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Data Dictionaries in Software Engineering

  • Last Updated : 08 Apr, 2021

Overview :
Data Dictionary is the major component in the structured analysis model of the system. A data dictionary in Software Engineering means a file or a set of files that includes a database’s metadata (hold records about other objects in the database), like data ownership, relationships of the data to another object, and some other data.

Components of Data Dictionary :
In Software Engineering, the data dictionary contains the following information as follows.

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  • Name of the item – 
    It can be your choice.
  • Aliases – 
    It represents another name.
  • Description – 
    Description of what actual text is all about.
  • Related data items – 
    Relationship with other data items.
  • Range of values – 
    It will represent all possible answers.

Data Dictionary Notations tables :
The Notations used within the data dictionary are given in the table below as follows.

NotationsMeaning
X = a+b X consists data elements a and b.
X = [a/b]X consists of either elements a or b.
X = a XX consists of optimal data elements a.
X = y[a]X consists of y or more events of data element a
X = [a] zX consists of z or less events of data element a
X = y [a] zX consists of some events of data elements between y and z.

Features of Data Dictionary :
Here, we will discuss some features of the data dictionary as follows.

  • It helps in designing test cases and designing the software.
  • It is very important for creating an order list from a subset of the items list.
  • It is very important for creating an order list from a complete items list.
  • The data dictionary is also important to find the specific data item object from the list.

Uses of Data Dictionary :
Here, we will discuss some use cases of the data dictionary as follows.

  1. Used for creating the ordered list of data items
  2. Used for creating the ordered list of a subset of the data items
  3. Used for Designing and testing of software in Software Engineering
  4. Used for finding data items from a description in Software Engineering
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