Creating attributes

Use attributes to differentiate and describe global configurations and global components.

Before you begin

You must have the Configuration Lead role or higher, or Create and modify type definitions privilege for the project area.

You cannot modify system-defined attributes.


  1. Open the Manage Type Definitions page. Click Administration Shows the Administration icon > Manage Type Definitions.
  2. Create an attribute. Select the Attributes tab and click Add.

    To modify an attribute, select it and then edit the properties. To remove a value, select the attribute and then click the X. Learn about adopting changes made to attributes after they were added to a global configuration in Tags, attribute values, and links.

  3. Enter the name and an optional description for your attribute.

    Give the attribute a meaningful name because it is the name users see when they add it to a global configuration. For example, use a specific name, such as Fabric, Interior instead of a more general name, such as Cloth.

    By default, you can modify custom attributes. To prevent changes to the attribute for baselines, for each custom attribute, clear the Allow editing for baselines check box. You can still change the attribute on streams. Examples:
    • Your team has an attribute named Interested Parties, which lists team members who want to keep informed about a configuration. This list might change over time, and adding people to the list doesn't affect the meaning of the configuration. Select the check box so that the list remains editable for baselines.
    • You team has an attribute named Committed, which indicates whether the features in a configuration are committed for a customer. Baseline contents are frozen, so you don't want anyone to change this attribute. Clear the check box to prevent changes. You can still change this attribute for streams and components as needed.
  4. Enter a URI for the new attribute.

    If you do not provide a URI, the system provides a project-specific URI, which makes querying and reporting very difficult. On the Manage Type Definitions page, Attributes tab, hover over URI to read details about it. Give attributes the same URI in different project areas so that they are equivalent for reporting purposes.

    See URIs for Custom Attributes, Types, and Values.

  5. Select the Data Type, which defines the kind of data that the attribute represents.

    If you do not see the data type that you need, create one in the Data Types tab and then return to the Attributes tab to use it. See URIs for Custom Attributes, Types, and Values and W3C RDF Data Types.

    Note: Strings: For string attributes, choose from 3 types of system-defined strings. If querying is important, use a small or medium string, or an enumerated data type. Large strings are too long to query efficiently, so you can't use the GCM query builder or OSLC queries in the GCM REST API to query custom attributes that use this data type.
  6. Select Number of Values to display for this attribute, if the selected data type supports multiple values.

    The number of values specifies whether you can set one or multiple values for this attribute. Initial Values are tied to the Number of Values setting.

  7. Optional: Enter one or more Initial Values. Initial values are assigned to new streams for the global configuration type and to new components for the global component type. Values for a stream overwrite any values from the baseline it was created from.

    For example, you create an Electronic features attribute and select Multiple values allowed. You set initial values of CD player, GPS, and AM/FM radio. A user creates a Sedan global configuration, which is automatically set with the Electronic features attribute, with initial values of CD player, GPS, and AM/FM radio.

What to do next

If you are ready to share the attribute with your team, select the Artifact Types tab and then add the attribute to the global configuration or global component type.

You can share attributes and other type definitions (artifact types, data types, and link types) across project areas to ensure consistency. See the related topic.