15 Understanding the Data Dictionary

This chapter contains the following topics:

15.1 The Data Dictionary

Oracle's JD Edwards EnterpriseOne data dictionary (DD) stores the descriptions for all the controls, text fields, buttons, F1 help, and other items that appear on forms in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne software. Each data dictionary item contains four descriptions: alpha description, row description, column description, and glossary.

  • Alpha description.

    The alpha description is the title of the F1 help in JD Edwards EnterpriseOne software, which is the glossary entry in the software.

  • Row description.

    When a data dictionary item is used as a control, such as a field, check box, or radio button, the row description is used as the text for the control.

  • Column description.

    When the data dictionary item is used as a grid item, such as a column heading in a report or form, the column description is used as the text for the grid item.

  • Glossary.

    The glossary is the help text that appears when a user presses F1. It explains what a field in a form means or how it is used in the software. The alpha description appears as the title of the help text.

15.2 Data Dictionary Jargon

This section discusses:

  • Jargon fundamentals.

  • Alpha jargon.

  • Row and column jargon.

15.2.1 Jargon Fundamentals

Each data dictionary item can be used on many different forms. As developers use and reuse data dictionary items, they can modify the descriptions for the items. To do this, they apply jargon. Jargon enables developers to customize data dictionary text so that an alternate description appears, depending on the context and system code in which the item is used.

Developers can apply two types of jargon to data dictionary items:

  • Alpha and glossary

  • Row and column

Jargon is applied to form controls and grid items when the data dictionary default value is used. Using the data dictionary is always preferred because terminology changes can be managed through the data dictionary instead of a form-by-form vocabulary override basis. When a translator overrides the item with a specific translation, jargon can no longer be applied. In the case that jargon does not exist, you should work with content developers or product experts to add new jargon terminology to the data dictionary so that the proper jargon translation can be applied during runtime processing.


If you create an override for a translation item, that translation item is static and cannot be used dynamically anywhere else. You will have to maintain overrides individually. Therefore, you should use the data dictionary default values whenever possible.

15.2.2 Alpha Jargon

When a new glossary entry, or F1 help, is applied to an item, the developer changes the alpha description because it is the title of the F1 help. In these instances, a developer would apply alpha jargon.

Alpha jargon can apply to individual forms or entire systems. For instance, when a data dictionary item is used in the same context throughout an entire system, the developer would apply system-level alpha jargon. When an item is used in a different context in only one form, the developer would apply form-level alpha jargon.

In this example, the data item AN8 has both system-level jargon (identified by 12, 15, 19, and so on in the Product Code Reporting column) and form-level jargon (identified by W03013B, W0401A, W0474N3B, and so on in the ScrnRpt Name column) applied.

15.2.3 Row and Column Jargon

Developers apply row and column jargon when they want a description other than the base description to appear on a form. Row and column jargon can apply only to entire systems.

For example, the base description for the data dictionary item AN8 is Address Book Number. When the data item is used without any jargon, the system displays it as Address Number.

However, when used in Product Code 42 (Sales Management), the item is more appropriately described as Sold To.

The new description, Sold To, is a new data dictionary item. This new item appears as Product Code 00 with a reporting code of 42. In this instance, all forms in system 42 that contain the data dictionary item AN8 will display Sold To.

When you translate row and column jargon, the DD translation tool updates the status of each form item in which the jargon data dictionary item is used to DD Default (status = 15). When you begin translating forms, you must search for all items with a DD Default (status = 15) and verify that the translation fits in the allotted space on the individual forms.

15.3 FDA Overrides

Overrides are similar to jargon except that they occur at the form level. The two types of FDA overrides are English and Translation. This section discusses:

  • English overrides.

  • Language overrides.

15.3.1 English Overrides

JD Edwards forms can be reused in multiple systems. In these cases, developers apply English overrides to data dictionary items and enter alternate descriptions. Developers can apply English overrides to specific forms but not to entire systems.

For example, when a form is called from system 30, a text field might be described as Customer Number. When called from system 31, the same text field might be described as Address Book Number. When you translate the forms in system 30, you will see only the description Customer Number.

When an English override exists, the translation is automatically overridden.


In the FDA Translation Tool, you can view the items that have overrides. Items that have overrides have a check mark in the Text Overridden check box.

15.3.2 Language Overrides

As a translator, you can enter a language override when the description of an item does not fit the context of the form. A translation override applies only to the item as it is used on a particular form. Although these circumstances might require language overrides, use language overrides sparingly:

  • The data dictionary translation does not fit in the allotted space in a form.

  • The data dictionary translation is not appropriate for the context.