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Governance artifact properties and relationships

Governance artifact properties and relationships

Most governance artifacts have a similar set of properties and relationships.

For example, business terms, data classes, classifications, reference data sets, policies, and governance rules have many common properties and types of relationships. However, data protection rules and data location rules have different properties and relationships than other governance artifacts. See Designing data protection rules and Designing data location rules.

General properties

Most artifacts have an Overview page with a General section that contains the artifact name, description, and categories.


The name must contain 1 - 255 characters. A name cannot include Unicode control characters, any greater-than (>) symbols, start or end with a blank space.

The name of the artifact must be unique for the artifact type in its primary category. Names are case-sensitive. For example, the following three artifacts can have the same primary category:

  • A classification with the name "Confidential".
  • A business term with the name "Confidential".
  • A business term with the name "confidential".

Artifact names in secondary categories do not have uniqueness constraints. For example, the following artifacts can be in the same category:

  • A business term with the name "confidential", for which the category is a primary category.
  • A business term with the name "confidential", for which the category is a secondary category.


The description can contain up to 15000 characters.


An artifact must have one primary category, which you specify when you create the artifact. You can change the primary category after you publish the artifact. See Changing the primary category of an artifact.

You can add an unlimited number of secondary categories. See Adding or changing secondary categories for artifacts.

Properties specific to the artifact type

Some artifact types have other sections. For example, data classes have a section to define data matching and policies have sections for subpolicies and rules. Reference data sets have hierarchies and value mappings.

Custom properties and relationships

You can create custom properties and relationships most types of governance artifacts. See Custom properties and relationships for governance artifacts and catalog assets.

You can create custom properties and relationships for governance artifacts by using the Watson Data API. Not all IBM Knowledge Catalog plans provide the option to include custom properties and relationships for artifacts.


Governance artifacts can have relationships with other artifacts of the same type, with other types of artifacts, and with assets in catalogs. Relationships can be informational, or have effects on artifact and asset behavior.

Most artifacts have one or more relationship sections on the Overview page. All artifacts have a Related content page.

On the Overview page, you can add relationships to other artifacts, for example, hierarchical relationships with the same type of artifact, or relationships with specific other types of artifacts. You must have a category collaborator role with permission to edit artifacts in the primary categories for both artifacts to add a relationship between them.

The Related content page shows relationships to the other types of artifacts that are not listed on other pages, and to assets in catalogs. You can't add or remove relationships on the Related content page.

Stewards, effective dates, and tags

On the About this artifact pane, you can add or update stewards, effective dates and times, and tags.


You can designate one or more people as the steward for the artifact. You can assign users or user groups as stewards. When users have questions about the artifact, they can contact a steward.

Effective dates

You can select an effective start date and time and an end date and time. The effective date specifies whether the published artifact is active or inactive.

Note: When setting or editing the end date, it can't be specified in the past, so any timestamp before the current date is not allowed. Also, if the artifact's end date is already in the past (that is, the artifact is inactive), the dates can't be modified in any way.

An artifact is active if any of these conditions are true:

  • An effective date is not set.
  • The start date is in the past or right now and an end date is not set.
  • The start date is in the past and the end date is in the future.

An artifact is inactive if any of these conditions are true:

  • The start date is in the future.
  • The end date is in the past.


You can add tags to simplify retrievability of the artifact because users can search for or sort by tags. Type the name of the tag and select an existing tag or click New tag. See Tags.

Artifact states

Governance artifacts go through different states in a prescribed order. If workflow is enabled, each state can have one or more workflow statuses. See Workflow for governance artifacts.

The state of a governance artifact determines whether you can edit it, whether it’s in use, and what state you can change it to:

The artifact is being created or modified and is not in use.
To see your draft artifacts, choose Governance > All drafts from the navigation menu. A draft artifact is visible only to the category collaborators who have the Owner, Admin, Editor, Reviewer role, or a custom role with the permission to view draft artifacts in one of its categories.
To make an artifact publicly available, you must publish it. If workflow is enabled, the artifact might need to go through different workflow steps. See Workflow for governance artifacts.
The artifact can be in use (active), depending on its effective date or time.
All users can view a published artifact.
You can have only one published version of an artifact at a time.

Activities logs

Types of activities that are tracked:

  • The artifact is created
  • The artifact is updated
  • A user adds a comment to the artifact

Types of workflow activities that are tracked:

  • Published
  • Ready for approval
  • Ready for second approval
  • Ready for publishing
  • Rejected

Learn more

Parent topic: Governance artifacts

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