The Integrated Data Dictionary provides an easy way to browse through and
analyze the Ministry of Forests
metadata. It gets you access to
lookups through your web browser.
A data dictionary serves as a source of information to help users understand
the business data they work with. A data dictionary stores metadata
(information about data), describing what data exists and what it means to the
business or organization.
For example, the Forest Client table stores information including the name
and identity number of all Ministry of Forests clients. The "data" is the actual
information stored in the table (e.g. the client names and numbers). The
"metadata" is the information about the Forest Client table structure (e.g. that
the table column used to store client name is a text field and is xx characters
in length). IDD provides information about the latter - metadata about the
structures that make up the corporate databases, regardless of the platforms
they are implemented on.
The IDD web application offers several ways to access the data:
Applications: All applications are fully described and you can view
the entities and attributes being used by the application (an entity is a
person, place, thing, event or concept about which the ministry is interested,
e.g. silviculture opening and attributes describe what we record about it.)
For example, you could use IDD to look up information for a particular
application such as FTA (Forest Tenure Administration) to find out what tables
and columns FTA uses and what the structures look like. You could also find out
if any other applications share the same tables with FTA.
Entities: Each entity is listed with its definition and a link to its
Search: You can search for an entity or an attribute by name (or
partial name). It will also search the description so you can look for data
without knowing the specific entity or attribute name.
For example, you may want to search for an entity whose name contains the
text "BGC" to find all the entities/tables associated with biogeoclimatic
information. In developing or enhancing an application, it is useful to find out
what tables already exist and can be shared rather than "re-inventing" the
The IDD database identifies the Data Custodian for each entity, however, a
method to search, sort and report this information is not currently available in
the web application.
IDD can be used to answer the following questions:
- how is the data stored? (e.g. is the data numeric or textual, what is
- where is the data stored? (e.g. is it stored in an Oracle or Ms-Access
- what tables are used by an application? (e.g. what tables do RESULTS or
- what table columns are there? (e.g. what columns make up the Forest
- which tables use similar columns (e.g. which tables have a column for
storing Client Number?)
- who are the
Data Custodians for each table? (e.g. who defines the business
requirements for Timber Mark or Hauling Authority?)
- what corporate codes and organizational units are there and what do they