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The Data Dictionary is the central table in the system where display options and configurations are stored. This dictionary is fundamental to the workings of the entire system. We urge you to use extreme caution if you must work in this area. If you are not sure about changing a particular field in the data dictionary, DO NOT change it. Any changes you make in the data dictionary will affect the way in which fields and forms function. Alter it with caution.


Accessing the Data Dictionary


From Field Properties


To enter the data dictionary record for a field, open the field’s properties and scroll to the bottom of the properties screen. Click the link labeled Data Dictionary.



From Data Dictionary File Listing


The Data Dictionary File Listing is available in the Administration section of the Navigation tab. When you click it for the first time you will see an unfiltered screen similar to the one below.




Use the standard list view functionality to find a specific record or set of records by using the filter fields. By specifying a table name (WORK, CONTACT, COMPINFO, etc) in the “Dd_dbf” filter field, you can display an entire table's definitions and settings. You can also filter for a field name by entering it into the Dd_name field. If you want to filter for the description of a field (user name), enter the information into the Dd_desc field.




To effectively use the Manage Data Dictionary link you will need to know some common table names. Knowing the table name is essential if you are to find the information you need to modify. The illustration below is a list of the most commonly used tables in the data dictionary.



Table Name


Data Contained


Inventory Table

Fields from the detail section of parts


WO Charges

Fields from the charges section of work orders


Assets File

Fields from the detail section of the asset file


Maintenance Contacts

Fields from the detail section of the maintenance contacts



Inventory Suppliers

Fields from the Item Suppliers section on parts


PM Schedules

Fields from the PM schedule information from assets


PM Parts

Fields from the PM Parts section on PM Schedules


PM Tasks

Fields available from the PM Task file listing


Work Orders

Fields from the work order detail


WO Procedures

Fields from the procedures section of work orders

Once you find the field you wish to modify, enter the records the same way you do from any other list view. Click the magnifying glass or the Unique Key Field link to view the detail of the record. Click the pencil icon to open the detail view in edit mode.


Editing the Data Dictionary


To make changes directly to the data dictionary record for a field click the pencil icon on the list view or click the Edit button on the detail view. The dictionary record will change and allow for input of data.


TIP: The Data Dictionary's detail view is a very large page. It is a good idea to locate the line item you want to change before you click edit. That way you will know where you need to be and avoid making errors on other lines.


The following is an example of the data dictionary in edit mode:



Here are some options which can only be modified through editing the data dictionary:


Spaces between rows – You can add an extra space between rows to separate one group of fields from another. You do this by configuring the 'Nspceafter' (numeric) attribute of the last field in the group. Configuring this attribute for a field that is not the last in a row has no affect on row spacing. The numeric value can be up to the number 4. You will need to experiment to find a setting that suits your needs; however “1” usually creates a very acceptable amount of space.


Making a field read only - A field can be configured to prevent changes when a user edits a record. The field on the data dictionary that controls this behavior is 'Lreadonly'. This field can be set to True or False. When set to “True”, no value can be typed into the field at any time.


Adding explanatory text to a field - If you would like your users to see a helpful notation on a field when they mouse over it (for instance, what type of information must be entered in a field), enter that text in 'dd_helptxt'. When a user stops his/her mouse over the field, the mouse will appear with a question mark (?) next to it and the help text will appear for a short period of time.


Spanning columns - If there is more than one column in the detail view and you would like a field in the left-most column to stretch to the right-most column, set 'Lspan_col' to “True”.


NOTE: You should only use this feature on rows where the left-most column has the only revealed field for the row. If fields are contained in the positions that your field will span, these fields will be pushed down and create a new row. This row is generated on the fly and cannot be further configured.


Suppressing fields from particular users - This functionality is useful if some users should be allowed to view or edit information on a record, and others should not. Normally, all users who have access to using or editing a record will be able to view all of the fields associated with that record. For those users that should not have these privileges, you can add their usernames, separated by commas, into the 'Mdisp_sec' (view security) and 'Medit_sec' (edit security) fields – This will remove the field from view when the user accesses the record.


NOTE: Both fields need to be set if a user is not allowed to see or edit a field.


Example: The users JOEUSER1, MARYANN45, BILLDA89 exist in this example.

To suppress these users from seeing or editing a field on the detail view, enter their names as follows into the appropriate field attributes.

For Mdisp_sec enter-> JOEUSER1,MARYANN45,BILLDA89

For Medit_sec enter-> JOEUSER1,MARYANN45,BILLDA89




What are routines?


A detail view's primary purpose is to allow a user to edit the contents of a particular record of data. A routine is a scaled down version of whatever settings have been established in a detail view. Routines reuse a detail view to populate/edit only a certain portion of a data record. Where the detail view encompasses all the needed configurations for editing the entire record, the routine allows only a portion of the detail view to display.


A good example of a routine is Simple Work Form. The simple work form is the Work Order detail view, but it has been configured to show only a limited number of fields by entering the value “REQUEST” into the 'Mroutine' field on the fields to be shown. Another example of a common routine is “CLOSEOUT”. If you would like to have fields appear on the close out form of your work orders, enter “CLOSEOUT” in that field's 'Mroutine'.


You can use a combination of routines on a field as well. For instance, if you would like to have a field show up on the close out form but NOT show on the regular work order form, use the “SUPRESS” routine (to suppress the field on the work order) in conjunction with the “CLOSEOUT” routine (to display the field on the close out form).

Adding or removing a field from a routine


To indicate which fields on a detail view should be included for a particular routine, the name of the routine or routines are entered into the 'Mroutine' field attribute. Routine names should be listed one after the other separated by commas.




NOTE: Once a field has been suppressed from the main form, it can only be displayed on the main form again by editing the 'Mroutine' field directly from the data dictionary. (See explanation of Data Dictionary File Listing below.)

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