REACH Delivery Service - Manage Metadata Definitions

This is an Administrator only function available from the "Administrator Functions" -> "Advanced Settings" menu.

What is Metadata?

Data has no meaning:   Data is information that has no meaning.  Suppose someone walks up to you and gives you a piece of paper with 120987 written on it.  The number could mean absolutely anything.  They might be telling you their birthday, or how much money they owe you, etc.  Data only becomes information when you know the context of the data.  Within REACH Delivery, documents loaded by users i.e. those documents owned by a company/user may need document type specific context (metadata) to be associated with them.

Metadata is defined as data providing information about one or more other pieces of data.  Metadata is a concept that applies mainly to electronically archived or presented data and is used to describe the a) definition, b) structure and c) administration of data files with all contents in context, to ease the use of the captured and archived data for further use. For example, a web page may include metadata specifying what language it's written in, what tools were used to create it, where to go for more on the subject and so on.

Metadata within REACH Delivery

Now we know what Metadata is it is important to understand how it is used within REACH Delivery.  It is possible to use REACH Delivery without setting up of using any of the variable metadata, it is entirely up to each user.   It is recommended that before using the variable Metadata within REACH Delivery you take some time to review these online help pages regarding Metadata to fully understand the implications within REACH Delivery. 

There are four main levels of Metadata.  The first two of these are the global and company specific metadata fields that an administrator can set up.  the second two levels relate only to the use of "contexts" within REACH Delivery.  Context usage is disabled by default within REACH Delivery. 

The first level is the Global Metadata, this is Metadata that is associated with every file managed by REACH Delivery.  This metadata is a series of information fields that are associated by default with every file.  For example, a file's name, who the owner is, etc may be standard information but are still types of metadata.

Initially documents loaded into the system, see adding documents, get a default set of metadata populated with the addition of a generic data block called ‘search words’. The generic data is as follows:

·         File Name (User defined)

·         Document Owner (System populated)

·         Publication Date (Defaulted to current date, but can be modified)

·         Expiry Date (Defaulted to plus 100 years, but can be modified)

·        File Type (User defined)

·         File Alert Text. A message which can be displayed when a document is loaded by an end user. (User defined)

 

In addition, each document file type has it's own standard additional metadata, referred to as "extended Metadata", for example, all files types have a description field (see screen image) and Safety Documents type documents also have an "Safety Documents Number" field.

 

Some Metadata is required for each document (e.g. the filename, owner, publication date, etc) but other metadata is optional and can be left blank if you wish.  The extended metadata fields, for example, are optional and may be filled in or left bank for each document. If they are filled in when a file is added or edited by its owner then this "extended metadata" will be associated with this document wherever the document is used or accessed throughout the REACH Delivery system by any company.

The "Search Words" (default metadata) act as a method to filter data; this is a sequence of specific words which can be associated to a file as part of the global metadata. When searching for files, these can be used to restrict a file list displayed. For instance if there are three files in the system that a person can view, if two of those documents have the search word ‘Sodium’ associated to them, then if the user enters ‘Sodium’  as a search word parameter only those two files will be listed.  

 

The second level of metadata is company metadata. This is metadata associated to ALL documents within your company.   An administrator can set up and manage the information fields for company metadata, by file type, from the administrator "Manage" menu command "Manage Metadata Company Definitions"

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Once completed, in the File Metadata, which is found through the Metadata icon in the Edit File function from the File Management screen for the document type (e.g. Safety Documents) that you have added the attribute for, you will see the new attribute and be able to fill in values for it.  See example below:

 

In addition, when you have Accepted a message with a document, this company metadata is accessible to be updated through the

historical inbound messages function.

 

 

 

The third and fourth levels of metadata relate only to the use of Contexts. By default "context" use in REACH Delivery is disabled.  To turn this functionality on please refer to the "Manage Company Data" help page.  However, you are recommended to review the help files for "contexts" first.  New users are encouraged to not enable context creation until they are familiar will all elements of the REACH Delivery system.  Contexts are an advanced method of grouping and explaining documents and information within REACH Delivery, while this may be useful in certain instances, a full understanding of the use of  "Contexts" within REACH Delivery is required before turning this functionality on.  

The third level is the Context Metadata,  This is metadata associated to ALL contexts within your company.   An administrator can set up and manage the information fields for context metadata, by file type, from the administrator "Manage" menu command "Manage Document Context Metadata Definition" .

The fourth level is the Document Metadata within a context, this is Metadata that is associated with documents specific to the context that they are in.    An administrator can set up and manage the information fields for context metadata, by file type, from the administrator "Manage" menu command "Manage Document Context Metadata Definition" .

 

 

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