data dictionary

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data dictionary

[′dad·ə ‚dik·shə‚ner·ē]
(computer science)
A catalog which contains the names and structures of all data types.

data dictionary

(database)
A data structure that stores meta-data, i.e. data about data. The term "data dictionary" has several uses.

Most generally it is a set of data descriptions that can be shared by several applications.

Usually it means a table in a database that stores the names, field types, length, and other characteristics of the fields in the database tables.

An active data dictionary is automatically updated as changes occur in the database. A passive data dictionary must be manually updated.

In a DBMS, this functionality is performed by the system catalog. The data dictionary is a more general software utility used by designers, users, and administrators for information resource management.

The data dictionary may maintain information on system hardware, software, documentation, users, and other aspects.

Data dictionaries are also used to document the database design process itself and can accumulate meta-data ready to feed into the system catalog.

data dictionary

A database about data and databases. It holds the name, type, range of values, source, and authorization for access for each data element in the organization's files and databases. It also indicates which application programs use that data so that when a change in a data structure is contemplated, a list of affected programs can be generated.

The data dictionary may be a stand-alone system or an integral part of the DBMS. Data integrity and accuracy is better ensured in the latter case.
References in periodicals archive ?
A detailed analysis of DH & DHS collections identified eight categories of data frequently required of external organisations, for which Common Data Dictionaries (CDDs) are now being developed: client; service; incident; quality of practice; organisation; workforce; finance; and asset.
Changes can be made to multiple data dictionaries via the same database connection, and the changes can be rolled back or committed as a single transaction.
Resources: A library of market and industry information, data dictionaries and learning tools, as well as a new interactive tutorial on INFORM's features and functionality.
a leading provider of Web-based coding compliance tools and medical necessity data dictionaries for hospitals and physician groups, today announced an agreement with Epic Systems Corporation, one of the nation's largest healthcare information system vendors.
a leading provider of Web-based coding compliance tools and medical necessity data dictionaries for hospitals and physician groups, today announced that Thomas Jefferson University (TJU), an academic health center located in Philadelphia, has agreed to implement its Veri-Claim(TM) software.
Info-X, a leading provider of Web-based coding compliance tools and medical necessity data dictionaries for hospitals and physician groups, today announced that Orlando Regional Healthcare, a not-for-profit health care network serving Central Florida residents, recently selected and implemented MedicalNecessity(TM).
RosettaNet standards offer a non-proprietary solution, encompassing data dictionaries, implementation framework, and XML-based business message schemas and process specifications.
Additionally, Objectivity/DB offers developers superior fault tolerance that ensures data and business-critical application availability despite network or system failures, providing fault isolation and improved transaction performance by replicating schema, data dictionaries and lock services.
All in attendance were in agreement that the adoption of technology standards, uniform data dictionaries and electronic protocols has taken far too long.
Developed with the collaboration and expertise of leading high-tech companies worldwide, including Ingram Micro, Cisco Systems, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard, RosettaNet standards offer a robust non-proprietary solution, encompassing data dictionaries, implementation framework, and XML-based business message schemas and process specifications.
The Database Adapter can utilize existing metadata from the various data sources or data dictionaries to automatically generate the inbound and outbound XML documents and to dynamically configure and deploy the adapter into BizTalk Server.