SQL Server is Microsoft’s relational database management system and a data dictionary is used by SQL server to execute queries and document databases. But backing up a step, a data dictionary is comprised of all the definitions of a database such as tables, indexes, columns, data types, and views. The data dictionary is used by developers and designers as a guide or reference for updating applications. It can be used for querying to see the full history of object changes or to create aggregate exports showing database change statistics.
You have the capability to run hundreds of queries on your data dictionary in SQL server, and some of the most common types of queries involve basically taking inventory of what’s inside your database, such as:
- List of tables with a number of rows and comments
- List of views with definitions and comments
- Table columns details
- Views columns
- Tables by number of columns
Then, you are also likely to need data lineage, a process of following the data’s journey from the database through to reporting. Using automation, the SQL data lineage process has become a job quickly and easily performed. Done manually, this approach would be painstakingly long and tedious and must involve significant expertise in SQL.