Description Fields in Atlan

Type of Descriptions in Atlan

In the Assets tab in Atlan, in the filter bar, there exist two types of Properties relating to descriptions:

  • Description: These are descriptions fetched from source (if they exist) such as Snowflake, Redshift etc, and are stored in the Description field
  • User Description: If any edits are made to the originally brought source description in Atlan, then the updated description is stored in the User Description field.

FAQs

I can see only one Description in the Asset profile/details

This is because only one of the values will persist and be showcased in the Asset Description, but filtering options for both User Description and Description will be available.

If the source description brought in via workflow run has been updated in Atlan, these will persist and appear as the asset’s description and any further workflow run will not override the updated description.

If the source description has never been updated in Atlan, the description at the source will appear as the Asset description and any further workflow runs will automatically update the asset description according to the latest value at the source. In short, updates to description at source will be reflected in Atlan too.

Why are these kept separate?

These are kept as separate fields so that each time the workflow runs in Atlan it doesn't override the description entered by users (stored as User Description) and replaces it with the source description. This way the descriptions entered in the Atlan UI (User Description) becomes the source of truth.

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