Producing a Data Dictionary from an Extensible Markup Language (XML) Schema in the Global Force Management Data Initiative

Report No. ARL-TR-7956
Authors: Frederick S Brundick
Date/Pages: February 2017; 38 pages
Abstract: A data dictionary is a document that describes the schema of a database—its tables, fields, datatypes, and allowable values—plus additional instructions regarding its use. Traditionally the data dictionary is used to construct the database. However, when the Global Force Management (GFM) Data Initiative (DI) information exchange data model (IEDM) was migrated from Structured Query Language (SQL) to Extensible Markup Language (XML), the new XML Schema Definition (XSD) files were maintained in parallel with the data dictionary. Over time the XSD and data dictionary diverged so an application was written to construct the data dictionary in Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) from the XSD files. This report documents the transformation script that was written, how it works, and the elements that were added to the XSD to facilitate the generation of the data dictionary. It concludes with suggestions for additional applications of this technique to extract information for use by other programs.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2017