Create, import, export, and delete glossary terms

This article describes how to work with the business glossary in Microsoft Purview. It provides steps to create a business glossary term in the Microsoft Purview Data Catalog. It also shows you how to import and export glossary terms by using .CSV files, and how to delete terms that you no longer need.

Create a term

To create a glossary term, follow these steps:

  1. On the home page, select Data catalog on the left pane, and then select the Manage glossary button in the center of the page.

    Screenshot of the data catalog with the button for managing a glossary highlighted.

  2. On the Glossary terms page, select + New term.

    A pane opens with the System default template selected. Choose the template, or templates, that you want to use to create a glossary term, and then select Continue. Selecting multiple templates will allow you to use the custom attributes from those templates.

    Screenshot of the button and pane for creating a new term.

  3. If you selected multiple templates, you can select and deselect templates from the Term template dropdown at the top of the page.

  4. Give your new term a name, which must be unique in the catalog.

    Note

    Term names are case-sensitive. For example, Sample and sample could both exist in the same glossary.

  5. For Definition, add a definition for the term.

    Microsoft Purview enables you to add rich formatting to term definitions. For example, you can add bold, underline, or italic formatting to text. You can also create tables, bulleted lists, or hyperlinks to external resources.

    Screenshot that shows the rich text editor.

    Here are the options for rich text formatting:

    Name Description Keyboard shortcut
    Bold Make your text bold. Adding the asterisk (*) character around text will also make it bold. Ctrl+B
    Italic Make your text italic. Adding the underscore (_) character around text will also make it italic. Ctrl+I
    Underline Underline your text. Ctrl+U
    Bullets Create a bulleted list. Adding the hyphen (-) character before text will also create a bulleted list.
    Numbering Create a numbered list. Adding the 1 character before text will also create a numbered list.
    Heading Add a formatted heading.
    Font size Change the size of your text. The default size is 12.
    Decrease indent Move your paragraph closer to the margin.
    Increase indent Move your paragraph farther away from the margin.
    Add hyperlink Create a link for quick access to webpages and files.
    Remove hyperlink Change a link to plain text.
    Quote Add quote text.
    Add table Add a table to your content.
    Edit table Insert or delete a column or row from a table.
    Clear formatting Remove all formatting from a selection of text.
    Undo Undo changes that you made to the content. Ctrl+Z
    Redo Redo changes that you made to the content. Ctrl+Y

    Note

    Updating a definition with the rich text editor adds the attribute "microsoft_isDescriptionRichText": "true" in the term payload. This attribute is not visible on the user experience and is automatically populated when you take any rich text action. The right text definition is populated in the following snippet of a term's JSON message:

      {
           "additionalAttributes": {
           "microsoft_isDescriptionRichText": "true"
           }
       }
    
  6. For Status, select the status for the term. New terms default to Draft.

    Screenshot of the status choices.

    Status markers are metadata associated with the term. Currently, you can set the following status on each term:

    • Draft: This term isn't yet officially implemented.
    • Approved: This term is officially approved.
    • Expired: This term should no longer be used.
    • Alert: This term needs attention.

    Important

    If an approval workflow is enabled on the term hierarchy, a new term will go through the approval process when it's created. The term is stored in the catalog only when it's approved. To learn about how to manage approval workflows for a business glossary, see Approval workflow for business terms.

  7. Add Resources and Acronym information. If the term is part of a hierarchy, you can add parent terms at Parent on the Overview tab.

  8. Add Synonyms and Related terms information on the Related tab, and then select Apply.

    Screenshot of tab for related terms and the box for adding synonyms.

  9. Optionally, select the Contacts tab to add experts and stewards to your term.

  10. Select Create to create your term.

    Important

    If an approval workflow is enabled on the term's hierarchy path, you'll see Submit for approval instead of the Create button. Selecting Submit for approval will trigger the approval workflow for this term.

    Screenshot of the button to submit a term for approval.

Import terms into the glossary

The Microsoft Purview Data Catalog provides a template .CSV file for you to import terms from the catalog into your glossary. Duplicate terms include both spelling and capitalization, because term names are case-sensitive.

  1. On the Glossary terms page, select Import terms.

    The term template page opens.

  2. Select the template, or templates, for the terms you want to import, and then select Continue.

    You can select multiple templates and import terms for different templates from a single .csv file.

    Screenshot of the template list for importing a term, with the system default template highlighted.

  3. Download the .csv template and use it to enter the terms that you want to add.

    Give your template file a name that starts with a letter and includes only letters, numbers, spaces, an underscore (_), or other non-ASCII Unicode characters. Special characters in the file name will create an error.

    Important

    The system supports only importing columns that are available in the template. The System default template will have all the default attributes.

    Custom term templates define out-of-the box attributes and additional custom attributes. Therefore, the .CSV file differs in the total number of columns and the column names, depending on the term template that you select. You can also review the file for problems after upload.

    If you want to upload a file with a rich text definition, be sure to enter the definition with markup tags and populate the column IsDefinitionRichText to true in the .CSV file.

    Screenshot of the button for downloading a sample template file.

  4. After you finish filling out your .CSV file, select your file to import, and then select OK.

The system will upload the file and add all the terms to your glossary.

Important

The email address for an expert or steward should be the primary address of the user from the Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) group. Alternate emails, user principal names, and non-Azure AD emails are not yet supported.

Export terms from the glossary with custom attributes

When you're in the glossary, the Export terms button is disabled by default. After you select the terms that you want to export, the Export terms button is enabled.

Note

Selected terms don't need to be from the same term template to be able to export them.

Select Export terms to download the selected terms.

Screenshot of the button to export terms on the glossary terms page.

Important

The import process currently doesn't support updating the parent of a term.

Delete terms

  1. On the home page, select Data catalog on the left pane, and then select the Manage glossary button in the center of the page.

    Screenshot of the data catalog and the button for managing a glossary.

  2. Select the checkboxes for the terms that you want to delete. You can select a single term or multiple terms for deletion.

    Screenshot of the glossary with a few terms selected.

  3. Select the Delete button on the top menu.

    Screenshot of the glossary with the Delete button highlighted on the top menu.

  4. A new window shows all the terms selected for deletion. In the following example, the list of terms to be deleted are the parent term Revenue and its two child terms.

    Note

    If a parent is selected for deletion, all the children for that parent are automatically selected for deletion.

    Screenshot of the window for deleting glossary terms, with a list of all terms to be deleted.

    Review the list. You can remove the terms that you don't want to delete by selecting Remove.

    Screenshot of the window for deleting glossary terms, with the column for removing items from the list of terms to be deleted.

  5. The Approval needed column shows which terms require an approval process. If the value is Yes, the term will go through an approval workflow before deletion. If the value is No, the term will be deleted without any approvals.

    Note

    If a parent has an associated approval process but its child doesn't, the workflow for deleting the parent term will be triggered. This is because the selection is done on the parent, and you're acknowledging the deletion of child terms along with parent.

    If at least one term needs to be approved, Submit for approval and Cancel buttons appear. Selecting Submit for approval will delete all the terms where approval isn't needed and will trigger approval workflows for terms that require it.

    Screenshot of the window for deleting glossary terms, which shows terms that need approval and includes the button for submitting them for approval.

    If no terms need to be approved, Delete and Cancel buttons appear. Selecting Delete will delete all the selected terms.

    Screenshot of the window for deleting glossary terms, which shows terms that don't need approval and the button for deleting them.

Business terms with approval workflow enabled

If workflows are enabled on a term, then any create, update, or delete actions for the term will go through an approval before they're saved in the data catalog.

  • New terms: When a create approval workflow is enabled on a parent term, you see Submit for approval instead of Create after you enter all the details in the creation process. Selecting Submit for approval triggers the workflow. You'll get a notification when your request is approved or rejected.

  • Updates to existing terms: When an update approval workflow is enabled on a parent term, you see Submit for approval instead of Save when you're updating the term. Selecting Submit for approval triggers the workflow. The changes won't be saved in catalog until all the approvals are met.

  • Deletion: When a delete approval workflow is enabled on the parent term, you see Submit for approval instead of Delete when you're deleting the term. Selecting Submit for approval triggers the workflow. However, the term won't be deleted from the catalog until all the approvals are met.

  • Importing terms: When an import approval workflow is enabled for the Microsoft Purview glossary, you see Submit for approval instead of OK in the Import window when you're importing terms via .CSV file. Selecting Submit for approval triggers the workflow. However, the terms in the file won't be updated in the catalog until all the approvals are met.

Screenshot of the window for creating a new term and the button for submitting the term for approval.

Next steps