What integration meta data should you collect?

Here are the major types of integration meta data, as defined by Gartner Inc. This is just a starting point, however. Many organizations will opt to keep only a subset of these meta data types in a centralized repository.

Communications content
• What is in the data being sent (the schema of the transmitted payload, including file schema, ORB calling parameters, etc.).

• Syntax information, including tags, field lengths, data types, etc.

• Validation rules for range checks, cross-field validation, etc.

• Transformation rules to map the transmitted object to a different schema.

• Housekeeping information covering message structure, size, etc.

Touchpoint identities
• The identity of specific apps and their entry and exit points, files or databases; where the information is going to and from.

• Contact information for business units/people responsible for maintaining the data sources, destinations and any necessary adapters.

Interaction process and business implications
• Routing information -- rules for content-based routing, etc.

• Communication model, including store-and-forward, publish and subscribe, etc.

• Technology for each source and destination of data -- transport mechanism and communication protocol.

Please see the following related stories:
“The next step for meta data: Application integration” by Johanna Ambrosio

“About standards” by Johanna Ambrosio

“Best practices: Meta data integration” by Johanna Ambrosio

About the Author

Johanna Ambrosio is a freelance writer based in Marlborough, Mass., specializing in technology and business. Contact her at


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