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Full text of "Information_Systems_Glossary_"

Information Systems Glossary: 



10Base-T 



24 -7 



Access speed 



Accounting journal 



Activity-based costing (ABC) 



Advanced encryption standard 
(AES) 



Advocacy role 



Agent 



American National Standards 
Institute (ANSI) 

American Standard Code for 
Information Interchange 
(ASCII) 



A system of connecting computers on a LAN using 
twisted-pair cable. The method relies on compression 
to increase raw transfer rates to 10 megabits per 
second. 

Operation of an application or database 24 hours a 
day, 7 days a week. Because the database can never 
be shut down, performing maintenance is a 
challenge. 

A measure of disk drive speed. Loosely, the time it 
takes a disk drive to move to a particular piece of 
data. 

Raw financial transaction data are collected by the 
accounting department and stored in a journal. 
Modern accounting requires the use of a double-entry 
system to ensure accurate data. 

ABC allocates costs by examining a detailed 
breakdown of the production activities. The cost of 
each process is computed for each different product. 
The detail provides a better picture of the production 
cost for each item. 

A new U.S. standard for single-key encryption. 
Approved in 2001 by the government to replace DES 
and triple DES. With 128 bit keys, it is substantially 
more difficult to break; but still very fast to encrypt 
and decrypt. 

Someone in MIS, usually the chief information officer, 
who bears responsibility for exploring and presenting 
new applications and uses of MIS within the company. 

An object-oriented program designed for networks 
that is written to perform specific tasks in response to 
user re-iquests. Agents are designed to automatically 
communicate with other agents to search for data 
and make decisions. 

An organization responsible for defining many 
standards, including several useful information 
technology standards. 

American standard code for information interchange. 
A common method of numbering characters so that 
they can be processed. For instance, the letter A is 



Angel investor 



Antitrust laws 



Application generator 



Application service provider 
(ASP) 



Artificial intelligence (AI) 



Aspect ratio 



Assumptions 



Asynchronous Transfer Mode 
(ATM) 



Attributes 
Auction 



number 65. It is slowly being replaced by the ANSI 
character set table and the use of international code 
pages that can display foreign characters. 

An individual who provides a limited amount of 
funding to start-up firms. Unlike a partner, the 
investor is rarely involved in management. The 
amount of funding is generally small— $25,000 to 
$100,000. 

A variety of laws that make it illegal to use monopoly 
power. Some basic (economic) actions to achieve a 
competitive advantage are illegal. Strategic plans 
must be evaluated carefully to avoid violating these 
laws. 

A software tool for developers that helps build 
software applications. It is usually associated with a 
DBMS but several standalone tools exist to help 
create new forms and reports. 

A specialized Internet firm that provides an individual 
application to other businesses. For example, a 
reservation system can be run by an ASP to provide 
services to other companies. 

An attempt to build machines that can think like 
humans. Techniques evolved from this research help 
solve more complex problems. Useful techniques 
include expert systems, neural networks, massively 
parallel computers, and robotics. 

Used to define the ratio of width to height in display 
screens. Standard definition TV was typically 6:4 
(such as 640 x 480). HDTV is generally 16:9 (such as 
1920 x 1080). Movies sometimes use a 1.85:1 ratio 
which is slightly wider than the HDTV 1.77: 1. 

Models are simplifications of real life, so they require 
assumptions about various events or conditions. 

A packet-based network system that uses high-speed 
transmission lines (150 megabits and over) and 
routers to maximize network efficiency and 
throughput. 

Descriptions of an object or entity. For example, a 
customer object would at least have attributes for 
name, phone number, and address. 

In an e-commerce context, a Web-based system 
where individuals bid for items. Useful when you do 
not know the exact value of an item or have only a 
few items to sell. The auction site helps handle 



Audit trai 



Augmented reality 



Authentication 



Backbone 
Backward chaining 



Bandwidth 



Bandwidth hogs 



Barriers to entry 



Beginners All-purpose 
Symbolic Instruction Code 
(Basic) 



payments but charges a percentage fee. 

The ability to trace any transaction back to its source. 
In accounting, transaction values are accumulated on 
the general ledger and used to create reports. An 
audit trail is a set of marks or records to point back to 
the original transaction. 

A display of a real-world scene with computer- 
generated data added to it. The computer data often 
adds names, descriptions, or drawings. For instance, 
a phone camera might be used to display a scene and 
tags are added to identify points of interest. 

The ability to verify the source of a message. Dual- 
key systems are a useful technique. The sender uses 
a private key to encrypt the message. The recipient 
applies the sender's public key. If the decrypted 
message is readable, it had to have come from the 
alleged sender, because the keys always work in 
pairs. 

A high-speed communication line that links multiple 

sub-networks. It is usually a fiber-optic line. 

In an expert system, the user enters a "conclusion" 

and asks to see whether the rules support that 

conclusion. 

Traditionally, the amount of frequency allocated to a 
communication channel, such as the portion of the 
spectrum allocated to a single radio or television 
station. But, the term is commonly used to indicate 
the basic capacity or transmission speed of a 
communication channel. For example, 20 megabits 
per second instead of 5 megahertz. 

On a shared network, a small percentage of users will 
transmit vastly more data than the average user. ISPs 
often define pricing methods to penalize heavy users 
to ensure that more bandwidth or capacity is 
available for all users. 

Anything that makes it more difficult for new firms to 
enter an industry. Several possibilities would violate 
antitrust laws. An acceptable barrier is the increased 
use of information systems, which raises the cost of 
entering an industry because a rival would have to 
spend additional money on information technology. 
An early computer programming language designed 
to be easy to program and to teach. Visual Basic is a 
current version for Windows programming. 



Benchmark 



Best practices 



BETWEEN 



Bill of materials 



Bill presentation and payment 



Binary data 



Biometrics 



Bit 



Bitmap image 
Blog 



A set of routines or actions used to evaluate 
computer performance. By performing the same basic 
tasks on several machines, you can compare their 
relative speeds. Benchmarks are especially useful 
when the machines use different processors and 
different input and output devices. 

Methods that are known to work for solving specific 
problems. Most problems, including those in software 
development, have multiple solutions. Best practices 
are a collection of techniques for solving problems 
that have been tested and avoid common mistakes 
and problems. 

A portion of a SQL statement used to specify a lower 
and upper bound in a WHERE clause. Commonly used 
for dates, such as Order-date BETWEEN Ol-Jan-2008 
AND 31-Dec-2008. 

Used in manufacturing, it is a list of components used 
to manufacture a finished product. In an ERP system, 
data from it is often used to trigger inventory 
deductions and to add the finished product to 
inventory. 

Web-based software that automatically displays bills 
and invoices for customers. The payment side accepts 
various forms of payment including credit cards and 
electronic checks. Generally run as a Web service. 

A collection of ones and zeros called bits. Computer 
processors operate only on binary data. All data 
forms are first converted to binary. 

A field of study that is trying to determine how to 
identify people based on biological characteristics. 
The most common devices are fingerprint and hand- 
print readers. 

The smallest unit of data in a computer. All data is 
converted to bits or binary data. Each bit can be in 
one of two states: on or off. Bits are generally 
aggregated into collections called a byte. 

A method of storing images. The picture is converted 
to individual dots that are stored as bits. Once a 
picture is stored in bitmap form, it is difficult to re- 
size. However, bitmaps are good for displaying 
photographic images with subtle color shading. 

Web log. Say it fast and you can hear the 
abbreviation. A special type of Web site with software 
that makes it easy for a user to enter comments. 



Bluetooth 



Board of directors 



Boolean search 



Bottom-up development 



Brainstorming 



Break (report) 

Break footer 
Break header 

Broadcasts 
Browser 



Typically used as a daily journal. 

A short-range wireless network technology invented 
by IBM. It is most commonly used for cell-phone 
devices such as headsets. The data transmits a 1 
mbps up to 32 feet. It is one of the few network 
protocols to automatically encrypt the data. Newer 
versions offer higher data rates. 

A group of people paid to oversee and evaluate the 
decisions of the company. Technically the CEO reports 
to the board of directors, but they are charged more 
with reviewing the CEO's decisions. Most boards have 
the authority to remove a CEO, but many board 
members are selected by the CEO. 

Searching for data by using the logic operators AND, 
OR, and NOT conditions in a WHERE statement; for 
example, find a list of customers where city = 
"Detroit" and age > 50 and do not own a car. 

An approach to designing and building systems in 
which workers build system components to solve each 
problem as it arises. Eventually the pieces are 
combined to create an integrated system. The 
method relies on standards and controls to facilitate 
cooperation and integration. See also top-down 
development. 

A group technique in which each individual is asked to 
come up with possible suggestions to a problem. Any 
ideas are useful, regardless of how wild they are. 
Even fanciful ideas could stimulate someone else to 
improve it or to explore a related area. 

A report that organizes output by sections that are 
based on the data values. Common business 
examples include reports by customer or employee, 
where data for each person is displayed in a group. 

The section of a break or group report that displays 
subtotals for the data within the group. See also 
break. 

The section of a break or group report that displays 
the column headings for the data within the group. 
See also break. 

A technique of transmitting messages using radio, 
micro, or infrared waves. Broadcast messages are 
sent to all devices in a certain area. Others in the 
vicinity can also receive the messages. 

A software tool that converts World Wide Web data 



Brute force 



Bulletin board system (BBS) 



Bus 



Bus network 



Business process management 
(BPM) 



Business to business (B2B) 



Business to consumer (B2C) 



Byte 



into a graphical page with hypertext links. Using 
standard (HTML) commands, companies can offer 
data and additional links to users. Users simply click 
on individual words and pictures to retrieve additional 
data and move to other network sites. 

An attack on encrypted data that attempts to use 
every possible key. Can be stopped by using very 
long keys. For example, using a key or password of 
only three letters means there are only 
26*26*26=17,576 possible values. Even a slow 
computer can test all combinations in a few seconds. 

Similar to a typical bulletin board, except that people 
access it from computers. The BBS enables users to 
store comments, pictures, and files for other people 
to retrieve. Bulletin boards are usually organized by 
topics and can be searched for specific phrases or 
comments. They are a useful way to disseminate 
information that is of interest to many different 
people. 

Most computers have special slots called a bus to 
provide high-speed connections to other devices. 
Various manufacturers make boards that fit into these 
slots. The processor can exchange data with these 
other devices, but performance is sometimes 
constrained by the design of the bus. 

A network organizing scheme in which each computer 
is attached to a common transmission medium. 
Protocols are needed to determine when a machine 
can transmit and to recover from collisions. 

Also see work-flow software. The concept that 
business actions have to be performed in a specific 
sequence. Managing the process entails finding 
efficiencies through automating or reordering. For 
example, purchasing expensive items requires 
discussions and approvals by a variety of managers. 

Business-to-business electronic commerce; sales by 
suppliers to other businesses over the Internet; often 
long-term relationships. See B2C and EDI. 
Business-to-consumer electronic commerce; 
purchases by individual consumers similar to 
traditional mail-order systems, but conducted on 
secure Web sites over the Internet. 

A collection of bits. Traditionally, 8 bits make up one 
byte. From binary arithmetic, an 8-bit byte can hold 2 



C+ + 



Cable modem 



Cache 



CAN-SPAM Act 



Capability maturity model 
integration (CMMI) 



Carrier-Sense, Multiple-Access/ 
Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) 



Case-based reasoning 



Catalog management system 



to the 8th power, or 256, possible numbers. In many 
systems a byte is used to hold one character. 

A powerful programming language that is flexible and 
creates efficient code. A language commonly used to 
build complex applications and to create commercial 
software products. 

An object-oriented extension of the C programming 
language. It is commonly used to build commercial 
software. It produces efficient code and supports the 
development of reusable objects. 

An Internet connection device that translates local 
area network protocols to run over a television cable 
line. It can provide transmission speeds around 1.5 
Mbps. But the communication line is shared with 
other users. 

A buffer between the processor and a slow-ier device 
such as a print-ier, disk drive, or memory chips. The 
cache generally consists of high-speed memory. Data 
is transferred in bulk to the cache. It is then pulled 
out as it is needed, freeing up the processor to work 
on other jobs instead of waiting for the slower device 
to finish. 

The U.S. Act that makes it illegal to send commercial 
e-mail messages to people who do not want to 
receive them. For business, the key is that it makes 
e-mail messages legal, as long as all of the rules are 
followed. 

A system designed at the Carnegie Mellon Software 
Engineering Institute to help organizations improve 
their software development processes. A key element 
is to work toward a formal development model that is 
measurable and is continually upgraded. The CMMI 
system is an upgrade of the older CMM process. 

A communications protocol that determines how 
computers will behave on a shared-medium network. 
Ethernet protocols rely on CSMA/CD. Other 
alternatives are Token Ring and packet switching. 
An expert system approach that records information 
in the form of situations and cases. Users search for 
cases similar to their current problem and adapt the 
original solution. 

A software tool that holds product descriptions, 
images, and prices to simplify changing and 
uploading data to a Web site. It makes it easier to 



CD-ROM 



Centralization 



Certificate authority (CA) 



Certifications 



Change agents 



Change drivers 



Charge-back system 



track thousands of products to ensure the Web site 
data is correct. 

Compact disk-read only memory. Data is stored and 
retrieved with a laser. A special machine is required to 
create data on a CD-ROM. Used to hold data that 
does not change very often. Useful for multimedia 
applications because a disk can hold about 650 
megabytes of data. The format used to store music 
CDs. 

A business scheme for performing most operations 
and making management decisions from one location 
in an organization. MIS organization can be examined 
in four areas: hardware, software, data, and 
personnel. See also decentralization. 

Dual-key encryption and authentication require that 
the public key be published and available to others. A 
certificate authority is an organization that validates 
the owner's identity, issues the keys, and runs the 
public directory. Almost anyone can run the software 
to be a CA, but others must trust that host. 

Vendors provide exams to test workers in their 
specific technologies and offer a certificate so that 
potential employers can be sure that job applicants 
possess a defined level of knowledge. Common 
certifications include Cisco (networks) and Microsoft 
(server administration and development). The 
industry constantly argues over whether certifications 
have value. 

Objects or people who cause or facilitate changes. 
Sometimes the change agent might be a new 
employee who brings fresh ideas; other times change 
can be mandated by top-level management. 
Sometimes an outside event such as a competitor or 
a hurricane forces an organization to change. 

Concepts or products that have altered the way 
businesses operate. Classic examples include bar 
code scanners in retail stores, hand-held mini- 
terminals or notebooks by delivery firms and sales- 
people, and reservation systems by travel and 
entertainment industries. 

A scheme for charging other internal departments for 
services. For example, some firms charge 
departments a fee based on how often they use the 
central computer. The goal is to ration a limited 



Chart of accounts 



Check in 



Check out 



Chief executive officer (CEO) 



Chief information officer (CIO) 



Circular reference 



Classes 



Click-through rate 



Client-server network 



Client-server organization 



resource by avoiding free use and to provide a lever 
for user departments to hold MIS accountable. 

A listing of all the accounts and sub-accounts in the 
general ledger. It must be defined ahead of time for 
each business. 

A step in version control systems. When a user is 
finished making changes to a file, the user checks in 
the file to the repository to make it fully available to 
other users. The user must first check out the file. 

A step in version control systems. A user checks out a 
file or document to indicate that changes will be 
made. To prevent concurrency problems, the 
document is usually locked so that others cannot 
make changes at the same time. When finished, the 
user checks in the file. 

The head of a company. The person ultimately 
responsible for setting the direction and policies of 
the firm. Usually the CEO is also the chairperson of 
the board of directors. 

The person who is in charge of the MIS organization 
within a firm, charged with overseeing operations, 
setting MIS priorities, and being a top-level advocate 
for MIS. Also develops and supports strategy for the 
firm. 

In a spreadsheet, a set of cells that eventually refer 
to each other. In the simplest example, cell Al would 
use values stored in cell A2, but cell A2 uses the 
value stored in Al. This technique is sometimes used 
to create an iterative solution to a model. 

Base descriptions of objects. Technically, classes 
describe generic attributes and methods. Objects are 
a specific instance of a class. 

Used in Web advertising, the percentage of people 
viewing an online ad who actually click it to see the 
details on the advertised product or service. By 2000, 
the average click-through rates had declined to less 
than 1 percent. But it is not necessarily a good 
measure of advertising effectiveness. 

A network configuration in which a few machines are 
used as file servers and the others (clients) are 
independent workstations. Shared data is first sent to 
a file server where it can be examined or transferred 
by another client. 

A method of organizing the MIS function so that some 



Clip art 



Clipboard 



Clipper chip 



Closed loop 



Closed system 



Cloud computing 



CMYK 



operations are centralized while others are 
decentralized. The client-server model separates all of 
the components into two categories: servers or 
clients. The functions associated with the server tend 
to be centralized, whereas the client components and 
tasks are dispersed among the users. 

Artwork created and sold to be used by non-artists. 
Hundreds of collections are available of people, 
places, buildings, and other objects. Clip art images 
are often used to create presentations and illustrate 
reports. 

The method used to transfer data between software 
packages in windows-oriented operating 
environments. All objects that are cut or copied are 
placed onto the clipboard, ready to be pasted to 
another location or another package. Clipboard 
viewers exist to show the current contents of the 
clipboard. Some software systems allow a clipboard 
to hold several cuttings. Many automatically delete 
the older cuts— keeping only the most recent. 

An encryption method created by the U.S. top-secret 
National Security Agency (NSA). It uses a secret 
algorithm to encrypt and decrypt digital messages. It 
was particularly designed for digital voice 
communication. Its key feature is the use of two 
escrow keys assigned to each chip. If the police 
decide they want to listen to a conversation between 
two suspects, they can get a court order, collect the 
escrow keys, and instantly decrypt the call. 

A system or piece of computer code in which every 
step in a control mechanism is contained inside the 
system and does not utilize external input. See also 
feedback. 

A system that is entirely self-contained and does not 
respond to changes in the environment. Most closed 
systems eventually fail due to entropy. 

The process of running the main part of an 
application on servers on the Internet. The servers 
are generally scalable and provide redundancy. Cloud 
services available to the public are usually charged on 
some type of per-use fee basis so firms can buy the 
level of computing. 

Cyan-Magenta-Yellow-Key (black). A color model used 
in the printing world to precisely define colors. Colors 



Coaxial cable 



Cold site 



Collision 



Co-location 



Column 



Command-line interface 



Commerce server 



Commercial off-the-shelf 
software (COTS) 

Common Business-Oriented 
Language (COBOL) 



can be expressed by specifying the percentage 
needed of each of the primary colors. See also RGB. 

A cable used to transmit data. Cable television is a 
widespread application. The inner cable is surrounded 
by a plastic insulator, which is surrounded by a wire 
mesh conductor and an outer casing. The wire mesh 
insulates the internal signal wire from external 
interference. 

A facility that can be leased from a disaster backup 
specialist. A cold site contains power and 
telecommunication lines but no computer. In the 
event of a disaster, a company calls the computer 
vendor and begs for the first available machine to be 
sent to the cold site. 

In networks, a collision arises when two computers 
attempt to broadcast messages at the same time. 
The network protocols need to identify the situation 
and determine which machine will go first. 

Installing your computer or network equipment in 
another facilities to obtain access to high-speed data 
communication lines. You pay a fee for use of the 
facilities, power, cooling, and network usage. 

A vertical part of a table that holds data for one 
attribute of an entity in a database or spreadsheet. 
For example, a table to describe automobiles will 
have columns for make, model, and color. 

A method of controlling the computer by typing 
commands. The user must generally memorize 
specific commands. Older machines still use them 
because GUI systems require too much overhead. 
Some people prefer command lines, because it is 
faster to type one or two commands than to 
manipulate an image on the screen. 

A software system that runs an e-commerce Web 
server. It handles the product catalog, searching, a 
shopping cart, and the payment mechanism. Several 
vendors sell versions to be run on your own server, or 
you can lease space on a hosting company. 

Purchased software for building applications. 
Relatively popular because it is faster than building 
from scratch. 

An early programming language designed to handle 
typical transaction-processing tasks. Its death has 
been predicted for years, but it is hard to throw away 



Common Object Request 
Broker Architecture (CORBA) 



Competitive advantage 



Composite key 



Compound document 



Computer-aided design (CAD) 



Computer-aided software 
engineering (CASE) 



Computer-integrated 
manufacturing (CIM) 

Computer ethics 



billions of lines of code. 

A model largely developed in the UNIX community 
that will enable objects to communicate with each 
other across networks. In particular, it is designed to 
enable users to combine different data types from 
various software vendors into a single compound 
document. The data could reside on any server on the 
network. 

Something that makes your company better or 
stronger than your rivals. Examples include lower 
costs, higher quality, strong ties to loyal customers, 
and control over distribution channels. 

In defining a database table, each table must have a 
primary key. When the primary key consists of more 
than one column, it is referred to as a composite key. 
The business relationship between the multiple 
columns are many-to-many. 

A document that incorporates different types of data: 
text, graphics, sound, and video. The different objects 
might be transmitted across a network to be included 
in a final document. 

Programs that are used to create engineering 
drawings. CAD programs make it easy to modify 
drawings. They also make it easier to keep track of 
material specifications. They can perform spatial and 
engineering estimates on the designs, such as surface 
or volume calculations. 

Computer programs that are designed to support the 
analysis and development of computer systems. They 
make it easier to create, store, and share diagrams 
and data definitions. Some versions even generate 
code. There are two categories of CASE tools: 
software development and maintenance of existing 
systems. 

Using a computer to control most of the production 
equipment in a manufacturing environment. The 
computer can monitor the production statistics. It is 
also used to set individual machine controls. 

The concept that all of us have an obligation with 
respect to data. For example, managers have a 
responsibility to customers to protect personal data, 
to collect only data that is truly needed, and to give 
customers the ability to correct errors in personal 
data. 



Computer information system 
(CIS) 

Composite key 



Concurrency 



Content management system 



Context diagram 



Continuous quality 
improvement 



Converge 



Cookies 



Copyright 



Critical success factors 



See management information system (MIS). 

In relational databases, a key that consists of more 
than one column. The columns are combined to yield 
a unique primary key. 

A situation that arises when applications attempt to 
modify the same piece of data at the same time. If 
two people are allowed to make changes to the same 
piece of data, the computer system must control the 
order in which it processes the two re-iquests. Mixing 
the two tasks will result in the wrong data being 
stored in the computer. 

Changing text and images on a Web site can be 
challenging, particularly with thousands of pages and 
hundreds of contributors. Contributors can write 
changes in simple text format to a content 
management system which then formats and uploads 
the data to the Web site automatically. 

The top level of a data flow diagram that acts as a 
title page and displays the boundaries of the system 
and displays the external entities that interact with 
the system. 

The concept that any process can be improved by 
continually evaluating the system and making 
adjustments and refinements. The concept is also 
applied to service processes, but relies on a 
measurable performance objective. 

The ability of an iterative model to stabilize on a fixed 
solution. The alternative is that values continually 
increase and never reach a solution. 

Small text files that a Web server sends to client 
computers. When the user returns to a site, the 
browser automatically returns the cookie file. Servers 
use them to keep track of transactions— so they know 
when the same user has returned. Marketers have 
used them to track individual users on the Web. 

A legal ownership right granted to the creators of 
intellectual property. All works are automatically 
copyrighted. Registering with the copyright office is 
not required but grants additional protection to the 
owner. 

A limited number of concrete goals that must be met 
for the organization to be successful. Identifying 
these key factors helps determine the strategic 



Customer relationship 
management (CRM) 



Cut, copy, paste 



Data 



Data administrator 



Data dictionary 



Data encryption standard 
(DES) 



Data flow diagram (DFD) 



Data independence 
Data integrity 



directions and highlights the areas that can benefit 
from improved information systems. 
A system for tracking and integrating all customer 
data. Salespeople, managers, and clerks all have 
access to the same data, so everyone has the same 
consolidated view of all customer interactions. 
A common mechanism used to transfer and link data 
between different software packages. The data to be 
transferred is marked. When it is cut or copied, it is 
placed on the clipboard. Switching to the second 
package, the object is pasted into the appropriate 
location. Dynamic and static links are specified 
through options in the "paste special" menu. With the 
cut option, the original object is deleted. With copy, 
the original is unchanged. 

Consists of factual elements (or opinions or 
comments) that describe some object or event. Data 
can be thought of as raw numbers or text. 

MIS manager who is charged with overseeing all of 
the data definitions and data standards for the 
company to ensure that applications can share data 
throughout the company. 

Contains all of the information to explain the terms 
used to define a system. Often includes report 
descriptions, business rules, and security 
considerations. 

An older method of encrypting data that was 
commonly used by financial institutions. With current 
computer capabilities that can break a DES-encrypted 
message, DES is no longer considered a secure 
encryption system. 

A diagramming technique used to analyze and design 
systems. It shows how a system is divided into 
subsystems and highlights the -iflow of data 
be-itween the processes and subsystems. It displays 
processes, external entities, files, data flows, and 
control flows. 

Separating programs from their data definition and 
storage. The main advantage is that it is possible to 
change the data without having to change the 
pro-igrams. 

(1) A concept that implies data is as accurate as 
possible. It means the database contains few errors. 

(2) Keeping data accurate and correct as it is 



Data mart 



Data mining 



Data mirroring 



Data store 



Data types 



Data warehouse 



Database 



Database administrator (DBA) 



Database management system 
(DBMS) 

Decentralization 



gathered and stored in the computer system. 

A small version of a data warehouse. A database 
designed to hold concise collections of data for 
retrieval and analysis by managers. 

An automated system that examines data for 
patterns and relationships. It is partly based on 
statistics, but also searches for more specific 
associations. The results are not always applicable to 
other situations. 

The ultimate backup technique where all data that is 
stored on one machine is automatically transferred 
and stored on a second computer. Useful to prevent 
loss of data and recover from disasters— particularly 
when the second computer is located many miles 
away. 

A file or place where data is stored. In a realistic 
setting, a data store could be a computer file, a file 
cabinet, or even a reference book. 

To humans, there are four basic types of data: text 
and numbers, images, sound, and video. Each data 
type must be converted to binary form for computer 
processing. 

A single consolidation point for enterprise data from 
diverse production systems. The data is typically 
stored in one large file server or a central computer. 
Because legacy systems are difficult to replace, some 
data is copied into a data warehouse, where it is 
available for management queries and analysis. 

A collection of related data that can be retrieved 
easily and processed by computers; a collection of 
data tables. 

(1) A person appoint-ied to manage the data-ibases 
for the firm. The DBA needs to know the technical 
details of the DBMS and the computer system. The 
DBA also needs to under-istand the business 
operations of the firm. (2) A management person in 
the MIS department charged with defining and 
maintaining the corporate databases. Maintaining 
data integrity is a key component of the job. 

Software that defines a database, stores the data, 
supports a query language, produces reports, and 
creates data-entry screens. 

Moving the major operations and decisions out to 
lower levels within the firm. In MIS, decentralization 



Decision biases 



Decision process 



Decision support system (DSS) 



Decision tree 



Default value 



Dehumanization 



Denial of Service (DoS) 



Descriptive model 
Desktop publishing (DTP) 



has largely been led by the declining cost and 
improved capabilities of personal computers. See also 
centralization. 

Without models and careful analysis, decisions made 
by people tend to be biased. There are several biases 
in each of the four systems categories: data 
acquisition, processing, output, and feedback. 

The steps required to make a decision. It includes 
problem identification, research, specification of 
choices, and the final selection. Mid-level managers 
are often involved in the initial stages and affect the 
outcome, even though they may not make the final 
decision. 

System to use data collected by transaction- 
processing systems to evaluate business models and 
assist managers in making tactical decisions. There 
are three major components: data collection, analysis 
of models, and presentation. 

A graphical representation of logic rules. Each 
possible answer to a question or situation leads to a 
new branch of the tree. 

A value that is automatically displayed by the 
computer. Users can often override the default by 
deleting the old value and entering a new one. The 
goal is to choose a value that will almost always be 
entered, so the user can skip that item. 

Some people feel that technology isolates people and 
decreases our contact with other members of society. 
Treating people as identification numbers and 
summary statistics can lead managers to forget the 
human consequences of their decisions. 

Preventing legitimate users access to systems and 
networks. A common Internet trick is to force 
thousands of zombie computers to flood a server with 
millions of meaningless messages— preventing 
anyone else from using the system. 

A model that is defined in words and perhaps 
pictures. Relationships between objects and variables 
tend to be subjective. Useful for an initial 
understanding of a system but difficult to evaluate by 
computer. 

The art of creating professional documents with 
personal computers and small laser printers. Beyond 
basic word processing, DTP software provides controls 



Detail section 



Device drivers 



Diagnostic situations 



Dial-back modem 



Digital cash 



Digital certificate 



Digital dashboard 



Digital divide 



to standardize pages, improve the page layout, and 
establish styles. 

The section in a report that is repeated for every row 
in the associated tables. It is often used for itemized 
values, whereas group and page footers are used for 
subtotals. 

Small software modules that provide the interface 
from an operating system to a hardware device. 
Manufacturers improve and rewrite their device 
drives, so you should periodically update your system 
to obtain the newer drivers. 

Spotting problems, searching for the cause, and 
implementing corrections. Examples include 
responding to exception reports to identify problems 
and potential solutions, and determining why the 
latest marketing approach did not perform as well as 
expected. 

A special modem placed on a central computer. When 
a user attempts to log in, the dial-back modem 
breaks the connection and calls back a predefined 
phone number. Its use minimizes the threat of 
outsiders gaining access to the central computer. 

An electronic version of money that is provided and 
verified by a trusted third party. It consists of an 
encrypted number for a specified value that can only 
be used one time. It provides for verifiable and 
anonymous purchases using networks. 

Part of an authentication mechanism used with dual- 
key encryption. Companies that host servers need to 
encrypt transactions over the Internet. They purchase 
a digital certificate from a certificate authority and 
install it on the Web server. The client browser 
recognizes the certificate key and encrypts the data. 

A visual presentation of broad measures of current 
activity in an organization. The data is generally 
displayed as gauges, and the system must be 
customized for each organization. As part of an 
executive information system, managers can drill 
down to get more data. 

The distance between those individuals or nations 
who have network capabilities and those who do not. 
Despite declining costs, many people and many 
nations cannot afford the hardware and software. If a 
large portion of the economy moves online, it could 



Digital rights management 
(DRM) 



Digital signature 



Digital subscriber line (DSL) 



Digital video/versatile disk 
(DVD) 



Direct sequence spread 
spectrum (DSSS) 



Disintermediation 



Distribution center (DC) 



Distribution channel 



alienate those who cannot afford the network 
connection. 

A combination of encryption and Internet validation 
for protecting vendor copyrights to prevent 
unauthorized copying of digital content (software, 
music, books, movies, and so on). 

Any electronic signature technology that verifies the 
user. U.S. law now recognizes digital signatures as 
equivalent to handwritten ones. The most secure 
system is to obtain a digital certificate from a public 
company that verifies each person's identity. But the 
IRS accepts a simple PIN issued by the agency as a 
digital signature. 

A special phone service connection available to 
customers within 3 miles of the phone company's 
switch. It provides about 1 Mbps transmission speed 
for Internet connections. 

A digital format primarily used for storing video and 
movies. However, it can also hold audio and 
traditional computer data. One side of the disk can 
hold over 3 gigabytes of data. 

A network transmission protocol commonly used for 
wireless connections. It subdivides the allocated 
frequency to send multiple packets at the same time. 
Communication packets can shift frequencies at each 
time slot. By making more efficient use of the 
spectrum, more data can be transmitted. 

In an e-commerce context, using a Web-based 
system to skip over sections of the production chain, 
such as manufacturers selling directly to consumers. 
The approach can give the manufacturer a higher 
percentage of the sale price, but risks alienating 
retailers, resulting in lost sales. 

A central point in a supply chain where incoming bulk 
goods are split and merged into multiple shipments to 
the final destination. For example, a truckload of 
bread would be unloaded and individual boxes placed 
on other trucks, along with other food items for 
distribution to a grocery store. 

The layers of distributors in between the 
manufacturer and the final customer. If a producer 
can gain control over this means of getting the 
product to the consumers, the producer can prevent 
new rivals from entering the industry. Improved 



Diverge 



Documentation 



Domain name system (DNS) 



Download 



Drill down 



Dot-com 



Dots per inch (dpi) 



Drill down 



Dual-key encryption 



Dynamic data exchange 



communication systems offer the possibility of 
eroding control over some distribution channels. 

The property of an iterative model where successive 
computations keep leading to larger values (in 
magnitude). The model never reaches a stable 
solution. Generally due to insufficient or incorrect 
feedback mechanisms. 

Descriptions of a system, its components, the data, 
and records of changes made to the system. 

A set of computers on the Internet that converts 
mnemonic names into numeric Internet addresses. 
The names are easier for humans to remember, but 
the computers rely on the numeric addresses. 

To transfer files from a remote computer to a local 
computer (usually a personal computer). See also 
upload. 

To use an information system to get increasingly 
detailed data about a company. In an enterprise 
information system, the ability to look at overall 
company data, and then select breakdowns by 
regions, departments, or smaller levels. 

Abbreviation given to the many Internet firms formed 
in the late 1990s because their Internet names ended 
with the .com suffix. For a couple of years, having a 
dot-com name was prestigious and attracted funding. 
When hundreds of these firms failed in 2000 and 
2001, they became known as dot-bombs. 

A measure of the resolution of devices including 
printers and displays. Higher values representing 
more dots per inch provide more detailed images and 
text. Some people use the term pixels (ppi) instead of 
dots. 

The action in a data analysis package or executive 
information system where the user clicks a link to 
obtain more detail about a specific situation. See also 
roll up. 

A method of encrypting a message that requires two 
keys: one to encrypt and one to decrypt. One of the 
keys is a public key that is available to anyone. The 
other key is private and must never be revealed to 
other people. RSA is a popular dual-key encryption 
system. Dual-key systems can also be used to 
authenticate the users. 

An early method of linking data from multiple sources 



Dynamic host control protocol 
(DHCP) 



Dynamic integration 



e-Business 



e-Commerce (EC) 



e-Discovery 



E-mail 



EBCDIC: Extended Binary 
Coded Decimal Interchange 
Code 

Electronic data interchange 
(EDI) 



with the Windows operating system. The software 
packages literally send messages to other software 
packages, which enables them to combine and update 
data. See also dynamic integration as well as Object 
Linking and Embedding (OLE). 

The standard Internet method for assigning Internet 
addresses to a computer. A DHCP server is given a 
database with a range of IP addresses and it assigns 
an unused number to a computer when it requests 
one on start-up. The process means that IP addresses 
on specific computers can change over time unless 
the computer is allocated a static address in the 
database. 

A means of linking data from multiple documents. 
One compound document (or container) can hold 
data objects created by other software. As the 
original data is changed, it is automatically updated in 
the container document. See also static integration. 

Electronic business. The process of conducting any 
type of business over the Internet. It includes all 
forms of e-commerce and m-commerce, as well as 
internal processes and Web services. 

Electronic commerce. The process of selling items 
over the Internet. The most familiar form is business- 
to-consumer, but it includes business-to-business and 
auction sites like eBay. 

Electronic discovery. In legal cases, a request for all 
electronic data— particularly e-mail communications, 
but might also include accounting or other data from 
any computer system. Companies establish policies to 
define storage life and destruction policies to ensure 
old data is deleted automatically from systems. 

Electronic mail, or messages that are transmitted 
from one computer user to another. Networks transfer 
messages between the computers. Users can send or 
retrieve messages at any time. The computer holds 
the message until the recipient checks in. 

A method of numbering characters so that they can 
be processed by machines. Used exclusively by large 
IBM and compatible computers. See also ASCII. 

Exchanging transaction data with entities outside the 
control of your firm. Private connections can be 
established directly between two firms. Public 
networks are also being formed where one provider 



Encryption 



End-user development 



Enterprise network 



Enterprise resource planning 
(ERP) 



Entrepreneurship 



Ergonomics 



Escrow key 



Ethernet 



Ethics 



Event-driven approach 



Respond to these events and 



collects data and routes it to the appropriate client. 

A method of modifying the original information 
according to some code, so that it can be read only if 
the user knows the decryption key. It is used to safely 
transmit data between computers. 

Managers and workers are to develop their own small 
systems using database management systems, 
spreadsheets, and other high-level tools. 

A network that connects multiple sub-networks across 
an entire firm. Often, the networks use different 
protocols and different computer types, which 
complicates transmitting messages. 

An integrated computer system running on top of a 
DBMS. It is designed to collect and organize data 
from all operations in an organization. Existing 
systems are strong in accounting, purchasing, and 
HRM. 

The act of creating and organizing a business. 
Generally, an entrepreneur takes the risks to create a 
new business in search of a profit. 

The study of how machines can be made to fit 
humans better. One of the main conclusions of this 
research in the computer area is that individuals need 
to be able to adjust input (and output) devices to 
their own preferences. 

In an encryption system, it is a special key that can 
be used by government officials to decrypt a secret 
conversation. The Clipper chip uses escrow keys. 

A network communications protocol that specifies 
how machines will exchange data. It uses a broadcast 
system in which one machine transmits its message 
on the communication medium. The other machines 
listen for messages directed to them. 

The concept that various elements of society have 
obligations to the others. In IT, it focuses on the roles 
of users, developers, and vendors. 

A user-interface approach where the user controls the 
sequence or operations and the software responds to 
these events. Events can range from a simple key- 
press to a voice command. Modern, window-based 
software does not follow a sequential process. 
Instead, actions by users generate events. The 
programs 



alter data or offer additional 
choices. Typical events include 
mouse clicks pointing to items 
on the screen, keystrokes, 
changes to values, or 
transmissions from other 
systems. 

Exabyte 



Exbibyte 



Exception report 



Executive information system 
(EIS) 



Exhaustive testing 



Expert system (ES) 



Expert system shell 



Export 



Extensible business reporting 
language (XBRL) 



A count of the number of bytes one step above 
petabyte and one below zettabyte. The new IEC 
definition uses exbibyte for binary data and exabyte 
only for decimal data which is 1018. 

The new IEC definition for binary-based counting 
instead of exabyte. The binary version is 260. 
Technically 2 raised to the 60th power or 
1024*1024*1024*1024*1024*1024 (6 times). 

Report that is triggered by some event to signify a 
condition that is unusual and needs to be handled 
immediately. 

A type of decision support system that collects, 
analyzes, and presents data in a format that is easy 
to use by top executives. To achieve this objective, 
the EIS is based on a model of the entire company. In 
most cases the model is presented graphically and 
the executives retrieve information by pointing to 
objects on the screen. 

Testing every possible combination of inputs to search 
for errors. Generally not a feasible option, so most 
computer systems will always contain errors. 

System with the goal of helping a novice achieve the 
same results as an expert. They can handle ill- 
structured and missing data. Current expert systems 
can be applied only to narrowly defined problems. 
Diagnostic problems are common applications for 
expert systems. 

A program that provides a way to collect data, enter 
rules, talk to users, present results, and evaluate the 
rules for an expert system. 

An older method of exchanging data among various 
software packages. One package exports the data by 
storing it in a format that can be read by other 
software. Object Linking and Embedding is a more 
powerful way to exchange data. 

A specific XML style for reporting financial data in a 
standard way. Predefined tags are used to mark the 



Extensible markup language 
(XML) 



External agents 



External entity 

Extraction, transformation, and 
loading (ETL) 

Extranet 



Extreme programming (XP) 



Facsimile (Fax) 



Fault tolerance 



Feasibility study 



Feedback 



financial data to make it easier for computers to 
extract and compare data from diverse companies. 

A tag-based notation system that is used to assign 
names and structure to data. It was mainly designed 
for transferring data among diverse systems. 

Entities that are outside the direct control of your 
company. Typical external agents are customers, 
suppliers, rivals, and governments. Competitive 
advantages can be found by producing better-quality 
items or services at a lower cost than your rivals. 
Also, many firms have strengthened their positions by 
building closer ties with their suppliers and 
customers. 

Objects outside the boundary of a system that 
communicate with the system. Common business 
examples include suppliers, customers, government 
agencies, and management. 

The process in data warehouses that involves taking 
data from existing systems, cleaning it up, and 
moving it into the data warehouse. 

A network configured to give certain outsiders, 

usually customers and suppliers, limited access to 

data using Web-based systems. 

A new version of development loosely based on 

prototyping. Pairs of developers rapidly build and 

simultaneously test applications. The goal is to build 

releases and then modify them to meet the changing 

needs of the users. 

A combination scanner, transmitter, and receiver that 

digitizes an image, compresses it, and transmits it 

over phone lines to another facsimile machine. 

The ability of a computer or a system to continue 
functioning properly even if some of the components 
fail. Fault-tolerant machines rely on duplication of 
subsystems with continuous monitoring and 
automatic maintenance calls. 

A quick examination of the problems, goals, and 
expect -ied costs of a proposed system. The objective 
is to determine whether the problem can reasonably 
be solved with a computer system. 

Well-designed systems have controls that monitor 
how well they meet their goals. The information 
measuring the goals and providing control to the 
system is known as feedback. 



Fiber optic cable 



File server 



File transfer protocol (FTP) 



Firewall 



First mover 



Five Forces model 



Floating point operations per 
second (FLOPS) 



Flow chart 



Font size 



Forward chaining 



Frame 



A thin glass or plastic cable that is internally 
reflective. It carries a light wave for extended 
distances and around corners. 

Computer on a network that is used to hold data and 
program files for users to share. To be effective, it 
should use a multitasking operating system. 

A standard method of transferring files on the 
Internet. If you control a computer, you can give 
other users access to specific files on your computer 
without having to provide an account and password 
for every possible user. 

A small, fast network computer device that examines 
every packet entering a company. Rules or filters can 
be created that will reject certain packets that are 
known to be dangerous to the network. 

In a model of rivalry, the firm that takes the initial 
action. Sometimes the first mover gets a benefit by 
setting the strategy and the market. But the costs are 
often higher because the technology is newer. Games 
such as chess recognize that the first mover has a 
slight benefit. 

Michael Porter's model used to search for competitive 
advantage. The Five Forces are: rivals, customers, 
suppliers, potential competitors, and substitute 
products. 

The number of mathematical calculations a processor 
can perform in one second. Typically measured in 
millions (mega-FLOPS) or billions (giga-FLOPS). 
Bigger numbers represent faster processors. 

An old pictorial method for describing the logic of a 
computer program. It has largely been replaced by 
pseudocode. 

An important characteristic of text is its size. Size of 
type is typically measured in points. For reference, a 
capital letter in a 72-point font will be approximately 
1 inch high. 

In an expert system, the ES traces your rules from 
the data entry to a recommendation. Forward 
chaining is used to display questions, perform 
calculations, and apply rules. 

A related set of information that humans group 
together. Sometimes groupings can be arbitrary. A 
concept used in discussing AI applications and human 
cognition. 



Frame relay 



Franchise 



Frequency division multiplexing 
(FDM) 



Front-end processor 



A network communication system that uses variable- 
length packets. It is useful for high-speed, large 
bursts of data. It is being used for long-distance 
network communications. 

A means of organizing companies. Independent 
operators pay a franchise fee to use the company 
name. They receive training and benefit from the 
name and advertising of the parent company. They 
purchase supplies from the parent company and 
follow the franchise rules. 

Supporting multiple communications at the same time 
by assigning a specific frequency range to each 
participant. For example, television and radio stations 
are assigned specific frequency ranges to avoid 
collisions. 

A simple communications device for large central 
computers that accepted all of the terminal wires and 
then assigned each user to an open communications 
port on the computer. This device decreased the 
number of physical access ports required on the 
computer. 

A method of transferring data, usually over phone 
lines, so that data is transmitted in both directions 
simultaneously. In terms of speaker phones, it means 
that people on both ends of a call can talk at the 
same time. With half duplex, the initial speaker 
blocks others from talking. 

See methods. 

A way of presenting and analyzing logic problems that 
is designed to handle subjective descriptions (e.g., 
hot and cold). 

A collection of accounts that break financial data into 
specific categories. Common categories include 
accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, and 
cash. 

De-isigned to identify and display relationships 
Geographic information system among business data and locations. Used to display 
(GIS) geographical relationships. Also used to plot delivery 

routes and create maps. 

The IEC definition for billion in binary base 2 (230). It 
Gibibyte replaces the term gigabyte which now is to be used 

for decimal billion. 

Gigabyte Approximately 1 billion bytes of data. Technically, 2 

raised to the 30th power or 1024*1024*1024 (3 



Full duplex 



Functions 



Fuzzy logic 



General ledger 



Global positioning system 
(GPS) 



Graphical user interface (GUI) 



Grid computing 



Group breaks 



Group decision support system 
(GDSS) 



Groupware 

Hacker 
Hardware 



High-bandwidth digital content 
protection (HDCP) 

High-Definition Television 
(HDTV) 



times). It is one step above megabyte and one below 
terabyte.. 

A system of 24 satellites created by the U.S. 
Department of Defense. The civilian receivers will 
identify a location to within about a few feet. Used for 
navigation, track vehicles, and plotting delivery 
routes. 

A system that is based on a graphics screen instead 
of simple text. Users perform tasks by clicking a 
mouse button on or manipulating objects on the 
screen. For example, copies are made by dragging an 
item from one location on the screen to another. 
Pronounced as "gooey." 

A system that networks multiple computers so that 
they cooperatively process the designated tasks, 
effectively functioning as a single computer. 

Reports are often broken into subsections so that 
data in each section is grouped together by some 
common feature. For example, a sales report might 
group items by department, with subtotals for each 
department. 

A type of groupware that is designed to facilitate 
meetings and help groups reach a decision. Each 
participant uses a networked computer to enter ideas 
and comments. Votes can be recorded and analyzed 
instantly. Comments and discussion are automatically 
saved for further study. 

Software designed to assist teams of workers. There 
are four basic types: communication, workflow, 
meeting, and scheduling. The most common is 
communication software that supports messages, 
bulletin boards, and data file transfers and sharing. 

Primarily used to indicate a person who devotes a 
great deal of time trying to break into computer 
systems. 

The physical equipment used in computing. 

The digital rights management technology created by 
the movie and television industries to make it more 
difficult for people to copy high-definition TV signals. 
To play protected videos all of your equipment will 
need to support the HDCP standard. 

Transmission of television signals in digital form. It 
provides clearer reception. It also supports encrypted 
transmissions so that broadcasters can control who 



Hot links 



Hot site 



Hub 



Hypertext markup language 
(HTML) 



Icon 



Image 



Import 



Inference engine 

Information 
Information center 



receives the images. HDTV also supports 
compression, so that more data (better pictures or 
more channels) can be transmitted in the same 
frequency space. 
See dynamic integration. 

A facility that can be leased from a disaster backup 
specialist. A hot site contains all the power, 
telecommunication facilities, and computers 
necessary to run a company. In the event of a 
disaster, a company collects its backup data tapes, 
notifies workers, and moves operations to the hot 
site. 

A network device used to connect several computers 
to a network. Commonly used in a twisted-pair LAN. 
A cable runs from each computer's NIC to the hub. 
The hub is often connected to a router. 

The standard formatting system used to display 
pages on the Internet. Special tags (commands inside 
angle braces, e.g., <HTML>) provide formatting 
capabilities. Several software packages automatically 
store text in this format, so users do not have to 
memorize the tags. 

A small picture on a computer screen that is used to 
represent some object or indicate a command. A 
classic example is the trash can used to delete files 
on the Apple Macintosh. 

A graphic representation that can be described by its 
resolution and the number of colors. They can be 
stored as bit-mapped or vector images. 

An older method of exchanging data among various 
software packages. Most software (e.g., a database 
management system) can export or store data in a 
text file format. Another software package (e.g., a 
spreadsheet) can import or retrieve this data. Object 
Linking and Embedding is a more powerful way to 
exchange data. 

Within an expert system, the inference engine applies 
new observations to the knowledge base and 
analyzes the rules to reach a conclusion. 

Data that has been processed, organized, and 
integrated to provide insight. The distinction between 
data and information is that information carries 
meaning and is used to make decisions. 

An MIS group responsible for supporting end users. It 



Information rights 
management (IRM) 



Information system 



Information technology (IT) 



Information threats 



Information warfare (IW) 



Inheritance 



Initial public offering (IPO) 

Input devices 
Input-Process-Output 



typically provides a help desk to answer questions, 
programmers who provide access to corporate 
databases, training classes, and network support 
people to install and maintain networks. 

A system to control exactly what each group can do 
with digital data, including documents, music, and 
video files. A good IRM system can prevent a 
document from being read by outsiders, even if the 
document is somehow shipped outside the company's 
computers. 

A collection of hardware, software, data, and people 
designed to collect, process, and distribute data 
throughout an organization. 

The hardware and software used to create an 
information system. Sometimes used as an 
abbreviation for management information systems. 

There are two classes of threats to information: (1) 
physical, in the form of disasters; and (2) logical, 
which consists of unauthorized disclosure, 
unauthorized modification, and unauthorized 
withholding of data. The primary source of danger lies 
with insiders: employees, ex-employees, partners, or 
consultants. 

The use of information in a conflict setting. It includes 
protecting your own information, providing 
misinformation to the enemy, and monitoring and 
disrupting the enemy's information. 

Creation or derivation of objects from other object 
classes. Each derived class inherits the attributes and 
methods of the prior class. For example, a savings 
account object can be derived from an account 
object. The savings account object will automatically 
have the same attributes and methods. Attributes and 
methods specific to the savings account can be 
added. 

The step when firms first sell stock to the public. A 
method of raising additional funds and a major step 
for most start-up firms. 

People do not deal very well with binary data, so all 
data forms must be converted into binary form for 
the computer. Input devices— for example, keyboards, 
microphones, and bar code readers— make the 
conversion. 

A shorthand description of a subsystem. Each 



Instant Messaging (IM) 



Integrated data 



Integrated Services Digital 
Network (ISDN) 



Intellectual property 



Internet 



Internet Assigned Numbers 
Authority (IANA) 



Internet Corporation for 
Assigned Names and Numbers 
(ICANN) 



Internet Engineering Task 
Force (IETF) 



Internet service provider (ISP) 



subsystem receives inputs and performs some 
process. The output is passed to another subsystem. 

A two-way electronic communication in real time. 
Short comments that you type are immediately 
displayed on the recipient's screen. It generally 
requires that both parties run the same software. 

The practice of combining data from different sources 
to make a decision. Data can come from different 
departments throughout the business, and it can 
come in many different forms. Networks, groupware, 
and products that support dynamic linking are all 
useful tools to integrate data to make better 
decisions. 

A set of services, and a transmission and control 
system, offered by telephone companies. It uses 
complete digital transmission of signals to improve 
transmission speed and quality. 

As defined by copyright laws, the concept that 
property such as music, books, software, and movies 
can be protected. The laws clearly define the owners 
of the property and specify that the owners can 
establish any type of copy protections they desire. 

A collection of computers loosely connected to 
exchange information worldwide. Owners of the 
computers make files and information available to 
other users. Common tools on the Internet include e- 
mail, ftp, telnet, and the World Wide Web. 

The Internet committee that is responsible for 
allocating IP address segments. It generally focuses 
on technical issues, manages the DNS root zone and 
coordinates the global numbering system. 

The Internet committee founded in 1998 that 
coordinates the Internet naming system. It is largely 
a political committee, formed within the United 
States, but with international membership, it 
discusses new top level domains, internationalization 
issues and so on. 

The primary technical committee that defines Internet 
standards. It is responsible for standards such as 
router protocols and HTML. 

A private company that provides connections to the 
Internet. Individuals pay a fee to the ISP. The ISP 
pays a fee to a higher-level provider (e.g., NSP) to 
pass all communications onto the Internet. 



Intranet 



Intrusion detection system 
(IDS) 



Intrusion prevention system 
(IPS) 



Iterative solution 



Intrusion detection system 
(IDS) 



Internet Protocol version 6 
(IPv6) 



Joint application design (JAD) 



Just-in-time (JIT) inventory 



Kerberos 



A network within an organization that utilizes 
standard Internet protocols and services. Essentially, 
this includes Web sites that are accessible only for 
internal use. 

A software tool containing sensors and a set of rules 
that monitors network traffic looking for attackers. 
Snort is a commonly-used tool for IDS because it is 
freely available from the open-source community. 

Similar to an IDS but more active. It uses software to 
monitor network activity and a set of rules to indicate 
when an attack occurs. It then uses router and 
system commands to shut down or delay access to 
attackers. 

Building a model and evaluating it until the parameter 
values converge to a fixed solution. Sometimes an 
iterative model will diverge and never reach an 
acceptable solution. See also circular reference. 

A combination of hardware and software that 
monitors packets and operations on the network and 
computers. It watches for suspicious patterns that 
might indicate an attack. 

A set of standards that define how raw data is 
transmitted on the Internet and how machines are 
addressed. Version 6 contains several improvements 
to the older version 4. For example, version 6 
supports 128-bit addresses compared with 32 bits in 
version 4. It will take several years for people to 
move to version 6. 

A method to reduce design time by putting everyone 
in development sessions until the system is designed. 
Users, managers, and systems analysts participate in 
a series of intense meetings to design the inputs 
(data and screens) and outputs (reports) needed by 
the new system. 

A production system that relies on suppliers 
delivering components just as they are needed in 
production, instead of relying on inventory stocks. JIT 
requires close communication between manufacturers 
and suppliers. 

A security system created at MIT that enables 
systems to have a single sign-on. Users log into the 
Kerberos server and other systems can validate the 
user's identity from that server. Much simpler than 
requiring users to log in multiple times. Named after 



Kilobyte 

Knowledge 
Knowledge base 



Knowledge engineer 



Knowledge Management (KM) 



Last mile 



Latency 



Legacy system 



LIKE 



the hound that guards the gates of Hades (spelled 
Cerberus in Latin). 

Approximately one thousand bytes of data. 
Technically it is 2 to the tenth, or 1024. The next step 
up is megabyte. 

A higher level of understanding, including rules, 
patterns, and decisions. Knowledge-based systems 
are built to automatically analyze data, identify 
patterns, and recommend decisions. 

Within an expert system, the knowledge base 
consists of basic data and a set of rules. 

A person who helps build an expert system by 
organizing the data, devising the rules, and entering 
the criteria into the expert system shell, trained to 
deal with experts to derive the rules needed to create 
an expert system. The engineer also converts the 
data and rules into the format needed by the expert 
system. 

A system that stores information in the context of a 
set of decisions. It contains cross-references and 
search methods to make it easy for workers to 
understand how and why decisions were made. 

The connection from an ISP to individual households 
and businesses. In many cases, the most difficult 
connection to make because of the cost and 
monopoly control. Most households are limited to a 
few choices: telephone and cable TV. Some 
technologies exist to run communications over power 
lines. The other option is wireless. 

The delay between initiating an action and seeing a 
result. In communications, it is the delay between 
sending a message and receiving a reply. Often a 
problem with satellite connections because the signal 
must travel huge distances. 

Information systems that were created over several 
years and are now crucial to operating the company. 
They probably use older technology, and the software 
is difficult to modify. However, replacing them is 
difficult and likely to interfere with day-to-day 
operations. Any changes or new systems must be 
able to work with the older components. 

An SQL command used within a WHERE clause to 
search for patterns in text. Two pattern-matching 
characters are used. A % (* in Access) matches any 



Limited liability company (LLC) 



Local area network (LAN) 



Magnetic hard drives 



Magnetic ink character 
recognition (MICR) 



Mail filters 



Malware 



Management information 
system (MIS) 



Manufacturing Resource 
Planning (MRP II) 



Market basket analysis 



characters. An _ (? in Access) matches exactly one 
character. For example, WHERE LastName LIKE 'Jo*', 
matches any last name beginning with those two 
letters. 

A legal variation of organizing a company. It protects 
the owners with the same separation of funds offered 
to corporations, but because it does not allow it to 
issue stock, the record keeping is somewhat easier. 

A collection of personal computers within a small 
geographical area, connected by a network. All of the 
components are owned or controlled by one company. 

Magnetic hard drives (or disk drives) consist of rigid 
platters that store data with magnetic particles. Data 
is accessed by spinning the platters and moving a 
drive head across the platters to access various 
tracks. 

A special typeface printed with ink containing 
magnetic ink. It can be read rapidly and reliably by 
computers. Banks are the primary users of MICR. 
Checks are imprinted with MICR routing numbers. 
MICR readers are more accurate than straight OCR 
because they pick up a stronger signal from magnetic 
particles in the ink. 

Programs that automatically read e-mail and sort the 
messages according to whatever criteria the manager 
prefers. Junk mail can be discarded automatically. 

A generic term used to describe software that does 
nasty things. It includes viruses, Trojan Horses, spy- 
ware, and so on. 

An MIS consists of five related components: 
hardware, software, people, procedures, and 
databases. The goal of management information 
systems is to enable managers to make better 
decisions by providing quality information. 

An integrated approach to manufacturing. Beginning 
with the desired production levels, we work backward 
to determine the processing time, materials, and 
labor needed at each step. These results generate 
schedules and inventory needs. Sometimes known as 
a demand-pull system. 

A data mining technique pioneered to see if two items 
are commonly purchased at the same time. Can also 
be used to identify any pairs of items that are 
associated with each other. 



Mass customization 



Materials requirements 
planning (MRP) 



Mathematical model 



Mebibyte (MiB) 



Media 



Media access control (MAC) 



Megabyte 

Megaflops 

Megahertz 

Menu tree 

Metadata 
Methods 



The ability to modify the production line often enough 
to produce more variations of the main product. The 
goal is to cover virtually all of the niche markets. 
An early production system, where at each stage of 
production, we evaluate the usage of materials to 
determine the optimal inventory levels. 

A model that is defined by mathematical equations. 
This format is easy to use for forecasts and for 
simulation analysis on the computer. Be careful not to 
confuse precision with accuracy. A model might 
forecast some value with great precision (e.g., 
15.9371), but the accuracy could be quite less (e.g., 
actual values between 12 and 18). 

An International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 
replacement for the term megabyte. Mebibyte is base 
2 (220), megabyte is for base 10 (106). 

For transmissions, the means of connecting 
computers in a network. Common methods include 
twisted-pair and coaxial cable; fiber-optic lines; and 
radio, micro, and infrared waves. 

The network protocol that governs how data bits are 
sent across a connection medium. Almost always 
implemented in a LAN card. It is most commonly 
noticed when you need to control security based on 
physical cards— in which case you need the MAC 
address that is uniquely assigned to every network 
interface card. 

Loosely, 1 million bytes of data. Technically, it is 
1,048,576 bytes of data, which is 2 raised to the 20th 
power or 1024*1024. The next step up is gigabyte. 

Millions of floating-point operations per second. A 
measure of the processor speed, it counts the 
number of common arithmetical operations that can 
be performed in one second. 

One million cycles per second, a measure of the clock 
chip in a computer, which establishes how fast a 
processor can operate. 

A graphical depiction of the menu choices available to 
users in a system. 

Describes the source data, and the transformation 
and integration steps, and defines the way the 
database or data warehouse is organized. 

Descriptions of actions that an object can perform. 
For example, an employee object could be hired, 



Microsecond 



Million instructions per second 
(MIPS) 



Millisecond 



Mirror drive 



Model 



Modem 



Morphing 



Motherboard 



Multimedia 



promoted, or released. Each of these functions would 
necessitate changes in the employee attributes and in 
other objects. The methods carry out these changes. 
One-millionth of a second. Few computer components 
are measured in microseconds, but some electrical 
devices and controllers operate in that range. One 
microsecond compared to one second is the same as 
comparing one second to 11.6 days. 
A measure of computer processor speed. Higher 
numbers represent a faster processor. However, 
different brands of processors use different 
instruction sets, so numbers are not always 
comparable. 

One-thousandth of a second. Disk drives and some 
other input and output devices perform operations 
measured in milliseconds. One millisecond compared 
to one second is the same as comparing 1 second to 
16.7 minutes. 

A backup system where data is automatically written 
to a second disk drive. If the primary drive fails, 
operations can be switched instantaneously to the 
mirror drive. 

A simplified, abstract representation of some real- 
world system. Some models can be written as 
mathematical equations or graphs; others are 
subjective descriptions. Models help managers 
visualize physical objects and business processes. 
Information systems help you build models, evaluate 
them, and organize and display the output. 
Modulator-demodulator. A device that converts 
computer signals into sounds that can be transmitted 
(and received) across phone lines. 

Digital conversion of one image into another. The 
term is an abbreviation of metamorphosis. True 
morphing is done with digital video sequences, where 
the computer modifies each frame until the image 
converts to a new form. 

The main board in a computer that contains sockets 
for the process and RAM. It also contains an interface 
bus so that interface cards can be added to the 
system. 

The combination of the four basic data types: text, 
sound, video, and images (animation). In its broadest 
definition, multimedia encompasses virtually any 



Multitasking 



Musical Instrument Data 
Interchange (MIDI) 



Nanosecond 



Natural language 



Near-field communication 
(NFC) 



Network 



Network address translation 
(NAT) 



Network attached storage 
(NAS) 

Network effect 



combination of data types. Today, it typically refers to 
the use of sound, text, and video clips in digitized 
form that are controlled by the computer user. 

A feature of operating systems that enables you to 
run more than one task or application at the same 
time. Technically, they do not run at exactly the same 
time. The processor divides its time and works on 
several tasks at once. 

A collection of standards that define how musical 
instruments communicate with each other. Sounds 
are stored by musical notation and are re-created by 
synthesizers that play the notes. 

One-billionth of a second. Computer processors and 
memory chips operate at times measured in 
nanoseconds. One nanosecond compared to 1 second 
is the same as comparing 1 second to 31.7 years. 
A human language used for communication with other 
humans, as opposed to a computer programming 
language or some other artificial language created for 
limited communication. 

A very short range wireless communication method 
useful for touchless payments because the short 
range makes it difficult to intercept the transmission 
or misidentify the sender. Typically a range of a few 
centimeters with a relatively low bandwidth. Similar 
to RFID, but with a shorter range. 

A set of items connected together. In MIS, it is 
typically a connection of computers. And social 
networks are connections of people. 

A network configuration where internal computers use 
non-routable addresses (usually in the 10.0.0.0 
range). When connecting to devices on the Internet, 
the boundary router temporarily assigns a real IP 
address and then directs the incoming messages to 
the original computer by changing the address within 
the packets. 

A disk drive unit that stands alone and is connected 
to the high-speed local area network instead of 
directly to a single computer. Similar to a SAN but it 
uses standard network connections and is accessible 
to any computer attached to the network. 

The concept that a network becomes more valuable 
and useful as the number of participants increases. In 
social networks, larger networks attract more people, 



Network interface card (NIC) 



Network operating system 
(NOS) 



Network service provider (NSP) 



Neural network 



Neuron 



Newsgroups 



Nondisclosure agreement 
(NDA) 



Normalization 



Numbers 



Object 

Object hierarchy 



enabling them to grow even larger. 

The communication card that plugs into a computer 
and attaches to the network communication medium. 
It translates computer commands into network 
messages and server commands. 

A special operating system installed on a file server, 
with portions loaded to the client machines. It 
enables the machines to communicate and share 
files. 

A high-level Internet service provider offering 
connections to ISPs. The NSP leases high-speed, 
high-capacity lines to handle the communication 
traffic from hundreds of ISPs. 

A collection of artificial neurons loosely designed to 
mimic the way the human brain operates. Especially 
useful for tasks that involve pattern recognition. 

The fundamental cell of human brains and nerves. 
Each of these cells is relatively simple, but there are 
approximately 100 million of them. 

A set of electronic bulletin boards available on the 
Internet. Postings are continuously circulated around 
the network as people add comments. 

A written agreement where the signer agrees to keep 
certain information confidential and not tell anyone. 
Commonly used by startup companies to keep basic 
technology, general operating practices, and 
marketing plans secret. 

A set of rules for creating tables in a relational 
database. The primary rules are that there can be no 
repeating elements and every nonkey column must 
depend on the whole key and nothing but the key. 
Roughly, it means that each table should refer to only 
one object or concept. 

One of the basic data types, similar to text on input 
and output. Attributes include precision and a scaling 
factor that defines the true size or dimension of the 
number. 

A software description of some entity. It consists of 
attributes that describe the object, and functions (or 
methods) that describe the actions that can be taken 
by the object. Objects are generally related to other 
objects through an object hierarchy. 

Objects are defined from other base objects. The new 
objects inherit the properties and functions of the 



Object Linking and Embedding 
(OLE) 



Object orientation 



Object-oriented DBMS 



Object-oriented design 



Object-oriented programming 
(OOP) 



Offshoring 



One-to-many relationship 



Online analytical processing 
(OLAP) 

Open operating system 



prior objects. 

A standard created by Microsoft for its Windows 
operating system to create compound documents and 
dynamically link data objects from multiple software 
packages. You begin with a compound document or 
container that holds data from other software 
packages. These data objects can be edited directly 
(embedded). Most OLE software also supports 
dynamic linking. 

An approach to systems and programming that 
classifies data as various objects. Objects have 
attributes or properties that can be set by the 
programmer or by users. Objects also have methods 
or functions that define the actions they can take. 
Objects can be defined from other objects, so most 
are derived from the four basic data types. 

A database system specifically created to hold custom 
objects. Generally supports developer-defined data 
types and hierarchical relationships. 

The ultimate goal of the object-oriented approach is 
to build a set of reusable objects and procedures. The 
idea is that eventually, it should be possible to create 
new systems or modify old ones simply by plugging in 
a new module or modifying an existing object. 

The process of writing software using sets of 
extensible objects. Programmers first create objects 
that encapsulate internal data structures with 
software methods. New objects can be created by 
inheriting properties and methods from more generic 
classes. A goal of OOP was to encourage reuse of 
objects to reduce the time it takes to create new 
applications. 

The practice of sending jobs to an outside contractor 
located in a different country. 

Some object or task that can be repeated. For 
instance, a customer can place many orders. In 
database normalization, we search for one-to-many 
relationships and split them into two tables. 

A computer system designed to help managers 
retrieve and analyze data. The systems are optimized 
to rapidly integrate and retrieve data. The storage 
system is generally incompatible with transaction 
processing, so it is stored in a data warehouse. 

An operating system that is supposed to be vendor 



Online transaction processing 
(OLTP) 



Open source development 



Open system 



Operating system 



Operations level 



Optical character recognition 
(OCR) 



Optimization 



Output devices 
Outsourcing 



neutral. It should run on hardware from several 
different vendors. When a buyer upgrades to a new 
machine, the operating system and software should 
function the same as before. 

A computer system designed to handle daily 
transactions. It is optimized to record and protect 
multiple transactions. Because it is generally not 
compatible with managerial retrieval of data, data is 
extracted from these systems into a data warehouse. 

A method of creating software where the source code 
is released to the public and anyone can contribute to 
the project by writing sections of the code. Usually 
one person takes the lead to control the integration 
changes and planning for new releases. The Linux 
operating system initiated by Linus Torvalds is a 
common example. 

An open system learns by altering itself as the 
environment changes. 

A basic collection of software that handles jobs 
common to all users and programmers. It is 
responsible for connecting the hardware devices, such 
as terminals, disk drives, and printers. It also 
provides the environment for other software, as well 
as the user interface that affects how people use the 
machine. 

Day-to-day operations and decisions. In a 
manufacturing firm, machine settings, worker 
schedules, and maintenance requirements would 
rep-iresent management decisions at the operations 
level. Information systems are used at this level to 
collect data and perform well-defined computations. 

The ability to convert images of characters (bitmaps) 
into computer text that can be stored, searched, and 
edited. Software examines a picture and looks for 
text. The software checks each line, deciphers one 
character at a time, and stores the result as text. 

The use of models to search for the best solutions: 
minimizing costs, improving efficiency, or increasing 
profits. 

Data stored in binary form on the computer must be 
converted to a format people understand. Output 
devices— for example, display screens, printers, and 
synthesizers— make the conversion. 

The act of transferring ownership or management of 



Packets 



Packet switching network 



Page footer 



Page header 



Parallel processing 



MIS resources (hardware, software and personnel) to 
an outside MIS specialist. 

Network messages are split into packets for 
transmission. Each packet contains a destination and 
source address as well as a portion of the message. 

A communications protocol in which each message is 
placed into smaller packets. These packets contain a 
destination and source address. The packets are 
switched (or routed) to the appropriate computer. 
With high-speed switches, this protocol offers speeds 
in excess of 150 megabits per second. 

Data that are placed at the bottom of each page in a 
report. Common items include page totals and page 
numbers. 

Data that is placed at the top of every page in a 
report. Common items include the report title, date, 
and column labels. 

Using several processors in the same computer. Each 
processor can be assigned different tasks, or jobs can 
be split into separate pieces and given to each 
processor. There are a few massively parallel 
machines that utilize several thousand processors. 

Variables in a model that can be controlled or set by 
managers. They are used to examine different 
situations or to tailor the model to fit a specific 
problem. 

Legal protection for products (and sometimes 
business processes). It grants the owner sole right to 
sell or create modifications of the product for 20 
years. No one can create the same product unless 
approved by the patent owner. 

A method of sharing data and information directly 
Peer-to-peer communication with colleagues and peers, instead of transferring 

data through a shared central server. 
A network configuration in which each machine is 
considered to be an equal. Messages and data are 
shared directly between individual computers. Each 
machine continuously operates as both a client and a 
server. 

Personal digital assistant (PDA) A small, portable handheld computer designed 

primarily to handle contacts, schedules, e-mail, and 
short notes. Some models have more advanced 
features to support documents, spreadsheets, photos, 
and music. A few have wireless connections; others 



Parameter 



Patent 



Peer-to-peer network 



Pebibyte 



Petabyte 



Phased implementation 



Phishing 



Photo-CD 



Pivot table 



Pixel 



Podcast 



Point of sale (POS) system 



Polymorphism 



have to be synchronized with desktops to transfer e- 
mail and update schedules. Replaced by 
smartphones. 

The new IEC definition for quadrillion bytes in binary 
(250) denoted PiB. It replaces the term petabyte 
which is now to be used for decimal values. 
Technically 2 raised to the 50th power or 
1024*1024*1024*1024*1024 (5 times). 

One quadrillion bytes of data. One step above 
terabyte and one below exabyte. The new IEC 
definition uses pebibyte for binary data and petabyte 
for decimal values or 1015. 

An implementation method that introduces the new 
system in phases or steps. One phase is completed 
before the next is undertaken. The pieces could be 
software components, different divisions, different 
locations, or a similar split. 

Pronounced as fishing. The act of sending out false 
messages, typically pretending to be from a bank, in 
an attempt to get users to provide usernames and 
passwords to access sensitive systems. Almost any e- 
mail message purportedly sent to you by a financial 
institution should be ignored. Anything that does not 
include your name should be deleted immediately. 

A standardized system created by Kodak to convert 
photographs to digital (bitmap) form and store them 
on optical disks. 

A tool within Microsoft Excel used to extract and 
organize data. It enables users to examine 
aggregated data and quickly see the accompanying 
detail. 

Picture element, or a single dot on an image or video 
screen. 

An audio message distributed via a Web site designed 
for storage and playback on an Apple iPod. But the 
term today includes almost any type of audio file 
containing messages. 

A means of collecting data immediately when items 
are sold. Cash registers are actually data terminals 
that look up prices and instantly transmit sales data 
to a central computer. 

In an object design, different objects can have 
methods that have the same name but operate 
slightly differently. For example, a checking account 



Portable document format 
(PDF) 



Precision (numeric) 



Prediction 



Pretty good privacy (PGP) 



Primary key 



Privacy 



Private key 
Problem boundary 



object and a savings account object could each have 
a method called pay interest. The checking account 
might pay interest monthly, whereas the savings 
account pays it quarterly. 

A file format often used on the Internet. It can 
display documents with detailed precision, including 
special fonts and shading. Defined by Adobe, readers 
are freely available for many machines. Special 
software must be purchased to create the files. 

In computers, numeric precision represents the 
number of digits stored to the right of the decimal 
point. So, 10.1234 is more precise than 10.12; 
however, it is not necessarily more accurate. The 
original value might not have been measured beyond 
two digits. 

Model parameters can be estimated from prior data. 
Sample data is used to forecast future changes based 
on the model. 

A dual-key encryption system based on the Diffie- 
Hellman approach similar to RSA. Created by Philip 
Zimmermann and commonly used to encrypt e-mail. 
Free copies for noncommercial use are still available 
from MIT. 

A column or set of columns that contains data to 
uniquely identify each row in a relational database 
table. For example, each customer must have a 
unique identifier, possibly a phone number or an 
internally generated customer number. 

(1) The concept that people should be able to go 
about their lives without constant surveillance, that 
personal information about people should not be 
shared without their permission. (2) Collecting 
personal data only when you have a legitimate use 
for it, allowing customers to correct and remove 
personal data. Protecting confidential data so that it is 
not released to anyone. Giving customers the option 
so that you do not sell or lease their personal data. 

In a dual-key encryption system, the key that is 
protected by the owner and never revealed. It is 
generally a very large number. 

The line that identifies the primary components of the 
system that are creating a specific problem. 
Subsystems inside the boundary can be modified to 
solve the problem or enhance the system. 



Procedures 



Process 



Process control 



Process innovation 



Processor 



Product differentiation 



Program logic 
Properties 
Protect document 



Protocols 
Prototyping 



Subsystems outside the boundary cannot be altered 
at this time. 

Instructions that help people use the systems. They 
include items such as user manuals, documentation, 
and procedures to ensure that backups are made 
regularly. 

An activity that is part of a data flow diagram. 
Systems can be built to process goods or to process 
data. Most information system work focuses on 
processes that alter data. 

The use of computers to monitor and control the 
production machines and robots. Production lines 
generally use many different machines, each 
requiring several adjustments or settings. Computer 
control simplifies and speeds the setup. 

Evaluating the entire firm to improve individual 
processes, and to search for integrated solutions that 
will reduce costs, improve quality or boost sales to 
gain a competitive advantage. See also re- 
engineering. 

The heart of a computer. It carries out the 
instructions of the operating system and the 
application programs. 

The ability to make your products appear different 
from those of your rivals, thus attracting more 
customers. Information systems have been used to 
alter products and provide new services. 
Writing program code requires defining the steps or 
logic that the computer should follow to complete a 
task. A program must also use the correct words, 
symbols, and punctuation, known as syntax. 

See attributes. 

A method of restricting changes to Microsoft Office 
files. A limited version of information rights 
management that will allow people to read a 
document but not make changes. 

A set of definitions and standards that establish the 
communication links on a network. Networks are 
often classified by their choice of protocol. Common 
protocols include Ethernet, Token Ring, and TCP/IP. 

An iterative system design technique that takes 
advantage of high-level tools to rapidly create 
working systems. The main objective of prototyping is 
to create a working version of the system as quickly 



Pseudocode 



Public key 



Pure Internet plays 



Query by example (QBE) 



Query system 



Radio frequency identification 
(RFID) 



Random access memory (RAM) 



Rapid application development 
(RAD) 



Read Only Memory (ROM) 



as possible, even if some components are not 
included in the early versions. 

A loosely structured method to describe the logic of a 
program or outline a system. It uses basic 
programming techniques but ignores issues of syntax 
and relies on verbal descriptions. 
In a dual-key encryption system, the key that is given 
to the public. Each person wishing to use dual-key 
encryption must have a different public key. The key 
works only in tandem with the user's private key. 

Dot-com firms that have no direct tie to traditional 
business. Firms that make all their revenue from 
Internet sales or other Internet firms. A popular 
concept in 1999, but most pure Internet firms failed 
in 2000 and 2001. 

A visual method of examining data stored in a 
relational database. You ask questions and examine 
the data by pointing to tables on the screen and filling 
in templates. 

A method of retrieving data in a DBMS. It generally 
uses a formal process to pose the questions (1) what 
columns should be displayed? (2) what conditions are 
given? (3) what tables are involved? and (4) how are 
the tables connected? See query by example and 
SQL. 

Small, passive computer chips that are powered by 
radio waves. When triggered by a reader, the chip 
returns data stored in its memory by modulating the 
radio signals. Readable range is limited to a few feet 
or less. If price drops far enough, they might replace 
bar codes. 

High-speed memory chips that hold data for 
immediate processing. On most computers, data held 
in RAM is lost when the power is removed, so data 
must be moved to secondary storage. 

The goal of building a system much faster than with 
traditional SDLC methods. Using powerful tools 
(database management system, high-level 
languages, graphical toolkits, and objects), highly 
trained programmers can build systems in a matter of 
weeks or months. Using workgroups, communication 
networks, and CASE tools, small teams can speed up 
the development and design steps. 

A type of memory on which data can be stored only 



Really simple syndication 
(RSS) 



Reduced instruction set 
computer (RISC) 



Redundant array of 
independent Disks (RAID) 



Reengineering 



Relational database 



Repetitive stress injury (RSI) 



Replay attack 



one time. It can be read as often as needed but 
cannot be changed. ROM keeps its data when power 
is removed, so it is used to hold certain core 
programs and system data that is rarely changed. 

A technique used with blogs to automatically push 
new versions down to subscribers. Users can 
configure a Web browser to connect to a favorite 
blogger. New versions are automatically displayed on 
the browser. 

When designing a RISC processor, the manufacturer 
deliberately limits the number of circuits and 
instructions on the chip. The goal is to create a 
processor that performs a few simple tasks very fast. 
More complex problems are solved in software. 
Because RISC processors require fewer circuits, they 
are easier to produce. 

A system consisting of several smaller drives instead 
of one large drive. Large files are split into pieces 
stored on several different physical drives. The data 
pieces can be duplicated and stored in more than one 
location for backup. RAID systems also provide faster 
access to the data, because each of the drives can be 
searching through their part of the file at the same 
time. 

A complete reorganization of a company. Beginning 
from scratch, you identify goals along with the most 
efficient means of attaining those goals, and create 
new processes that change the company to meet the 
new goals. The term reengineering and its current 
usage were made popular in 1990 by management 
consultants James Champy and Michael Hammer. 

A database in which all data is stored in flat tables 
that meet the normalization rules. Tables are logically 
connected by matching columns of data. System data 
—such as access rights, descriptions, and data 
definition— are also stored in tables. 
An injury that occurs from repeating a stressful 
action. For instance, several people have complained 
that constant typing damages their wrists. Ergonomic 
design, adjusting your work space, and taking breaks 
are common recommendations to avoid repetitive 
stress. 

If an attacker captures a set of network 
transmissions, the attacker could replay those same 



Replication 



Report 



Request for proposal (RFP) 



Resolution 



Reusability 



Reverse engineering 



RGB 



Rivals 



Rivest-Shamir-Adelman (RSA) 



messages by sending them again to gain access to a 
server or duplicate a financial transaction. 

The intentional process of duplicating data in a 
database so that it can be transported and accessed 
in multiple locations. The DBMS has the ability to 
synchronize data changes between the master copy 
and any replicas. 

A printed summary or screen display that is produced 
on a regular basis by a database management 
system. The main sections of a report are report 
header, page header, group/break header, detail, 
group/break footer, page footer, and report footer. 

A list of specifications and questions sent to vendors 
asking them to propose (sell) a product that might fill 
those needs. 

The number of dots or pixels displayed per inch of 
horizontal or vertical space. Input and output devices, 
as well as images and video, are measured by their 
resolution. Higher values of dots per inch yield more 
detailed images. 

The ultimate goal of object-oriented systems. By 
defining an object up front and storing it in a 
repository the object can be used in many 
applications, instead of requiring developers to 
recreate it every time a new system is built. 

The process of taking older software and rewriting it 
to modernize it and make it easier to modify and 
enhance. Reverse engineering tools consist of 
software that reads the program code from the 
original soft-iware and converts it to a form that is 
easier to modify. 

Red-green-blue. A color scheme used for video 
displays. Colors are specified by identifying the 
desired strength of each primary color. In most 
implementations the color value ranges from to 255 
(one byte). See also CMYK. 

Any group of firms that are competing for customers 
and sales. Similar to competitors, but "competition" 
carries an economic definition involving many firms. 
Even an industry with two firms can experience 
rivalry. 

Three mathematicians who developed and patented a 
dual-key encryption system. The term often refers to 
the encryption technique. It is based on the 



Rocket scientists 



Router 



Row 



Rules 



Sampler 



Scalability 



Scope creep 



Script kiddie 



Scrolling region 



Search engine optimization 



computational difficulty of factoring very large 
numbers into their prime components. 

Mathematically trained financial analysts who build 
complex mathematical models of the stock market 
and help create and price new securities. 

A communication device that connects subnetworks 
together. Local messages remain within each 
subnetwork. Messages between sub-networks are 
sent to the proper location through the router. 

A horizontal element that contains all of the data to 
describe an entity or object in a relational database or 
spreadsheet. 

A set of conditions that describe a problem or a 
potential response. Generally expressed as "If... Then" 
conditions. Used by expert systems to analyze new 
problems and suggest alternatives. 

An input device that reads electrical signals from a 
microphone and stores the sound as a collection of 
numbers. It measures the frequency and amplitude of 
the sound waves thousands of times per second. 

The ability to buy a faster computer as needed and 
transfer all software and data without modification. 
True scalability enables users to buy a smaller 
computer today and upgrade later without incurring 
huge conversion costs. 

The process in any project where people keep trying 
to add new features to the project. An easy way to 
drive a project out of control. As the number of 
features added begins to exceed the original plan, the 
costs increase and the project is delayed. 

A lazy attacker who downloads code from the 
Internet to attempt to find and exploit known holes. 
Can be stopped by ensuring your software contains 
all current patches. 

On a data entry form, a subform or section that is 
designed to collect multiple rows of data. Much like a 
spreadsheet, the user can move back and forth to 
alter or examine prior entries. 

A practice of making a Web site more compatible with 
search engines. The goal is to make the page appear 
higher in the list of results when users search for the 
desired topic. Most good SEO techniques define the 
page precisely so that it matches exactly how a 
person perceives the page. Black hat or bad SEO 



Secondary storage 



Secure sockets layer (SSL) 



Serifs 



Server farm 



Service level agreement (SLA) 



Share Point 



Sign-off 



Simple object access protocol 
(SOAP) 

Simulation 



methods try to trick the search engine— which usually 
results in the site being blacklisted by the search 
engine. 

Data storage devices that hold data even if they lose 
power. Typically cheaper than RAM, but slower. Disk 
drives are common secondary storage devices. 

A system that provides encryption for Internet 
transmissions. Commonly used to establish a secure 
connection between client browsers and e-commerce 
servers. It is established with dual-key encryption by 
installing a digital security certificate on the server. 

The small lines, curlicues, and ornamentation on 
many typefaces. They generally make it easier for 
people to read words and sentences on printed 
output. Sans serif typefaces have more white space 
between characters and are often used for signs and 
displays that must be read from a longer distance. 

A collection of dozens or hundreds of smaller servers. 
Software allocates tasks to whichever server is the 
least busy. This approach to scalability is fault- 
tolerant and easy to expand, but can be difficult to 
manage. 

A formal written agreement between a user group 
and a service provider that specifies guaranteed 
levels of service and compensation for failure to meet 
those levels. SLAs are commonly used in outsourcing 
deals to ensure the contracted party is providing 
adequate levels of service, particularly with network 
providers. 

Microsoft's Web-based tool for teamwork. It supports 
file sharing, version control, discussion groups, and 
surveys. 

In a systems development life-cycle approach, the 
approval that managers must give to forms, reports, 
and computations at various stages of the 
development. This approval is given when they sign 
the appropriate documents. 

A standard, easy-to-implement method of exchanging 
information and messages among different computers 
on the Internet. A protocol that works with XML to 
support Web-based services. 

Models are used to examine what might happen if we 
decide to make changes to the process, to see how 
the system will react to external events, or to 



Single sign-on 



Social engineering 



Social legitimacy 



Social networking 



Software 



Software as a service (SaaS) 



Software maintenance 



Software piracy 



examine relationships in more detail. 

A comprehensive security authentication system so 
that users can log in (sign on) one time. Once the 
user's identity has been established, all applications 
obtain the credentials from a central server to 
recognize the user and determine access rights. 

A method used by attackers to obtain usernames and 
passwords to obtain illegal access to a system. An 
attacker might call a user and pretend to be a system 
administrator asking for confirmation of a password. 
Relatively easy to stop by never telling your password 
to anyone. Systems administrators will never need 
your password. 

At one time, mainstream organizations were 
identified by the quality of their presentation and 
their image. Large firms spend millions of dollars on 
graphic artists, professional designers, and 
professional printing. The decreasing cost of 
computers enables even small organizations to create 
an image that is hard to distinguish from large 
organizations. 

Contacts with friends and businesspeople. Many Web 
sites such as Facebook, Flickr, and YouTube were built 
to support social networking— enabling users to find 
each other and share information online. 

A collection of computer programs that are algorithms 
or logical statements that control the hardware. 

Selling software for usage or monthly fees instead of 
charging a fixed upfront price. Easiest to implement 
with cloud computing but it can also be done with in- 
house software. Upgrades and maintenance are 
typically included in the price and sometimes the 
maintenance work is handled by the developing 
company. 

The act of fixing problems, altering reports, or 
extending an existing system to improve it. It refers 
to changes in the software, not to hardware tasks 
such as cleaning printers. 

The act of copying software without paying the 
copyright owner. With few exceptions (e.g., backup), 
copying software is illegal. Companies and individuals 
who are caught have to pay thousands of dollars in 
penalties and risk going to jail. It is commonly 
accepted that piracy takes money away from the 



Software suites 



Solid state drive 



Sound 



Spam 



Speech recognition 



Spy ware 



SQL 

Standard operating 



development of improved software. 

Collections of software packages that are designed to 
operate together. Theoretically, data from each 
package can be easily shared with data from the 
others. So word processors can incorporate graphics, 
and spreadsheets can retrieve data from the database 
management system. Suites are often sold at a 
substantial discount compared to buying each 
package separately. 

A disk drive replacement or data storage mechanism 
that uses electronic components to store data instead 
of a movable platter. Most SSDs are similar to flash 
drives but with greater capacity and faster data 
transfer speeds. 

One of the basic data types. There are two methods 
to describe sound: samples or MIDI. Digitized 
(sampled) sound is based on a specified sampling and 
playback rate, and fits into frequency and amplitude 
(volume) ranges. 

Unsolicited commercial e-mail, or junk mail. 
Unwanted messages sent by commercial entities or 
hackers trying to steal your system or your money. It 
makes up over 50 percent of e-mail traffic. Most 
nations have made it illegal, but it is hard to stop. 
The name refers to a Hormel meat product, but its 
use is often attributed to a Monty Python sketch. 

The ability of a computer to capture spoken words, 
convert them into text, and then take some action 
based on the command. 

Software that stealthily installs itself on your 
computer, records your activities or keystrokes. 
Commonly used by attackers who collect the data to 
learn your account passwords. Extremely dangerous 
because once installed it can gain total access to your 
system. Software scanning tools can spot most 
common spyware programs. Windows Vista has other 
tools to prevent programs from installing themselves 
without your knowledge. 

A structured query language supported by most 
major database management systems. The most 
common command is of the form: SELECT column list 
FROM table list JOIN how tables are related WHERE 
condition ORDER BY columns. 

procedures A set of procedures that define how employees and 



Standards 



Static HTML 



Static integration 



Statistical quality control 
(SQC) 



Stock options 



Storage area network (SAN) 



Strategic decisions 



Structured decisions 



Structured walkthrough 



managers should deal with certain situations. 

An agreement that specifies certain technical 
definitions. Standards can be established by 
committees or evolve over time through market 
pressures. As technology changes, new standards are 
created. 

Simple HTML pages that are changed only by 
humans, so they are rarely changed. Generally used 
only for the prepurchase information stage of e- 
commerce. 

A means of combining data from two documents. A 
copy of the original is placed into the new document. 
Because it is static, changes made to the original 
document are not automatically updated. See also 
dynamic integration. 

The statistical analysis of measurement data to 
improve quality. Several statistical calculations and 
graphs are used to determine whether fluctuations 
are purely random or represent major changes that 
need to be corrected. 

A right to purchase a specific stock at a given price. 
Often granted to workers and managers in start-up 
companies. If the company grows rapidly, its stock 
price should increase. The option owner can cash in 
the options and receive the difference between the 
current price and the option price. 

A method of storing computer data on devices 
attached to a high-speed local connection instead of 
placing them into each computer. Separating data 
from the computer and centralizing it makes it easier 
to upgrade, control, and provide backups. Fiber optic 
connections are often used for SAN drives. 

Decisions that involve changing the overall structure 
of the firm. They are long-term decisions and are 
unstructured. They represent an attempt to gain a 
competitive advantage over your rivals. They are 
usually difficult and risky decisions. MIS support for 
strategic decisions typically consists of gathering, 
analyzing, and presenting data on rivals, customers, 
and suppliers. 

Decisions -ithat can be defined by a set of rules or 
procedures. They can be highly detailed, but they are 
defined without resorting to vague definitions. 

A review process in which the objective is to reveal 



Subchapter S corporation 



Supply chain management 
(SCM) 

Switch 



Switching costs 



Synchronization 



Syntax 



Synthesizer 



Sysop 

System 

Systems analysis and design 



problems, inaccuracies, ambiguities, and omissions in 
the system's design before the program code is 
finalized. The users are presented with a prototype or 
mockup of the pro-iposed system. 
A legal variation of a corporation that can be chosen 
by the owners. The IRS and some states impose 
limits on the type of company that can elect this 
option. It avoids the problem of double taxation by 
passing income and losses directly to the owners' 
personal income tax statements. 

Organizing the entire supply process including vendor 
selection, parts management, ordering, tracking, 
payment, and quality control. 

A network device used to connect machines. Unlike a 
router, a switch creates a virtual circuit that is used 
by a single machine at a time. 
The costs incurred in creating a similar information 
system when a customer switches to a rival firm. 
Information technology creates switching costs 
because customers would have to convert data, re- 
create reports, and retrain users. 

A method of sending data from multiple computers to 
provide up-to-date data on both computers. Data 
changes are sent to each computer participating in 
the synchronization process to ensure each 
participant has the same set of data. 

The set of command words, symbols, and punctuation 
used by a computer programming language. When 
writing programs, you must type the exact words and 
symbols so the computer understands what you want 
it to do. See also programming logic. 

An electronic device to convert electrical signals into 
sound. One basic technique is FM synthesis, which 
generates and combines fixed waves to achieve the 
desired sound. A newer method combines short 
digitized samples of various instruments with 
waveforms to create more realistic sounds. 
System operator. Person in charge of an electronic 
bulletin board who organizes files and controls access 
and privileges. 

A collection of interrelated objects that work toward 
some goal. 

A refinement of the scientific method that is used to 
analyze and build information systems. 



Systems analyst 



Systems development 
(SDLC) 



Tl, T3 



Table 



Tactical decisions 



Telnet 



Table 

Tebibyte 
Telepresence 



A common job in MIS. The analyst is responsible for 
designing new systems. Analysts must understand 
the business application and be able to communicate 
with users. Analysts must also understand technical 
specifications and programming details. 

A formal method of designing and building 
.. f . information systems. There are five basic phases: (1) 
y feasibility and planning, (2) systems analysis, (3) 
systems design, (4) implementation, and (5) 
maintenance and review. 

An older communication link provided by phone 
companies. Used to carry digitized analog signals, it is 
being replaced with ISDN links. Tl refers to a group 
of 24 voice-grade lines and can carry 1.544 megabits 
per second (Mbps). A T2 trunk line is equivalent to 96 
voice circuits providing 6.312 Mbps. T3 provides 
44.736 Mbps, and T4 can carry 139,264 Mbps. 
Services can be leased at any of these levels, where 
greater bandwidth carries higher costs. 

A method of storing data in a relational database. 
Tables contain data for one entity or object. The 
columns represent attributes, and data for each item 
is stored in a single row. Each table must have a 
primary key. 

Tactical decisions typically involve time frames of less 
than a year. They usually result in making relatively 
major changes to operations but staying within the 
exist-iing structure of the organization. MIS support 
consists of databases, networks, integration, decision 
support systems, and expert systems. 

A method supported on the Internet that enables 
users of one computer to log on to a different 
computer. Once logged on to the new system, the 
user is treated as any other user on the system. 

The basic method of storing data in a DBMS. Each 
table represents one object or entity. Relational 
databases require that tables be defined following 
specific data normalization rules. 
The new IEC definition for trillion in base 2 (240). It 
replaces terabyte which is to be used for decimal 
numbers. Denoted with TiB. 

A large, high-resolution video conferencing system 
that has the goal of providing a distance meeting as 
comfortable as in person. 



Template 



Terabyte 



Text 



Thin client 



Time division multiplexing 
(TDM) 



Token Ring 



Top-down development 



Total cost of ownership (TCO) 



Total quality management 
(TQM) 

Track changes 



A method of creating objects such as forms, reports, 
and Web sites to ensure that they follow the same 
format. A designer creates a template and all objects 
follow those design standards. 

Approximately 1 trillion bytes of data. Technically, it is 
2 to the 40th power or 1024*1024*1024*1024 (4 
times). The step lower is gigabyte, the step above is 
petabyte. 

The simplest of the four basic data types, it also 
includes numbers. In its most basic form, text is 
made up of individual characters, which are stored in 
the computer as numbers. More sophisticated text is 
described by its typeface, font size, color, and 
orientation (rotation). 

Simpler hardware than a full-blown personal 
computer, with minimal software. It is generally used 
to display applications running on the server and to 
accept input from the user. 

A method of sharing a communication medium with 
multiple users where each computer is allowed to 
send data for a specified amount of time, then 
releases it to the next computer. Typically handled by 
requiring devices to send short packets of data. 

A communications protocol that describes when each 
machine can send messages. A machine can transmit 
only when it receives a special message called a 
token. When the message is finished or a time limit is 
reached, the token is passed to the next machine. 
An approach to designing and building systems that 
begins with an analysis of the entire company and 
works down to increasing detail. A complete top-down 
approach is usually impossible because it takes too 
long to analyze everything. See also bottom-up 
development. 

The cost of purchasing and running a client computer 
(personal computer). A highly subjective number, it 
typically includes the hardware cost, the software 
license fees, maintenance costs, and training costs. 

A management doctrine stating that quality must be 
built into every process and item. Every step and 
each person must be dedicated to producing quality 
products and services. 

A method in Microsoft Word that highlights the 
changes made by each person. The original author 



Transaction-processing system 



Transborder data flow (TBDF) 



Transmission medium 



Triggered rule 



Trojan Horse 



True color 



Turing test 



Turn -key systems 



Twisted-pair cable 



Two-factor authentication 



can then choose to accept or reject each change. A 
useful groupware tool when several people need to 
cooperate on writing a document. 

A system that records and collects data related to 
exchanges between two parties. This data forms the 
foundation for all other information system 
capabilities. MIS support typically consists of 
databases, communication networks, and security 
controls. 

The transfer of data across national boundaries. 
Some countries place restrictions on the transfer of 
data, especially data that relates to citizens (and, of 
course, data related to "national security"). Some 
people have discussed taxing the flow of data. 

The physical method of connecting communication 
devices. The most common media in use are electrical 
wires, fiber optics, and radio or micro waves. 

In an expert system, if a rule is used in an 
application, it is said to have been triggered or fired. 
A special program that hides inside another program. 
Eventually, when the main program is run, the Trojan 
Horse program might delete files, display a message, 
or copy data to an external computer. 
Humans can distinguish about 16 million colors. 
Devices that can display that many colors are said to 
display true color. It requires the device to use 3 
bytes (24 bits) for each pixel. 

A test proposed by Alan Turing in which a machine 
would be judged "intelligent" if the software could use 
conversation to fool a human into thinking it was 
talking with a person instead of a machine. 

Computer application systems designed for a specific 
task that can be installed easily. Common examples 
include applications for specific types of businesses, 
such as a system for physicians or dentists. 

Common dual-line wire. Often packaged as three or 
four pairs of wires. The cable can be run for only a 
limited distance, and the signal is subject to 
interference. 

A login process that requires two types of systems for 
identifying users. The most common examples are: 
(1) username/password, and (2) a generator card 
that creates a random number every minute that is 
synchronized to the central computer. 



Typeface 



Ultra-wideband (UWB) 



Unicode 

Uninterruptable power supply 
(UPS) 

Universal description, 
discovery, and integration 
(UDDI) 



UNIX 



Unstable model 



Upload 

Usenet 

User resistance 



A defined way to draw a set of text characters. 
Several thousand typefaces have been created to 
meet different artistic and communication needs. A 
common characterization is serif and sans serif 
typefaces. 

A wireless communication protocol that is radically 
different from other wireless systems. Designed for 
short range, the system uses very low power but very 
high frequency bandwidth. The low power enables it 
to be invisible to existing applications, so it can use 
large amounts of bandwidth to send multiple bits of 
data at the same time— transmitting in parallel form it 
can quickly send large files. Proposed as a 
replacement for physical connection cables, 
particularly video connectors. 

An international standard that defines character sets 
for every modern (living) language and many extinct 
languages (e.g., Latin). 

A large battery and special circuitry that provide a 
buffer between the computer and the power supply. It 
protects the computer from spikes and brownouts. 

A public Web-based directory system designed to 
enable computers to find and use Web services 
offered by other companies. For example, someday 
your computer could automatically find all companies 
that can use current exchange rates to convert prices. 
A popular operating system created by Bell Labs. It is 
designed to operate the same on hardware from 
several different vendors. Unfortunately, there are 
several varieties of UNIX, and software that operates 
on one version often must be modified to function on 
other machines. 

A model that cannot be solved for a single solution. 
The solution might continually diverge, or it could 
oscillate between several alternatives, generally due 
to insufficient or incorrect feedback mechanisms. 

To transfer files from a local computer (usually a 
personal computer) to a distant computer. See also 
download. 

See newsgroups. 

People often resist change. Implementation of a new 
system highlights this resistance. Managers and 
developers must prepare for this resistance and 
encourage users to change. Education and training 



Value chain 



Vector image 



Venture capital 



Version control 



Video 



Videoconference 



View 



Virtual machine (VM) 



are common techniques. 

A description of the many steps involved in creating a 
product or service. Each step adds value to the 
product or service. Managers need to evaluate the 
chain to find opportunities to expand the firm and 
gain more sales and profits. 

A stored collection of mathematical equations, 
representing lines, circles, and points. These 
equations can be rescaled to fit any output device or 
to any desired size. Users deal with the base objects, 
not the mathematical definitions. 

Money offered by specialized firms to start up 
companies. Banks rarely give money to start-ups, so 
venture capitalists finance risky ventures in the hope 
of high profits when the company goes public. Many 
strings can be attached to the money— including a 
loss of control. 

Software that tracks changes made to other 
documents. Often used in software development to 
enable developers to go back to prior version. It is 
also available for common business documents and 
files. A limited version is embedded into Microsoft 
Word. 

One of the basic data types. Video combines the 
attributes of images and sound. An important 
attribute is the frames per second definition. U.S. 
standard video operates at 30 frames per second, 
movie films run at 24 frames per second. Digitizing 
video requires capturing and playing back the frames 
at the appropriate speed. 

A meeting tool that transmits images and sound of at 
least one participant. Often, video cameras are 
available to everyone involved in the conference. 
High-end systems enable the participants to control 
the cameras. 

A stored query. If you have a complex query that you 
have to run every week, you (or a da-ita-ibase 
specialist) could create the query and save it as a 
view with its own name. It is then treated much like a 
simple table. 

A software-based definition of a computer that is 
stored and run on top of a physical computer. A single 
physical computer can host several VMs. Physical 
processors, RAM, disk space, and network 



Virtual mall 



Virtual private network (VPN) 



Virtual reality (VR) 



Virus 



Visual Basic 



Visual table of contents 



Voice mail 



Voice over Internet protocol 
(VoIP) 



connections are shared among the VMs. Generally, 
the physical elements can be reallocated to whichever 
VM currently needs more capacity. 

A collection of Web-based merchants who join 
together for marketing purposes. Generally they 
share a common Web host and the same commerce 
server software. By sharing costs, they can survive 
without a huge amount of sales. 
Software installed on a company network and on each 
client that automatically encrypts all communications 
between the two; useful when workers travel or need 
to reach the company servers from home using the 
Internet. 

Virtual reality describes computer displays and 
techniques that are designed to provide a realistic 
image to user senses, including three-dimensional 
video, three-dimensional sound, and sensors that 
detect user movement that is translated to on-screen 
action. 

A malicious program that hides inside another 
program. As the main program runs, the virus copies 
itself into other programs. At some point, the virus 
displays a message, shuts down the machine, or 
deletes all of the files. 

A modern variation of the BASIC programming 
language created by Microsoft for application 
programming in Windows. A variation resides inside 
many of the Microsoft applications, enabling 
programmers to manipulate and exchange data 
among the database, spreadsheet, and word 
processor. 

A graphical design method that shows how modules 
of a system are related. Versions of the tech-inique 
are also used to display menu trees. 
A messaging system similar to telephone answering 
machines but with additional features like message 
store and forward. You can use your computer to 
send messages to coworkers. There are tools that will 
read e-mail and fax messages over the phone, so 
managers can stay in touch while they are away from 
the computer. 

Connecting telephones to the network and using the 
Internet to transfer phone conversations— instead of 
traditional phone lines. 



Voice recognition 



Wide area network (WAN) 



The ability of a computer to capture spoken words 
and convert them into text. 

A second generation of Web sites— dedicated to 
providing shared services such as the social 
Web 2.0 networking sites. The term is not precisely defined 

and people disagree on what to include, but it 
excludes first-generation text and EC sales sites. 

Specialized IS worker who is responsible for creating, 
w . maintaining, and revising a company's World Wide 

Web site. Webmasters use technical and artistic skills 
to create sites that attract browsers. 

A utility supported by some operating systems and 
the network registrars to provide information about 
Whois the ownership of domain names and Internet access 

connections. Unfortunately, many people lie (illegally) 
when they fill out the required information. 

A network that is spread across a larger geographic 
area. In most cases, parts of the network are outside 
the control of a single firm. Long-distance 
connections often use public carriers. 

Short for wireless fidelity. An early protocol for 
defining wireless connections, commonly used in 
homes and businesses. It has a relatively short range 
(perhaps 100 meters). Transfer speeds initially were 
less than 11 mbps (using 802.11b), but have 
WiFi increased to 54 mbps (802.11a and 802. llg), and 

are potentially up to 100 or 200 mbps (802. lln). The 
higher speeds are achieved by using multiple 
frequencies at the same time. Actual speeds are 
considerably lower (as low as half the rated 
maximum). 

A Web site designed to enable multiple people to 
create and revise content. The most famous is 
Wiki Wikipedia where anyone can create encyclopedic 

entries. The tools can be used for business teamwork 
applications. 

Wi-Max A wireless technology designed for relatively high 

speeds and medium distances— up to several 
kilometers. It can support point-to-point 
transmissions to create high-speed Internet 
connections to service providers, or multipoint 
systems to handle many users at the same time. 
Clearwire and Sprint led the way at installing the 
technology in the U.S. and joined forces in 2007. 



Window 



Wisdom 



Workflow software 



Workstations 



World Wide Web (WWW) 



WYSIWYG 



Zebibyte 



Zero-day attacks 



Zettabyte 



zShops 



A portion of the computer screen. You can move each 
window or change its size. Windows enable you to 
display and use several applications on the screen at 
one time. 

A level above knowledge. Wisdom represents 
intelligence, or the ability to analyze, learn, adapt to 
changing conditions, and create knowledge. 

A type of groupware that is designed to automate 
forms handling and the flow of data in a company. 
Forms and reports are automatically routed to a list of 
users on the network. When each person adds 
comments or makes changes, it is routed to the next 
process. 

Computers attached to a network, designed for 
individual use. Typically, personal computers. 

A first attempt to set up an inter-ination-ial database 
of information. Web browsers display graphical pages 
of information, including pictures. Hypertext 
connections enable you to get related information by 
clicking highlighted words. 

What you see is what you get. With a true WYSIWYG 
system, documents will look exactly the same on the 
screen as they do when printed. In addition to 
format, it means that the printer must have the same 
typefaces as the video display. Color printers use a 
system to match the colors on the monitor. 

The IEC term for binary counting with the value 270. 
It replaces zettabyte, which is to be used for decimal- 
based counting. 

Attacks on computers that are based on flaws found 
in software that have not yet been patched. The zero- 
day means attackers found the flaw before or 
simultaneously with security researchers. 

In the IEC definition, it is the decimal base number 
1021. It falls above zettabyte and below yottabyte. 
The binary version is called zebibyte. 

Amazon.com offers small companies a relatively 
inexpensive e-commerce solution with little or no 
fixed costs. Useful for small firms, the system 
provides marketing, visibility, and a payment 
mechanism. Amazon more commonly refers to 
Marketplace shops, but zShops was the original title. 
By 2010 it was renamed to the Webstore.