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Azure Purview aims to enable effortless discovery of data by data consumers from across the organization. But for data consumers to meaningfully reason over the data, it must be consistently defined. This is where a business glossary can help.


When we announced Azure Purview in December, I had blogged about the business glossary feature within Azure Purview Data Catalog. Yesterday, we announced the public preview of an enhancement – hierarchical business glossary. This enhancement helps organizations represent parent-child relationships between terms enabling terms to be both consistent and nuanced at the same time. For instance, in a Healthcare organization, it makes sense to have a term, API (app programming interface) as required by a technical data analyst whereas a data scientist in the same organization may be looking for data on active pharmaceutical ingredients, also API! In either case, the user has certain expectations when they search the Data Catalog for the term API. The business glossary must be able to absorb both interpretations of the same glossary term for a better user experience. Can you think of a similar example where the terms are the same and from your organization? Drop it in the comments below!


Grouping business terms in hierarchies can help with the following:

  • Organize glossary terms in hierarchies i.e., defining parent-child relationship between terms.

  • Same term name can be created in different parents to contextualize them as per organization needs.

  • Access control using hierarchical path will allow right set of users to manage the right glossary terms.



Figure1: Screenshot showing hierarchical glossary in Purview.



Figure2: Screenshot showing creation of a term as a child to another parent term.



Figure3: Screenshot showing complete hierarchical path for a term. 


Get started today:

  1. Get an overview of business glossary

  2. Go through how-to-guides to create, import and export glossary termsmanage term templates and bulk edit assets to tag glossary terms. 

  3. Use the tutorials document to setup glossary terms in Azure Purview 

  4. Start a conversation on the Azure Purview tech community. 

Brought to you by Dr. Ware, Microsoft Office 365 Silver Partner, Charleston SC.

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