External Metadata Management? A Riff for Topic Maps?


I was reading a white paper on M-Files when I encountered the following passage:

And to get to the “what” that’s behind metadata, many are turning to a best practice approach of separate metadata management. This approach takes into account the entire scope of enterprise content, including addressing the idea of metadata associated with information for which no file exists. For instance, an audit or a deviation is not a file, but an object for which metadata exists, so by definition, to support this, the system must manage metadata separately from the file itself.

And when metadata is not embedded in files, but managed separately, IT administrators gain more flexibility to:

  • Manage metadata structure using centralized tools.
  • Support adding metadata to all documents regardless of file format.
  • Add metadata to documents (or objects) that do not contain files (or that contain multiple files). This is useful when a document is actually a single paper copy that needs to be incorporated into the ECM system. Some ECM providers often refer to records management when discussing this capability, and others simply provide it as another way to manage a document.
  • Export files from the ECM platform without metadata tags.

Separate metadata management in ECM helps to ensure that all enterprise information is searchable, available and exportable – regardless of file type, format or object type — underscoring again the idea that data is not valuable to an organization unless it can be found.

Topic maps offer other advantages as well but external metadata management may be a key riff to introducing topic maps to big data.

I have uncovered some of the research and other literature on external metadata management. More to follow!

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