Data Dictionary is defined as the set of information which is responsible for describing the contents, format, and structure of a database and the relationship between its elements. The Data Dictionary are basically used to control access to and manipulation of the database.
Another way we can say that Data Dictionary acts as an automated or a manual, active or a passive file which has the ability to store the definitions of the data elements and the data characteristics. The Data Dictionary is actually the repository of the information about the data. Data Dictionary defines each of the data elements and also gives it a name for the easy access.
A Data Dictionary contains :
It gives the well structured and clear information about the database. One can analyze the requirement, any redundancy like duplicate columns, tables etc. Since it provides a good documentation on each object, it helps to understand the requirement and design to the great extent.
It is very helpful for the administrator or any new DBA to understand the database. Since it has all the information about the database, DBA can easily able to track any chaos in the database.
Since database is a very huge, and will have lots of tables, views, constraints, indexes etc, it will be difficult for anyone to remember. Data dictionary helps user by providing all the details in it.
Creating a new data dictionary is a very big task. It will take years to create one.
It should be well designed in advance to take all the advantages of it. Otherwise, it will create problems throughout its life.
The cost of data dictionary will be bit high as it includes its initial build and hardware charges as well as cost of maintenance.
Non technical users will not understand what the columns in the data dictionary views are. It meant only for technical users.
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