BigID Developer Portal BigID API/Metadata Export Tutorial

BigID API/Metadata Export Tutorial

From BigID Developer Portal

In this article, you'll learn:

  • What the BigID data catalog can be used for
  • What is the structure of the BigID Catalog
  • How to retrieve data from each part of the BigID Catalog Structure


scenarioYour organization is using a third party cataloging tool for your data. Unfortunately there isn't a prebuilt integration between BigID and this system relies on manual mapping and surveys. You want your data catalog to represent the real world, not what surveys say. Use the BigID API to synchronize what BigID sees within your systems with this third party cataloging tool.

The BigID Catalog

The BigID catalog provides a view into all of your data. It allows you to see the types of data being held in each column, the access rights for that data and how it relates to other information across your systems. Below is a demo of the catalog through the BigID UI:

Since we care about the data within the API as opposed to the UI, let's see what the API response that powers this page looks like.

In the results section of the response you'll see a listing much like that in the UI. Each of these items is an object. An object is:

  • A database table in a structured data source
  • A file in an unstructured data source

For unstructured data, we discover information directly about and inside the files. For example, we can see that there are phone numbers within a file, or that a file matches a machine learning model for an invoice.

For structured data we discover data about the data inside of the columns as well as the columns themselves. For example we would know that a database Users has a column named State and that column contains values of the type US State Abbreviation. This means that if we want information about specific columns we will need to perform an extra API request. The below API request shows how to retrieve the information about a specific table. The column parameter follows the format of Data Source Name.schema name.table name.

For unstructured data sources, you can use the information returned from the top level catalog call or use the attributes call to get more detailed information like below:

By using these three API calls you can find out information about any element being scanned by your BigID system.