Skip to content

Attribute table

An Attribute defines the metadata information of a column of the content, for example the type of the values in the column, the order respect other columns of the same Entity, the name, etc. It also contains information about how the content will be ingested into the Data Lake. Each Attribute belongs to an Entity.

Attribute contains data about the schema of the files. This information is used to identify columns in a file, create Databricks tables, and, when necessary, create SQL tables in which the data is going to be extracted from Data Lake (this is for Client Applications). Most of the metadata about the columns is used to validate fields.

Column Description Format Required
Id Attribute identifier int
IdEntity The identifier of the related Entity int
Name Name of the column. Space character is not allowed. From version 2022.R2 1.12.2 update, the metadata API will sanitize spaces in characters if they are provided in Entity or Attribute names, by replacing with _ character (only when created through the API) varchar(150)
HiveType The type of the column. It will be used to generate the Hive table varchar(30)
MaxLen Maximum size of the column. This applies to columns with STRING type. A validation error will be raised if the value in the file content is bigger than the number of characters for this field int
IsNullable Tells if the column can have null values or not. A validation error will be raised if the field is filled with NULL and it is not nullable bit
NeedTrim Tells if the columns need to be trimmed, taking out leading and trailing spaces in the value bit
ReplacedText Indicates a text in the column ReplacedText to be replaced by ReplacementText value varchar(5)
ReplacementText The text to replace the ReplacedText with varchar(5)
SpecialFormat If the column need to pass a validation that cannot be enforced using the rest of the columns, it is specified here. For example, to validate a date’s format. If the field of the column (which defines the content of this column) is calculated, then, this field can describe how to calculate the column value itself. varchar(512)
TreatEmptyAsNull Tells if empty values should be considered nulls. bit
IsPrimaryKey Used when the IsMerged in Entity, is true to determine what data is the first key in origin and new. For plain text files, it is quite often set to false for all the Attributes bit
Order The order of the column inside the file smallint
IsCalculated Tells if the column is calculated, and not a column inside the file. In SpecialFormat column can be checked how to obtain the column value. If SpecialFormat is not defined, an error will be displayed bit
IsPartitionColumn Tells if the column is used in the table partition or not. True applies to the fields used like partition when storing the data in the DSU bit
IsMetadata Tells if the column is metadata for the system, and not data of the file itself bit
SQLType Indicates the type of the column to create a SQL table. Example values: "INT", "DATETIME2", "BIT", "DATE", "DECIMAL" varchar(30)
ValidationText Defines specific validations to be performed for this data instead of using the validations generated by the GenerateTransferQuery custom activity. The content of this field is applied to the field which defines it, if not matching, a validation error will be displayed. When a value for ValidationText is provided, any other validation is overriden and the only one applied is the ValidationText varchar (512)
Description Description of this Attribute nvarchar(max)
SourceName Name of the column in the data source. It is used in case it is different to the name used in Sidra varchar(150)
ParentSecurityPath The SecurityPath of the Entity to which the Attribute belongs varchar (100)
IsEncrypted Can be used to encrypt the values for an Attribute in the Data Lake bit
DataMask This field indicates the Data masking rule that will be applied in the preview of this field in the Data Catalog varchar(200)
ItemId GUID of the Attribute.
SourceType Represents the type that the Attribute has in the source system (DB type in the case of databases) uniqueidentifier
SecurityPath Path of identifiers used for authorization varchar(50)
IdDataStorageUnit Identifier of the Data Storage Unit in which the Entity is contained int
IdProvider Identifier of the Provider that generates this type of file int

TreatEmptyAsNull column

If it is true and the origin value is "empty", then the final result is NULL. This condition affects the result in the case the NULL value is accepted or not.

For CSV files, the reading of an "empty" value equals to a NULL value by default, regardless how TreatEmptyAsNull field is configured.

DataMask column

DataMask relies on the Microsoft SQL server implementation. For DataMask functions, please refer to the list with all SQL Server functions from Microsoft documentation. An example of such value of DataMask field can be:


, which will mean that a custom data masking function will be applied,where only the first character in the string will not be masked.

IsEncrypted column

Now, Attributes from an existing Entity can be encrypted. This means that, when loading data in the Databricks table, the legacy autogenerated transfer query / DSU ingestion script will encrypt all Attributes whose isEncrypted column is set to true. When querying the data on that table, encrypted columns will show a random string:


In addition, assets from an Entity can be encrypted as well, so anyone who has access to them, will not able to read the contents unless they are previously decrypted. To enable this, it is necessary to update the AdditionalProperties field from the Entity table, and adding to the JSON the following property:

{ "isEncrypted": "true" }

Apart from that, it is necessary to insert, in the EntityPipeline table, a relationship between the Entity whose Assets are going to be encrypted and the pipeline FileIngestionWithEncryption.

Lastly, to enable any kind of encryption is necessary to generate two parameters that must be present in the deployment library, which are:

  • EncryptionKey: It is a 16, 24 or 32 bytes long string randomly generated.
  • EncryptionInitializationVector: It is a 16 bytes long string randomly generated.

SQLType column

Many Client Applications end up storing data extracted from the Data Lake in an Azure SQL Database. In order to auto-generate the tables to hold that data, this column contains specific SQL Server types such as decimal with scale and precision, or datetime2.

IsPartitionColumn column

As it has been described in previous sections, data is stored in Data Lake in a optimized way. One of these optimization steps is by partitioning, so extraction can be more accurate and faster. Setting this column to true will make the table created in the Data Lake to be partitioned by this column. It is important to point that, if there are 2 columns acting as partition column, the order will impact on how the table is partitioned. That is, in the example below partitions will be: FileDate then IdSourceItem. It is important to make sure that columns are in the correct order.


Only used for "merged" entities. For plain text files, it is quite often set to false for all the Attributes.


When a value for ValidationText is provided, any other validation is overriden and the only one applied is the ValidationText. You can see an example of configuration here.


From Sidra 2022.R3 version onwards, the field RemoveQuotes has been deprecated.

Sidra system Attributes

There are five Attributes that are added to the original set of specific Attributes for the Entity. They are used by Sidra for multiple purposes and it is mandatory to have them. Those Attributes are: SourceByteOffset, LoadDate , HasErrors, FileDate and IdSourceItem.

By default, Sidra partitions the Data Lake tables by FileDate and IdSourceItem, but it is up to the team configuring the system to choose which partitions to use. Sidra team strongly encourages to use these two Attributes or, at least, IdSourceItem which is widely used by the platform and has a good effect on its performance.

Sidra Ideas Portal

Last update: 2022-11-02
Back to top