Data Dictionary data model

Data Dictionary has a rich data model for holding information about integration.


Main data types

There are six main types of data within Data Dictionary.

System A computer system which stores data or participates in integration.
Data store Data held on a computer system. In most cases, there is little value in documenting all the data held in a computer system, only the data that can then be directly accessed as published database table.

An process that acts on data that passes between systems, such as a translation in an ETL tool.

Intermediaries participate in integration, just like systems, but are much smaller-grained components and may be run as part of specialised integration systems such as a Talend installation.


A individual connection between systems and/or intermediaries.

This can either be a one-way interface (such as a file transfer) or a two-way request/response interface, such as a web service call.

The black spot and dotted arc indicate an exclusivity or choice in a relationship. Each source and each target is either a system or an intermediary.

Data Structure

A collection of data. Data is stored, and sent and returned an interface.

Data structures and fields are held together in the Definition folder.


An individual data item, such as "product number". Data structures are composed of fields and other data structures.

Fields have data types, and new data types can be added in the data types folder in the settings/setup area. Field properties allow more details of fields to be set, such as field length and link targets.

To simplify populating the model, all relationships are optional even where they are logically mandatory.

The main entities have many data items in common, and some specific to each type.

In the section below, data items marked with * show links from other items, and are not visible when editing the items.

Common data items

Name Name of the item.
Description Description of the item.

Tags to classify or group the item..

Define tags in the Tags folder to categorise items. For example, you might use tags to identify whether a system is internal, external, or Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Notes Working notes about the item.
Life cycle Indicates where the item is in its life cycle, such as "proposed" or "decommissioned". The list of life cycles is maintained in the Life cycles folder. 
Status The project or development state of the item, such as "draft" or "approved". The list of statuses is maintained in the Statuses folder. 
Contact Person or people to contact about the item, the subject matter expert. The list of contacts is maintained in the People folder. 
Assigned to Person or people to whom work about the item has been assigned. The list of assignees is maintained in the People folder.

Attachments, and notes about them.

Purpose The business purpose or meaning of the item. 
Reference A system reference for the implementation of this item, such as a system ID, program name, or field name. 
Implementation notes Notes on how the item is or should be implemented, its specification. 
Inherit From Base the data for this item on another item. 
Do Not Inherit When using Inherit From, prevent the listed data items from being copied over. 


Platform The platform on which the system runs. The list of platforms is maintained in the Platforms folder.
System owner Person or organisation that owns this system.
Data stores owned by this system* Lists the data stores that are owned by this system.
Interfaces owned by this system* Lists the interfaces that this system owns, i.e. the definition and/or implementation of which takes place as part of the management of this system.
Interfaces received by this system* Lists the interfaces that are received by this system.
Interfaces sent by this system* Lists the interfaces that are called or output by this system.
Intermediaries run by this system* List the intermediaries that are run by this system. This only applies to middleware/ETL systems that are involved in mediating the passage of data between other systems.

Data Store

System The system that contains the data store.
Data structures Data structures for the data store.
Data owner Person or organisation that owns the data store.
Agreements to use this data store* Agreements that cover the use of this data store.


Interfaces received by this intermediary* Lists the interfaces that are received by this intermediary.
Interfaces sent by this intermediary* Lists the interfaces that are called or output by this intermediary.
System that runs this intermediary The middleware or ETL system in which this intermediary runs.


Interface type Whether this is a request/response interface, in which the target returns data to the sender, or a one-way interface.
Source The system or intermediary which initiates the interface. For a two-way request/response interface, the source is the system that sends the request and the target is the system that returns the response.
Target The system or intermediary which receives data, and may send a response.
Data Data sent from source to target. This is selected from the Data Structures package.
Return data For two-way request/response interfaces, data returned from target to source. This is selected from the Data Structures package.
Protocol The technical protocol used by the interface, such as HTTPS. The list of protocols is maintained in the Protocols folder.
Schedule The schedule on which the interface is run, such as on demand, hourly, weekly. Schedule types are maintained in the Schedules folder.
Frequency For interfaces that don't run on a fixed schedule, how often the interface runs. Time periods are maintained in the Time Periods folder.
Size Typical maximum size of the outbound interface. Sizes are maintained in the Sizes folder.
Return size Typical maximum size of the return interface. Sizes are maintained in the Sizes folder.
Owned by system The system in which the definition and implementation of the interface is managed. For example, for a web service, the web service definition and implementation is usually managed by the target system that provides the web service.

If you're not sure, consider whether, if you had a question about the interface, you would ask the people responsible for the source system or those responsible for the target system.

Agreements for using this interface* Agreements that cover the use of this interface.

Data Structure

Data structure use Whether the data structure is a high-level structure that can be used in an interface, or just a component used for building other components. Selecting Component data structure prevents the data structure from appearing in the list when defining interfaces.
Fields The fields and other data structures that make up this data structure.
Format The convention used to format data in the interface, such as XML. The list of formats is maintained in the Formats folder.
Structures that use this data* Data structures that include this data structure.
Data stores that use this data structure* Lists the data stores that store data in this structure.
Interfaces that send this data* Lists the interfaces that send this data.
Interfaces that return this data Lists the interfaces that return this data.


Data type Data type for the field, such as Number. There is a standard set of data types (String, Number, Date, Timestamp, Boolean, Blob, Link and Children), and additional data types can be added to the Data types folder.
Length Maximum length for text field.

The total number of digits in a decimal field, before and after the decimal point.

Precision Number of decimal places.
Link entity

Entity to which this field links.

Child entity

The entity to use for child rows.

Parent identifier

The field on the child entity that links back to the parent.

Child sequence

The field on the child entity that holds sequence within parent. Optional.

Structures that use this data* Data structures that include this field.

Other data types

Data Dictionary enriches the main types of data with additional data, all of which are fully configurable.

Tags Catagorise and group itsm flexibly, to make it easy to organise the data how you like.
Person Keep track of the details of the people who contribute to the documentation and deliver the solution.
Organisation Keep track of the organisations that agree to share data.
Data sharing agreement An agreement that allows a person or organisation to use a data store or an interface.
Platform Categorise the technologies used by systems.
Format Categorise the format of interfaces, such as XML, JSON, flat file.
Protocol Categorise the different interface protocols used, such as HTTP or SFTP.
Data type Set the fundamental data types used in integration. The main ones (text, number, date, timestamp, boolean and blob) are built-in, but you can define additional ones with meaning in your business.
Status Track the progress of documentation and development with your own statuses.
Life cycle Understand what's current, what's being decommissioned, and what's planned for the future.

Items of these types list items that link to them. For example, each Person lists the items for which the person has been assigned as the contact.

Groups and People are available from the main Data Dictionary screen. The other data types are available in the Setup folder.