Lesson 5: Software Specification Tools_____________________________________________________________
way if structuring data, this led to the development of the datadictionary.
It is a composite collection of specifications about the nature of data and information. It isrepository of descriptions of the form, style, and content of data as well as of the methods that will be used to process and report it.
is the foundation of structure systems analysis.It provides the standards and uniform format by which all elementsor parts of a system are designed and coordinated. It places allinformation in a structure or hierarchy. At the top of the hierarchy isthe data element, the data element is the smallest unit of a datathat will be processed or become part of a record.Examples of data elements include dates, employee names andgross pay. Rules for editing information or length of a field forexample are characteristics maintained on the data elements withina data dictionary. These data elements are used as a universalguide throughout the system when information is referred orprocessed. The data dictionary is much like a printed dictionary,which provides standards for spelling, hyphenation and so forth.Below data elements on the hierarchy are data records. A datarecord is a collection of elements, such as names, addresses orsequences of records, treated as a unit. This means that records willbe treated consistently throughout the system.Next on the hierarchy are the data stores, data model entities anddata flows. Data store describes the files that hold data,
define what records and elements will be treated as a unitand data flows specify pathways for moving information. The dictionary may also include standard tables of codes or wordsand their meanings, as well as alternative names or definitions.For example, EMPLOYEE, NUMBER and SERIAL NUMBER might beequated and both might reference an employee’s identificationnumber.
Software Project Management_________________________________________________________________