What is a data dictionary?

A data dictionary is a file that defines the format of data in a fixed-width ASCII flat file that is used in IBM® Campaign either as a base table or as a general table.

A data dictionary is required to interpret the structure and format of a fixed-width ASCII text file. It defines the field names, their order, their data type (string or numeric) and the byte positions they occupy in the file. Data dictionaries are automatically created for fixed-width flat files created by Campaign and these typically do not need to be manually created or edited.

You use data dictionaries in output processes such as Snapshot, Mail List, and Call List to ensure that the flat file tables you create adhere to a specific structure.

A data dictionary defines the table fields, data types, and sizes. You can develop data dictionaries for vendor or channel-specific output and reuse them to create output of a predetermined format.

If you are using a fixed-width flat file created by a non-IBM third-party application, you may need to manually or programmatically create an associated data dictionary. Or you may want to copy an existing data dictionary and edit it to create a new file. You also can edit a data dictionary to change field names. You must be sure that you are not corrupting data if you choose to edit any of the other fields in the data dictionary.