The Art of Business Terminology

We introduce business terminology, definitions and rules management that is collaborative, intuitive, simple and useful like Wikipedia. Added Governance, domain and responsibility structures allow to control and manage everything. Intelligent automation and semantic technologies allows to extract and generate business terminology from database schema or reporting tools structures...


The Business Glossary is web based collaborative application for enterprise terminology management and data governance. The Business Glossary is built using semantic wiki and open metadata framework MMX technologies. The Business Glossary application is organized like the biggest online and collective encyclopedia Wikipedia with additional semantic functionality (model driven pages, properties and links) and custom views (plugins).

We believe that business terminology, rules and requirements should be managed like one integrated online Enterprise "Wikipedia". Organization structure or business domains can split the terminology to the volumes (glossaries or ontologies) to add structure and ownership (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Enterprise terminology organized like volumes (Domains and Glossaries) to add structure and ownership.

Terminology Management

One of the main entry point to the business terminology is the google-like search. The search function has search-as-you-type style suggestions over all concept names. The full text search is performed over the indexed terms, definitions and article texts. Search results are ordered by customized full-text index ranking and displayed with hierarchy and short descriptions (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Enterprise terminology search.

The Glossary is collection that implements main ownership role of domain terminology. The Concept can belong exactly to one primary glossary, but can be also included (reused) to other Glossaries to share and define domain terminology. For example: general “Agreement” concept is defined in Agreement Glossary, but can be reused in other domain glossaries to implement business area terminology.

Figure 3. The Business Glossary view

The Business Glossary has set of Business Concepts that can be a class, attribute, value (class instance) or a business rule. The concept is defined by the term and the definition in one or in multiple languages (default is English). Each business concept has the article text, formal properties and predefined relations with other concepts. The concept page is displayed and edited like wiki page with built in rich-text editor, model-driven semantic linking and dynamic custom fields and properties.

Figure 4. The Business Concept view


The Business Glossary application has three different predefined user contexts for the content delivery and creation:

  • Public User - All users who are not explicitly signed-in are anonymous public users and they can see only the published content. Public users can search public terminology and navigate in public glossaries and concepts.
  • Reader - Users who are member of group “GlossaryReaders” can be log-in to as read-only users. The readers can see all available, published and not published content.
  • Editor - Users who are member of group “GlossaryEditors” can be log-in as read-and-write users. All Editors can see and modify existing content and create new content. Editors are allowed to make existing content public or private and Import new glossaries and concepts from Excel.

Each defined Person can belong to many User Groups and each Person can have multiple Domain or Glossary roles. Governance role system is implemented in the way that each Domain and Glossary can have four governance roles. If the Glossary has its own roles, then those are always displayed. If the Glossary belongs to Domain and does not have defined governance roles, then Domain roles are shown in the governance panel. The following predefined Domain and/or Glossary governance roles and responsibilities are implemented for business and IT assets governance:

  • Owner - Each Glossary should have one owner who has ownership responsibility over the terminology.
  • Data Steward - The Data Steward is the Domain or Glossary editor in terminology management process.
  • IT Expert - Each Domain or Glossary can have zero, one or many IT expert(s) or architect in specific area.
  • Business Expert - Each Domain or Glossary can have zero, one or many business expert(s) or subject matter expert in specific area.

The Business terminology definitions and glossary structure quality measured with following metrics:

  • Definitions quality score - Definitions score to estimate Concept definitions quality and existence based on mandatory default language Term and Definition existence check.
  • Relations quality score - Relations score to estimate relations quality and existence, that are required for consistent, coherent and controlled terminology system.
  • Number of Glossaries - Count of sub-glossaries (chapters) in current glossary.
  • Number of Concepts - Count of concepts in current glossary and all sub glossaries
  • Number of Linked Concepts - Count of reused concepts in current glossary, that belongs to other Glossary and linked (included) into current glossary


  • Business terminology management
  • Multilanguage terms and definitions
  • Hierarchical Glossary and Domain system
  • Concept linking and re-using
  • Data Governance
  • Ownership & Responsibilities
  • Glossary Automation and Data Mappings
  • Reference and Regulatory data management
  • Business and IT terminology alignmet
  • Google-like search


Business Glossary technical highlights:

  • Model-driven semantic wiki user inteface
  • DB and BI metadata scanners for automation
  • Terminology Import/Export (Pdf,Excel,XML/XMI)
  • Relational and open metadata repository (PostgreSQL, Oracle)
  • Web-based UI (.Net)
  • Active Directory/LDAP integration