A Data Dictionary is one of those things that almost all of my customers agree is important but many of my customers never get around to creating one. I think there are a few reasons why creating a descriptive and useful data dictionary is not very high on the priority list for many of my customers. One of those reasons is that creating a data dictionary can often be time intensive. Creating a data dictionary is often a very manual effort that requires some knowledge of the solution. Another reason creating a data dictionary often falls to the back burner is that picking a useful format can be challenging. Should a customer create a SharePoint list, a Word document, a OneNote document, or some other format? And then, of course, there’s the challenge of keeping the data dictionary documentation up to date so that its actually relevant and useful. All of these are very real challenges that many customers face when creating a data dictionary. This is where Doc xPress comes into play.
Many users often want to capture additional attributes as part of their solution documentation. Attributes such as descriptions, example data, SLA’s, business owner, and other attributes are very important nuggets of metadata that would be great to display in the documentation. The Doc xPress Data Dictionary feature allows us to very easily add meta data to our solution documentation that can then be included in any format allowed by Doc xPress. By using Doc xPress, we can add useful business definitions to any item in the documentation and provide useful annotation to our business users in a simple and efficient way.
One of the really nice things about Data Dictionary in Doc xPress is that we have the ability to create mandatory and optional metadata categories that can be scoped to the entire metabase or smaller subareas of a solution. For example, I might create a category called “Business Owner” that would contain the name and contact info of the business owners of the databases included in our documentation. We could also make this a required category which will allow us to analyze our solution in order to determine which objects are missing an entry for this category.
Once our Data Dictionary entries have been added, we can easily view the entries within our Doc xPress documentation.
To download the free trial version of Doc xPress, head over to Pragmatic Works site and take the Data Dictionary feature out for a spin.