EZ Data Dictionary® offers a wide variety of functions to inquire into, modify and display the metadata for a source database. This section illustrates some of the most frequently desired tasks that can easily be accomplished using EZ Data Dictionary® functions. Reviewing and exploring how to accomplish these basic tasks will provide a familiarization with the application that can be applied to other tasks using other functions.
When the EZDD_Inquiry Search screen is initiated, the left panel displays the tables in the database. If the user clicks on any table name, the right panel will be populated with information about that table. The top of the right panel will display any descriptive information about the table, and the bottom portion of that panel will display the columns in the table. Along with the column name, the display will include whether any particular column is a key in the table, as well as the sequential order of each column within the table. These columns will be displayed in this sequential order, but they can be reordered by clicking on any of the column headings. For example, to order the columns alphabetically, click on COLUMN_NAME and the display will reorder according to the column name.
For more information about any column in the table, click directly on the column name in the lower right panel of the EZDD_Inquiry Search screen. EZ Data Dictionary® will proceed to a Column_Data screen that displaying detailed metadata about this column. Much of this information can be added and changed on this screen, to expand and enhance the information being stored about this column in this table in the source database. This screen also offers the option to Preview the actual data in the source database if the user has appropriate permissions. More details about this screen can be found in the User Manual.
Once the user has arrived at the EZDD_Inquiry Column Data screen by having selected a source database, a table within that database, and a column within that table, this screen offers the option to Preview this column data in the source database. The user must have appropriate permissions to view that data in the source database for this option to succeed.
The Column Data screen will display the Connect String for the source database, for the user to verify that this is the desired database. Unless Windows Authentication is used for the source database, it is likely that a User Code and Password will need to be supplied for access to the data, and this is done in the indicated spots on the screen. Then click on the Preview Data button and if all information supplied is correct, EZ Data Dictionary® will retrieve the data from the source database to be displayed on the next screen. The first 200 unique values in the database will be shown with a count indicating how many of each value occurs.
The middle section of the EZDD_Inquiry Search screen provides ways to search the metadata for the source database to find specific information. This search can specify a desired string in Search For, where to search for it in Search In, and how to search for it in Search Method. When the Search button is clicked, EZ Data Dictionary® will search the metadata for the desired information and show the results in the lower portion of the right panel on the screen. The results will list the Table Name and Column Name where the desired search string was found. Clicking on any Column Name will move EZ Data Dictionary® to a screen detailing the metadata for that column. Or clicking on any Table Name and then on the Columns button will display the structure information for that table.
Detailed metadata about any table in a source database can be displayed with the Table Details button on the right side of the EZDD_Inquiry screen. EZ Data Dictionary® will allow changes to that information, or can generate a formatted Table Report to print the information. The details for all the tables in a source database can be display by using the All Table Details button on the bottom left side of the EZDD_Inquiry Search screen.
Navigating through the metadata for information related to a table in a source database is enhanced by use of the Columns, Indexes and Relationships buttons on the right panel of the EZDD_Inquiry Search screen.
The Columns button will display the columns for whatever table is currently selected from the source database. This is the default display in the lower right panel of the screen when a table is selected. Various functions on the screen, such as the Search function, will display results in the this same section of the screen, so this is a handy way to get back to the basic table information.
The Indexes button will display any indexes present in the metadata for the selected table in the source database in the lower right portion of the screen of the EZDD_Inquiry Search screen.
The Relationships button will display any defined relationships between the selected table and other tables in the source database in the lower right portion of the EZDD_Inquiry Search screen. In addition, clicking on any of the relationships displayed with move EZ Data Dictionary® to a screen with more detailed information about that relationship.
One of the most common administrative tasks accomplished using the EZDD_Admin module is to add a source database to the EZ Data Dictionary® database, and to generate basic metadata for that database. This example will show how to link to the Northwind test database in SQL Server and import the definitions provided in the initial EZ Data Dictionary® installation. Start by clicking the Add a New Database button to continue.
There are multiple ways to connect to a database. The most common is using an OLE DB Data Link by clicking the Connect button on the left.
Select the provider for SQL Server and click Next. Enter the information for the server containing the Northwind database. The Test Connection button can be used to confirm the settings are functional. Click Ok to continue.
If a username and password are required to connect to the SQL Server enter these here. Select the database owner for the Northwind database and click Next to continue.
The Database Info window displays possible documentation and their descriptions for the database. Make sure to give the database entry a name with the DATABASE_NAME cell. Press the Update button to save any changes made and click the Next button to continue.
EZ Data Dictionary® generates metadata about the database structure by directly analyzing the source database itself. Optionally this information, along with database structure descriptive information, can copied from another source database that has already been defined and stored in the EZ Data Dictionary® database. Press the Begin Update button to start the process. When it is finished click the Go Back button to return to the main EZDD Admin screen.
The metadata for the new source database is now ready to be accessed using the EZDD_Inquiry module and includes a copy of the definitions packaged with EZ Data Dictionary® for the Northwind database.
The metadata for the new source database is now accessible for other EZDD_Admin functions or through the EZDD_Inquiry module and in this example includes a copy of the definitions packaged with EZ Data Dictionary® for the Northwind database.
When the EZDD_Admin module is run, a logfile is produced documenting what happens in the application as a result of the actions taken. By default this logfile is named EZDD_ADMIN_LOGFILE.TXT and is located in the Logfiles subdirectory at the installed location. If any problem is experienced with the module this logfile can be used to help diagnose the situation. If ICC help is needed with the diagnosis, this logfile will be critical information requested. Here is a brief sample of the logfile.