Manage assets with metamodel


This feature is currently in preview. The Supplemental Terms of Use for Microsoft Azure Previews include additional legal terms that apply to Azure features that are in beta, in preview, or otherwise not yet released into general availability.

Metamodel is a feature in the Microsoft Purview Data Map that gives the technical data in your data map relationships and reference points to make it easier to navigate and understand in the day to day. Like adding streets and cities to a map, the metamodel orients users so they know where they are and can discover the information they need.

This article will get you started in building a metamodel for your Microsoft Purview Data Map.



As this feature is in preview, these permissions are not the final permission structure for metamodel. Updates will continue to be made to this structure.

Current limitations


Since this feature is in preview, available abilities are regularly updated.

  • When a new asset created, you have to refresh the asset to see relationships
  • You can't set relationships between two data assets in the Microsoft Purview governance portal
  • The related tab only shows a "business lineage" view for business assets, not data assets

Create and modify asset types

  1. To get started, open the data map and select Asset types. You’ll see a list of available asset types. Predefined asset types will have unique icons. All custom assets are designated with a puzzle piece icon.

  2. To create a new asset type, select New asset type and add a name, description, and attributes.

    Screenshot of the asset types page in the Microsoft Purview Data Map, with the buttons in steps 1 through 3 highlighted.

  3. To define a relationship between two asset types, select New relationship type.

  4. Give the relationship a name and define its reverse direction. Assign it to one or more pairs of assets. Select Create to save your new relationship type.

    Screenshot of the new relationship type page with a relationship defined and the create button highlighted.

  5. As you create more asset types, your canvas may get crowded with asset types. To hide an asset from the canvas, select the eye icon on the asset card.

    Screenshot of an asset card in the asset types canvas, the eye icon in the right corner is highlighted.

  6. To add an asset type back to the canvas, drag it from the left panel.

    Screenshot of the asset list to the left of the asset canvas with one item highlighted.

Create and modify assets


For customers using the new Microsoft Purview Portal, on October 10 this feature has moved to inside the Data Catalog. For more information, see this documentation.

  1. When you’re ready to begin working with assets, navigate to your data catalog. If you're using the classic Microsoft Purview portal, select Business assets. If you're using the new Microsoft Purview portal under Business glossary select Business assets.

  2. To create a new asset, select New asset, select the asset type from the drop-down menu, give it a name, description, and complete any required attributes. Select Create to save your new asset.

    Screenshot of the business assets page with the new asset button highlighted.

    Screenshot of the new asset page with a name and description added and the create button highlighted.

  3. To establish a relationship between two assets, go to the asset detail page and select Edit > Related, and the relationship you’d like to populate.

    Screenshot of an asset page with the edit button highlighted.

    Screenshot of the edit asset page with the Related tab open and the relationships highlighted.

  4. Select the assets or assets you’d like to link from the data catalog and select OK.

    Screenshot of the select assets page with two assets selected and the Ok button highlighted.

  5. Save your changes. You can see the relationships you established in the asset overview.

  6. In the Related tab of the asset you can also explore a visual representation of related assets.

    Screenshot of the related tab of a business asset.


    This is the experience provided by default from Atlas.

Predefined asset types

An asset type is a template for storing a concept that’s important to your organization—anything you might want to represent in your data map alongside your physical metadata. You can create your own, but Purview also comes with a prepackaged set of business asset types you can modify to meet your needs.

Asset Type Description
Application service A well-defined software component, especially one that implements a specific business function such as on-boarding a new customer, taking an order, or sending an invoice. 
Business process A set of activities that are performed in coordination in an organizational or technical environment that jointly realizes a business goal.
Data Domain A category of data that is governed or explicitly managed for master data management.
Department An organizational subunit that only has full recognition within the context of that organization. A department wouldn't be regarded as a legal entity in its own right.
Line of business An organization subdivision focused on a single product or family of products.
Organization A collection of people organized together into a community or other social, commercial or political structure. The group has some common purpose or reason for existence that goes beyond the set of people belonging to it and can act as a unit. Organizations are often decomposable into hierarchical structures.
Product Any offered product or service.
Project A specific activity used to control the use of resources and associated costs so they're used appropriately in order to successfully achieve the project's goals, such as building a new capability or improving an existing capability.
System An IT system including hardware and software.

Next steps

For more information about the metamodel, see the metamodel concept page.