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Data Governance - Fields

Additional metadata columns in documentation

Written by Serge Gershkovich
Updated over a week ago

The features mentioned in this article require a Data Governance license.

Data Governance fields are an extension to SqlDBM's Database Documentation feature. Fields are additional metadata columns that can be created and maintained by users with the Governance role to provide additional attributes (e.g., owner, is validated, source) to objects within the project.

Governance role

To create, edit, or modify fields, a user requires a Governance role to be assigned. Without the Governance role, users, including modelers, are given read-only access to fields and field values in the Database Documentation.

Governance fields

Fields can be found in the Database Documentation screen, where you will find the following features.

Accessing and adding fields

Access the Database Documentation and find the "Data Governance Fields" section in the right-hand properties panel. You can add existing fields to the screen by enabling them from this list or use the plus (+) icon to create new ones).

dbt-related fields

Using fields, users can maintain dbt source and model properties such as tests, freshness, and config, and output them as dbt-compatible YAML (see related articles at the end of this page for more information on how to generate dbt YAML in SqlDBM). There are two kinds of dbt fields that SqlDBM allows users to maintain:

  • Meta fields - users can include many kinds of metadata (e.g., owner, medallion status, department) under the dbt meta tag. To do so, mark the "Include as dbt meta" checkbox on any Data Governance field. When values are entered, corresponding tables or columns will be included in the meta field in the corresponding YAML.

  • Standard dbt properties - dbt source and model properties (e.g., tests, freshness, docs) are available as pre-configured fields in the database documentation available to users on all Enterprise plans. Where applicable, these fields will include pre-defined and configurable YAML snippets to allow users to easily reuse and set parameters without having to worry about syntax and formatting.

For the complete reference on dbt source and model properties, refer to their documentation:

While dbt meta-enabled fields require a Data Governance license, standard properties (e.g., tests, freshness, config) will be available to all Enterprise plans. Both dbt meta and standard fields will be found on the Database documentation screen.

For additional information on maintaining dbt properties, please see the related article at the end of this page.

Field types

Governance fields are available in various types for flexibility in how they are used. These include:

  • Text - free text entry for descriptive content

  • Dropdown - a selector with predefined values

  • Checkbox - for binary/Boolean input choices

  • Multiselect - a dropdown with multiple possible choices

Creating and editing fields

Users with the Governance role can maintain fields and field settings from the right-hand properties panel. Click the plus (+) icon to create a new field or hover on an existing field to edit or remove a field.

When creating or editing a field, the following properties are available

  • Name - as it will appear in the Database Documentation header

  • Include as dbt meta - enabling will include field values in generated dbt YAML

  • Type - a selector for the four field types mentioned previously

  • Default value - a pre-selected value for a given field (not applicable to multiselect fields)

  • Input template (dbt properties only) - unlike Default values, input template values are only populated on-click for a given cell instead of for all cells automatically.

  • Applicable to - (Objects | Columns) allows users to restrict the field for entry on objects or columns.

  • Values - list of selectable values (applicable to dropdown and multiselect)

  • Checked by default - default setting applicable to checkbox fields

  • Add select-all to header - adds a checkbox to select/unselect all directly from the header (applicable to checkbox fields)

Assigning field values

Once fields have been added and selected for display (by checking the corresponding checkbox next to the field name from the properties panel), they can be edited and assigned by users with the Governance role.

Simply click or enter text directly from the UI as you would with other Database Documentation elements.

Editing field values via Excel import/export

Editing field values through Excel import/export is also supported and works similarly to other Excel-editable properties like description and logical name. Please see the related article (below) on the complete details of this functionality.

See also:

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