Definition, specification and resources to support ISO/IEC 8211:1994.
This standard was developed specially to make the process of moving data structures easy and fast without regarding the type of computer system and its architecture. Also, one of the goals of the standard is to make the data structures seamlessly recorded to any physical interchange medium such as a flexible disk, a magnetic tape, a disk pack etc. Following ISO/IEC 8211 might level problems caused by differences between complexities and sizes of the data structures.
ISO/IEC 8211 gives to the user a possibility to choose between three interchange levels dependent on how complex are the data structures to describe.
First Level – Support of multiple fields with simple and unstructured character strings.
Second Level – Support of the first level and of the multiple fields with sctructured data including different data types (e.g. different formats).
Third Level – Support of the second level and hierarchicaldata structures.
The user needs to develop DDF – a data descriptive file consistent of logic sequences organized on a particular way:
- The Leader – the upper level containing the parameters which help to read records and disaggregate the lower level, namely, the Directory.
- The Directory – includes parameters used in location and identification of the particular fields in the lower level of the Field Area.
- The Field Area – consists of the main Field Area and following Field Areas. The main Field Area holds the DDR (Data Descriptive Record) used to decode the data of all the included in the DDF Field Areas.
As it could be seen, ISO/IEC 8211 helps not only to erase the borders between different information mediums but also is a generic interchange format which is universal for the documentation of the data structures and is recognized all over the world.