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Metadata Solutions: Metamodels as a Piece of the Pie

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This sample chapter defines "metadata solution," and then focuses on metamodels—organized views of metadata boundaries. Topics covered include the storage and access of metadata and the relationships between metamodels and metadata. Metamodel types and samples are presented.

This sample chapter is excerpted from Metadata Solutions: Using Metamodels, Repositories, XML, and Enterprise Portals to Generate Information on Demand.

This chapter is from the book
If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right.
—Mary Kay Ash


Ash quote (in The New York Times, October 20, 1985) from The New York Public Library Book of Twentieth-Century American Quotations. Copyright © 1992 by The Stonesong Press, Inc., and The New York Public Library. Used with permission.

The four previous chapters focused on the customization of metadata requirements. As a result, we have created several metamodels—organized views of metadata boundaries. Many metadata solution efforts seem focused entirely on this aspect of the solution, that is, the "what" of the problem. I cannot overemphasize the potential harm that tunnel vision can play—and this tunnel vision also applies to the incompleteness of a metadata solution design. This chapter defines metadata solution. We will briefly revisit its remaining objectives as a reminder that metamodels are indeed only one piece of the pie, and then focus the rest of the chapter on the metamodels themselves. The remaining aspects of the metadata solution are addressed in more detail in Part IV.

Defining the Metadata Solution

When we look at an organized set of metadata, we realize now that the metadata itself exists in many places. It is the metadata solution that puts some semblance of purpose and order around this disparate metadata. It is obvious, therefore, that the metadata solution encompasses many additional components, which may or may not be a part of the component that stores or generates the integrated metadata view.

Metadata solution

An organized and integrated set of related meta-data, logically connected but physically separate, with common access points and methods. The solution can embrace one or more metadata stores with distinct or common metamodels and must be accessible to metadata suppliers and beneficiaries who may or may not reside in the metadata solution's architecture.

Interpreting the definition confirms that metamodels are indeed just one piece of the pie.

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