A data dictionary is a persistent repository of global design data that your model uses. You can also use the base workspace to store global design data. However, a data dictionary provides more capabilities.
The dictionary only stores design data, which define parameters and signals, and include data that define the behavior of the model. The dictionary does not store simulation data, which are inputs or outputs of model simulation.
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|Dictionary as data source||All entries in a dictionary are persistent. You do not need to reload data during development.|
|Explicit data-model linkage||You can define a data dictionary as the data source for a model. During model simulation and code generation, the model retrieves design data from the data dictionary.|
|Change tracking||When you modify an entry, its status is updated in the dictionary and stored as metadata that can be tracked. The dictionary also tracks who made the changes and when. You can also view or revert changes.|
|Entry comparison||Compare values of entries in two dictionaries.|
|Data grouping into reference dictionaries||Partition and organize data items into reference dictionaries.|
|Model-data dependency||Discover how entries are used in the model.|
|Unified interface for defining data||Use the Model Explorer to work with design data in a dictionary.|
|Incremental update in memory||Improved performance and scalability with minimal footprint on memory.|
|Requirements traceability linking||Navigate from a data dictionary entry to a location in a requirements document.|
The following table shows a comparison of capabilities in the base workspace and a data dictionary.
|Capability||Base Workspace||Data Dictionary|
|Unified interface for defining data||✓||✓|
|Data entry persistence||✓|
|Compare and merge data entries||✓|
A Simulink® data dictionary is made up of two parts.
Global Design Data: Contains the design data that define parameters, signals, and other data that define the behavior of the model. Data created or imported in a dictionary are stored in this part.
Configurations: Contains configuration sets that determine how the model is configured during simulation. These objects control attributes such as sample time and simulation start time. This part can also store variant configuration objects, which belong to the Simulink.VariantConfigurationData class. These objects store information about variant configurations, active and default variant settings, and definitions of the control variable associated with each configuration.
|File Format||Import to Dictionary||Export from Dictionary|