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Re: [ontolog-forum] What the difference re., Data Dictionary, Ontology,

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Frank Guerino <Frank.Guerino@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2014 18:16:30 -0500
Message-id: <CF22B80C.758CB%Frank.Guerino@xxxxxxxxx>
Hello Kingsley,

I cut and paste this from another document I had…

A Data Dictionary defines "data" by giving you details about that data element (e.g. Attribute/Field Name, Description, Data Type, Constraints, etc.)

A Vocabulary is usually a listing or grouping of words that are common a domain of context (usually without definition).

A Glossary is a more detailed Vocabulary that is tied to a specific and limited Context.  Unlike a Vocabulary that only provides a list or grouping of words or terms that are common to a context, a Glossary provides the long name, short name or acronym, and a description/definition.  It rarely gets into a things like synonyms and antonyms.

A Dictionary is often used interchangeably with a Glossary but is often considered to handle much more, like getting into phonetics, derivations, etc.

A Data Model is a representation of how to aggregate and interrelate Data, which is defined by a Data Dictionary.  This includes but is not limited to things like Primary and Foreign Key representations, how to deal with permutations, time, history, and much more.

A Taxonomy is a categorization of "anything"… Words, Glossaries, Types, etc.  Taxonomies can take on multiple forms, such as lists, hierarchies, interactive facets, etc.

A Grammar is a means of applying rules to create meaning.

Syntax is a set of rules for structuring elements, such as words and symbols within a grammar.

A Language is the inclusion of all of the above.

An Ontology is the development of a combination of one or more of all of the above with the intent to facilitate higher order activities, such as communications, translation, learning, understanding, teaching, and making decisions.

I hope this helps.


Frank Guerino, Chairman
The International Foundation for Information Technology (IF4IT)
1.908.294.5191 (M)

On 2/12/14 10:59 AM, "Kingsley Idehen" <kidehen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


Food for thought and discussion:

What characteristics distinguish a Data Dictionary, Ontology, and



Kingsley Idehen
Founder & CEO
OpenLink Software


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