How does version control work for description changes in source tools vs. Atlan?

Considering that users may update metadata in Atlan and the source tool, we manage descriptions in two fields — populating either or both depending on where it was created or updated. This is the format we follow:

  • Source descriptions are stored in the description field
  • Any description added or updated in Atlan is stored in the userDescription field

Separating them into two fields ensures that the connection package does not override the descriptions entered by users in Atlan every time the workflow runs and updates the asset. This way the description field in Atlan becomes the source of truth.

There is one exception though. If the description field has not been edited at all in Atlan and the connection package only ever brings the descriptions from the source, the workflow will keep updating the description field with what is available at source — only source edits will come through.

Once the description field is edited in Atlan, the userDescription field takes over. If you would like to restore the original source description, simply clear the description added in Atlan and it will automatically revert to the source description.

As a best practice, we recommend all subsequent edits to the description be done in Atlan.

This is valid across all our connector workflows.

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