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Differences between centralised and distributed Metadata Management Architecture

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The pro/cons of hub vs. bus metadata architecture are quite similar to the pros/cons of a centralised vs. distributed data warehouse. Whereas network traffic and disk space are generally not major points of concern for metadata environment as a opposed to a centralised vs. de-centralised Data Warehouse, the concept of information being inherently distributed to an extent as its in all applications but a hub make is easier to access, is a similar concept for the DW or metadata environment.


Hub Metadata Architecture – Pros and Cons


  • Provides a single interface between users and the information they need, making it easier to get to the information they need
  • Integration requirements and querying is less complex
  • Developing new business applications that use the metadata becomes simpler. Attempting to execute customer relationship management solutions, which requires knowledge of lifetime customer value, is difficult with distributed metadata environment.
  • Consolidates metadata in one foundation, providing a "single version of the truth" that all users can access .
  • In the centralised environment, the issue of scope, coordination, responsibilities, transfer of data, local mapping, and so on would be reasonably straight foreword.
  • Managing development effort would be much easier for the metadata architect.
  • In a simple centralised environment, roles and responsibilities are more straight-forward.


  • The entry cost is typically higher as it will require more specific software
  • Benefit of the metadata environment can’t be as easily proven throughout the corporation

Bus Metadata Architecture – Pros and Cons


  • It’s quick to accomplish. Each local group has control over its design and resources.
  • The entry cost may be less than with a centralized solution if a central hub product is not requi


  • In the distributed environment, the issue of scope, coordination of responsibilities, transfer of data, local mapping, and so on, make the environment complex.
  • Managing multiple development efforts on local sites would be reasonably difficult for the metadata architect.
  • The different parts of the detailed level of the metadata solution are scattered across different technological platforms
  • In a distributed environment, the roles and responsibilities may not be as not straight foreword.
  • Coordinating development across distributed locations won’t be very effective. The local development groups never collectively move at the same pace.


In summary, building a bus architecture is typically a more challenging task. In practice, metadata vendors provide persistent hub architectures. A bus architecture would have to be built entirely or with some sort of hybrid approach where a vendor metadata product formed part of a node. Federated approaches to data integration are becoming more popular, however, so this approach may also follow for metadata integration.

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