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I read about versioning of meta data.

  • Sid Adelman, Chuck Kelley, Clay Rehm
  • August 04 2003, 1:00am EDT


I read about versioning of meta data. I want to implement it in the database system, where I'm going to keep some historical information.But how do I do it? Should I create a table to keep old and new codes (correspondence between new and old meta data)? Where can I find some practical (not abstract) documentation on it?


Sid Adelman’s Answer: Take a look at Dave Marco’s book, Building and Managing the Meta Data Repository and his columns in DM Review.

Chuck Kelley’s Answer: The example you use is not meta data to me. That fact that today code "ABC" is "widgets" and tomorrow "ABC" is "thingamajig" is not meta data, but data itself. So are you trying to keep versions of meta data or data?

If it is data, as in your example, Ralph Kimball (The Data Warehouse Toolkit) discusses how you might do that using slowly changing dimensions. These can be implemented in either a normalized or star schema data model.

If you are talking about meta data, you would either need to define your own way (and I don’t know any generic solutions) or find a product that will fit your needs.

Clay Rehm’s Answer: This sounds like change history. As an item changes, that is a trigger to write a record to a change history table including the change (the previous value), who made the change, the date of the change and the reason for the change. You would need an automated process (program) to make this happen, a database to store it and a way to display it.

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