Data Object Abbreviation Standards

The University of Maryland Data Object Abbreviation Standards list is the official list of abbreviations to be used for data object (data model, database, file, table, data element, etc.) naming by application developers and information deliverers at the University of Maryland, College Park. These standards were formally adopted on July 30, 1997 by the Data Technical Advisory Committee, chaired by the Director of Data Administration. From this date forward, these standards will be adhered to for all future application development; systems/applications which were developed prior to this date will not be changed to reflect the new standards.

Data object names comprise one or more prime words, optional qualifier words and one class word and fully describe the object. These words are used when constructing a data model name, database name, filename, table name or data element name and are described below:

Prime word - A prime word describes the topic or subject area of the data. Some examples of prime words are:

 Student  Employee  Degree
 Funding  Program  Course
 Organization  Registration  Account

Class word - A class word describes the type of data, i.e. the major classification of data associated with a data element. Some examples of class words are:

 Date  Number  Amount
 Code  Rate  Name
 Quantity  Size  Average

Qualifiers - A qualifier further defines a prime or class word. It is optional. Some examples of qualifiers are:

 Last  Starting  Birth
 Type Beginning  Status 
 Previous  Active  Current

All objects should follow this construction. For example, in the current transactional Student Information System there is an object called "SIS-SMS.BIRTHDATE". SIS-SMS represents the prime word or data topic, BIRTH is a qualifier describing DATE which is the class word. This helps both the technical staff and users understand the data object.

The following guidelines apply when using the Data Object Abbreviation List to name a data object: