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dukesbrent



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Post Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 8:12 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

DataStage® Release: 11x
Job Type: Server
OS: Unix
Greetings,

We're dealing with some challenges on naming conventions for Business Glossary terms, specifically around the tug of war between completing spelling out Class words versus Abbreviating them. As a standard, we try to include a Class word (Name, Description, Date, Code, Flag, Number, Amount, etc) at the end of each Business Glossary term name.

I've inherited a Glossary that has a mix of Class words that are complete spellings (Name), and some that use an abbreviation (Nm). Going forward we're leaning towards our standard practice to be fully spelling these out given that many of the abbreviations, NM for Name, Dt for Date, don't really trim that many characters off the name.

The other rub we're running into with our Stewards on new development, is the desire to have Class words be consistent across the entire Cognos Package or Report. So for example, we might be developing a new Cognos Package that is a combination of existing terms and new terms. If the existing terms have set a precedence, like using Dt for Date, then the stewards want any new terms to use Dt rather than the full spelling.

Curious if others have dealt with these issues and have they might have been handled at your organization? Specifically, have folks place a standard that abbreviations are only used if the term name does beyond a specific number of characters.

Thanks,
Brent
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 16, 2016 1:38 pm Reply with quote    Back to top    

A difficult topic --- at any account. It's both a modeling exercise as well as a discussion that brings all kinds of emotions and traditions into play. There are no absolute right or wrong answers, ...

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dukesbrent



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Post Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 11:29 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

Thanks Ernie, I appreciate the thoughtful response. We by all means are trying to make the decisions very business focused, and have already had some great conversations with our business community on some of these topics.

I'm not sure that I personally like the option of removing Class words from the end of term names. For those developing reports off of BI semantic layer objects, there are many cases where it becomes less obvious what the item is when many have like names (Code vs Desc). I do appreciate you sharing this approach as not one that I had thought of, and may come in handy down the road.

Thoughts from others?

Brent

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qt_ky



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Post Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:20 pm Reply with quote    Back to top    

I personally prefer names to be completely spelled out, and abbreviations to be documented in a separate attribute just for abbreviations.

It seems like many people prefer to follow standards, perhaps because it's just easier or there is less decision making involved. It's important to establish why such standards exist--What is the intention behind them and what are the benefits of following them? How often should the be reviewed and re-evaluated?

I see cases where old legacy IMS database naming standards (very limiting) were applied to newer, more flexible database systems without any thought given. The newer systems are then unnecessarily quite limited.

The IGC docs give some reasonable guidelines for defining terms. These may even satisfy a technical writer!

http://www.ibm.com/support/knowledgecenter/SSZJPZ_11.5.0/com.ibm.swg.im.iis.bg.bestp.doc/topics/c_Create_definitions_of_terms.html

It's going to depend on your team of stewards and what they are trying to accomplish. I like this last bullet from the above link:

◦ Be appropriate for the type of metadata item that is being defined.

Can a glossary asset such as a business term be more generic and fully spelled out while an information asset such as a physical column name have an enterprise standard naming convention applied to it? Both can exist in the catalog and be related to one another.

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ray.wurlod

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:14 pm Reply with quote    Back to top    

In a perfect world I agree with qt_ky. Alas it's not always a perfect world. One thing I would advise strongly against is using BG solely as a repository of technical data (table and column defi ...

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Post Posted: Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:34 pm Reply with quote    Back to top    

Often a report writer makes a label for a column based on context of the report and the space they have. Usually they can abbreviate column headings or labels for ease of use. If the report is title "Customer Churn" they can have a field label called "First Name" instead of "Customer First Name". They can opt for "Joined Dt" to save space. A lot of reports have "Amount" as a field name. Things can get even more scrunched on mobile devices.

Worked with one BI Cognos lead who was belligerent about using labels that fit the report rather than sticking strictly with what was in IGC. Created a special version of the Cognos Business Glossary search so that instead of searching for the label of a highlighted column it searched for the correct Business Glossary term that was stored in another Cognos metadata field on that column.

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dukesbrent



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Post Posted: Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:15 am Reply with quote    Back to top    

All,

I really appreciate each of your responses to my original questions around term naming. Thanks so much for taking the time to add your perspective and experiences to the conversation.

Take care,
Brent
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