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From David Radley <>
Subject Improvement suggestion: change terms to be implemented as entities
Date Mon, 12 Dec 2016 17:57:25 GMT
I have raised Atlas Jiras 1254 an 1245. I would like your feedback on 
changing the implementation of business/glossary terms to be entities, 
rather than trait types and trait instances. This would mean: 

1) A Term would have a guid for ATLAS-1245
2) TermResourceDefinition could be changed to add relationship 
projections, to support ATLAS-1254. I suggest we have "has a" , homonymns 
and antonyms as the relationships.
        - has-a relationships would allow us to associate a Hive table 
with one term and its columns with other column related terms. So we could 
then work with the  the business glossary terms and it would be aware of 
the conceptual has-a relationship; rather than needing to interrogate the 
asset. Of course glossary terms could be associated using has-a 
relationships without being mapped to entities. 
        - homonyms and antonyms are commonly used with business glossaries 
3) We would not have a new trait type that would be created for every term 
- that cannot be deleted. Instead we would have 1 system type for term 
that all terms entities would be associated with.
4) We would need to ensure we could still support for available_as_tag for 
terms - this means we expose the term by name as a tag 
5) I suggest we tolerate gets on the term using the the guid in the URI as 
well as the fully qualified name. Creation of new terms should create 
hrefs with the guid.
6) Term to term relationships would be simple in the code as we would use 
an entity to entity relationship. 
7) I notice in the the Atlas technical user guide (page 60), talks of 
traits and tags terminology as being interchangable. In the code (apart 
from in the supplied trait types),  it seems that traits are only used to 
implement terms, I guess because terms are often known by their name. Tags 
are somewhat different as they are used to interact with Ranger for tag 
based policies.
8) The Atlas technical user guide talks of 2 ways of categorizing entities 
, the business taxonomy and tags / traits. This change would be in line 
with the separation.
9) Having a guid for terms would allow us to rename the term without 
changing its identifier. I assume we should allow multiple terms of the 
same name in different taxonomies.
10) I think the reason that terms were implemented as trait instances as 
traits are identified by name so do not need guids and if a trait was an 
entity, a user could define a relationship to a term entity, which would 
be confusing. My suggestion is that if the user chooses to create a type 
with a relationship to a term, then we reject the creation of the type . 
At the moment they presumably could create a relationship to a taxonomy 
which we should also reject. 
11) As part of these changes, I suggest that entities also contain a 
response field of terms. So it is more obvious to a REST client what the 
associated terms are with an entity. 

Please let me know if I have missed/misunderstood/misrepresented anything. 
I appreciate your feedback, as I hope to address these Jiras soon, 

many thanks , David. 
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