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SQL Server - ISO-11179 Naming Conventions and SQL DDL

30 May,2011 by Jack Vamvas

 “Please post real DDL. Learn to use ISO-11179 rules for the data element names, avoid needless dialect and use ISO-8601 temporal formats, codes and so forth.” . This is a familiar quote from Joe Celko . On this occasion found on :

What is ISO-11179?

 It is a 6-part standard for metadata registries. It builds on the entity-relationship model  - and deals with :

a) definition of metadata registry

b) how to classify data

c) managing data descriptions and data classification

The six parts of the  ISO-11179 standard are:

 Part 1 - Framework

Part 2 - Classification

Part 3 - Registry metamodel and basic attributes

Part 4 - Formulation of data definitions

Part 5 - Naming and identification principles

Part 6 - Registration


Part 5 is of particular interest for the DBA.  It is made up of the sections:


1 Scope

2 Normative references

3 Terms and definitions

4 Data Identifiers within a registry

5 Identification

6 Names

6.1 Names in a registry

6.2 Naming conventions

7 Development of naming conventions

7.1 Introduction

7.2 Scope principle

7.3 Authority principle

7.4 Semantic principle

7.5 Syntactic principle

7.6 Lexical principle

7.7 Uniqueness principle

Why is this important for a DBA?

1) Proper and consistent Data Model

2) Set of rules to allow progression from conceptual to specific (physical).

There is a lot detail in the ISO-11179 standards. I read the standard recently and , definitely allows me more useful conversations with the Data Architect

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