data dictionary

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

data dictionary

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

data dictionary

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. A data dictionary 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. See DBMS and data administration.
References in periodicals archive ?
The first version of the data dictionary and schemas were released in May 2005; currently they are being revised.
The Core Elements Subgroup began its work by attempting to define the word "core" for the purpose of developing a metadata element list and data dictionary.
A panel of experts, consisting of the researcher and the controllers of the five institutions, through much discussion and negotiation, developed the data dictionary and accurately classified the data according to its categories.
The 3M Healthcare Data Dictionary (HDD) is a controlled medical vocabulary server that has been continuously expanded and maintained for over 15 years.
By providing a single source of medical vocabularies that can be rapidly updated based on input from standards bodies, the 3M Healthcare Data Dictionary enables healthcare applications to reference the latest terminology versions and make the most effective use of clinical information.
E[acute accent]--Making the Most of Structured Terminology: Strategies for Success with Rosemary Kennedy, RN, MBA, chief nursing informatics officer, Siemens Medical Solutions, and Susan Matney, RN, MS, team lead, health data dictionary team, Intermountain Healthcare - Feb.
In addition to the basic compiler development package, ObjectAda Project Pack contains AdaJNI, an interface to call Java(TM) programs from Ada and the AdaNav(TM) toolset, which provides complete system HTML source-navigation capabilities as well as call- and unit-tree graphical reporting and automatic data dictionary generation.
Compliance Commander incorporates Intrusion's unique Dynamic Data Dictionary (D3) technology, which does not rely on older, pattern-matching recognition approaches as employed by other systems, but uses exact matching of the customer's data.
ObjectAda Project Pack also contains the AdaNav(TM) toolset, which provides complete system HTML source-navigation capabilities as well as call- and unit-tree graphical reporting and automatic data dictionary generation.
Compliance Commander operates in conjunction with Intrusion's powerful Dynamic Data Dictionary (D3) technology to allow the Compliance Commander's sensors to stay in sync with all customer data.
These unique capabilities solve many business problems related to communication and understanding in areas such as the data warehouse, enterprise architecture, data management and integration, the data dictionary, and more.
The system monitors for exact matches of member nPI using Intrusion's innovative Dynamic Data Dictionary (D3) technology, thus generating no false positive alerts.