Active Data Dictionary

An active data dictionary facility for storing dynamically accessible and modifiable information relating to midrange-system data definitions and descriptions.[1]

An active data dictionary is a data dictionary that is automatically updated by the database management system every time the database is accessed, thereby keeping its information current.[2]

Active Data Dictionary:

  • Interacts with the IS environment on a real-time basis.
  • Input into the data dictionary
  • Output from the data dictionary[3]

Active Data Dictionary Systems: A data dictionary system that controls access to the database system is an active data dictionary system. Active systems are an integral part of the database system, . All processes that access the database must interact with the active data dictionary system. Applications programs get data item descriptions from the data dictionary system. Schemas are generated and mapped through the data dictionary system. Even system software accessing the database draws on the data dictionary system in an active data dictionary system environment. The active data dictionary system enforces the advantages of the rigor and formalism of the database system approach through this extensive control. By controlling the processes accessing the data, the system controls the data. Potentially Active Data Dictionary Systems A third category of data dictionary systems is the potentially active data dictionary system. A potentially active data dictionary system is a passive system that is capable of performing active control of database accesses Administrative routines and processes must be developed to enforce active control in this type of system. A policy (and supporting software) requiring applications programs to be validated using the current data dictionary is an example of supplemental administrative routines.[4]


  1. What is Active Data Dictionary? Gartner
  2. Definition of Active Data Dictionary Cengage
  3. Active Data Dictionary Mark L. Gillenson, Ph.D.
  4. Active Data Dictionary Systems WinStudent

Further Reading