Run Lexicon to Suggest Words

Alation Cloud Service Applies to Alation Cloud Service instances of Alation

Customer Managed Applies to customer-managed instances of Alation


Document Hubs don’t support Suggested Words (Lexicon). Document Hubs are Alation’s new documentation feature set, which will eventually replace articles. Document Hubs are available for public preview starting in 2024.1.

  • See Documentation for more about the advantages of Document Hubs and the future of articles.

  • See Document Hubs for help using Document Hubs.

You can enrich article groups in your Alation catalog with suggested words generated by Lexicon. To generate the suggested word, you will need to run the Lexicon job, which requires the role of Catalog Admin or Server Admin. After the Lexicon job is completed, the suggested words can be found on the Suggested Words tab of the Article Groups page.

Each suggested word is automatically linked to the data objects the names of which are relevant to this word:

  • their names include at least one abbreviation that Lexicon has associated with the word

  • they have a title or an auto-title that matches the abbreviation.


Lexicon is a system job that computes comprehensive titles for data objects in your catalog to facilitate understanding and finding the right data.

Lexicon processes the names of such data objects as schemas, tables, and columns, lists the abbreviations it finds in these names, groups similar abbreviations together, and maps such a group to an expansion, which is a comprehensive word or phrase that Lexicon generates for a group of similar abbreviations.

Expansions produced by Lexicon are used to create suggested words for article groups. Lexicon groups abbreviations together if they appear to refer to the same or similar concept. Objects whose names or titles include one or more of these abbreviations are considered relevant objects. Each suggested word is a Lexicon expansion linked to a list of such relevant objects.

If Lexicon provides a useful suggestion, you can add the Lexicon-suggested word to an existing or new article and an article group. This automatically adds references to all the relevant data objects to the article in a dedicated field, Related Data Objects:


A reverse reference that mentions this article appears on each of the linked data object pages in the Relevant Articles field:


The Allie the Robot icon next to the article title indicates that the article references this data object as part of the Related Data Objects field from a suggested term.

Automatic Lexicon Runs

To access the Lexicon-generated words, click Article Groups on the Apps menu, and then click Suggested Words.


You need either the Catalog or the Server Admin role to open this tab. It cannot be accessed by users with other roles and appears to them as disabled.

This tab may be empty if the Lexicon job has never run. Note that the Lexicon job runs automatically every Sunday. After this computation completes, the most up-to-date suggested words list will be displayed in Alation.

You can also trigger this job manually on demand. For details, see Run Lexicon Manually.

Run Lexicon Manually

You need the role of the Catalog Admin or Server Admin to run Lexicon manually.

To run Lexicon,

1. If Lexicon has never run in your instance, on the Article Groups > Suggested Words tab, click Run Lexicon Job. The Lexicon Settings page opens:

  1. Alternatively, you can trigger Lexicon directly on the Lexicon Settings page. To do so, in the upper-right corner of the top toolbar, click the gear icon to open the Admin Settings page.

  2. In the Catalog Admin section, click Lexicon to open the Lexicon page.

  3. On the top right, find and click the Settings link to open the Lexicon settings:

  4. On the Lexicon Settings page, click Run Lexicon Now. This will trigger the Lexicon job that populates the Suggested Words tab:


    As the job runs, its status will be reflected in the Lexicon Job Status table on the same page:

    • Started Time the job was kicked off.

    • Status Indication if the job completed successfully. This is a link that lets you view job details.

    • Runtime How long the job took to complete.

    • Errors Indication if there were any errors and how many.

    • Status Message Description of the job status. There are three job progress stages that will be indicated in this column if the job is still running:

      • Initializing tokens

      • Computing expansions

      • Computing Lexicon related objects


        After all these three stages are completed successfully, the whole job will be assigned the Succeeded status, which will be indicated in the Status column.

    • Details link that opens the job details.

View Job Details

To view the job details, click either the Status or the View Details link for a Lexicon job in the Lexicon Job Status table. If there were errors during job execution, they will be listed under Job Errors on the Details popup page.