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This chapter is from the book

Advanced Data Management—Meta-data

From the beginning, the organization of fields in a computer record has been documented in a kind of database called a data dictionary. A data dictionary is a compilation of file layouts, including definitions of each field in each kind of record in a file. As the database industry has matured, it has become clear that the data required to keep track of data are much more complex than simple record layouts.

Meta-data are data that describe the entity types, attributes, tables, columns and all other elements that constitute a modern information system. As users become more sophisticated in using data warehouses, they need access to the definitions of what they are trying to retrieve. It is meta-data that a data administrator administers.

A meta-data repository is a database for holding, maintaining, and using meta-data.

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