What is Data Naming Convention

Data Naming Convention refers to a convention established to resolve problems with Traditional data names. Many of these conventions are in use today, such as the Of Language,

  • entity—attribute—class
  • role—type—class
  • prime—descriptor—class
  • entity—adjective—class
  • entity—attribute—class word
  • entity—description—class
  • entity keyword—minor keyword—type keyword
  • entity keyword—descriptor—domain

Having a data name convention is important because they are a collection of rules which when applied to data could result in a set of data elements which are described in a standardized and logical fashion.

In the general area of computer programming, a data naming convention refers to the set of rules followed in order to choose the sequence of characters which will be used as identifiers in the source code and documentation. Following a data naming convention, in contrast to having the programmer choose any random name of their choice, make the source code very easy to read and understand and enhance the source code appearance for easy tracing of bugs.

The data naming convention defined in this article focus on database implementation which powers a data warehouse.

The rules for developing a name convention are described by The International Standard ISO 11179, Information Technology-Specification and Standardization of Data Elements. These rules include standards for data classification, attribution, definition and registration.

Data elements are the product of a development process which involves many levels of abstraction. These levels come from the most general to the most specific (conceptual to physical). The objects within each level are called the data element components but their name simply became components. To use the Zachman Framework, the highest levels of definition are contained within the business view and the development progresses down to the implemented system level.

At each different level, components are defined and combined. Each component contributes its name or part of its name to the final output based on naming conventions.
Three kinds of rules exist for a data naming convention. The semantic rules refer to the description of data element components. The syntax rules refer to the prescribed arrangement of components within a given name. The lexical rules refer to the language related aspects of names.

The semantic rules state that:

1. The terms for object classes should be based on the names of object classes which can be found in entities and object models properties.
2. The terms to be used for properties should be based on property names found in attributes and object model properties.
3. When need arises, qualifiers may be added to describe data elements.
4. Representation of the data element’s value domain may be described using the representation term.
5. There can only be one representation term present.

The syntax rules state that:

1. Unless it is the subject of a qualifier term, the term for object class should occupy the leftmost position in the name.
2. A qualifier term should precede the component it qualifies.
3. The property term always follows the object class term.
4. The representation term is always placed in the rightmost position.
5. Redundant terms use will result to deletion.

The lexical rules state that:

1. Nouns should be in singular terms while verbs should be in present terms.
2. No special characters should be used.
3. Words should be separated by spaces.
4. All words can be in mixed case.
5. Abbreviations, acronyms and initial may be allowed.

These are just general rules although many software developers and database management software vendors also set their own rules. But in general, these three rules are used in a wide array of software implementations.

Editorial Team at Geekinterview is a team of HR and Career Advice members led by Chandra Vennapoosa.

Editorial Team – who has written posts on Online Learning.

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