We present the AMGA metadata catalogue, which was developed as part of the EGEE (enabling Grids for EsciencE) project's gLite Grid middleware. AMGA provides access to metadata for files stored on the Grid, as well as a simplified general access to relational data stored in database systems. Design and implementation of AMGA was done in close collaboration with the very diverse EGEE user community to make sure all functionality, performance and security requirements were met. In particular, AMGA targets the needs of the high energy physics community to rapidly access very large amounts of metadata, as well as the needs for security of the biomedical community. AMGA therefore tightly integrates fine grained access control making use of a virtual organisation management system. In addition, it offers advanced federation and features to increase dependability, performance and data security.