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ebusiness Solution Elements - Glossary

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An explanation/justification of the pattern as a whole, or of individual components within it, indicating how the pattern actually works, and why it resolves the forces to achieve the desired goals and objectives.
The Solution element of a pattern describes the external structure and behavior of the solution: the Rationale provides insight into its internal workings.
Patterns for system architecting are very much in their infancy.
They have been introduced into TOGAF essentially to draw them to the attention of the systems architecture community as an emerging important resource, and as a placeholder for hopefully more rigorous descriptions and references to more plentiful resources in future versions of TOGAF.
They have not (as yet) been integrated into TOGAF. However, in the following, we attempt to indicate the potential value to TOGAF, and to which parts of the TOGAF Architecture Development Method (ADM) they might be relevant.
ActiveX
A set of rules for how applications should share information. This is Microsoft's version of Java applets.
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.
ASPs
A hosted applications solution that the buying organization does not need to install any new server hardware; it is a form of applications outsourcing.
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.
Bridge
A 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 are faster than routers, but also less versatile.
COM+
Microsoft's language independent component architecture intended to provide general purpose, object oriented means to encapsulate commonly used features and functions.
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.
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.
De facto standards
A de facto standard is a custom, convention, product, or system that has achieved a dominant position by public acceptance or market forces. De facto is a Latin phrase that means in fact (literally by or from fact) in the sense of "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established".
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.
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.
EJB
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.
Extranet
A Web site for existing customers rather than the general public. It can provide access to paid research, current inventories and internal databases, virtually any information that is private and not published for everyone. An extranet uses the public Internet as its transmission system, but requires passwords to gain access.
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.
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.
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.
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.
HTML
The authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Interoperability
missing term
Intranet
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.
IP
missing.
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.
ISPs
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.
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.
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.
LAN
missing
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.
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.
Maintainability
missing term
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.
Middleware
Technology that acts as an interoperability platform between unrelated software architectures and applications.
Multicasting
The sending of a message to a select group, as when a user sends an email to an electronic mailing list.
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 operating system
An operating system that is open to access and free to use.
Operating systems
Arguable 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.
Personalization
The customization of an online experience according to each user's online behavior.
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 technologies
Technology solutions developed using customized standards.
Protocol
The language of a network.
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.
Reliability
missing term.
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.
Scalability
missing term
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.
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.
Stickiness
missing term
Supply Webs
A connected group of material suppliers, distributors, shipping and freight suppliers, warehouses, and financial partners.
Switch
missing
Switched LANs
LANs that use switches to join segments.
TCP/IP
(Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol)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.
Three-tier architecture
A special type of client/server architecture consisting of three well-defined and separate processes, each running on a different platform.
Tunneling
A technology that enables one network to send its data via another network's connections.
UNIX
An operating system that provides multi-tasking, multi-user capabilities that allow multiple users to run multiple programs from a single computer.
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.
VPN
A software-defined network offering the appearance, functionality, and usefulness of a dedicated private network.
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.
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. 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 by the developer of the page. 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.
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