Developed in the late 1960s the purpose of such a dictionary was originally simply to assist in the maintenance of large-scale data-processing systems. The idea was further developed in the 1970s with the advent of special-purpose software systems to maintain such dictionaries, having features such as the automatic regeneration of Cobol data divisions as necessary when changes were made. These systems have evolved to include databases with features such as automatic DDL generation (see database language).
For large-scale and complex systems a data dictionary is a vital tool for the central control of naming, and of the semantics and syntax of the system. It is a tool widely used in database administration and increasingly to assist in the broader task of system design, many design methodologies being founded on the use of a data dictionary. The terms system dictionary and data directory may be used synonymously in the case of the more ambitious software-based dictionary systems.
The term data dictionary is sometimes used misleadingly by software product vendors to refer to the alphabetical listings of names automatically produced when database schema and data manipulation coding is being processed and compiled, and it is important not to confuse this use with the accepted technical meaning of the term.
"data dictionary." A Dictionary of Computing. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 16, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/data-dictionary
"data dictionary." A Dictionary of Computing. . Retrieved October 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/computing/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/data-dictionary
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.