The process of a) keeping redundant copies of data (in independently
designed applications) consistent, and/or b) enabling end-users
to access data and functionality from independently designed applications
on a single user interface.
The top of the seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI)
model, generally regarded as offering an interface to, and largely
defined by, the network user.
An organization that hosts software applications on its own servers
within its own facilities. Customers access the application via
private lines or the Internet. Also called a commercial service
The overall design of a computing system and the logical and physical
interrelationships between its components. The architecture specifies
the hardware, software, access methods, and protocols used throughout
An electronic market, which can exist in both a business-to-business
and business-to-consumer context. Sellers offer products or services
to buyers through a Web site with a structured process for price
setting and fulfilment.
A mechanism for the secure authentication of the identity of network
clients by servers and vice versa, without presuming the operating
system integrity of either.
Occurs when the merchant, its merchant bank, and the customer’s
card-issuing bank work together to verify that the electronic
payment should be permitted given the customer’s credit
limit or the amount in the customer’s bank account.
An electronic funds transfer system governed by operating rules
that provide clearance of electronic payments with participating
The uncommitted portion of a company’s inventory or planned
production. This figure is frequently calculated from the master
production schedule and is maintained as a tool for order promising.
- Identifying a need
- Defining the requirements
- Planning the overall application structure or architecture
- Developing the code or programming instructions
- Monitoring progress
- Testing results
The business processes and operational functions that happen internally
or through the supply chain. These functions often include inventory
management, order processing and tracking, shipping and receiving,
purchasing and distribution.
The amount of information that can be effectively pushed through
a particular communications pipe at a given time. It is typically
measured in bits per second.
A graphic image used on Web sites to advertise a product. Banner
ads are typically rectangles of a standard height and width that
the user can click on for further information.
A method of identification or authentication that measures a unique
physical or behavioral biological characteristic such as a fingerprint,
face, voice, or iris of the eye.
The minimum unit of binary information as stored in a computer
system. A bit can have only two states, on or off, which are commonly
called ones (1) and zeros (0). The combination of ones and zeros
determines which information is entered into and processed by
The basic unit of measurement for serial data transmission capacity.
Represented as Kbps, or kilobit/s, for thousands of bits per second;
Mbps, or megabit/s, for millions of bits per second; Gbps, or
gigabit/s, for billions of bits per second; Tbps, or terabit/s,
for trillions of bits per second.
Mathematical, graphical, logical, and managerial algorithms for
describing and modeling business processes, information systems,
or management decision-making systems.
An integrated set of management policies and project management
procedures for analyzing existing business processes and systems,
designing new processes and systems, testing and managing the
Combinations of techniques and software products that allow electronic
capture, analysis, testing, simulation, reconfiguration, and persistent
memory of business and systems models.
A trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer.
Traditional companies that create a virtual counterpart of their
brick and mortar business are sometimes referred to as hybrids.
A traditional company with non-Web channels (a physical building)
as the sales outlet for its products or services.
The diameter of the pipe through which information passes. Broad
bandwidth technology will allow complex information to be transmitted
to users, such as real-time sound and video.
Establishes an Internet presence with basic features such as company
information, directions, hours of operation, and product information.
It does not allow transactions or interactivity. Considered to
be Level 1 on the CRM continuum.
A software program used to locate and display information on an
intranet, extranet or the Internet. Browsers are most often used
to access Web pages and most display graphics, photographs, text,
and multimedia information.
An information systems communications initiative for sharing information
and experience via a dial-up message center.
The business or industry needs or changes which are the driving
force behind making changes within an organization.
User-led (versus computer-led) process of exploring data, data
relationships, and trends to improve business decision-making.
Insights derived from BI’s inquiry and analysis techniques
are critical to enterprise-wide strategic planning efforts. BI
technology is divided into interactive query tools, reporting
tools, decision support systems, and executive information systems.
An event-driven, end-to-end processing path that starts with an
internal or external request and ends with a result for the customer.
Business processes are often cross-departmental and can be enterprise
One who focuses on the structure and organization of various business
processes. Also, examines how the business process can be improved.
The fundamental analysis and radical redesign of business practices
and management systems, job definitions, organizational systems,
and beliefs and behaviors to achieve dramatic performance improvements
throughout the organization. BPR uses objective, quantitative
methods and tools to complete these transformations.
A single business or collection of businesses within a company
that, in theory, could stand-alone from the company. A business
unit has its own competitors in the marketplace and a manager
who is responsible for running the business unit.
The business model where transactions and interactions are primarily
conducted from one business to another. Using electronic means
to conduct business, each organization is generally set up through
a contractual agreement. Transactions are conducted through Web
authorization and control (WAC) for delivery of confidential information,
order processing and tracking, and other internal processes available
for each partner.
The business model where electronic transactions and interactions
are conducted from a business to its consumer. This commerce may
include formal and informal relationships.
Sometimes referred to as employee self-service; it is offered
through intraweb portals (e.g., an HR portal).
The business model where electronic transactions and interactions
are conducted from a business to the government and vice versa.
It may include transactions that involve funding, policies and
laws, and other governmental business transactions.
Processes enabling companies to purchase products. Includes requisitioning,
product catalogues, approvals, user identification, purchase order
creation, payment processing, and integration with other systems.
A temporary storage area for instructions and data near a computer’s
central processing unit (CPU), usually implemented in high-speed
memory. It replicates information from main memory or storage
in a way that facilitates quicker access, using fewer resources
than the original source.
The function of establishing, measuring, and adjusting limits
for the amount of Internet traffic that can be accommodated at
any one time. E-business sites need to plan for unpredictable
spikes in usage and traffic.
Either internal or third-party entities that affirm or electronically
vouch for an individual’s identity. They are used to vouch
for the identity of a device, such as a Web server, a network
router, or an application. The certificate is backed by a profile
stored in a database that is referenced to retrieve a public key
or to check attributes such as permissions and roles.
Automated support for development, rollout, and maintenance of
system components (i.e., intelligent regeneration, package versioning,
state control, library control, configuration management, turnover
management, and distributed impact sensitivity reporting).
The application used by trading partners that resides within a
single company. An example would be a shared service provider
that allows its partners to use an internal application to accomplish
a business process.
The routing of the payment information from the merchant bank
to the card-issuing bank at the end of the business day.
Occurs when an Internet user clicks the mouse to link through
an ad’s text or graphics in order to access the message
of the ad or the ad’s Web site.
Tools that watch the pages a site visitor browses and keeps track
of time spent at the particular location.
A system or a program that requests the activity of one or more
other systems or programs, called servers, to accomplish specific
tasks. In a client/server environment, the workstation is usually
The splitting of an application into tasks performed on separate
computing devices — a programmable workstation such as a
personal computer (PC) and a server. The PC (the client) does
some of its own processing, while the server typically stores
information and software. The two sides are connected by a local-area
network (LAN) or wide-area network (WAN).
The division of an application into separate processes capable
of operating on separate central processing units (CPUs) connected
over a network.
Computer-mediated groupware that increases the productivity or
functionality of person-to-person processes.
Occurs when all trading partners agree to use the same application
functionality. This type is normally used for collaborative applications
such as the development of products.
Electronically enabled business interactions among an enterprise's
internal personnel, suppliers, business partners, and customers
throughout a given trading community.
A marketing technique that automatically provides a consumer with
a list of additional items similar to the current purchase.
A data-passing specification used when a Web server must send
or receive data from an application such as a database. A CGI
script passes the request from the Web server to a database, gets
the output, and returns it to the Web client.
Transmission of information between points of transmission and
reception, without alteration of sequence or structure of the
The exchange of a special sequence of control characters between
a computer and a remote terminal to establish synchronous communications.
A constantly changing group of people collaborating and sharing
their ideas over an electronic network (e.g., the Internet). Communities
optimize their collective power by affiliation around a common
interest. Information can be shared via bulletin boards, chat
rooms, list servers, etc.
Communications object programs that move information between programs
A measure of the number of users engaged in transactions at the
same time. This information is critical for capacity planning.
Protection of data from unauthorized viewing.
A function that enables impact/dependency analysis of application
To join to or by means of a communications circuit.
In IT terms, it refers to the ability to connect to or communicate
with another computer or computer system. In e-business the term
often refers to connecting to the Internet, or the ability to
connect to a Web site.
A business model where consumers have the capability to conduct
electronic transactions with other consumers. This often includes
online auction or trading sites.
An enterprise with information-based products. It also includes
services to access and manage the content.
A permanent code placed in a file on a client computer’s
hard disk by a server that the client has visited. The code uniquely
identifies the client. When the PC user returns, they are automatically
entered into the site without relogging in.
One that purchases a commodity or service. Many organizations
are changing their focus towards the customer and attempting to
best meet and satisfy their needs.
An analysis of customer data by using historic records of customer
behavior to build estimates of future behavior such as loyalty,
responsiveness, and profitability.
An application or set of applications used by marketing professionals
to design multi-channel marketing campaigns and track the effect
of those campaigns by customer segment over time.
A definition of the customer in terms of the various market segmentation
variables. E-businesses must be able to identify each customer’s
preferences, behaviors, and demographics.
An enterprise-wide business strategy designed to optimize profitability,
revenue, and customer needs satisfaction. To accomplish this the
enterprise must organize operations around customer segments,
fostering customer satisfying behaviors and linking processes
from customers back through suppliers.
Systems such as help desks and sales and marketing systems that
provide front-line support with back-end linkage for interaction
with customers (e.g., tracking, resolution and escalation). A
CSS tracking system tracks and reports inquiries resolved during
the initial contact and those that require follow-up.
The business strategy of CRM that clearly places the customer
at the heart of an enterprise's strategy. Firms that employ this
strategy will not only enable themselves to provide greater value
to customers but will be able to serve these customers faster
and more accurately than any competitor.
Occurs when a site permits choices among static categories. It
involves features to allow Web visitors to select how certain
pages are displayed. The user, not the Web site’s content
creator, is in control of the content.
- In data communications, a one-way path along which signals
can be sent between two or more points.
- In telecommunications, a transmission path (one-or two-way)
between two or more points provided by a common carrier.
- In business terminology, a channel refers to the route by which
a company’s products or services are delivered to the marketplace
or end-user. A channel can be referred to as a marketing, sales,
or a distribution channel.
A performance measure based on the rate of undetected errors.
A decentralized subset of data found in a data warehouse that
is designed to support the unique business unit requirements of
a specific decision support system.
The process of identifying patterns from typically large amounts
of business data and extracting useful information. It can be
performed by people, intelligent agents, or other machine-based
learning and analysis techniques. Data mining is often applied
to data stored on a data warehouse.
A form of embedded middleware that allows applications to update
data on two systems so that the data sets are identical. These
services can run via a variety of different transports but typically
require some application-specific knowledge of the context and
notion of the data being synchronized.
A central computer repository that stores all (or significant
portions of) the data collected by an enterprise’s multiple
business systems. Data from online transaction processing applications
and other sources is selectively collected, extracted, sorted,
and cleaned. Then it is stored in a data warehouse, which is usually
housed in an enterprise mainframe server.
The person responsible for managing data, namely data set placement,
database performance, and data recovery and integrity at a physical
A software package that enables end users or application programmers
to share data. It provides a systematic method of creating, updating,
retrieving, and storing information in a database (DB). DBMSs
are generally also responsible for data integrity, data access
control, and automated rollback, restart, and recovery.
A system designed to support strategic (versus operating) decisions.
Decision support systems allow the computer rather than the user
to make decisions. The system tends to be user-friendly and emphasize
ad hoc query, reporting, and analysis capabilities. This is in
contrast to online transaction processing, which focuses on low-cost,
fast-response, and predictably structured applications.
Order and market information flows upstream continuously from
the point of sale, while information on product availability and
inventory levels flow downstream.
The generation, storing, processing, and transmission of all electronic
data (e.g., words, numbers, even voices) in one of two states
represented as 0s and 1s. Computers only understand and read digital
An electronic document that is issued by a certificate authority
to verify a public key for a company.
Electronic money used on the Internet.
String of bits that identifies the originator of a message or
transaction and is the result of the application of the originator’s
private key to a one-way hash of the (encrypted) message file.
Also provides message integrity.
Middleware that locates the correct and full network address for
a mail addressee from a partial name or address. A directory service
provides a naming service and extends the capabilities to include
intelligent searching and location of resources in the directory
The elimination of the middleman in the channel to market. The
term has been used to focus on the theoretical advantages of purchasing
directly from companies on the Web, such as convenience, cost
savings, and fast turnaround time.
A unique identifier for an Internet site. Consists of at least
two (but sometimes more) parts separated by periods (e.g., http://www.anyname.com).
Name resolution software that lets users locate computers on a
UNIX network or the Internet (TCP/IP network) by domain name.
The DNS root name servers maintain a database of domain names
(host names) and their corresponding IP addresses and are responsible
for one or more top-level domain names, e.g., com or edu.
A company that was started with the intent of doing business over
the Internet. Also referred to as a virtual company.
HTML that supports real-time personalization of Web page content.
- A group of nodes on a network forming an administrative entity.
- On the Internet, a part of the naming hierarchy that refers
to groupings of networks based on organization type or geography.
Enterprise Requirements Planning: a multi module software application
including financial, inventory, purchasing, human resources manufacturing
and distribution components.
Involves any Internet-enabled business activity that transforms
internal and external relationships to create new value and exploit
market opportunities driven by new rules of the connected economy.
The use of communication technologies to transmit business information
and transact business. Taking an order over the telephone is a
simple form of EC. Internet commerce is also EC but is only one
of several advanced forms of EC that use technology, integrated
applications, and business processes to link enterprises.
An open standard, rather than a programming language, that will
function with any security protocol (e.g., SSL or SET) and support
any type of consumer payment card. It was developed through collaboration
with the credit card companies.
The electronic delivery of government benefits to recipients by
means of a special debit card issued to the recipient.
The electronic capability for companies to post bills online and
allow their customers to pay the bill electronically.
The electronic exchange of trading documents (e.g., invoices and
orders) to enable e-commerce. Originally conducted only through
value-added networks, EDI is gradually moving to the Internet.
The electronic exchange of information between financial institutions,
which results in debits and credits.
A place that holds digital money that has been purchased, or credit
card information along with a digital certificate, that identifies
the consumer as the authorized cardholder.
Any communication service that permits the electronic transmission
and storage of messages, (generally text or graphics), and attached
or enclosed files.
Intermediaries that develop a business-to-business e-marketplace
of buyers and sellers within an industry, geographic region, or
A Web site that enables buyers to select from many suppliers.
The purpose is to put the buyer in control and provide decision
support tools that enable a buyer to make the most informed decision.
Technologies or systems that enable an organization to become
The process of systematically encoding a bit stream before transmission
so that an unauthorized party cannot decipher it.
The integration of financial, manufacturing, and distribution
functionality to balance and optimize the enterprise.
Internet-based customer service. It is seen as a way to reduce
the volume of calls to call centers and collect all customer inquiries
and complaints into one streamlined place.
Retail organization that provides their customers with a virtual
shopping experience as close to an in-store visit as possible.
A team of people who are involved with the planning, development,
and implementation of an e-business initiative.
A baseband local-area network (LAN) developed by Xerox and supported
by Intel, Digital Equipment, and Hewlett-Packard. It has a bus
topology with carrier sense multiple access with collision detection
(CSMA/CD) access control.
Application system designed for use by the corporate executive.
The EIS acts as a usable interface to a database of company information.
It automates high-level analysis and reporting and typically has
a user-friendly graphical interface.
A metalanguage that provides a flexible way to create common information
formats and share both the format and the data on the Web.
A collaborative, Internet-based network to link an enterprise
with its suppliers, customers or other external business partners
and to facilitate intercompany relationships. Extranets use Internet-derived
applications and technology to become the secured extensions of
internal business processes to external business partners.
In the client/server environment, it is the client that performs
the bulk of the data processing operations. This data is then
stored on the server.
Refers to the ability of the system to continue non-stop when
a failure occurs. In the event one component fails, another takes
over without a disruption in performance.
A Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) standard
used to log on to a network, list directories, and copy files.
It provides authentication of the user and lets users transfer
files, list directories, delete and rename files on the foreign
host, and perform wild-card transfers.
A schema for a specific type of financial instrument in the financial
An application or an entire computer that controls access to the
network and monitors the flow of network traffic. A firewall can
screen and keep out unwanted network traffic and ward off outside
intrusion into a private network, which is particularly important
when connected to the Internet.
The business interactions that take place with the customer or
an external body. It includes such functions as marketing, sales,
product support, and order taking.
The address of a network connection that identifies the owner
of that address in a hierarchical format (e.g., www.whitehouse.gov).
Software that can interpret and translate different protocols
from two distinct networks.
A business model where the government interacts directly with
the consumer through electronic means. This includes such areas
as tax, social services, and government funding.
A graphics-based operating system interface that uses icons, menus,
and a mouse to manage interaction with the system. Application
program conformance with a single user interface style is the
primary determinant of ease of learning and use, and thus, of
application effectiveness and user productivity.
A business-to-business site that sells goods and services across
many different industries.
A brick-and-mortar business that has responded to Internet threats
by creating a Web front-end with links to back-end systems. It
is also a dot com that is creating traditional infrastructure,
such as a warehouse and logistics system, to meet customer expectations.
Text (or graphics) with hidden coding (created with HTML). When
you point and click on the hypertext it brings up a new Web page
(or other objects such as graphics or sound files).
Links in a Web page that let users jump from page to page, whether
the pages are stored on the same server or on servers around the
world. Sometimes referred to simply as hyperlinks.
A document-formatting language derived from the Standard Generalized
Markup Language (SGML), predominately used to create World Wide
Web pages. The user’s browser interprets HTML commands and
formats the page layout, fonts, and graphics on the screen. One
of the more powerful features of HTML is its ability to create
hyperlinks. Dynamic HTML supports real-time personalization of
Web page content.
The communications protocol used to connect to servers on the
World Wide Web. It functions by establishing a connection with
a Web server and transmitting HTML pages to the client browser.
Addresses of Web sites begin with an http:// prefix.
The protocol for accessing a secure Web server. Using HTTPS in
the URL instead of HTTP directs the message to a secure port number
rather than the universal default Web port.
Systems that analyze captured, still video images and extract
their content (e.g., color, texture, shape) for indexing or other
action. Image understanding is used for content-based retrieval
of image archives.
A demand for customized delivery of products and services that
match the value definition of each unique customer served, not
the homogeneous requirements of a generalized or mass market.
An information provider that gathers content from several sources
and functions as a data aggregator for a target audience to access
via a Web site.
From a business perspective, the infrastructure is a shared resource,
the state of which bounds the adaptability and change capacity
of the enterprise. From a technology perspective, it is the enterprise
wide technology used to support the e-business environment and
includes the hardware, software, physical plant, communications
platforms, network systems, and database architecture.
One whose role is to examine and manage the architecture (including
the design and structure) of the organization’s IT infrastructure
and how that relates to the rest of the organization.
The integration of an enterprise’s IT infrastructure into
the larger physical infrastructure, which includes facilities
and shared services.
An emerging form of super-processware; rather than a new technology,
they are a way of architecting an integration solution. They provide
real-time transformation, translation, and routing of messages
across multiple enterprises. They support multiple data formats
(including EDI formats and XML) and multidimensional views of
Putting together software and/or hardware components and testing
to see that they work together until a whole integrated system
Protection of data from unauthorized modification.
Intangible assets including employees' knowledge; data and information
about processes, experts, products, customers, and competitors;
brand names and image; and intellectual property, such as patented,
trademarked, or copyrighted materials and regulatory licenses.
A participant in the marketing or distribution channel used by
companies to get their products to the ultimate customer. Traditional
intermediaries are wholesalers, distributors, brokers, and agents.
The ITU is an international organization founded in 1865 and headquartered
in Geneva that sets communications standards. The ITU is comprised
of over 150 member countries. (See www.itu.ch.)
A loose confederation of independent yet interconnected networks
that use the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP)
protocols for communications. The Internet evolved from research
done during the 1960s on a network called the ARPANet. It provides
universal connectivity and three levels of network services: connectionless
packet delivery, full-duplex stream delivery, and application-level
services (mainly electronic mail/e-mail).
A subset of e-commerce, where transactions occur only over the
Internet. It is only one of several advanced forms that use technology,
integrated applications, and business processes to align enterprises.
Sometimes called Web commerce.
A route management protocol that is part of the Internet Protocol
(IP) suite, handling error and control messages.
IGMP is used for IP multicast, which is a communication between
a single sender and multiple receivers on a network. IGMP is used
to exchange membership status data between IP routers that support
multicasting and members of multicast groups.
A protocol that tracks the address of nodes, routes outgoing messages,
and recognizes incoming messages.
A company that provides Internet access to its customers. Access
to the Internet can be provided either via modem or by direct
connection, which offers far higher speeds. Internet service providers
are different from online services, although these services sometimes
also provide access to the Internet.
The ability of one system to communicate or work with another.
An advertisement on a Web site that is more like a TV commercial.
Interstitial ads display in a separate window as a Web page is
A network internal to an enterprise that uses the same methodology
and techniques as the Internet. It is not necessarily connected
to the Internet and is commonly secured from using firewalls.
Intranets are often used in an organization’s local-area
networks (LANs) or wide-area networks (WANs).
A working group of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)
that is developing a security standard for Internet Protocol (IP).
Also, the security standard developed by a workgroup of the Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF). It defines protocols for authentication,
privacy, and data integrity based on encryption and X.509 digital
A programming language based on C and developed by Sun Microsystems
that extends and complements the basic capabilities of Hypertext
Markup Language (HTML). Java has become a viable alternative to
other programming languages with the rapid growth of the Internet,
as it has the potential to work on an unlimited number of computing
devices and operating systems.
A collaborative process for designing and developing software
while ensuring high levels of functional quality, since it requires
participation of the prospective end user. It is especially effective
in developing graphical user interface (GUI) requirements.
Collaboration on medium- to long-term material and capacity issues
so that the supply chain can gear up or cut back large or long-lasting
fluctuations in customer demand.
A method of controlling and reducing direct and work-in-process
inventory by having suppliers deliver material "just-in-time"
A password or table needed to decipher encoded data. An encryption
key is a string of digits that when used with a cryptographic
algorithm produces ciphertext.
A business process that formalizes management and leverage of
a firm's intellectual assets. KM is an enterprise discipline that
promotes a collaborative and integrative approach to the creation,
capture, organization, access, and use of information assets,
including the tacit, uncaptured knowledge of people.
A tunneling protocol that combines the features of PPTP and the
ability to send private IP address traffic across a public IP
network (the Internet).
An information system that may be based on outdated technologies
but is critical to day-to-day operations. When updating to a new
system, the legacy information must be recaptured or stored in
a way that it can be accessed in the future.
Low-technology tools that manage databases of user e-mail accounts
and automate the sending of messages to specified user groups.
Putting together software and/or hardware components and testing
their capacity and the amount and degree of simultaneous input
the system can manage.
Communications network that connects users within a defined area.
A LAN is generally within a building and is managed and owned
by the enterprise. The shorter distances within a building allow
higher speed communications at a lower cost than in WANs.
Conforming to end-user expectations in such areas as language,
expected data formats, and cultural issues.
The systems and processes dealing with the procurement, maintenance,
and transportation of products.
Lowband technology is the technology that enables wireless Internet
connectivity, such as devices like hand-held computers, personal
data assistants, and cell phones, but doesn’t support complex
forms of information.
The minimum return that an enterprise may earn and still pay for
All the buyers and potential buyers of a product who profess some
level of interest in a specific product or service.
The concept where an e-business enterprise’s market can
be considered global based on the expansion of the Internet.
Continuous customization of the content, services, and interactions
with a customer to deliver exactly what he or she needs and to
create the sense that he or she is an individual market.
The concept where time is a critical factor in the development,
exposure, and measurement of marketing efforts. It focuses on
getting to the customer before the competitors.
A cross between mass production and craft customization.
A banner ad that appears on the results page of a search engine
and is related to the subject of the search.
A construct placed in the HTML header of a Web page, providing
information that is not visible to browsers. The most common meta
tags (and those most relevant to search engines) are keywords
and descriptions that relate to the domain name, including misspellings
or alternate names a user might type to connect to the Web page’s
Vertical aggregators that act as brokers for the sale/purchase
of goods/services (the role these entities play in e-business,
opening traditionally closed markets, such as travel services,
to direct consumer participation, stimulating comparison shopping,
driving down prices, lowering costs for consumers/suppliers, and
Data that describes other data in dictionaries and repositories.
The term may also refer to any file or database that holds information
about another database’s structure, attributes, processing,
A language to define languages or applications.
A standard unit of measurement for which performance of the organization
is measured against.
The network-aware system software — layered between an application,
the operating system and the network transport layers —
whose purpose is to facilitate some aspect of cooperative processing.
Examples of cooperative middleware include directory services,
message-passing mechanisms, distributed TP monitors, object request
brokers (ORBs), remote procedure call (RPC) services, and database
That portion of bandwidth speed that is typically defined as 64
kbps. It is often referred to as the voice channel.
The ability to conduct business over the Internet. Net-enabled
technologies and processes allow a company to become an e-business.
Any number of computers (e.g., PCs and servers) and devices (e.g.,
printers and modems) joined together by a physical communications
link. In the corporate context, networks allow information to
be passed between computers, irrespective of where those computers
The points from which Internet service providers (ISPs) drop down
their lines and establish peering arrangements to provide Internet
connectivity to their customers.
The technology used to provide access to the network.
Hides from view the IP addresses of client stations in an internal
network by presenting one IP address to the outside world. The
NAT also executes the address translation back and forth.
The amount or volume of information that can be pushed through
the network at any particular time.
A method of sharing files across a computer network. Pioneered
by Sun Microsystems, it is now a de facto standard in the Unix
environment. NFS is built on Transmission Control Protocol/Internet
Protocol (TCP/IP) and Ethernet.
The linking of a number of devices, such as computers, workstations
and printers, into a network (system) for the purpose of sharing
Proof that a message has been sent and received. This is extremely
important in banking networks where financial transactions must
be verifiably completed, and in legal networks where signed contracts
The unit of information interchange in third-generation (3GL)
office systems. An object contains both content and semantics
describing how the content is to be interpreted or operated on.
A network object is any entity in a network (e.g., a node, printer,
or file server). Software objects may be files or pieces of data.
Optical Character Recognition: found in scanners or faxes.
Enterprises who treat individual customers as market segments
of one. Enterprises practicing one-to-one marketing will capture
market share, improve customer retention and satisfaction, and
Decision support software that allows the user to quickly analyze
information that has been summarized into multidimensional views
Computer processing that is designed to facilitate transaction-oriented
applications. Unlike traditional batch data processing, which
processes data only at specific times, transaction processing
enables people using interactive terminals or PCs to query or
update a database so that changes are reflected instantly.
Technology infrastructure with database information that is public
as opposed to proprietary. This includes officially approved standards
as well as privately designed architectures, the specifications
of which are made public by their designers.
A framework with built-in privacy safeguards for the trustworthy
exchange of profile information between consenting individuals
and Web sites.
One whose interfaces conform to formal, multilateral, generally
available industry standards.
A system that helps field sales organizations and call centers
track and manage revenue-generating selling activities. By modeling
the key steps in the sales process, the OMS can measure the progress
of sales opportunities, guide sales approaches (e.g., demonstrating
the product, or creating a contract), promote team selling across
multiple sales channels, and generate accurate forecasts.
The process where management or ownership of inventory is transferred
from the customer to the supplier.
The manufacturer of a device that another vendor resells as part
of a system.
Information that travels over the Internet is divided into compact
pieces called packets. A packet is an information block identified
by a label at Layer 3 of the OSI model. It is a collection of
bits that contains both control information and data, and is the
basic unit of transmission in a packet-switched network. Control
information is carried in the packet, along with the data, to
provide for such functions as addressing sequence, flow control,
and error control at each of several protocol levels. A packet
can be of fixed or variable length, but generally has a specified
maximum length. The way that data is divided up and reassembled
is specified by the Internet Protocol. User information can be
sent in streams using the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP/IP)
or as a series of packets using the User Datagram Protocol (UDP).
Blocks traffic based on IP address and/or port numbers. Also referred
to as a screening router.
A word or code used to serve as a security measure against unauthorized
access to data. It is normally managed by the operating system
or DBMS. However, the computer can only verify the legitimacy
of the password, not the legitimacy of the user.
A computer that is affiliated with a financial institution where
merchants execute transactions by communicating with them. Payment
gateways also need software that can carry out SET procedures.
Commonly known as palm computing devices, which provide real-time
access to an array of information such as e-mail, voicemail and
Refers to the ability of an e-business to present a site visitor
with specific information based on his or her identity or behavior.
Dynamic HTML supports real-time personalization of Web page content.
An individual hardware or software architecture or operating system.
A protocol that establishes tunnels through an initiation at one
location and a termination at another location in the shared network.
The ability for an application to be moved from one platform to
another in order to accommodate growth.
A high-traffic, broadly appealing Web site with a wide range of
content, services, and vendor links. It acts as a value-added
middleman by selecting the content sources and assembling them
together in a simple-to-navigate (and customize) interface for
presentation to the end user. Portals typically include services
such as e-mail, community, and chat.
An access path for browser-enabled users to communicate with “mail
to” requests from Hypertext Markup Language (HTML).
The level of protection an organization provides for personal
data that consumers supply when they use a Web site, register
at a Web site, or buy from a Web site.
A protocol developed by Microsoft that provides secure transactions
over the World Wide Web.
A key that is only known to the recipient that is used to encrypt
and decrypt the messages. Also called a secret key.
Systems that add inter-enterprise process management and off-the-shelf
interfaces to message brokers (which provide translation, transformation,
flow control, message warehouse, integration, and other functions).
The resulting integration framework allows event-driven, message-oriented,
machine-to-machine communication across heterogeneous environments.
A concept that draws an analogy between the span of a human life
and that of a product suggesting that, typically, a product's
life consists of four stages—introductory, growth, maturity,
and decline. The concept is used as a tool to formulate marketing
strategies appropriate to each of the stages.
One of the two deliverables of Oracle Systems’ Transaction
Processing Option (TPO). It is a 3GL-level extension of Structured
Query Language (SQL) that groups SQL statements for transmission
across the tools/database management system (DBMS) interface or
across a network. PL/SQL must be used to take advantage of the
Oracle version 6 performance enhancements.
Approach used to manage work with the constraints of time, cost,
and performance targets.
The individual responsible for the day-to-day management of the
Those who report to the project manager and play a role in the
life of the project.
A set of procedures in telecommunication connections that the
terminals or nodes use to send signals back and forth. Transmission
Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) is the standard protocol
for the Internet and related networks such as intranets and extranets.
Networks and systems cannot communicate unless they use the same
protocol or make use of a gateway.
A relay between two networks that interrupts the physical connection
between the two.
A key that is known to all parties in a transaction.
A standard method of encryption that uses both a private and public
key. Messages encoded with either key can be decoded by the other.
Also called a symmetric key cryptography.
Cryptography that uses a protected private key and a mathematically
connected, openly shared public key. The public key enables the
encrypted document, file, e-mail, or data stream to be deciphered.
What one key encrypts, the other decrypts.
The software and/or hardware components necessary to manage and
enable the effective use of public key encryption technology,
particularly on a large scale.
Involves a user specifically asking for something by performing
a search; requesting an existing report, video, or other data
type; or requesting that a vendor send an online newsletter or
update to a favorite bookmark.
A data distribution technology in which selected data is automatically
delivered into a user’s computer at prescribed intervals
or based on some event.
The ability to define a level of performance in a data communications
system. In e-business, QoS governs access as the site reaches
or exceeds capacity and sets priorities for user sessions.
An application development (AD) approach that includes small teams
(typically two to six people) using joint application development
(JAD) and iterative-prototyping techniques to construct interactive
systems of low to medium complexity within a time frame of 60
to 120 days.
The design of a system, which eliminates a single point of failure
by providing integrated backup functionality.
An industry fault tolerance standard.
Systems that maximize the customer's value to the organization
by providing a rules-based link between customer understanding
and customer interaction.
Format in which TCP/IP standards are published. Also provides
insight into and describes the workings of the IETF organization.
Financial gain expressed as a percentage of funds invested to
generate that gain.
A term to capture the concepts of over-engineering, high-availability
and survivability of the IT infrastructure.
A system to build user profiles, but also incorporate business
rules driven by the site owner.
A process that takes routine sales activities within an organization
and integrates them into a comprehensive software package. When
SFA is included in an overall corporate Enterprise Resource Planning
(ERP) system, it combines sales functions with planning, marketing,
and manufacturing and customer service activities.
Structured Query Language – related to relational database.
The measure of a system’s ability to increase or decrease
in performance and cost in response to changes in application
and system processing demands.
The number of pixels (dots) across and down the screen.
A very large, searchable index of the World Wide Web that is automatically
updated by spiders or Webcrawlers and housed on a central server
connected to the Internet.
A multiparty protocol that secures online communication between
all parties in a payment card transaction. It encrypts access
to sensitive credit card information throughout the card-processing
network, thus reducing potential points of exposure to online
theft from the buyer or merchant.
An Internet security standard from Netscape Communications, used
for its browser and server software.
A cryptographic protocol that secures bi-directional communication
channels over the Internet. SSL connections are initiated through
a Web browser and are signified by the URL prefix https.
Processes for companies to sell their products, including catalogues,
transaction processors, payment processors, and supply chain management
methods and tools.
A form of server-based Java that operates in conjunction with
a Web server and offers an alternative to using Common Gateway
Interface (CGI) and server application programming interfaces
(SAPIs) to communicate with Web server processes. In addition,
servlets are independent of a given type of Web server, as the
most prominent Web servers support servlets.
Occurs when the actual funds are transferred from the card-issuing
bank to the merchant bank.
The standard e-mail protocol on the Internet. It is a TCP/IP protocol
that defines the message format and the message transfer agent
(MTA), which stores and forwards the mail. SMTP was originally
designed for only ASCII text, but MIME and other encoding methods
enable program and multimedia files to be attached to e-mail messages.
SMTP servers route SMTP messages throughout the Internet to a
mail server, such as POP3, which provides a message store for
The logos and/or other information about the sponsors that are
displayed prominently on the Web site.
A plastic card that contains a microprocessor and/or a memory
chip. The microprocessor card has the ability to add, delete,
and manipulate information on the card. A memory chip card, such
as a phone card, can only add information.
Specifies the end points of a two-way communications channel that
connects two processes together so they can exchange information.
Any computer instructions or data that can be stored electronically.
This data is stored on devices called hardware. The two categories
of software are systems software and application software.
Usenet messages flooded to many newsgroups indiscriminately. The
term is also loosely applied to junk mail.
Specifications or styles that are widely accepted by users and
adopted by several vendors. Standards are critical to the compatibility
of hardware, software, and everything in between. Industry standards
enable the essential elements of a computer and related infrastructure
to work together.
Tracks the transaction in order to verify that the destination
of an inbound packet matches the source of a previous outbound
request. Stateful inspection can effectively examine multiple
layers of the protocol stack, including the data if required,
and block transmission at any layer or depth.
A traditional business (e.g., a retail store or other commercial
business with physical real estate) that the customer interacts
with to order and receive goods and services.
A technique for transferring digital content such that it can
be processed and viewed as a steady and continuous stream of data.
A relational data language that provides a consistent, English
keyword-oriented set of facilities for query, data definition,
data manipulation, and data control. It is a programmed interface
to relational database management systems (RDBMSs).
Individuals or organizations from which businesses purchase the
goods and services they require to operate.
A framework of intelligent execution-oriented applications that
enables the efficient management of resources, which ensures delivery
of goods, services, and information across enterprise boundaries
to meet customer-specific demand.
The process of optimizing delivery of goods, services, and information
from supplier to customer.
A software suite focused on the process of coordinating assets
to optimize the delivery of goods, services, and information from
supplier to customer, balancing supply and demand.
- A system or a program that receives requests from one or more
client systems or programs to perform activities that allow the
client to accomplish certain tasks.
- Can refer to a physical computer, but more commonly to any
machine that serves applications or information on the World Wide
The integration of content with information technology to create
value-added information that directly supports a business process.
Examples of TEC in the workplace include desktop broadcasting
and competitive intelligence.
Automating aspects of the marketing process, which allows enterprises
to improve the measurement and evaluation of their activities.
The ultimate goal of technology-enabled marketing is to allocate
marketing resources to the activities, channels, and media with
the best potential return and impact on profitable customer relationships.
The concept of forming one enterprise-wide view of the customer
across all customer contact channels (i.e., sales, marketing,
and customer service and support). It is a complex area, requiring
complex solutions to problems of integration, data flow, data
access, and marketing strategy. A critical component is the database
that serves as the customer information repository.
Automating aspects of the selling process, which allows enterprises
to improve their interactions with the consumer on the front-end.
It improves the overall selling process enterprise-wide.
The Internet standard protocol for remote terminal connection.
It allows a user at one site to interact with a remote device
or system that expects terminal-mode traffic.
In the client/server environment, it is designed so that the bulk
of the application logic (software) and data processing are performed
on the server.
Intermediaries that may be in specific industries and markets
or across markets, that broker sale of goods and services between
buyers and suppliers, such as business-to-business or consumer-to-consumer
Include all businesses within an enterprise’s supply chain,
from the raw material supplier to the end customer.
A set or suite (sometimes called a stack) of protocols covering
the network and transport layers of the seven-layer Open Systems
Interconnection (OSI) network model. Information that travels
over the Internet gets divided into compact pieces called packets.
TCP/IP specifies how the data are to be divided and reassembled.
A security protocol from the IETF that is a hybrid of SSL and
other protocols. TLS may become a major security standard on the
Internet, possibly superseding SSL.
An e-business planning model that defines a set of events or trigger
points in a project plan. Once the triggers are met, the next
event on the project plan can begin.
A protocol used for basic file transfers, as well as booting systems
that communicate with the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet
Protocol (TCP/IP) suite using the TFTP boot protocol.
The character string that identifies an Internet document’s
exact name and location, in the form http:// allowed by a domain
name or IP address.
An operating system originally designed by Bell Laboratories,
UNIX is proven to be adaptable to a variety of platforms. It is
the dominant operating system for critical applications, servers,
and high-end workstations because of its scalability and support
of complex processing.
Refers to the ease of learning and using a user interface.
A protocol within the Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol
(TCP/IP) suite technology that enables an application to send
a message to one of several applications running in a destination
Used by customers to contribute reviews of products and services
that they’ve purchased. Prospective customers of those goods
and services can then read what others have to say about the products
and make a more informed buying decision.
Refers to a combination of menus, screen design, keyboard commands,
command language, online help, and other input devices that creates
the way a user interacts with a borrower and Web page.
A private telecommunication line established between trading partners
solely to transact business. Traditional EDI is transacted through
Positive identification and authorization of a particular communication,
identification, authentication, and integrity must be accomplished
before a message can be trusted completely.
A business-to-business Web site that sells goods and services
up and down the supply chain in a given industry.
A company that was started with the intention of doing business
over the Internet. Virtual companies have outsourced the physical
processes and administrative attributes of traditional business
and expanded and combined intellectual activities (e.g., problem
solving) with standard business processes such as marketing.
A system that delivers information and communications between
businesses and trading partners over a shared public network infrastructure
in a secure manner.
Commonly used abbreviation for World Wide Web.
Used for delivery of sensitive price, contract and content information
for each partner; catalogues that provide custom views based on
access control and parametric search for serious business buyers;
and order entry functions.
A client, system, or program for use in accessing the World Wide
Web on the Internet.
The storage of data on a server for later access. In e-business,
refers to a service provided by a third party that hosts and maintains
a company’s Web site.
Web pages or Web sites are hosted on a Web server, which is a
central location or computer that enables a remote “client”
(system or program) to access the page or site content.
A collection of files accessed through a Web address, covering
a particular theme or subject, and managed by a particular person
or organization. Its opening page is called a home page. Web sites
typically use the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) to format and
present information and to provide navigational facilities that
make it easy for the user to move within the site and around the
A piece of software (also called a spider) designed to follow
hyperlinks to their completion and to return to previously visited
Communications network that connects computing devices over a
broad geographical area such as a region, state, or country. WANs
use phone lines or dedicated communication lines. Transmission
speeds are typically slower than those of LANs.
Specifies two essential elements of wireless communication—an
end-to-end application protocol and an application environment
based on a browser.
A hypertext-based global information system developed at the European
Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN) in Geneva. It is a subset
of the Internet, technically defined as the community on the Internet
where all documents and resources are formatted using Hypertext
Markup Language (HTML).
An OSI and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standard
messaging protocol that allows electronic mail to move between
different mail systems.
The certificate authority standard administered by the International
Telecommunications Union (ITU). The X.509 Certificate is an (ITU)
standards-based file format binding a user or device to a public
A business process concept where redundant processes are eliminated
and human tasks are automated or streamlined to reduce latency
throughout the supply chain to the customer.
Copyright © Gartner Institute, Inc., 2000. All rights reserved.