Re: Data Dictionary

Subject: Re: Data Dictionary
From: John Renish <John_F_Renish -at- NOTES -dot- SEAGATE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 09:40:06 -0700

Michael Lewis wrote:

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,
spot on.
Matt Danda wrote:
> Michelle:
> 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.

What Michael describes is an entity-relationship or object-relationship
diagram. What Matt describes is a data dictionary. For the latter, I prefer
the Yourdon method, which looks like this:

= is composed of
+ and
( ) optional (may be present or absent)
{ } iteration
[ ] select one of several alternative choices
| separates alternative choices in the [ ] construct
* * comment
@ identifier (key field) for a store

Data element Description
employee_record = @employee_id + employee_name + employee_title
+ manager_id + ( [ {child} ) | {pet} ] )
* do not use this
element for contract employees*

John_F_Renish -at- notes -dot- seagate -dot- com, San Jose, California, USA
My remarks do not represent any other person or entity

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