayName   = "XXX Discovery Service";
    private static final String connectorDescription   = "Open discovery service that supports ... add details here.";
    private static final String connectorWikiPage      = "Add url to documentation here";

     * Define the name of the connector implementation.
    private static final String connectorClassName = "packagename.XXXDiscoveryService";

     * Define the name of configuration properties (optional).
    public static final String REQUIRED_ANNOTATION_TYPES_CONFIGURATION_PROPERTY = "requiredAnnotationTypes";

     * Constructor used to initialize the ConnectorProviderBase class.
    public XXXDiscoveryProvider()

         * Set up the class name of the open discovery service that this provider creates.

         * Set up the connector type that should be included in a connection used to configure this open discovery service.
        ConnectorType connectorType = new ConnectorType();

        List<String> recognizedConfigurationProperties = new ArrayList<>();

        super.connectorTypeBean = connectorType;

         * Set up the component description used in the open discovery service's audit log messages.
        AuditLogReportingComponent componentDescription = new AuditLogReportingComponent();



Open discovery service implementation

The open discovery service implementation inherits from:

This base class handles the discovery context, any nested connectors and the audit log. The following variables are set up:

  • discoveryServiceName - the qualified name of the discovery service from the open metadata definition.

  • discoveryContext - the discovery context that provides methods for querying and storing discovery metadata.

  • auditLog - audit logging destination.

  • embeddedConnectors - connectors created from connections nested in the discovery service connection. These connectors are typically open discovery services that are embedded because this discovery service is an open discovery pipeline.

There are two methods that you need to implement:

  • start() - this method is where all the work takes place. It retrieves any configuration properties from the connection, uses the discovery context to access the asset and its connector to the digital resource. As it analyses the content of the digital resource, it adds its results to the annotation store retrieved from the discovery context. The annotations are immediately stored in one of the open metadata repositories.

  • disconnect() - this method is called either because the discovery service has completed running, or because its server is shutting down. The open discovery service implementation should release any resources it is using - for example by calling the disconnect method on the digital resource connector it is using.

Discovery Context

The discovery context provides the open discovery service with access to information about the discovery request along with the open metadata repository interfaces.

Structure of the discovery context

Discovery Asset Catalog Store

The discovery asset catalog store provides a search interface that enables an open discovery service to locate assets that are described in the open metadata repository.

Discovery Annotation Store

The discovery annotation store provides an open discovery service with access to the annotations created about a specific asset both from past invocations of open discovery services and those created during the current execution.

Discovery Asset Store

The discovery asset catalog store provides an open discovery service with access to all the known metadata about the digital resource it is to analyse. It is able to create a connector to the digital resource based on the connection(s) attached to the asset.

Discovery Analysis Report Store

The discovery analysis report store is a client to an open metadata server that enables an open discovery service to query the properties of its discovery analysis report and update the analysis step that is currently executing and the status of its processing.

The discovery analysis report store is accessed from the discovery annotation store.

Example implementations

The definition of the connector interfaces for discovery services is defined in the open-discovery-services module.

There are implementations of discovery services in the discovery-service-connectors.

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