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What is a Termbase?

A central repository, like a database, containing approved terminology

A terminology database

A termbase is a database containing terminology and related information. Most termbases are multilingual and contain terminology data in a range of different languages.

Termbase Entries

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Terminology data is organized into termbase entries: each entry contains at least one term. A typical termbase entry might contain a term, term translations in several languages and descriptive information about the entry as a whole and about the individual terms. Termbase entries may be classified and each category of entry is known as an entry class. Entry classes are defined by the SDL MultiTerm administrator.

Source and Target Languages

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Each time you open a termbase, you can specify which languages you want to use as the source and target languages. SDL MultiTerm uses the source language terms as a search index. Because the source language is used in this way, it is often referred to as the source index; languages in general are also referred to as indexes. Source and target language data is displayed at the top of each entry in the entry pane.

Termbase Fields

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Terminology data in each entry is organized into termbase fields. The different types of field are as follows:

  • Index fields - contain the terms for each entry. Each index corresponds to one of the termbase languages.
  • Descriptive fields - contain descriptive information about the entry or language as a whole, or about the individual terms. Each descriptive field has a defined data type. Types of data include text, picklist, number, date, Boolean and multimedia file.
  • Entry class field - specifies the entry class to which the entry belongs.
  • System fields - created and maintained by the system, these fields are used to store tracking information for the entry as a whole or for individual fields. System fields in SDL MultiTerm include the Entry number field and the set of four history fields. The Entry Number field is automatically assigned to each entry at entry level; for more information about history fields, see below.
  • History fields - SDL MultiTerm uses a set of four history fields: Created on, Created by, Modified on and Modified by. History fields are automatically assigned to each entry at entry level and to each index at index level. For all other fields in the termbase, history fields are optional and must be commissioned in the Termbase Wizard. Once assigned, history fields are created and maintained by the system.

Termbase Definition and the Structure of Entries

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All termbase entries are structured in the following way:

  • Entry level – contains system fields, and any descriptive fields that apply to the entry as a whole.
  • Index level – contains index fields with terms as content, and any descriptive fields that apply to all terms in a given language.
  • Term level – contains any descriptive fields that apply to a given term.

The termbase definition for a given termbase specifies the number and type of fields that a termbase entry may contain and the entry structure that entries must conform to. The entry structure specifies:

  • The number and type of fields that may exist at each level in the entry.
  • The hierarchical structure of fields within each level, that is, whether fields are nested or not.
  • Whether fields are mandatory or multiple at a given level of the entry.

NOTE: SDL MultiTerm supports unlimited nesting of descriptive fields.

Termbase Objects

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As well as terminology data, each termbase contains a series of objects that you can use to manipulate termbase data. The objects that are available to you in SDL MultiTerm Online are as follows:

  • Layout object - specifies how entries are displayed in the entry pane.
  • Filter object - applies predefined filter criteria to the termbase search.
  • Input model object - specifies how information should be added to termbase entries.

Each termbase contains five default layouts, two default filters and one default input model. The default objects in each termbase are always available to you. Your SDL MultiTerm administrator may also make custom-defined objects available to you.

  • Learn about our terminology management software SDL MultiTerm