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 ?
In addition, reference data dictionaries (RDDs) are being developed, which relate to content that informs more than one common data dictionary: person (party); address; and data transmission.
The RDDs collate the concepts, data elements and editing and validation rules for the common data dictionaries that cross more than one data category.
This project may sound simple; however, data dictionaries ensure that we have a consistent way of describing the information or data we require as a department; for example, many programs collect basic data on clients such as age or sex.
To date, two data guides and seven data dictionaries have now been published:
In March 2010, Health Executive Directors approved the implementation of data dictionaries and guides published to date as part of the DH & DHS Data Reform Program within their division(s).
The company's Web-based coding compliance tools and medical necessity data dictionaries are being used by more than 800 hospitals nationwide, and have been integrated with virtually every major healthcare information system.
The company's Web-based coding compliance tools and medical necessity data dictionaries - used by more than 800 hospitals and hundreds of providers nationwide - have been integrated with virtually every major healthcare information system.
provides hospitals and physician groups with Web-based coding compliance tools and medical necessity data dictionaries, enabling these organizations to integrate the latest medical coding and regulatory compliance requirements into existing information systems and operational workflows.
PPDM has been developing industry standard data dictionaries and schemas for over ten years," said Armitage, "and A2D is committed to supporting these standards.
Also to be implemented are Access Manager's Sunrise Enterprise Person Identifier (ePI), a vendor-independent, master person index for effective identification of patients, physicians and others identified within the medical center's numerous information systems; Sunrise Critical Care, a clinical-documentation and monitored-care application for the information-intensive needs of critical-care areas; and Sunrise Dictionary Manager, which synchronizes similar information stored in master tables and data dictionaries across multiple applications and systems between Sunrise and legacy applications.
The price of Crystal Reports and ARKONA's Data Dictionaries is $900.