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1993 SNA Update Information - AEG recommendations for issue:
Databases

Issue description
Issue description in [English] | [French] | [Russian] | [Spanish]
The 1993 SNA recommends that large databases should be capitalized. Should the SNA provide a clearer definition of databases to be capitalized covering characteristics such as size and marketability of the data as well as the database itself, or should all databases be capitalized? How should the value of a database be determined?
AEG recommendations
Number of AEG recommendations for selected issue:2
  Corresponding meetingDate postedRecommendation
 July 200512/09/2005Arising from the e-discussion and the follow-up discussion in the meeting, the AEG agreed the following in respect of own-account databases:
(a) databases holding data with a useful life of more than one year are fixed assets
(b) the value of the software component of databases, the DBMS, would normally be recorded elsewhere as a software asset
(c) the remaining value of the database should only include the costs involved in converting data from one medium/format to that required by the DBMS, including the application costs (adapting the software for a particular application, setting up the structure of the database, loading metadata, etc.), but should exclude the costs of acquiring the data themselves
(d) no maintenance is entailed with databases and all updating costs should be recorded as capital formation
(e) the value of databases should be estimated using a sum-of-costs approach, in the absence of a more satisfactory alternative.
The value of databases for sale includes the value of the information content.
 December 200411/01/2005The AEG agreed that the present SNA recommendation that large databases should be treated as fixed capital was ambiguous because “large” was a subjective qualification. This word should be dropped.
The AEG tentatively agreed that all databases were candidates for treatment as fixed capital but requested the Canberra II group
i. to provide a definition of “database” and a definition showing exactly which databases should be included (or excluded) in fixed capital;
ii. to consider the distinction between creation and maintenance and the implication for the inclusion in fixed capital;
iii. to add precision to the nature of employees to be included in the recommended means of valuing own account databases.
The AEG agreed to include a single category in the classification of assets for “software and databases” with a subsequent disaggregation into “software” and “databases”.
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