Single source of truth

In information science and information technology, single source of truth (SSOT) architecture, or single point of truth (SPOT) architecture, for information systems is the practice of structuring information models and associated data schemas such that every data element is mastered (or edited) in only one place, providing data normalization to a canonical form (for example, in database normalization or content transclusion). Any possible linkages to this data element (possibly in other areas of the relational schema or even in distant federated databases) are by reference only. Because all other locations of the data just refer back to the primary "source of truth" location, updates to the data element in the primary location propagate to the entire system, providing multiple advantages simultaneously: greater efficiency/productivity, easy prevention of mistaken inconsistencies (such as a duplicate value/copy somewhere being forgotten), and greatly simplified version control. Without SSOT architecture, rampant forking impairs clarity and productivity, imposing laborious maintenance needs.

Deployment of an SSOT architecture is becoming increasingly important in enterprise settings where incorrectly linked duplicate or de-normalized data elements (a direct consequence of intentional or unintentional denormalization of any explicit data model) pose a risk for retrieval of outdated, and therefore incorrect, information. Common examples (i.e., example classes of implementation) are as follows:

Ideally, SSOT systems provide data that are authentic (and authenticatable), relevant, and referable.[1]

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