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 Reference Data Overview  
Reference Data is a very important Topic for Database Specialists
Reference Data is the kind of data that defines structures for other data found in a database. 

It can often be recognised by the appearance of words like 'code' and 'type'.
Typical examples include Country Codes, Currency Codes and Payment Methods.

Within any enterprise it should be defined, recorded and distributed in a standard manner.

Techniques to do this can range from Spreadsheets and Microsoft Access Databases, a centralized Database 
to a full-blown Commercial Product, combined with a Publish/Subscribe mechanism.

Standards should be compliant with any appropriate National and International Standards, for example, 
Country Codes and Currency Codes are published by the International Standards Organization, (ISO).
Here is a series of Useful Links :-
Best Practice In any major Enterprise, it is important to establish Best Practice for Master Data Management and Reference Data.
Book The only book dedicated to this important topic is "Managing Reference Data in Enterprise Databases", by Malcom Chisholm, which gets 5 Stars on Amazon.
Collaboration "Credit Dimensions is the major collaborative initiative to create an industry utility for counterparty data" in Financial Transactions.
Data Model Here's a Kick-Start Data Model for Reference Data Management.
Global Reporting Initiative GRI is a Collaborating Centre of the UN Environment Programme.
A likely partner in defining Reference Data.
ISO Standards Country Codes (ISO Standard Nr. 3166)
ISO Standards Currency Codes (ISO Standard Nr. 4217)
ISO Standards Gender Codes
I have seen these standards defined but have been unable to confirm this from the ISO Web Site. I am currently waiting for a reply to an email to the ISO.
- 0=Unknown, 1=Male, 2=Female, 9=N/A, or Entity such as Church, School, or Corporation.
Product Bank Reference Data from Similarity Systems.
Product OneData from DataFoundations- a packaged product for managing enterprise Reference and Master Data.
Product Kalido Dynamic Information Warehouse - includes a Reference Data Manager.
Product New Reference Data Manager from Database Answers.
Product StreetReference Data Manager from FTI.
Public Domain Time Zones
Publication The Reference Data Review is published by A-Team Consulting, and is focussed on Financial Settlements Data.
Reference Data Portal Devoted exclusively to this important Topic.
Sources of Ref Data Area Codes and ZIP Codes from KJIL Software
Sources of Ref Data Localization Industry Standards Association - somewhat tangential, but 'good Sources are hard to find'.
Standards Bodies ANSI - American National Standards Institute
Standards Bodies British Standards Online
Standards Bodies ISO - International Standards Organization
Standards Bodies Standards Mall
Financial Information Stds Net Reference Data User Group, primarily for Financial Applications

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