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Chapter 22. Exploring Relational Databas... > Working with Data Dictionaries

Working with Data Dictionaries

After you've determined the individual data entities that comprise the tables of your database and established the relationships between them, the next step is to prepare a preliminary written description of the database, called a data dictionary. Data dictionaries are indispensable to database systems; an undocumented database system is almost impossible to administer and maintain properly. Errors and omissions in database design often are uncovered when you prepare the preliminary data dictionary.

When you've completed and tested your database design, you prepare the final detailed version of the data dictionary. As you add new forms and reports to applications or modify existing forms and reports, you update the data dictionary to keep it current. Even if you're making a database for your personal use, a simplified version of a data dictionary pays many dividends on your time investment.


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