Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
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A data structure that stores meta-data
, i.e. data
. The term "data dictionary" has several uses.
can be shared by several applications.
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
In a DBMS
, this functionality is performed by the systemcatalog
. The data dictionary is a more general software
utility used by designers, users, and administrators for
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.
[Does anybody call them "codebooks"?]