Document Hub Basics

Alation Cloud Service Applies to Alation Cloud Service instances of Alation

Customer Managed Applies to customer-managed instances of Alation

Available in public preview from Alation version 2024.1


You are viewing documentation for Classic Alation.

Document Hubs are Alation’s new feature set for creating custom types of documentation. Included within Document Hubs is the Glossary Hub, which is the default hub for managing business term definitions.

Document Hubs will eventually replace articles. Until you are fully ready to transition to Document Hubs, articles remain in the catalog. However, articles are only visible in the classic user experience. Document Hubs are available in both the new user experience and the classic user experience.

Where Are Articles?

When you’re in the new user experience, articles are not findable through the main menu. You can use Alation’s search to find them. All links to articles will open the article in the classic experience.

When you’re in the classic user experience, find articles through the left-side navigation and search.

Document Hub Overview

With Document Hubs, you can create your own documentation types, such as glossary terms, project documentation, business processes and policies, best practices, metric definitions, help content, or whatever suits your organization. You can create multiple document hubs for different purposes.

Document Hubs come with a built-in, customizable Glossary Hub for your business term definitions. If you’ve already been using the existing Glossaries and Terms feature, it will automatically become part of Document Hubs. See the Documentation topic for more information about the relationship between Document Hubs and Glossaries and Terms.

Each document hub is featured prominently in the catalog navigation, and search results can be filtered based on document hubs.

The primary features of document hubs are described below:

For administrators:

Document Hub Basics


Document hubs are made up of documents and folders. Hubs are the top-level containers. Beneath hubs are folders. Folders contain documents. Documents hold your written content.


Manage Documents through Folders

Folders help you manage the documents they contain. You can manage permissions, domains, and workflows on the folder level and enable documents to inherit the folder settings. You can also manage these things on the document level if desired.

Customized Names

Alation administrators can customize the names of these objects for each hub, so you may not see the generic terms document hub, folder, or document in Alation unless you’re an administrator. However, you may see the generic terms in certain cases, like when the administrator hasn’t customized the names or when document hub objects are referred to outside the context of a specific hub.

The icons associated with these objects can’t be changed, so you can use the icons shown above to tell whether something is a document hub, folder, or document.


Folders and documents are visible to everyone by default, but they can be restricted to certain users if needed. If you don’t have permission to view a folder or document, you won’t be able to see it anywhere in the Alation catalog. See Document Hub Permissions for more details.


Like other catalog objects, documents and folders can be @-mentioned in text fields throughout the catalog, enabling you to link to relevant documentation.

You can also @-mention other catalog objects within the description or other rich text fields in documents and folders. Starting in 2024.1.3, when a catalog object’s template includes the Mentions field, all documents and folders that @-mention the object will be listed. This makes it easier to find relevant information.

Search Document Hubs

In Alation’s search, you can filter the results to specific document hub content.

To filter search results by document hub content:

  1. Click on the search box, then click Search Alation, or enter a search term and click See all results.

  2. Expand the Object Type menu on the left.

  3. To filter the search results to all document hub content, select Documentation. This will search the contents of all document hubs.

  4. To filter to a specific document hub, expand Documentation and select a document hub. This will search all the folders and documents in that hub. You can select multiple hubs.

  5. To filter to a specific folder with a document hub, expand the document hub and select the folder. You can select multiple folders.

  6. To filter to only documents within a document hub, expand the document hub and select the document type.

  1. Click on the search box, then click Search Alation, or enter a search term and click See all results.

  2. Click Documentation from the list of filters at the top.

  3. Select the document hubs, folders, or document types you’d like to search. Use the search filter at the top of the drop-down menu to filter the list of hubs, folders, and documents.

Adjust the Document Hub Table View

Document hub pages contain tables showing the folders and documents in the hub. Folder pages contain a table of documents in the folder. Admin users determine the default view for these tables, but individual users can temporarily adjust the view as needed.


By default, items in a document or folder table are sorted alphabetically by title. You can reverse the sort order by clicking the title header.

Add, Remove, and Rearrange Columns

Starting in 2024.1.3, you can add, remove, and rearrange the columns in a document or folder table. To do this, click the column icon next to the search box.

The Column Organization menu opens. It contains a list of all the custom and built-in fields in the available templates.

  • If the list of available columns is long, use the search box at the top of the menu to find the column you’re looking for.

  • To add a column, select the corresponding checkbox in the list. To add all available columns, select the checkbox at the top of the list.

  • To remove a column, clear the corresponding checkbox in the list. The title column can’t be removed. To remove all available columns, clear the checkbox at the top of the list (it can’t be completely cleared, since the title column can’t be removed).

  • To change the order of the columns in the table, hover over the column name in the Column Organization menu and drag it to a new place in the list.

  • To return the column organization back to its default settings, click Reset.

  • To finish adjusting the column settings, click away from the Column Organization menu.

Enable Document Hubs

For help enabling Document Hubs, see Enable Document Hubs.

Create and Configure Document Hubs

For more about creating and configuring Document Hubs, see Manage Document Hubs.