TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Data Dictionary From:Michael Lewis <lewism -at- BRANDLE -dot- COM -dot- AU> Date:Tue, 7 Apr 1998 23:49:44 +1000
To be effective, a data dictionary should incorporate some of the
features of a data flow diagram: it should indicate what programs /
functions create, change, or use each of the data elements. Otherwise,
Matt Danda wrote:
> In my experience, a data dictionary is simply a table describing
> fields. For example, one data dictionary I use only has the columns:
> Field Name, Length, Type, and Description.
> To me, creating a data dictionary consists mostly of the grunt-work of
> gathering multiple bits of information and cutting-and-pasting them
> into a nice table format. Sometimes this information comes straight
> from the programmers or the code, but it can also require a formal
> information-gathering process including JAD sessions and SME
> The amount of work required depends on the size of the application and
> where the information comes from. Sometimes it's merely a matter of
> assembling a Word table from a programmer's email. Other times, you'll
> need to behave like a business analyst or QA engineer in order to
> gather the data to build the table. Either way, I doubt they require
> much *writing*. Unless you count the short descriptions you put in the
> Matt Danda
> Matthew Danda
> Technical Writer in Software Development
> Orlando, Florida
> DO YOU YAHOO!?
> Get your free @yahoo.com address at http://mail.yahoo.com
Brandle Pty Limited, Sydney, Australia
PO Box 1249, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012
Suite 8, The Watertower, 1 Marian St, Redfern 2016 http://www.brandle.com.au/~lewism
Tel +61-2-9310-2224 ... Fax +61-2-9310-5056