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e-business Technology - Glossary

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eBusiness Technology provides professional services that help your business take full advantage of the Internet and the World Wide Web.
This glossary contains terms and educates how these technologies can improve your business processes in a cost-effective manner.
This straight-forward, bottom-line orientation never lets the technology or graphics get in the way of the business results you now require.
Active Directory
An extremely fast, real time Directory Information Service. It offers a roadmap to the network's resources for systems administrators and end users.
Active Server Pages (ASP)
A dynamically created web page. Very similar to DHTML
Active X
A set of rules for how applications should share information. This is Microsoft's version of Java applets.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
Responsible for creating standards for private and public organizations in the United States.
Application Programming Interface (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 Service Provider (ASP)
A hosted applications solution that the buying organization does not need to install any new server hardware; it is a form of applications outsourcing.
Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)
Allows more data to be sent over existing copper telephone lines
Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
A network technology that transfers data at very high speeds in cells or packets of a fixed size. This enables ATM equipment to transmit video, audio, and computer data over the same network, assuring that a single type of data does not hog the line.
Auxiliary Storage
A supporting data storage device. A Zip drive is a common example.
Biz Talk
A framework that allows e-Commerce vendors to integrate applications and conduct business with their trading partners and customers.
Actual customer commitments that may be reported as revenue for public company filings.
Bulletin board services
An electronic message database where people can log in, read, and leave messages.
Business Logic
The users view of the way business data or business systems are organized
Business to business (B2B)
An online relationship where one business sells goods or services to another business. For example, the United States Postal Service sells its delivery services to Thus, the back end ordering system of is connected to the United States Postal Service.
Business to Consumer (B2C)
Commerce is conducted between a consumer, such as a home user on a PC, and a business.
A powerful and flexible language that can be used for a variety of applications, from business programs to engineering
A high level programming language primarily used for graphical applications.
Capture and Display Devices
Read and translate information or illustrations printed on paper into a form usable by a computer. Scanners are the most common capture and display devices.
Common Business Oriented Language (COBOL)
One of the oldest high level programming languages. It is designed to make it easy for programmers who did not write the original program to make corrections and changes.
Common Data Security Architecture (CDSA)
A framework for developing security and authentication applications.
Common Gateway Interface (CGI)
A specification for transferring information between a web server and a CGI program. CGI programs are the most common way for Web servers to dynamically interact with users (e.g. submitting an online form).
Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA)
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.
Common Security Service Manager (CSSM)
Defines the base application programming interfaces (APIs) available in all common security services manager (CSSM) implementations
Component Object Model (COM)
Microsoft's language independent component architecture intended to provide general purpose, object oriented means to encapsulate commonly used features and functions.
Allow products to be customized to meet the desires of the customer. For example, when purchasing an automobile, shoppers have a choice of color, engine size, and type of radio (CD vs. Cassette).
Customer Information Control System (CICS)
An IBM product that controls the interaction between applications and users and lets programmers develop screen displays without detailed knowledge of the terminals being used.
Customer-Facing Activities
Any activity that involves direct interaction with the customer throughout the lifecycle: from pre-sales to order fulfillment to post customer service retirement activities (e.g. win back the customer).
Customer-Facing Applications
Any application that involves direct interaction with the customer throughout the lifecycle: from pre-sales to order fulfillment to post customer service retirement activities (e.g. win back the customer).
A meta-language defining necessary information about a product. Eventually this standard will be used to standardize the exchange of catalog content and to define request/response processes for secure electronic transactions over e-Commerce sites.
Data Synchronization
Organization and management of iterative postings to ensure distribution of current data.
De facto standards
Have NOT been approved by a standards organization. Instead these are widely used and recognized by an industry as being standard.
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)
Digital Certificates
Provide a method to ensure the electronic identify of an entity or a person.
Discrete Information Objects
A chunk of information. For example, first name would be one discrete information object, while social security number would be another.
The term used to describe the decline of middlemen companies that operate between the buyer and maker of goods.
Technology that contains or is made up of fundamentally different and often incompatible elements.
Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM)
An extension of COM that supports objects distributed across a network, similar to IIOP in the world of CORBA objects.
Distributed Computing Environment (DCE)
Designed to support distributed applications in heterogeneous hardware and software environments. DCE is a key technology in three of today's most important areas of computing: security, the World Wide Web, and distributed objects. DCE implements an organized set of Remote Procedure Calls (RPCs) to effect distributing computing; in that sense DCE is a forerunner to CORBA and COM, but is different from CORBA and COM in that it is not truly object-oriented.
Distributed interNet Applications Architecture (DNA)
The collection of Microsoft technologies that enable the Windows platform and the World Wide Web to work together.
EIA/TIA-232 standard
The most common standard for serial communication. Used for remote dial-up networking.
Electronic data interchange (EDI)
Transferring data between different companies using networks, such as the Internet.
Electronic Data Interchange (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.
A transaction processing product that involves transaction and messaging server interactivity.
Enterprise Application
Applications that are used throughout an organization.
Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB)
Define how Java objects interact with other objects. It is actually possible to develop Enterprise JavaBeans in other languages, but they must be translated into Java byte codes, and organized as a EJB component. The EJB is executed within the context of a J2EE or J2SE virtual machine.
ERP Integration
Integration of all facets of the business, including planning, manufacturing, sales, and marketing.
eXtensible Markup Language (XML)
Enables designers to create customized tags that provide functionality not available with HTML. For example, XML enables links to point to multiple documents, as opposed to HTML links, which reference one destination each.
Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI)
A procedure for sending digital data over fiber optic cables.
File Transfer Protocol (FTP)
The protocol used for transferring files over the Internet
Enables Web developers to draw, animate, move objects, and create interactive buttons for Web pages.
Frame Relay
Enable service providers to utilize existing T-1 and T-3 lines.
Software given away for free by the author.
The combination of hardware and software that links two different types of networks.
Gigabit Ethernet
Provides increased network bandwidth and interoperability among existing Ethernets at operating speeds from 10 Mbps to 1000 Mbps.
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)
A compressed file format that uses allows graphics files be quickly and easily transmitted over the Internet
Heterogeneous Database Environments
A fancy way of saying more than one kind of database.
Heterogeneous Server Environment
A fancy way of saying more than one kind of server exists within an orgnaization.
Netscape’s version of HTTP for secure transactions. Not all Web browsers and servers support HTTPS. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) -- is more prevalent.
Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML)
The authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web
Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP)
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.
A go-between acting as a link between parties.
A global network connecting millions of computers that are joined through a high-speed backbone of data links.
Internet Inter-ORB Protocol (IIOP)
Implements CORBA solutions over the World Wide Web. Unlike the HTTP protocol, which only supports transmission of text, IIOP enables browsers and servers to exchange integers, arrays, and more complex objects.
Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP)
Retrieves e-mail messages but supports additional features to POP3. For example, with IMAP4, e-mail messages can be searched for keywords while the messages are still on mail server. The user can then choose which messages to download to their machine
Ability of a system to use the parts or equipment of another system.
A private Internet reserved for use by people who have been given the authority or passwords. These people are typically employees and often customers of a company.
IP Based Private Network
One form of a corporate Intranet.
A secure version of the Internet protocol that provides optional authentication and encryption at the packet level.
The application programming interface for Microsoft servers
A recurring process. Paying taxes and updating your computer are examples of iterative processes.
Enables applications developed with Java to be run on any operating system that supports the Java platform. Java technology-based software works just about everywhere -- from the smallest devices to supercomputers. Java technology components don't care what kind of computer, phone, TV, or operating system they run on.
Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE)
A specific implementation of the Java platform that targets higher-order Web/e-Commerce solutions. J2EE encompasses most of the Java-based server-side standards, like EJBs, Java Servlets, and JSPs, offers XML interfaces, and possesses compliance suites so that a solution can be J2EE certified. J2EE is a superset of the Java 2 Standard Edition (J2SE), the Java standard platform for client and simple server computing.
Java Applet
A mini application written in the Java language embedded into HTML documents.
Java Database Connectivity (JDBC)
Enables Java programs to interact with any SQL-compliant database and execute SQL statements. It is just like ODBC but is designed to work with Java.
Java Script
Netscape's scripting language that enables Web authors to design interactive sites.
Java Server Pages (JSP)
A Java equivalent to Active Server Pages (the server-side dynamic HTML generation technique used by Microsoft). JSP is a Java-based server-side construct that provides scripted templates to handle dynamic HTML generation.
Java Servlets
A Java servlet is a Java programming language program that extends the capabilities of a server. Although servlets can respond to any types of requests, they most commonly implement applications hosted on Web servers.
Java Virtual Machine
A program that runs under an operating system and interprets Java programs.
Allow developers to create reusable software components that can then be assembled together using visual application builder tools.
Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG)
A compressed file format, primarily used for full-color or grey-scale digital images of natural, real-world scenes. JPEG does not work well with cartoons or line drawing images.
Legacy Application
Outdated systems that are too expensive to trash.
The concept of increasing, multiplying, or magnifying the market impact of an investment.
Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP)
LDAP is a set of protocols used for accessing information directories that are based on a subset of the X.500 directory standard. LDAP also supports TCP/IP, and is therefore an emerging standard for accessing any kind of Internet-based directory, such as email addresses and public key.
Management Applications
Any application that manages desktop systems (either remotely or directly on the system).
Message Broker Technology
Acts as a message server being multiple systems/solutions requiring integration.
Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI)
Enables Windows applications to access a variety of messaging systems, from Microsoft Mail to Novell's MHS. It also allows mail-aware applications to exchange both mail and data with others on a network.
Acts as an interoperability platform between unrelated software architectures and applications.
Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG)
The Moving Picture Experts Group created two major MPEG standards: MPEG-1 and MPEG-2. The MPEG-1 standard is currently the most popular provide a video resolution of 352-by-240 at 30 frames per second (fps). This produces video quality slightly below the quality of conventional VCR videos. A newer standard, MPEG-2, offers resolutions of 720x480 and 1280x720 with full CD-quality audio. MPEG is used for non-streaming video display.
MQ Series
IBM's de facto messaging standard
Multimedia Devices
Allow computers to present text, graphics, video, animation, and sound in an integrated way. A video card is a common example of a multimedia device.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI)
Enables users to hook together computers, musical instruments, and synthesizers to make and orchestrate digital sound.
Native Interface
Typically possess higher performance than ODBC/JDBC. However, this type of interface is not portable between databases like ODBC/JDBC.
Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)
used to post, distribute, and retrieve USENET messages.
The application programming interface for Netscape servers.
Object Management Group (OMG)
A consortium of more than 700 companies with the goal of providing a common framework for developing applications using object-oriented programming techniques. OMG is responsible for the CORBA specification.
Object Request Broker (ORB)
A program that controls communication between clients and objects on servers.
Object Standards
Define how objects should (a) define and expose their methods and properties to other objects, (b) act by themselves, and interact with other objects, and (c) turn into other objects, or get combined into larger objects.
Object Wrapper
Object wrappers control communication between clients and objects on a server. They allow heterogeneous object environments to interoperate with or without a request broker.
Another term for an Analytical Database. This type of database stores and maintains information objects and their relationships in a fashion that facilitates numerical analysis.
Open Applications Group (OAG)
A industry consortium seeking to enable organizations to quickly buy and easily integrate their business applications.
Open Data Base Connectivity (ODBC)
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.
Open Interface
Specifications to the interface are open to the public. This allows anyone to add on desired usability.
Open standards
Consensus-driven standards that are vendor-neutral and freely available to all anyone.
Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
Organizations that buy computers or computer parts in bulk and customize them for a particular application. The customized computer is sold under the OEM's own name. The term is misleading as OEMs are not the original manufacturers -- they are the customizers.
Performance Tuning
The process of optimizing system throughput given various constraints (e.g. update frequency, volume, priorities).
A system of digital certificates, Certificate Authorities, and other registration authorities that verify and authenticate the validity of each party involved in an Internet transaction.
Plug In
Browser add-ons that enable proprietary functionality to be bolted on to the browser.
Point of Sale (POS)
The physical location a sale takes place (brick and mortar store, telephone, or via the Web).
Point Products
Products that target one distinct organizational group or business function, like field sales force automation.
Point Software Services
Target one distinct software function.
Move from one computer system to another.
Post Office Protocol (POP3)
Used to retrieve e-mail from mail servers. Most e-mail applications use the POP protocol, although some can use the newer Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP).
Programming Languages/Compilers
A program that translates source code (e.g. html) into object code.
Proprietary technologies
Technology solutions developed using customized standards.
The language of a network.
Public Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS)
A suite of specifications created by RSA to standardize cryptographic formats and operations
Quick Time
Apple Computers standard that integrates full-motion video and sound into application programs.
R/3 (SAP)
Provides powerful programs for accounting and controlling, production and materials management, quality management and plant maintenance, sales and distribution, human resources management, and project management.
Remote Method Invocation (RMI)
Enables Java objects to communicate remotely with other Java objects.
Remote Procedure Calls (RPC)
Allows a program on one computer to execute a program or invoke particular functions of another program on a remote computer.
Rosetta Net
A non-profit standards organization focusing on developing standards for supply-chain (manager-supplier) transactions on the Internet.
Secure Electronic Transaction (SET)
A standard that enables secure credit card transactions for e-Commerce sites. Virtually all the major players in the electronic commerce arena, including Microsoft, Netscape, Visa, and Mastercard, have endorsed it.
Secure Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME)
A new version of the MIME protocol that supports the encryption of messages. S/MIME is based on RSA's public-key encryption technology.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)
Negotiates point-to-point security between client and a server. By convention, Web pages that require an SSL connection start with https: instead of http:. This standard is supported by Netscape and Microsoft.
Self Sales
Empowering the buyer to take a greater role in the sales process.
Provide systems logic processing and memory for computer systems.
Server Side Processing
An environment where the server does the majority of a processing.
Enables Web authors to design sites with multimedia capability.
Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP)
Provides a common messaging technique through which various systems management elements can share information and deploy agents and actions.
Suns operating system for network application servers, Internet servers, and high-end desktop systems.
A leading hardware platform for serious server application.
Standards-based technologies
Technology solutions developed using pre-existing or established standards.
Streaming Media
Allows client browsers or plug-ins to start displaying audio or video data while the file is being downloaded.
Structured Data Stores
Databases that contain structured data. They maintain meta data about every element of data they store, like the format (for example, numeric versus alphanumeric, minimum or maximum number of characters, positions of special characters, range of values, record/row key or number, etc.).
Structured Query Language (SQL)
The standard access language for relational databases.
Applications that involve interaction with business suppliers during the lifecycle.
Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS)
Enables organizations to connect LANs into a single wide-area network WAN.
The application program used to reach the login prompt of any computer not behind a firewall on the Internet.
Thin Browser
All processing occurs on the server computer that transmits the necessary information to the thin client.
Token Ring
A type of computer network in which all the computers are schematically arranged in a circle.
Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
A suite of communications protocols used to connect computer systems and transfer data over the Internet.
Unified Modeling Language (UML)
A general-purpose notational language for specifying and visualizing complex software, especially large, object-oriented projects.
An operating system that provides multi-tasking, multi-user capabilities that allow multiple users to run multiple programs from a single computer.
Unstructured Data
Unstructured data is electronic information that is stored and formatted in an informal fashion. Unstructured data may have a format, but it is free form. It does not stick to pre-established rules. Thus, documents, text, and Web pages are considered unstructured.
User Interface (UI)
The human-machine interface used by people to actually invoke commands on the computer.
As an extension to the Visual Basic language, VBScript can be used with Microsoft Office and other applications. It can also be embedded in web pages but can only be understood by Internet Explorer.
Virtual Private Network (VPN)
A software-defined network offering the appearance, functionality, and usefulness of a dedicated private network.
Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML)
Specifies rules for displaying 3-dimensional objects on the World Wide Web. VRML is sometimes referred to the 3-D equivalent HTML.
Visual Basic
one of the first products to provide a graphical programming environment for developing user interfaces. Allows programmers to develop customizable Windows applications.
Visual InterDev
Microsoft's tool for building dynamic, data-driven Web sites.
Specifies rules for displaying 3-dimensional objects on the World Wide Web. VRML is sometimes referred to the 3-D equivalent HTML.
The format for storing sound in files.
Web Protocol
An agreed upon format that allows two devices to communicate with each other.
Web-facing CRM
CRM that occurs via the web. For example, rather than calling into a call center, a customer visits a company's online support desk and uses a self service approach to solve their problem.
Wirelsss Application Protocol (WAP)
Allows users to instantly access information via hand-held wireless devices.
Workflow Management Coalition (WfMC)
Promote and develop the use of workflow services by establishing standards for software terminology, interoperability and connectivity between workflow products.
World Wide Web
A system of Internet servers supporting specially formatted documents that support links to other documents, graphics, audio, and video files. The documents are formatted in special language (HTML, DHTML, XML, etc.).
World Wide Web Consortium
Responsible for producing interoperable specifications and sample code for the Internet.
Allow remote devices to communicate with each other across high speed digital links without the expense of individual leased line.
A model for connecting local directory services to form one distributed global directory.
The basis for managing public keys on a secure basis for use by widely distributed users or systems.
Enable designers to create customized tags that provide functionality not available with HTML. For example, XML enables links to point to multiple documents, as opposed to HTML links, which reference one destination each.
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