What is Metadata? (from Fraktal SAS Programming)

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A widely used definition of metadata relies on two characteristics:

  • primary control function vs. data content
  • structured repository vs. one-dimensional parameter list


With these two pillars the definition does not correspond 100% to the denotation of meta-data, which is “data upon data”. Instead, metadata are transcribed as parameters used to

  1. define,
  2. control and
  3. integrate

the dynamic workflow of a software system comprised from autonomous modules.


Claiming storage in a structured repository is a powerful condition and allows for unlimited complexity of workflow logic and its control.

This metadata repository is called METABASE.

Finally, data may easily change domains from DATABASE to METABASE and back, being data content in one phase and control information in another phase of system runtime.

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