Database Mapper Data Dictionary

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Data Dictionary Overview

Data Dictionary allows you to annotate the objects within a Database Mapper snapshot, including additional information and comments. Within your documentation, you may want to capture additional information like SLAs, persons responsible for the data, timeliness of the data, and other attributes. This additional information can be captured using the Database Mapper data dictionary. Add annotations to existing objects in your Database Mapper portal to capture any additional information you desire.

Note:  Data Dictionary requires an existing solution with at least one snapshot generated. For more information about creating a solution and generating a snapshot, see the Generating Documentation article. 

Feature Highlights

  • Add business definitions to any item in the documentation
  • Provide annotations useful to business users

Categories 

Database Mapper Data Dictionary Categories

Create Data Dictionary categories to enter your annotated data. Categories can be applied to varying object types within your solutions. Define the scope for each category, and set restrictions for technology and data types. For example, you can create a Use Case category that applies only to SQL Server database tables. 

FeatureDescription
NameThe name of the Data Dictionary category.
ScopeThe Solutions and Solution items that are applicable to the Data Dictionary category.
Technology TypeThe Technology type of the Data Dictionary category.
RequiredDenotes if the Data Dictionary category is required in the documentation. 
ButtonDescription
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Show Deleted buttonDisplays previously deleted Data Dictionary categories. 
Database Mapper Data Dictinoary Add buttonOpens the Add Category window, and allows you to configure a new Data Dictionary category.
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Edit buttonOpens the Edit Category window and allows you to edit the selected Data Dictionary category. Select Save to save your changes.
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Delete buttonOpens the Confirm Action window. Select Delete to delete the selected Data Dictionary Cateogry
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Restore buttonRestores the selected Data Dictionary category.

Note:  Data Dictionary categories can be applied only to specific solutions or solution items, or can be applied globally throughout your Database Mapper environment.

Note:  Before your Database Mapper solutions are annotated with Data Dictionary entries, you need to create categories. A category is a field that contains information about different objects in the solution such as business owner, emergency contact, etc.

Data Dictionary categories can consist of one of the following data types: 

Data TypeDescriptionExample
TextThe Data Dictionary category will store a simple text value on a single line.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Text Category example
ListThe Data Dictionary category will store values in a bulleted list format.Database Mapper Data Dictionary List Category example
NoteThe Data Dictionary category will store a long text value.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Note Category example
DateTimeThe Data Dictionary category will store a date and time value.Database Mapper Data Dictionary DateTime Category example
NumberThe Data Dictionary category will store a numerical value.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Number Category example
DropDownThe Data Dictionary category will store a drop-down list of values, where you can select one value.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Dropdown category example
PickListThe Data Dictionary category will store a list of values where you can select multiple values.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Picklist Category example
MarkDownThe Data Dictionary category will store a lightweight markup where you can apply simple formatting like bold or italic. Add italics to your text in this format *text*. Add bold around your text in this format **text**.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Markdown Category example

To add Categories to the Database Mapper Data Dictionary, complete the following steps :

1. Select Data Dictionary > Categories to open the Categories page. Database Mapper select Data Dictionary Categories

2. Select the button to open the Add Category form.  

3. Enter a Name for your category, and select the Solution where you want the category to be applied. Note:  All Solutions is selected by default. Selecting an individual solution allows you to make a selection in the Solution Item drop-down list. All solutions Items is selected by default.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Category select Solution

4. Select the applicable Technology Type for your Data Dictionary category. Note:  Global is selected by default, which applies to all technology types supported by Database Mapper.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Category select Technology Type

5. Select the Data Type for your Data Dictionary Category. Note:  If you select DropDown, or PickList, the Value List drop-down becomes selectable and allows you to select a previously created Value List.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Category select Data Type

6. Select the Required selector if you want the category to be required, and then select the Applicable Item(s) for the category from the drop down list. Select Save to create your category.

Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Category select Applicable items
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Category select Save

7. Return to the Solutions dashboard, and start a snapshot for the applicable solution(s) to have your category added to the documentation. Database Mapper Snapshot Configuration for Solution

Success: You have now created a Data Dictionary category for your documentation!

Adding Values to your Categories

After successfully adding Data Dictionary Categories to your documentation, and creating a new snapshot, you can begin adding values to applicable objects. Add values to your Data Dictionary categories by completing the following steps:

1. Open the Database Mapper Documentation page, and then select the applicable solution.

Database Mapper Documentation select Solution

2. Select a solution item from the solution explorer, and navigate to an object that applies to the category. Database Mapper Documentation select Solution item

Note:  Data Dictionary categories that have Global Entry values are populated automatically. Global Entry values are designated by aDatabase Mapper Data Dictionary Global Entry iconicon. 

3. Select Edit to begin adding values to your category. Database Mapper Documentation Edit Data Dictionary

4. Enter the desired values, then select Save to commit your changes. Database Mapper Documentation Save Data Dictionary values

Note:  While in the Edit menu, select Override global entry to make changes to a category with a global entry value. Enter your desired change, then select Save to save your changes. Select Revert to global entry to return the category to the global entry value.

Database Mapper Data Dictionary Override global entry
Database Mapper Data Dictionary enter new value

Adding Data Dictionary Values in the Lineage view

Note:  Your selected Solution must have Data Dictionary categories configured to add or edit values from within the Lineage view.

You can add and edit the values for your Data Dictionary categories from your selected solution's Lineage view. Add values to your existing Data Dictionary categories by completing the following steps:

1. Open the Lineage tab and select a Solution that has configured Data Dictionary categories.Database Mapper Lineage Select Solution

2. Use the Solution Explorer to navigate to a lineage object with applicable Data Dictionary categories. Right click the object in the Lineage graph, and then select View Data Dictionary to open the Data Dictionary window. Database Mapper Lineage View Data Dictionary

Note:  The There is no data to display message displays when your selected lineage object does not apply to any of your Data Dictionary categories.

3. Select Edit to begin making changes to your Data Dictionary entries. Make the desired change(s) to your entries, and then select Save to save your changes.

Database Mapper Lineage Data Dictionary window select Edit
Database Mapper Lineage Data Dictionary window select Save

Success: You have saved your Data Dictionary entries from the Lineage view!Database Mapper Lineage values updated dialog

Change History

Select the view historyDatabase Mapper Data Dictionary View History buttonbutton on the Documentation page or the Lineage page to open the Change History window and review the changes made to your Data Dictionary values. 

Database Mapper Data Dictionary Change History

OptionDescription
ViewSelect the ViewDatabase Mapper Data Dictionary View Changes buttonbutton to open the Data Dictionary Change window and display the changes for the selected time period.
Changed AtThe date and time the Data Dictionary was changed.
Changed ByThe user or event that made changes to the Data Dictionary.
Change TypeThe type of change made to the Data Dictionary.
SummaryA brief display of the changes made to the Data Dictionary. To see more information about the changes, select the View button. 

Select the View Database Mapper Data Dictionary View Changes button button to display the changes made to your Data Dictionary values. Database Mapper Data Dictionary Changes

Note:  The Show Changes only toggle is enabled by default. Deactivate the Show Changes only toggle to display Data Dictionary values that haven't been changed.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Changes show all

Deleting a Category

Delete a Data Dictionary category within your Database Mapper portal by completing the following steps:

1. Select the Delete button for the desired Data Dictionary category to open the Confirm action prompt.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Categories Delete Category

2. Select Confirm to remove your Data Dictionary category.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Categories Confirm Delete

Note:  You can use the Show Deleted toggle to display previously deleted Data Dictionary categories.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Categories Show Deleted

Global Entries

Database Mapper Data Dictionary Global Entries

Global Entries are default values that can be applied to varying objects within your documentation if you haven't already defined the values in the documentation view. 

FeatureDescription
CategoryThe Category assigned to the global entry.
ScopeThe Solutions and Solution items that are applicable to the Data Dictionary Global Entry. 
Technology TypeThe Technology type of the Global Entry.
ButtonDescription
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Show Deleted buttonDisplays previously deleted Data Dictionary Global Entries. 
Database Mapper Data Dictinoary Add buttonOpens the Add Global Entry window, and allows you to configure a new Data Dictionary Global Entry.
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Edit buttonOpens the Edit Global Entry window and allows you to edit the selected Data Dictionary Global Entry. Select Save to save your changes.
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Delete buttonOpens the Confirm action window. Select Delete to delete the selected Data Dictionary Global Entry.
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Restore buttonRestores the selected Data Dictionary Global Entry.

Note:  You don't need to take a snapshot to make Global Entries applicable to your documentation. 

Note:  You need to create Data Dictionary Categories before creating Global Entries. 

Add Global Entries to your Data Dictionary by completing the following steps: 

1. Select Data Dictionary > Global Entries to open the Global Entries page.Database Mapper select Data Dictionary Global Entries

2. Select the + Add button to open the Add Global Entries form.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Global Entries Add entry

3. Select the applicable category for your Global Entry. Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Global Entry select Category

Note:  If you select a Category that only applies to a specific Solution, Solution Items, or Technology Type, your Global Entry will automatically copy the Solution, Solution item, and Technology Type selections from that Data Dictionary category.

4. Select the solution where you want the global entry to be applied. Note:  All Solutions is selected by default. Selecting an individual solution allows you to make a selection in the Solution Item drop-down list. All solutions Items is selected by default.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Global Entry select Solution

5. Select the applicable Technology type for your Global Entry. Note:  Global is selected by default, which applies to all technology types supported by Database Mapper.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Global Entry select Technology Type

6. Enter the default value for your Global Entry in the Value section. Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Global Entry enter Value

7. Select the Applicable Item(s) for the Global Entry from the drop down list, and then select Save to create your Global Entry.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Global Entry select Applicable Items

Note:  When you generate new documentation, the global entries display on each applicable object.

Deleting a Global Entry

Delete a Data Dictionary Global Entry within your Database Mapper portal by completing the following steps:

1. Select the Delete button for the desired Data Dictionary Global Entry to open the Confirm action prompt.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Global Entries Delete Entry

2. Select Confirm to remove your Data Dictionary Global Entry.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Global Entries Confirm Delete

Note:  You can use the Show Deleted toggle to display previously deleted Global Entries.

Value Lists

Database Mapper Data Dictionary Value Lists

Value Lists in Database Mapper are user-defined lists of supported values that can be selected to populate multiple Data Dictionary categories. For example, if you have created an employee category, you can add a value list to the category that lists each employee within your organization. If you decide to create another category that uses this same list of employees, you can add the value list to the category instead of re-creating your employee list. 

FeatureDescription
List nameThe name of the Data Dictionary value list.
ButtonDescription
Database Mapper Data Dictinoary Add buttonOpens the Add Value List window, and allows you to configure a new Data Dictionary Value List.
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Edit buttonOpens the Edit Value List window and allows you to edit the selected Data Dictionary Value List. Select the button to add new values, or select the icon to reorder the entries within your list. Select Save to save your changes.
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Delete buttonOpens the Confirm action window. Select Delete to delete the selected Data Dictionary Value List.

Note:  Value Lists are applicable to categories that use the picklist or dropdown data types.

Create a re-usable Value List for your Database Mapper Data Dictionary by completing the flowing steps:

1. Select Data Dictionary > Value Lists to open the Value Lists page.Database Mapper select Data Dictionary Value Lists

2. Select the + Add button to open the Value List form.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Value List add list

3. Enter a name for the value list, and enter a value. Select the symbol to add the value to the list. You can add as many values as you want. Database Mapper Data Dictionary Create new value list

Note:  You can select (delete) to remove an entered value. Selecting the Show-Deleted toggle displays all previously deleted values. Select the (restore) button to restore the value to the list. 

Database Mapper Data Dictionary Create new value list delete entry
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Create new value list restore entry

4. After you are satisfied with the values in your list, select Save to create your value list. Database Mapper Data Dictionary Create new value list select Save

Success: You can now use your value list for Data Dictionary categories with the picklist or dropdown data types.

Database Mapper Data Dictionary Add Category select Value List
Database Mapper Data Dictionary Value List selection

Organizing a Value List

You can organize the entries within your Value List within the Create new value list, or Edit Value list windows. 

Database Mapper Edit value list reorder list

Select the icon to begin ordering your list. Drag the entries into the selected order, and then select Save to save your changes.

Deleting a Value List

Delete a desired Value List in your Database Mapper environment by completing the following steps:

1. Select the Delete button for the desired value list to open the Confirm action window.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Value Lists Delete list

2. Select Delete to remove your Data Dictionary Value List.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Value Lists Confirm Delete

Note:  You can use the Show Deleted toggle to display previously deleted Data Dictionary Value Lists.Database Mapper Data Dictionary Value Lists with Show Deleted selected

Grid View

The Grid View allows for bulk editing and analysis of Data Dictionary values through a single page on a solution-by-solution basis. The Edit View is the default landing option and shows the number of invalid or missing required values for the solution items. In the the example below, Adrian's SuperSimpleDB solution contains a SQL Server 2005-2019 item with 8 problematic values.

Default Grid View example

Grid Edit View

Edit View highlights missing values and allowed them to be edited for an entire solution on the page without having to go object to object. Expand each level to navigate the object hierarchy.

Expanded Edit View showing the values that require updates

Since the screen is already in edit mode, enter new values (or edit/remove existing ones), then select Save.

The Save button is available when changes exist

Note:  Use the Hide Valid Values option to focus only on entries with missing or invalid information. This filter can be used from both the Edit View and Analysis View.

With Hide Valid Values selected, the list is condensed to focus on the items that need attention

Grid Analysis View

Analysis View provides a way to identify issues with data dictionary completeness for a solution. It shows a count of corrupted, missing required, and overall missing values for the solution.

Analysis View