What Is a Data Dictionary?

Topics: Data modeling, Database management system, Database Pages: 2 (778 words) Published: April 29, 2011
A data dictionary is a file that defines the basic organization of a database. A data dictionary has a list of all files in the database, the number of records that are in each file, the names and types of each field. The data dictionary is hidden from users so that it is not accidentally destroyed. The data dictionary only keeps bookkeeping information and does not actually contain any data from the database. The database management system cannot access data from the database without a data dictionary. Database users such as administrators are allowed to identify the expected data in each table and column of the database without having to actually accessing the database. The following elements of a data dictionary are very important when using a data dictionary. The first element that I will discuss is user permissions. User permissions are what give each user what they are allowed to access. Some users will only have access to read the information within the database, while other users will have access to read and write permission to the database. With the permission to read and write, this allows the user to read what is in the database and also to write in the database. I feel that this element is very important. Some employees will not need the permission to be able to write in the database and therefore should not have this access. With giving employees access to write in the database that does not need this access, mistakes can be made and all entries are permanent. The second element that I will discuss is user statistics. User statistics keeps track of all of the users that have any type of access to the database and what type of access the user has. I feel that this element is also important since this will keep track of the type of access each user has. The third element that I will discuss is process information. Process information is how the information is processed and the outcome of the process. I feel that this is also important for the database...

References: Smith, S. J., & Berson, A. (1997, December 1). Components of a database warehouse. Retrieved January 28, 2011, from The Data Administrator Newsletter Web site: http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/4213
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Amatayakul, M. K. (2009). Electronic Health Records A Practical Guide for Professionals and Organizations. Illinois: AHIMA
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