Meta Integration® Model Bridge (MIMB)
"Metadata Integration" Solution

MIMB Bridge Documentation

MIMB Import Bridge from Metadata Excel Format

Bridge Specifications

Vendor Meta Integration Technology, Inc.
Tool Name Metadata Excel Format
Tool Version Excel 2003 to 2010
Tool Web Site
Supported Methodology [Metadata Management] Multi-Model, ETL (Source and Target Data Stores, Transformation Lineage, Expression Parsing, Expression Conversion) via Excel 2007 (XLSX) File

Import tool: Meta Integration Technology, Inc. Metadata Excel Format Excel 2003 to 2010 (
Import interface: [Metadata Management] Multi-Model, ETL (Source and Target Data Stores, Transformation Lineage, Expression Parsing, Expression Conversion) via Excel 2007 (XLSX) File from Metadata Excel Format
Import bridge: 'MicrosoftExcel' 9.1.1

This bridge allows to import metadata expressed in Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheets, which may contain anything from simple data models to complex mappings (where various Excel sheets are used to define the source data models, target data model, and the mapping between them). The imported spreadsheet must be provided in XLSX format. The 'File' parameter should contain the name of this spreadsheet, referred to as the 'metadata source spreadsheet.'

The spreadsheets must be Office 2007 XLSX. To write this file type from Office 2003 or Office XP, download and install the 'Compatibility Pack' from Microsoft.

The metadata source spreadsheet must be provided in a specific format referred to as the 'Standard' format. As an example of this format and how to populate it, there is a Standard-Blank.xlsx file with a complete set of the possible worksheets and column headers with definitions describing the expected contents and their meaning. By default, this file is in the directory at ${MODEL_BRIDGE_HOME}\conf\MIRModelBridgeTemplate\MIRMicrosoftExcel\.

Also provided is an Excel 'Add-In' based 'ribbon' or menu to help navigate and manage spreadsheets which are designed using the standard format. These functions include:

- Inserting new worksheets in the 'Standard' format
- Show and hide functions to control which columns are displayed
- Annotation, formatting and validation of entries on a worksheet
Many errors can be avoided by using the Add-In's Validation operation.
In order to activate these options in Microsoft Office Excel, one must install the add-in provided with the software. Such add-ins are provided for Microsoft Office Excel 2007 and 2003. Instructions for installation are provided in the exported spreadsheet in the comment for the 'how to use' cell on all worksheets of type 'Models'.

Productivity tools, such as spreadsheet editing tools, are commonly used to capture, document or publish physical, logical, and business metadata throughout the industry. A tool like Microsoft Office Excel is an especially common choice as it is nearly always available. It is understood by and familiar to business users, offers simple copy and paste compatibility with other Office applications, and conveniences such as spelling correction. Microsoft Excel import and export capabilities are provided to leverage these advantages.

1. All metadata source spreadsheets must be defined in the Standard format, as this is the only format directly supported. To accommodate a legacy migration activity involving a very large number of existing spreadsheets, the format expected by the bridge is not hard coded but rather defined by 'Blank' spreadsheets specifying how each spreadsheet cell relates to a neutral repository metamodel. This flexibility is available only as a specific customized bridge which may be provided through consulting services.

2. While both import (reading from spreadsheet) and export (writing to spreadsheet) capabilities are offered, they are not designed to support round-trip re-engineering. For example, one may forward engineer the mapping requirements into a DI/ETL tool for design, but the purpose of exporting from that DI/ETL tool back to Excel is to provide a mapping lineage summary independent of all internal multiple complex transformations and not to re-engineer the design and re-import.

3. Data Design and Architecture tool models may support round-trip type editing within Excel, to take advantage of the spell-checking, column and row based copy and paste, and other conveniences inherent to a spreadsheet environment. In this case, one should export to a spreadsheet, make the edits and then re-import into the original design tool, leveraging the compare and merge facilities provided with the receiving tool.

4. New source or target data stores may be exported to an existing spreadsheet. However, no merge or update features are offered at this time. Also, when importing an Excel spreadsheet into a DI/ETL tool, the receiving tool is responsible for integrating/merging the models and mappings within its existing versions.

5. Specific assumptions and limitations are provided for each pre-defined format in the appropriate ${MODEL_BRIDGE_HOME}\conf\MIRModelBridgeTemplate\MIRMicrosoftExcel\*-Blank.xlsx file

6.Using a spreadsheet to manage metadata may have limitations in some cases. There are no actual limits for any information represented as rows in the spreadsheet, for example there are no limits in the number of entities/tables per model, or the number of attributes/columns per entity/table. However, there are some limitations for any information represented as columns for usability reasons. For example, the nesting of packages within a model, the number of PK/FK/AK keys a given attribute/column can be involved in, or more importantly the number of custom UDP allocated to an entity/table, attribute/column, or data type.


Q: How does the bridge handle 'implicit joins'?

A: When a transformation is defined that requires the joining of two or more tables, a join should be specified on a 'Joins' type worksheet. If there are no entries on any 'Joins' type worksheet or if there are no worksheets of that type, then the bridge will attempt to generate the corresponding join specifications required. In many cases, the bridge will not have sufficient information to create the correct join and will instead generate a proposed join that must be corrected in the export tool.

On the other hand, if there are any entries (join specifications) on any 'Joins' type worksheets, the bridge assumes that all joins are fully specified.

Q: Why do I see errors such as 'Table not found', 'Schema not found', or 'Model not found'.

A: These and other errors can be avoided by using the 'Add-In's Validation' operation. This catches most errors and positions the cursor to the first error cell. The cell is turned red and a specific error message is added as a cell comment.

Q: How do I create an XLSX file with an Excel version earlier than 2007?

A: From the Microsoft Download center, install the 'Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint File Formats'. It supports Office XP and 2003.

Q: How do I resolve an 'Out of Memory' error message in the log?

A: By default the bridge allocates 512 MB of memory. For large models, you can increase this amount, as well as switch to a 64-bit Java Virtual Machine if you require more than 2GB. Update the configuration file $MetaIntegration/conf/ with appropriate -Xmx parameter for a 64-bit JVM, for example:

Bridge Parameters

Parameter Name Description Type Values Default Scope
File This bridge reads an Excel spreadsheet in XLSX format and creates a model from its textual information. The "File" parameter should contain the name of this first spreadsheet, generally referred to as the "metadata import spreadsheet."

This metadata import spreadsheet MUST be formatted to match the blank spreadsheet.
Please find samples of these metadata import spreadsheets in ${MODEL_BRIDGE_HOME}\conf\MIRModelBridgeTemplate\MIRMicrosoftExcel\BlankFiles\. Using these files as guides, you may simply create a metadata import spreadsheet with your own model information that matches these examples.
FILE *.xlsx   Mandatory


Bridge Mapping

Meta Integration Repository (MIR)
(based on the OMG CWM standard)
"Metadata Excel Format"
Mapping Comments
Attribute Attributes, SourceAttributes or TargetAttributes  
Comment Attribute Comment  
Description Attribute Description  
InitialValue Attribute Initial Value  
Name Attribute Name  
Optional Is Attribute Optional Is Attribute Required
PhysicalName Attribute Physical name  
Position Attribute Position  
Class Classes, SourceClasses or TargetClasses  
Comment Class Comment  
Description Class Description  
Name Class Name  
PhysicalName Class Physical name  
ClassifierMap   Computed based on feature maps
DataAttribute   Computed based on feature maps
DataSet   Computed based on Transformation
DatabaseSchema Schemas, SourceSchemas or TargetSchemas Created based on the "System Type"
Comment Schema Comment  
Description Schema Description  
Name Schema Name  
PhysicalName Schema Physical name  
DerivedType   Create using "Data Type Inherited From" or calculated using template data.
Comment Data Type Comment  
Description Data Type Description  
InitialValue Data Type Initial Value  
Length Data Type Length  
LowerBound Data Type Min Value  
Name Data Type Name  
PhysicalName Data Type Physical Name  
Scale Data Type Scale  
UpperBound Data Type Max Value  
UserDefined   Calculated based on the datatype usage
DesignPackage DataPackages, SourceDataPackages or TargetDataPackages  
Comment Package Comment  
Description Package Description  
Name Package Name  
PhysicalName Package Physical name  
FeatureMap FeatureMaps Computed based on source and target attribute references.
Description Feature Map Description  
Name Feature Map Name  
Operation Feature Map Operation  
FileDirectory Schemas, SourceSchemas or TargetSchemas Created based on the "System Type"
Comment Schema Comment  
Description Schema Description  
Name Schema Name  
PhysicalName Schema Physical name  
PropertyType   Defined in the template
DataType   Defined in the template
InitialValue   Defined in the template
Name   Defined in the template
Name   Defined in the template
Value   Defined in the template
StoreModel Models  
Author Model Creation Time  
Comment Model Comment  
CreationTime Model Creation Time  
Description Model Description  
ModificationTime Model Creation Time  
Modifier Model Creation Time  
Name Model Name  
PhysicalName Model Physical name  
SystemType System Type  
SystemTypeOld System Type  
TypeValue DataTypes, SourceDataTypes or TargetDataTypes  
Description Data Type Enumerated Value Description  
Name Data Type Enumerated Value  

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