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e-business Architecture - Glossary

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There are two basic categories of businesses conducted over the Internet. The first category is the
  1. Business-to-Consumer (B2C) segment, which includes the popular, Wall Street-friendly businesses like Amazon, E*Trade, etc.
  2. The second is the Business-to-Business (B2B) segment, which is in- creasingly overshadowing the B2C segment and includes such names as Chemtex and AutoExchange.
Despite fundamental differences in the business models of these two categories, they share one common key aspect which is use of Internet technologies to manage all aspects of the business. This article presents an integrated architecture for these Internet technologies so that organizations can effectively implement whichever type of business model they choose.
Active Server Pages
A Microsoft solution for dynamically created Web pages created by a server, used when a page is requested by the client. This enables the page to contain information from a database.
ActiveX
A set of rules for how applications should share information. This is Microsoft's version of Java applets.
ADSL
(Asymmetric digital subscriber line) Technology that allows more data to be sent over existing copper phone lines. ADSL supports data transfer rates of 1.5 to 9Mbps when receiving data (downstream rate) and from 16 to 640 Kbps when sending data (upstream rate).
Analytics
Analytics are the ability to understand B2C site visitor behavior and traffic patterns, and site effectiveness.
API
A set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. Good APIs make it easier to develop a program by providing all needed building blocks.
Application servers
A program run on a mid-sized machine that handles all applications operations between browser -based computers and a company's back-end business applications or databases. Because many databases cannot interpret commands written in HTML, the application server works as a translator, allowing, for example, a customer with a browser to search an online retailer's database for pricing information. Application servers are seen as filling a large and growing market; more than 25 companies now offer such products.
Application Service Provider
Application Service Providers are third-party entities that host (manage and distribute) software-based services and solutions to customers across a wide area network from a central data center.
Do not confuse this acronym with Active Server Pages (ASP). ASP is a form of applications outsourcing.
Architecture
For purposes of this course, architecture is the structure or design of an eBusiness.
ASP
May refer either Active Server Pages or Application Service Providers. These are two different concepts.
Asynchronous Transfer Mode
Is a means of transferring data across a network in the form of packets or cells with a fixed size.
Automatic Teller Machines
Machine that lets you do your banking without dealing with a person. At ATMs, you can take cash from your account, make deposits and move money between accounts. All you need is a password you key in and an access card. Do not confuse the acronym ATM with Asynchronous Transfer Mode, which is a means of transferring data across a network in the form of packets or cells with a fixed size.
B2B
A primary Business model where the buyer and seller are both businesses. This would be the case for a wholesale stationer selling stock to retail outlets.
B2C
A primary two-business model where the seller is a business and the buyer is a consumer or individual such as with a bookstore that sells books to the public.
Bandwidth
The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. For digital devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second(bps) or bytes per second.
Biometrics
Generally, the study of measurable biological characteristics. In computer security biometrics refers to authentication techniques that rely on measurable physical characteristics that can be automatically checked. Examples include computer analysis of fingerprints or speech.
Bot
A bot is a software tool for digging through data. Sometimes referred to as an Agent. You give a bot directions and it brings back answers. Bots were used as early as the first Net newsgroups. There are different kinds of bots. For example, a service bot they might answer specific questions about a product or service.
Bridge
Device that connects two local area networks (LANs) or elements of the same LAN. The two LANs being connected can be alike or dissimilar. Unlike routers, bridges are protocol-independent. They simply forward packets of data without analyzing and re-routing messages. Consequently, they're faster than routers, but also less versatile.
Browse-to-buy ratio
Ratio of number of shoppers viewing the products to the number that purchase. Although it is important to get more people to view your products, it is even more important that some buy the product. A high Browse-to-buy ratio indicates that not many browsers are buying which could indicate a problem with pricing or the shopping mechanism.
Business to Business
A primary Business model where the buyer and seller are both businesses. This would be the case for a wholesale stationer selling stock to retail outlets. Also known as B2B.
Business to Consumer
A primary two-business model where the seller is a business and the buyer is a consumer or individual such as with a bookstore that sells books to the public. Also known as B2C.
Catalog hub
These place industry specific catalogs online from either a buyer or seller perspective.
CFML
Cold Fusion Markup Language. A markup language that uses tags like HTML to link pages to databases. This simplifies the integration with a database and avoids the use of more complex languages like C++.
Chat room
A virtual room where a chat session takes place. Technically, a chat room is really a channel, but the term room is used to promote the chat metaphor.
Client
An application that runs on a computer that connects to a server. The client relies on the server to perform certain operations. The term Client can also encompass the hardware on which the client software runs. A Web browser such as Netscape Communicator or Microsoft Internet Explorer is a client that relies on a Web server to provide content.
Client configuration
The hardware and software configuration of a client including user defined settings, available hardware and software setup.
Closed standard
Closed systems or standards are based on proprietary standards. They are usually unique to a single vendor and are not compatible with offerings from other vendors. The opposite of closed standards are open standards.
Co-location facility
Co-location facilities offer the customer a secure place to physically house their hardware and equipment as opposed to locating it in their offices or warehouse where the potential for fire, theft or vandalism is much greater. Most co-location facilities offer high-security, including cameras, fire detection and extinguishing devices, multiple connection feeds, filtered power, backup power generators and other items to ensure high-availability which is mandatory for all Web-based, virtual businesses.
COM+
Microsoft's language independent component architecture intended to provide general purpose, object oriented means to encapsulate commonly used features and functions.
Component
A module, object or program that performs a specific function, and is designed to easily integrate with other components.
Computer Aided Design/Computer Aided Manufacture
CAD or Computer Aided Design makes use of powerful computer hardware and software to enable engineers and architects to design objects. CAM or Computer Aided Manufacturing is where computers assist in the manufacturing of items in a factory. CAD/CAM implies a link between the two. Once a designer has created the design specification, the computer will assist to make the product.
Connectivity resources
Connectivity resources refer to the network infrastructure required to connect a computer and its contents to other computers. This includes physical devices like modems, switches, hubs, routers, bridges, cabling and satellite links as well as network protocols, operating systems and security systems.
Consumer to Consumer
A Business model where the buyer and seller are both consumers. An example might be the trade that takes place on an auction site.
Cookie
A cookie is a message given to a Web browser by a Web server. The browser stores the message in a text file called cookie.txt. The message is then sent back to the server each time the browser requests a page from the server.
CORBA
(Common Object Request Broker Architecture) Enables pieces of programs, called objects, to communicate with one another regardless of what operating system they are running on or what programming language they were written in. Developed by OMG (Open Management Group).
Corba Fundamentals
Data packet
A piece of a message transmitted over a packet-switching network. One of the key features of a packet is that it contains the destination address in addition to the data. In IP networks, packets are often called datagrams.
Database Management Systems
DBMS or Database Management Systems are a collection of programs that enable the storing, modification and extraction of data to and from a database.
DBMS
Denial-of-service attack
A type of attack that is designed to disable a computer or network by flooding it with useless traffic.
DHTML
Produces Web content that changes each time it is viewed. For example, the same URL could result in a different page depending on any number of parameters including previous pages viewed by the reader, profile of the reader, time of day, etc. Very similar to active server pages (ASP).
Digitized content
Content that is broken down into and transmitted in digitally.
EAI
A packaged variety of integration technologies tooled for eBusiness specific solutions.
eBusiness
An integration of communications, data management and security capabilities that allows organizations to exchange information about the sale of goods and services.
eBusiness group
An in-house solution that is a strongly controlled extension of the existing business and product/service mix; the group is seen as part of the organization's strategic structure. Contrasted with an eBusiness subsidiary.
eBusiness subsidiary
An in-house eBusiness group that has an entrepreneurial mission, greater freedom to experiment with different business models and technological innovations, but still reports to the business executive board. May be funded by venture capital.
ECommerce
Refers to trade (buying and selling products and services) that actually takes place over the Internet; sometimes referred to as iCommerce.
EDI
Covers the transfer of data between different companies using networks, such as the Internet. These standards allow documents such as purchasing orders, shipping documents, and invoices to be transferred from business to business.
Enterprise Java Beans (EJB)
Component software architecture from Sun that is used to build Java applications that run in the server. It uses a "container" layer that provides common functions such as security and transaction support and delivers a consistent interface to the applications regardless of the type of server. CORBA is the infrastructure for EJBs, and at the wire level, EJBs look like CORBA components. EJBs are the backbone of Sun's J2EE platform, which provides a pure Java environment for developing and running Web-based applications.
Enterprise portal
A Web site that provides information and services to a particular industry. It is the industry-specific equivalent of the general-purpose portal on the Web.
eProcurement hub
Are similar to catalog hubs but are not industry specific; also known as MRO hubs.
eSpace
Space on a Web server where Web pages and content may be stored.
eTailers
A retailer that uses the Internet as a medium for selling products.
Exchange hub
Matches buyers in an industry with a supplier, by facilitating a temporary relationship between the buyer and seller based on supply and demand.
Extranet
Refers to an intranet that is partially accessible to authorized outsiders. Whereas an intranet resides behind a firewall and is accessible only to people who are members of the same company or organization, an extranet provides various levels of accessibility to outsiders. An extranet may provide access to paid research, current inventories and internal databases, virtually any information that is private and not publically available. You can access an extranet only if you have a valid username and password, and your identity determines which parts of the extranet you can view.
Fault tolerance functionality
The ability of a system to respond gracefully to an unexpected hardware or software failure. There are many levels of fault tolerance, the lowest being the ability to continue operation in the event of a power failure. Many fault-tolerant computer systems mirror all operations -- that is, every operation is performed on two or more duplicate systems, so if one fails the other can take over.
Fiber optic
A technology used for transmitting data by light. A fiber optic cable consists of thin strands of glass or plastic along which the light can travel.
Firewall
A method for keeping a network secure. It can be implemented in a single router that filters out unwanted packets, or it may use a combination of technologies in routers and hosts. Firewalls are widely used to give users access to the Internet in a secure fashion as well as to separate a company's public Web server from its internal network. They are also used to keep internal network segments secure. For example, a research or accounting subnet might be vulnerable to snooping from within.
Frontdoor
The index or home page on a Web site.
FTP
The protocol used for transferring files over the Internet.
Fulfillment
The process of planning and executing the logistics regarding the fulfillment of orders.
Gateway
In networking, a combination of hardware and software that links two different types of networks.
Glossary
Each time you click a glossary term, you'll see a window like this displaying the term and its definition. To see the entire glossary, click Show All Terms.
GOPHER
A program that searches for file names and resources on the Internet and presents hierarchical menus to the user. As users select options, they are moved to different Gopher servers on the Internet. Where links have been established, Usenet news and other information can be read directly from Gopher. There are more than 7,000 Gopher servers on the Internet.
Government to Business
(G2B) A secondary model for eBusiness where the seller is a government entity, and the buyer is a business. The Business to Government (B2G) model operates in the reverse.
Hardware
Machinery and equipment such as CPUs, disks, tapes, modems, and cables. In operation, a computer is both hardware and software. One is useless without the other. The hardware design specifies the commands it can follow, and the instructions tell it what to do.
Hardware infrastructure
Servers, disk arrays and other storage devices, power supply and protection devices and physical communications devices.
High touch
High touch items are those that customers prefer to be able to see and feel before they buy.
Horizontal applications
Applications found in practically any type of company, regardless of the vertical industry it is in. An example is a human resources application, as nearly every organization uses on.
Horizontal hub
Automate a business function or procedure across domains; are also known as Functional hubs.
HTML
The authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web.
HTTP
HyperText Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.
Hub
A business that connects multiple buyers and sellers together electronically.
Hyperlinks
An element in an electronic document that links to another place either within the same document or in a different document. Typically, the user clicks the hyperlink to follow the link.
ICE
(Internet Content Exchange Protocol) This defines the method and format for content exchange and provides support for management and control of syndication relationships. ICE is an application of XML.
ICMP
(Internet Control Message Protocol) A TCP/IP protocol used to send error and control messages. For example, a router uses ICMP to notify the sender that its destination node is not available. A ping utility sends ICMP echo requests to verify the existence of an IP address.
ICommerce
All business conducted on-line. This includes, for example, buying and selling products and services using the Internet; commonly referred to as eCommerce.
IDL
(Interface Definition Language) A language used to describe the interface to a routine or function. For example, objects in the CORBA distributed object environment are defined by an IDL, which describes the services performed by the object and how the data is to be passed to it.
Indexer
A program that reads the documents fetched by a search engine spider then indexes it according to the words used in the document.
Information Technologies
Concerned with all aspects of managing and processing information, especially within a large organization or company. Because computers are central to information management, computer departments within companies and universities are often called IT departments. Some companies refer to this department as IS (Information Services) or MIS (Management Information Services).
Intermediary
A go-between acting as a link between parties.
Internet
A global network connecting millions of computers that are joined through a high-speed backbone of data links.
Intranet
A network based on TCP/IP protocols (an internet) belonging to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization's members, employees, or others with authorization. An in-house Web site that serves the employees of the enterprise. Although intranet pages may link to the Internet, an intranet is not a site accessed by the general public. Using programming languages such as Java, client/server applications can be built on intranets. Since Web browsers that support Java run under Windows, Mac and UNIX, such programs also provide cross-platform capability. Intranets use the same communications protocols and hypertext links as the Web and thus provide a standard way of disseminating information internally and extending the application worldwide at the same time. An intranet looks and behaves like any other Web site, but is protected from unauthorized access by a firewall.
ISAPI
(Internet Server API) A programming interface on Internet Information Server (IIS), Microsoft's Web server. Using ISAPI function calls, Web pages can invoke programs that are written as DLLs on the server, typically to access data in a database. IIS comes with a DLL that allows embedded queries to access ODBC-compliant databases. ISAPI is an alternative to using CGI scripts on Microsoft Web servers. The counterpart to ISAPI on the client side is WinInet.
ISDN
Integrated services digital network) An international communications standard for sending voice, video and data over digital phone lines or normal phone wires. ISDN supports data transfer rates of 64 Kbps (64000 bits per second). Most ISND lines offer. Most ISDN services include two lines at once. When both are used, the data rate of 128 Kbps is three times the data rate provided by today's fastest modem. The latest version of ISDN, B-ISDN supports transmission rates of 1.5 Mbps and requires fiber optic cablesBottom of Form 1.
ISP
(Internet Service Provider) An organization that provides access to the Internet. Small Internet service providers (ISPs) provide service via modem and ISDN while the larger ones also offer private line hookups (T1 or fractional T1). Customers are generally billed a fixed rate per month, but other charges may apply. For a fee, a Web site can be created and maintained on the ISP's server, allowing the smaller organization to have a presence on the Web with its own domain name.
ISPs(Internet Service Provider)
A company that provides access to the Internet. For a monthly fee, the service provider gives you a software package, username, password and access phone number. Equipped with a modem, you can then log on to the Internet and browse the World Wide Web and USENET, and send and receive e-mail.
J2EE
(Java 2 Enterprise Edition) A server-side eBusiness application that provides several basic constructs and features that are useful in server-side eBusiness computing. It also includes a messaging protocol (JMS, short for Java Messaging Service), supports multithreading, runs cross-operating systems, offers XML support, provides database integration (through JDBC), and a rich set of low-level objects and services that support security, network awareness, and software management.
Java
A programming language for writing client and server applications for the Web. Developed by Sun, Java was modeled after C++, and Java programs can be called from within HTML documents or launched stand-alone. When a Java program runs from a Web page, it is called a "Java applet." When a Java program is run on the Web server, it is called a "servlet." The first Web browsers to run Java applications were Sun's HotJava and Netscape's Navigator 2.0. Java was designed to run in small amounts of memory and provides enhanced features for the programmer, including the ability to release memory when no longer required.
JavaBeans
Allow developers to create reusable software components that can then be assembled together using visual application builder tools.
JDBC
(Java Database Connectivity) A programming interface that lets Java applications access a database via the SQL language. Since Java interpreters (Java Virtual Machines) are available for all major client platforms, this allows a platform-independent database application to be written. In 1996, JDBC was the first extension to the Java platform. JDBC is the Java counterpart of Microsoft's ODBC.
Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)
A compressed file format, primarily used for full-color or gray-scale digital images of natural, real-world scenes. JPEG does not work well with cartoons or line drawing images.
Just in Time
Inventory control strategy in which raw materials and components are delivered from the vendor (or supplier) shortly before being used in the manufacturing process.
Kiosk
A booth providing a computer-related service. A kiosk requires a simple user interface that can be used without training or documentation, and the hardware must be capable of operating unattended for long periods of time. Touch screens can provide some of these features because they enable a user to enter and display information on the same device and eliminate the need for keyboards, which are prone to break.
Legacy applications
An application in which a company or organization has already invested considerable time and money. Typically, legacy applications are database management systems (DBMSs) running on mainframes or minicomputers. An important feature of new software products is the ability to work with a company's legacy applications, or at least be able to import data from them.
Legacy systems
Legacy systems support legacy applications.
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol, a set of protocols for accessing information directories. LDAP is based on the standards contained within the X.500 standard, but is significantly simpler. And unlike X.500, LDAP supports TCP/IP, which is necessary for any type of Internet access. Because it's a simpler version of X.500, LDAP is sometimes called X.500-lite. Although not yet widely implemented, LDAP should eventually make it possible for almost any application running on virtually any computer platform to obtain directory information, such as email addresses and public keys. Because LDAP is an open protocol, applications need not worry about the type of server hosting the directory.
Linux
A version of UNIX that runs on x86, Alpha and PowerPC machines. Linux is open source software, which is freely available; however, the full distribution of Linux along with technical support and training are available for a fee from vendors. The distribution CD-ROMs includes the complete source code as well as hundreds of tools, applets and utilities. Due to its stability, Linux has gained popularity with ISPs as the OS for hosting Web servers.
Load balancing
Distributing processing and communications activity evenly across a computer network so that no single device is overwhelmed. Load balancing is especially important for networks where it's difficult to predict the number of requests that will be issued to a server. Busy Web sites typically employ two or more Web servers in a load balancing scheme. If one server starts to get swamped, requests are forwarded to another server with more capacity. Load balancing can also refer to the communications channels themselves.
Local Area Networks
LAN or Local Area Network is a computer network that spans a relatively small area. Most LANs are confined to a single building or group of buildings.
Low touch
Low touch items are those that customers will buy sight unseen; low-touch items have sold best on the web so far.
Management Information Systems
(MIS) Software that provides managerial tools for organization and evaluation.
MCommerce
Mobile Commerce is involves the use of mobile communication devices such as cellular phones and PDA (Personal Digital Assistants) with modems to facilitate eCommerce.
Message queue
Some messaging systems use a temporary storage facility, called a message queue, to store messages indefinitely. A message queuing system enables applications to communicate even though they may not be running at the same time.
Message-brokering technology
Technology that acts as a message server being multiple systems/solutions requiring integration.
Microsoft Cluster Server
MSCS or Microsoft Cluster Server is a clustering technology built into Windows NT 4.0 and later versions. MSCS supports clustering of two NT servers to provide a single fault-tolerant server. During its development stage, MSCS was code-named Wolfpack.
Middleware
Technology that acts as an interoperability platform between unrelated software architectures and applications.
MP3
A format of compressed audio file using MPEG (Moving Picture Experts Group) Layer 3 coding. This format allows near CD quality sound to be digitally stored with a compression ratio of about 12. As the file is so much smaller, MP3 is the preferred format for storing and distributing music and other audio files on the Internet.
MRO inputs
Maintenance, Repair and Operating products and services; examples include human resources and capital equipment.
Multicasting
The sending of a message to a select group, as when a user sends an email to an electronic mailing list.

Narrowcasting
To send data to a specific list of recipients as opposed to broadcast which sends data to anyone and everyone.
Netiquette
The etiquette guidelines for the design and use of the Internet.
Network Management Systems
Software and sometimes hardware which will monitor and control networks. Some Network Operating Systems have their own built-in Network Management Systems.
Network Operating Systems
An Operating System that includes components for networking built into it. Examples include Novell Netware, Windows NT etc.
NIC
NIC or Network Interface Card is a board or card that can be plugged into a computer that has the necessary connectivity electronics and plugs to enable the computer to be connected on a network.
NSAPI
(NetScape API) A programming interface on Netscape's Web Server. Using NSAPI function calls, Web pages can invoke programs on the server, typically to access data in a database. NSAPI is an alternative to using CGI scripts on Netscape Web servers.
Object request broker
A program that controls communication between clients and objects on servers.
ODBC
(Open Database Connectivity) OBDC inserts a middle layer, better known as a database driver, making it possible to access any data from any application, regardless of which database management system handles the data. For this to occur, the application must be capable of issuing ODBC commands and the database management system must be capable of responding to them.
One-to-one marketing
A marketing strategy where marketing personnel develop business rules that, when combined with profiles, create content targeted to each individual site visitor.
Open Database Connectivity
ODBC or Open Database Connectivity is a standard database access method developed by Microsoft to make it possible for any ODBC compliant application to access any data stored in an ODBC compliant database. ODBC achieves this by inserting a layer called a database driver between the application and the database to interpret any requests from the application into commands that are understood by the DBMS.
Open source operating system
An operating system whose source code that is available. Under GNU public license, anyone is permitted to modify the code, as long as their modifications are made freely available.
Open standards
Officially approved standards as well as privately designed architectures whose specifications are made public by the designers. The opposite of open is closed or proprietary.
Operating System
An Operating System is a program that runs between the applications software and the hardware on a computer. The Operating System is responsible for controlling and coordinating access to the hardware devices from the applications and manages security, scheduling and data storage operations for the applications. Examples include UNIX, Windows NT, Windows 98.
Operating systems
Arguably the most important program that runs on a computer. An operating system (OS) performs basic tasks such as recognizing input from the keyboard and sending output to a display screen.
ORB
(Object Request Broker) A program that controls communication between clients and objects on servers.
Parallel processing
The simultaneous use of more than one CPU to execute a program. Ideally, parallel processing makes a program run faster because there are more engines (CPUs) running it. Most computers have just one CPU, but some models have more than one. It is also possible to perform parallel processing by connecting the computers in a network such as with a server cluster.
Personalization
The customization of an online experience according to each user's online behavior.
Plug-in
A hardware or software module that adds a specific feature or service to a larger system. For example, there are number of plug-ins for the Netscape Navigator browser that enable it to display different types of audio or video messages.
Portals
A Web "supersite" that provides a variety of services including Web searching, news, white and yellow pages directories, free e-mail, discussion groups, online shopping and links to other sites. Web portals are the Web equivalent of the original online services such as CompuServe and AOL. Although the term was initially used to refer to general-purpose sites, it is increasingly being used to refer to vertical market sites that offer the same services, but only to a particular industry such as banking, insurance or computers.
Proprietary systems
Proprietary is the opposite of open. A proprietary design or technique is one that is owned by a company. It also implies that the company has not divulged specifications that would allow other companies to duplicate the product.
Proprietary technologies
Technology solutions developed using customized standards.
Protocol
The language of a network. A set format for data to be passed between to devices or objects. The protocol defines how the data is structured and the error checking and transmission control information that is communicated between the objects or devices. TCP/IP is an example of a suite of protocols that enable devices and objects to communicate.
PSTN
(Public Switched Telephone Network) Refers to the international phone system based on copper wires carrying analog voice data. This is in contrast to newer telephone networks based on digital technologies, including ISDN.
Public-key encryption
A means to ensure user authorization. Public-key encryption has two keys one to encrypt the material, the other to decrypt it.
Quick Win
Any project that has a large business impact and is relatively easy to implement.
Rainbow spectrum multi-channel capability
missing
RAM
Random access memory, a type of computer memory that can be accessed randomly; that is, any byte of memory can be accessed without touching the preceding bytes. RAM is the most common type of memory found in computers and other devices, such as printers.
Remote Method Invocation
RMI or Remote Method Invocation is a set of protocols developed by Javasoft, a division of Sun Microsystems™, that enables Java objects to communicate. RMI is similar to CORBA and DCOM but much more simple.
Revenue sharing
When one site drives traffic for another site by promoting it on theirs (and vice verse). The site being promoted gives the other a portion of their ad revenue. One way to measure this is by tracking using cookies.
Rich data
A simultaneous combination of different data types (e.g. combination of textual and/or audio/and/or image and/or video data).
Router
A device that forwards data packets from one local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN) to another. Based on routing tables and protocols, routers read the network address in each transmitted frame and make a decision on how to send it based on the most expedient route (traffic load, line costs, speed, or bad lines). Routers work at layer 3 in the protocol stack, whereas bridges and switches work at the layer 2. Most routers are specialized computers that are optimized for communications; however, router functions can also be implemented by adding routing software to a file server.
Secret-key encryption
A means to ensure user authorization. Secret-key encryption uses a shared key for both the encryption and decryption of transmitted material.
Server cluster
Connecting two or more computers together in such a way that they behave like a single computer. Clustering is used for parallel processing, for load balancing, and for fault tolerance.
SMP(Symmetric Multiprocessing)
A computer architecture that provides fast performance by making multiple CPUs available to complete individual processes simultaneously (multiprocessing). Unlike asymmetrical processing, any idle processor can be assigned any task, and additional CPUs can be added to improve performance and handle increased loads.
Specialized portal
Also known as a Vortal, is based on an area of interest or service that is industry specific.
Spider
A program that automatically fetches Web pages. Spiders are used to feed pages to search engines. Spiders are also called Web crawlers and PriceBots.
SQL
Short for Structured Query Language; the standard access language for relational databases.
Standards-based technology
Technology based on Open Systems standards.
Stock holding levels
The quantity of inventory items that need to be held in order to fulfill demand in an acceptable time period. The quantity of inventory items which need to be held in order to fulfill demand in an acceptable time period.
Supply Webs
A connected group of material suppliers, distributors, shipping and freight suppliers, warehouses, and financial partners.
Switched LANs
LANs that use switches to join segments.
Symmetric Multi-Processing
A computer architecture that provides fast performance by making multiple CPUs available to complete individual processes simultaneously (multiprocessing). Unlike asymmetrical processing, any idle processor can be assigned any task, and additional CPUs can be added to improve performance and handle increased loads.
TCO
(Total Cost of ownership) The cost of owning a product taking into account the purchase price and all other costs associated with owning it. TCO includes the original cost of the computer and software, hardware and software upgrades, Maintenance, Technical support and Training.
TCP/IP
(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) The suite of communications protocols used to connect hosts on the Internet. TCP/IP uses several protocols, the two main ones being TCP and IP. A communications protocol developed under contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to internetwork dissimilar systems. Invented by Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn, this de facto UNIX standard is the protocol of the Internet and has become the global standard for communications. TCP provides transport functions, which ensures that the total amount of bytes sent is received correctly at the other end. IP provides the routing mechanism. TCP/IP is a routable protocol, which means that all messages contain not only the address of the destination station, but also the address of a destination network. This allows TCP/IP messages to be sent to multiple networks within an organization or around the world, hence its use in the Internet.
Telecommunication technologies
Telecommunications involves any type of electronic data communications. The technologies that support this include telephone, television, satellite, fiber optics etc.
Three-tier architecture
A special type of client/server architecture consisting of three well-defined and separate processes, each running on a different platform.
Throughput
The amount of data transferred from one place to another in a specified time period.
Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
The cost of owning a product taking into account the purchase price and all other costs associated with owning it. TCO includes the original cost of the computer and software, hardware and software upgrades, Maintenance, Technical support and Training.
Transaction server
Server that processes transactions. Transactions are requests made by users.
Transaction throughput
The number of transactions than can take place in a period of time.
Tunneling
A technology that enables one network to send its data via another network's connections.
UNIX
A highly customizable operating system that provides multi-tasking, multi-user capabilities that allow multiple users to run multiple programs from a single computer.
Value-chain
A value chain identifies activities, functions and business processes that are involved in the design, marketing, delivering and supporting of a product or service in an enterprise.
VAR
(Value Added Resellers) Sells packaged software to organizations as an agent for the software vendor. In addition, VARs provide other basic services like training and implementation (hence the "value added" in their name). VARs typically do not offer full-scale systems integration work, like custom coding.
Vertical application
An application that is specific to a particular vertical industry such as point-of-sale applications.
Vertical hub
Source manufacturing inputs such as raw materials, components or sub-assemblies for manufacturers within a specific domain; tend to be industry sector specific in their content and relationships.
Virtual enterprise
An organization that need not maintain a store, can be accessible to Web customers globally, and may supplement an existing customer base by leveraging the reach of the Web.
Vortal
Specialized portal - is based on an area of interest or service which is industry specific.
VPN
A software-defined network offering the appearance, functionality, and usefulness of a dedicated private network; a VPN uses a public network to connect nodes.
W3CWorld Wide Web Consortium
(World Wide Web Consortium) An international consortium of companies involved with the Internet and the Web. Founded in 1994 by Tim Berners-Lee, the original architect of the World Wide Web. The organization's purpose is to develop open standards, so that the Web evolves in a single direction and not in competing directions. The W3C is the chief standards body for HTTP and HTML.
WAIS
(Wide Area Information Server) A database on the Internet that contains indexes to documents that reside on the Internet. Using the Z39.50 query language, text files can be searched based on keywords. Information resources on the Internet are called "sources." A directory of WAIS servers and sources is available from Thinking Machines Corporation, Cambridge, MA.
WAN
(Wide area network) A communications network that covers a wide geographic area, such as state or country.
WAP
(Wireless Application Protocol) A standard for providing cellular phones, pagers and other handheld devices with secure access to e-mail and text-based Web pages. Introduced in, WAP provides a complete environment for wireless applications that includes a wireless counterpart of TCP/IP and a framework for telephony integration such as call control and phone book access. WAP features the Wireless Markup Language (WML). It also uses WMLScript, a compact JavaScript-like language that runs in limited memory.
Web browser
Application used to view Web pages.
Web server
A server that services requests for Web pages.
Wide Area Networks
A computer network that spans a relatively large geographical area. Typically, a WAN consists of two or more local-area networks (LANs).
Wireless broadcasting
Broadcasting that uses high-frequency radio waves rather than wires.
WML
(Wireless Markup Language) A tag-based language used in the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP). WML is an XML document type allowing standard XML and HTML tools to be used to develop WML applications.
XML
(eXtensible Markup Language) An open standard for describing data from the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). It is used for defining data elements on a Web page and business-to-business documents. It uses a similar tag structure as HTML; however, whereas HTML defines how elements are displayed, XML defines what those elements contain. HTML uses predefined tags, but XML allows tags to be defined. Thus, virtually any data items, such as product, sales rep and amount due, can be identified, allowing Web pages to function like database records. By providing a common method for identifying data, XML supports B2B transactions and is expected to become the dominant format for electronic data interchange.
Yield manager hub
Source operational inputs such as advertising, human resources, logistics and utilities, and work best where the demand and prices are more volatile and the goods or services are specialized.
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