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- acceptable use policy
(AUP) An acceptable use policy outlines the conduct expected from a computer
user. Businesses, schools, and ISPs create AUPs to prohibit spamming,
piracy, pornography, and other inappropriate/illegal uses.
(Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) A technology that allows more data
to be sent over existing copper telephone lines. ADSL supports data rates
of from 1.5 to 9 Mbps when receiving data (known as downstream rate) and
from 16 to 640 Kbps when sending data (known as upstream rate).
- affiliate marketing
Affiliates include descriptions, ratings, reviews, or other information
about another firm’s product on their web site.
In a pay-per-click model, affiliates receive a commission each time the
client loads the seller’s page. In the pay-per conversion model, affiliates
only receive commissions on qualified prospects or click-throughs that
result in a sale.
- Alberta SuperNet
Alberta SuperNet is a high-speed, high-capacity broadband network linking
4,700 government offices, schools, health-care facilities and libraries
in 422 Alberta communities.
The SuperNet will enable government, educators and health care workers
to share and deliver information and services province-wide, and faster
than ever before. ISPs can "piggyback" onto the Alberta SuperNet network
and offer high-speed services to areas that, until now, have been too expensive
or difficult to reach.
Visit www.albertasupernet.ca for
An algorithm is like a recipe; it provides a set of steps, or formula,
to solve a particular problem. Search engines, for example, use
an algorithm to rank web sites.
The ARPANET was the first name for the Internet, which was developed
in 1969 by the United States Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (ARPA).
At that time, the wide-area network (WAN) was used strictly for
military and research purposes.
(application service provider) In essence, ASPs provide a way for companies
to outsource some of their information technology needs (e.g.,
logistics, joint billing, digital asset management, online payment processing,
online sales). You lease the use of your ASP’s software applications instead
of building the software from scratch.
Consider your home phone line, for example. You pay for access to a telecommunications
network that someone else has built.
The process of identifying an individual, usually based on a username
(Also B-to-B and business-to-business e-commerce) Business-to-business
e-commerce refers to the exchange of services, information and/or products
between businesses via the web. B2B e-commerce accounts for the
lion’s share of sales online.
(Compare with B2C e-commerce)
(Also e-tailing, B-to-C, selling online) Business-to-consumer e-commerce
refers to the exchange of services, information and/or products from a
business to a consumer via the web.
Part of the Internet that handles the major traffic and employs
the highest transmission speeds. At one point, the Internet was actually
called the M-Bone, but we digress ;)
- back end
All of the processes and components that happen behind the scenes (e.g.,
database management system, server, server-side applications).
The amount of data that can pass through your Internet connection in a
fixed period of time. Usually measured in bits per second (bps). Sometimes
referred to as “pipe”.
- banner ad
Rectangular ads often seen on web sites. Banner advertising remains a
popular revenue model on information portals and e-commerce sites.
Limited site traffic and click-throughs on many sites have led
to mediocre success.
Banner ads continue to evolve, particularly in terms of sizes, location
on page, and interactivity (e.g., banners developed in Flash).
Some sites will also display banners that are targeted for a particular
Short form of weblog is a web-based publication
consisting of original or cited articles. (e.g., www.efuture.
If you see a web site you love (hint...hint...www.e-future.ca), bookmark
it! Your web browser will allow you to bookmark a site, or save
the site’s address, so you can easily visit the page at a later date.
Refers to a traditional “brick-and-mortar” retail location, as opposed
to a pure play or “clicks-and-mortar” retailer.
A type of data transmission in which a single medium (wire) can carry
several channels at once. Cable TV, for example, uses broadband transmission.
A basic web site that acts as an online brochure. Typical web content
includes contact information, product/service overview, company information,
- buy-side application
An online venue where one buyer buys from many sellers, frequently through
reverse auctions or request for quote applications
For example, the City of Red Deer might set up a buy-side application
on their web site to post tenders or Request for Proposals (RFPs) and receive
competitive bids from multiple suppliers.
- cable modem
Cable modems are designed to operate over cable TV lines. Because the
coaxial cable used by cable TV provides much greater bandwidth than
telephone lines, a cable modem can be used to achieve extremely fast access
to the World Wide Web. Cable modem speeds range from 500Kbps to
There is considerable difference in speed between a modem that operates
on telephone lines and a cable modem. For instance, compare a standard
modem that operates over telephone lines at about 56,000 bits per second
to the slowest (first generation) cable modems, operating at 500,000 bits
per second; there would be a difference of 444,000 bits per second.
Pronounced cash. Cache basically refers to short-term computer memory
for fast data access. Browsers can hold entire web pages or graphics
in cache, so the web page loads more quickly.
- certification authority
(CA) A trusted third-party organization or company that issues digital
certificates used to create digital signatures and public-private key
pairs. The role of the CA in this process is to guarantee that the
individual granted the unique certificate is, in fact, who he or she
claims to be.
An individual wishing to send an encrypted message applies for a digital
certificate from a Certificate Authority (CA). The CA issues an
encrypted digital certificate containing the applicant's public
key and a variety of other identification information. The CA makes its
own public key readily available through print publicity or perhaps on
(Common Gateway Interface) A specification for transferring information
between a web server and a browser. Web forms often use
CGI to interface with a back-end database. CGI enables users to receive dynamic
content based, as opposed to static HTML pages.
A fraudulent purchase online will result in the credit card company charging
back the purchase amount to the customer’s card. The merchant is responsible
for a chargeback fee and for the loss of the merchandise.
(Canadian Internet Registrar Authority) CIRA is a not-for-profit organization
mandated to operate the dot-ca top-level domain. Registrars can
become certified to sell dot-ca domain names through CIRA.
Clicks-and-mortar retailers sell products online and also have a physical, brick-and-mortar location
- clickstream analysis
Percentage of people who view a web page, click on one of its banner ads,
and load the advertiser’s site.
- client-side applications
Scripts or programs that are embedded in a web page and run on the client
A server, usually a web server, that is located in a
facility dedicated to web hosting, which include a secured cage or cabinet,
regulated power, dedicated Internet connection, security and support. Most
co-location facilities offer high security, including cameras, filtered
power, fire detection, extinguishing devices, multiple connection feeds,
and backup power generators.
- content management
Software that enables businesspeople to create and maintain the content
on their web site through template-driven pages, such as the home page,
about us pages, product catalogue, and contact pages.
Cookies are messages that a web server transmits to a web browser so that
the web server can keep track of the user's activity on a specific web
Cookies are used to collect demographic information, personalize the user’s
experience, and to monitor advertisements.
A physical or logical procedure that recognizes, reduces, or eliminates
a potential Internet security threat.
An Internet advertising pricing metric that equals the dollar amount paid
to display 1000 ad impressions. An impression refers to the display of
an online ad.
(Customer relationship management) CRM entails all aspects of service
and sales interactions a company has with its customer. CRM often involves
personalizing online experiences, help-desk software, and e-mail organizers.
The enciphering and deciphering of messages in secret code or cipher.
Cryptography is used to protect e-mails, credit card information, and corporate
(cascading style sheets) Style sheets are predefined page displays of
elements on a web page, such as headers, text, and navigation. CSS can
help ensure consistency throughout a web site and simplify web programming.
Body of law that deals with the Internet. Cyberlaw includes areas such
as copyright, intellectual property, e-contracts, jurisdiction, defamation,
privacy, software piracy, domain names vs trade-marks, and other
Equivalent of an online mall. Like traditional malls, merchants lease
space to sell their products/services.
Cybermalls often provide clients with payment processing, product display,
and security features, plus the infrastructure needed to add, modify, and
delete products, manage orders, and maintain a storefront.
The illegal practice of registering a domain name that is the registered
trade-mark of another company with the hope that the trade-mark owner will
pay huge amounts of money for the domain rights.
- data mining
Looking for hidden patterns and relationships in data to predict future
Similar to an electronic filing system, a database is a collection of
information organized for quick access. Databases are organized by fields
(single piece of info), records (complete set of fields), and tables (list
- deep linking
A web link to a page on a web site other than its home page. Some companies
oppose this practice, because of lost revenues due to visitors bypassing
the advertising on the home page.
- digital certificate
An attachment to an e-mail message or data embedded in a web page that
verifies the identity of a sender or web site.
- digital signature
A digital code that can be attached to an electronically transmitted message
that uniquely identifies the sender.
The concept of removing intermediaries or middlemen (i.e., agents, distributors,
retailers, wholesalers) and selling directly to customers.
(Domain Name System) An Internet service that translates domain names
into IP addresses. For example, the domain name www.cbsc.org translates
to 126.96.36.199. Both addresses will take you to the same web site. But
it’s much easier for us to remember a word than a string of four numbers.
- domain name
A name that identifies one or more IP addresses (e.g., www.e-future.ca).
There are several domain name suffxies, called top-level domain names (TLDs),
.gov (government agencies)
.mil (US military)
.org (not-for-profit organizations)
.com (commercial businesses)
.ca (Canadian domain names)
.net (network organizations)
(.com) Often used to refer to an online retailer or Internet business
and may have a negative connotation due to the highly publicized dot-com
crash in 2000.
Downloading refers to copying documents or files from the Internet or
a network server to your computer. The opposite of download is upload.
If you have a web site, you need to upload files to your web server to
make them available on the Internet.
(Digital Subscriber Line) DSL technologies allow data to be sent
over copper, telephone wires.
- dynamically generated
Refers to web content that changes each time it is viewed, based on user
preferences, geographic location, time of day, previous pages viewed, or
search criteria.The opposite of dynamically generated content is static
(electronic business) The use of the Internet to facilitate the buying,
selling, or exchanging of products and services. E-business extends beyond
selling online and impacts management, marketing and sales, operations,
and legal aspects of operating your business.
- e-business plan
An e-business plan, like a traditional business plan, maps out your business’s
strategy. Your e-business plan will pay more attention to the electronic
aspect of your business:
Describe the purpose of your e-business:
Analysis of your target market, industry, and competition
Map out your implementation plan. Include all relevant revenues and expenses
(e.g., software, hardware, staffing, training, set-up fees)
Indicate your e-business partners
Outline your logistics and fulfillment, marketing, and operations strategy
(Digital cash) The electronic equivalent of paper money or coins
that enables the secure, anonymous purchase of low-priced items over the
E-commerce and e-business are often used as interchangeable
terms. E-business is a broader term that refers to all areas of your e-business
strategy — from marketing, finance, and legal issues to sales—while e-commerce
refers exclusively to the transactional component.
(electronic data interchange) Exchange of computer-readable data
in a standard format (e.g., purchase orders, invoices, confirmations, bills
of lading) between business partners.
EDI has been around for almost 30 years in the non-Internet environment.
Well-known retailers, such as The Home Depot, Toys R Us, and Wal-Mart use
EDI as an integral element of their business strategy.
(Electronic Data Interchange For Administration, Commerce and Transport)
(electronic funds transfer) Electronic transfer of account exchange
information over secure private communication networks.
Use of the Internet to enhance teaching and learning styles. E-learning
allows for collaboration, personalized learning options, distance learning,
- electronic data interchange
(electronic mail) Messages that are sent from one user to another
(or multiple recipients) via e-mail programs (e.g., Microsoft Outlook,
Eudora, Mail). There are also web-based mail services like AOL, Hotmail,
Yahoo, and literally hundreds of others.
E-marketing is the promotion of a product, company, service, or web site
online. E-marketing can include a variety of activities from online advertising,
e-mail marketing, search engine optimization (improving the ranking of
web sites on search engine results) to online networking.
A system that enables multiple buyers and suppliers to interact and transact
Translation of data into a secret code. To decrypt and read an encrypted
file, you need to have access to a secret key or password.
Online purchasing of goods and services through a web interface.
(enterprise resource planning) Business software that integrates
all facets of a business, including planning, manufacturing, sales, and
marketing. As businesses grow, functional silos and incompatibilities between
systems develop. ERP software helps break eliminate these silos.
(Electronic Transactions Act) Alberta legislation related to
Selling products or services online.
A secure extension of a company’s intranet that allows business partners
to access specific company data. A username and password would be required
to gain access to information, such as training manuals, pricing and promotional
materials, and operations plans.
(Frequently asked questions) The FAQ section of your web site
provides answers to common questions related to your business.
Hardware or software that prevents unauthorized users from gaining access
to a private network. The firewall acts almost as a traffic cop that examines
and blocks messages that do not conform to the local security policy.
Have you seen animated graphics or cartoons on the Internet? Chances are
they were built using Macromedia Flash, a vector-based animation technology.
To view Flash files, users will need to download the free Flash plug-in for
(File Transfer Protocol) For a web site to be available on the
Internet, you will need to plan, design, and program the web site and then
transfer the files to a web host’s server. FTP is most commonly used to
download files from a server or upload web pages and documents to a server.
A gateway computer determines the best path for data to travel on the
(Graphic Interchange Format) Pronounced giff or jiff. A compressed
bit-mapped image format that supports 256 colours. Scanned images and illustrations
are commonly saved as GIFs.
JPEGs are the image format of choice for photos on the Internet.
(Graphical User Interface) Pronounced goo-ee. The GUI is the interface
with which the client interacts. The GUI would include the navigation,
buttons, graphic display, layout, design, and functionality.
Your web site’s GUI should be intuitive and easy to use.
The term hacker was originally coined to refer to computer enthusiasts.
In the late 1980s, however, the media used the term to describe anyone
who broke into a computer system without permission.
The retrieval of any item, such as web pages or graphics, from a web
server. Hits are a poor measurement of web traffic. For example,
if you load a web page that has five graphics on it, the site would record
six hits (five graphics and one page file).
It gets a little more complicated because you may actually be storing
these graphics in your Internet cache, which means you wouldn’t
have requested any files from the web server.
Unique visitors, visitor sessions, file downloads,
and average user session length provide far more useful data.
- horizontal portal
(Also called a hortal, horizontal marketplace, and horizontal
exchange) A marketplace that sells products and/or services that can be
used in several industries such as office supplies and MROs (maintenance,
repairs, and operations items).
(HyperText Markup Language) A simple scripting language used
to create web pages. HTML defines the structure and layout of a web page
by using a variety of tags and attributes (e.g., Bold tags).
(HyperText Transfer Protocol) The Internet protocol responsible
for transferring and displaying web pages. Through HTTP web servers and
web browsers are able to communicate with each other.
An HTML tag that allows you to click on some text or an image
and link within the document or to another document or web page. Hyperlinks
are the most essential ingredient of the World Wide Web.
(Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) The non-profit
corporation that was formed to assume responsibility for the IP address
space allocation, protocol parameter assignment, domain name system management,
and root server system management functions previously performed under
U.S. Government contract by IANA and other entities.
Refers to how well your web site integrates with legacy (old), database
systems, financial systems, your offline strategy, your corporate culture,
and proprietary third-party software and application service
- intellectual property
Intellectual property refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary
and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.
Intellectual property issues associated with e-business include technology
and content transfer licensing, copyright, trade-marks, domain names, trade
secrets, and patents.
A third party between sellers and buyers (e.g., retailers, wholesalers,
A self-regulated network connecting millions of computer networks around
- Internet auction
There are several types of online auctions:
English: Items sold to the highest bidder (also called ascending-price
auction or open-outcry auction)
Dutch: Bidding starts at a high price and drops until a bidder accepts
a price (also called descending-price auctions). Popular for perishable
Sealed-bid: Bidders submit their bids independently. The first (first-price
sealed-bid auction) or second highest bidder wins (Vickrey auction)
Yankee: Seller offers multiple identical items with a minimum bid. Winners
pay the exact price of their winning bid.
- Internet directory
Collection of data organized by topic (e.g., painters, universities, e-business
providers, and so on).
The key difference between getting listed in a directory or search engine
is the human interaction. To be listed in a directory, you would request
a listing and someone would approve it. Search engine, on the other hand,
send out web robots to index and categorize millions of web sites.
- Internet marketing
(Also e-marketing and IM) Marketing deals with the 4
Ps of your business: product, price, place, and promotion. Add an Internet
element, and you’re involved in Internet marketing.
Internet marketing can offer lower costs, increased tracking and measurability,
1:1 marketing (mass customization), and more interactivity.
Here are some common e-marketing topics:
- Search engine marketing
- Banner advertising
- Permission-based e-mail marketing
- E-zine advertising
- Affiliate marketing
- Viral marketing
- Online PR (publication relations) & media relations
- Internet presence
An Internet presence is a combination of:
- a well-designed web site
- ongoing site promotion
- use of the Internet as a communications
- medium with your customers
- use of web tools and applications (e.g., e-mail)
- Internet registrar
Usually not-for-profit organizations that operate top-level domains.
CIRA.ca, for example, is the Internet registrar that operates the dot-ca
(.ca) top-level domain.
Your first step is to determine whether a particular domain names is available
by searching the Internet registrar’s WHOIS database. Your next
best bet is to conduct a trade-mark search.
The ability of software and hardware on different machines from different
vendors to share data.
A computer network operated within a single company or organization. An
intranet’s web site usually shares information on operations, marketing,
accounting, projects and initiatives, and client databases. Access is limited
to company employees or others with authorization.
- IP address
(Internet Protocol) IP by itself is something like the postal
system. It allows you to address a package to be sent to another computer
connected to the Internet.
(Integrated Services Digital Network) High-grade telephone service
that uses the DSL protocol to send voice, video, and other data over digital
telephone lines or normal telephone wires. ISDN supports data transfer
rates of up to 128 Kbps.
(Internet Service Provider) A company that provides you with
access to the Internet for a monthly fee. If you have a modem and
an account with your ISP, you will soon be browsing the web, sending e-mail,
and buying online.
(information technology) Broad subject related to managing and
processing information within a company. IT staff include network administrators,
database developers, web developers, consultants, security experts, and
other computer professionals.
(local area network) A small network of computers usually confined
to a single building. Files can be shared through LANs, as well as peripheral
devices, like laser printers and scanners. Several LANs can be connected
via telephone lines, and you’ve got a WAN (wide area network).
The process of adapting your web site for a particular country, taking
into account local dialect variations, business and cultural practices,
and other factors.
- META tags
A special HTML tag that provides information about a web page. Unlike
normal HTML tags, meta tags do not affect how the page is displayed. Instead,
they provide information such as who created the page, how often it is
updated, what the page is about, and which keywords represent the page's
Middleware acts as the glue between two different applications. It connects
two different applications and passes data between them.
- mobile commerce
(Also m-commerce) E-business in a wireless environment. For example,
you might access resources such as stock quotes, directions, weather forecasts,
and airline flight schedules through a wireless laptop or telephone.
A modem is a device that enables your computer to send and receive data
over telephone or cable lines. You will need a modem to get connected to
(maintenance, repair, and operations supplies) Indirect materials,
such as light bulbs or office supplies, used by most businesses in relatively
(Non-disclosure agreement) A contract that restricts the disclosure
of confidential information or proprietary knowledge under specific circumstances.
Non-disclosure agreements are often signed by companies discussing a potential
partnership or by new employees.
A group of two or more computers that are linked together. Computers on
a network are sometimes called nodes. Computers that allocate resources
for a network are called servers.
Verification that a transaction occurred. This prevents people denying
a transaction’s validity or its existence.
- one-to-one marketing (1:1 marketing)
A highly customized approach to offering products and services that match
the needs of a particular customer.
- open source
Software that can be downloaded and modified free
- operating system
(OS) An operating system is the master control program of the
computer. All programs must “talk” to the OS in order to run. It provides
the user interface needed to adjust system settings, recognize input from
the keyboard and mouse, and send output to the display screen.
There are single-user OSs, such as DOS, Windows, and Mac OS X, as well
as multi-user network operating systems you may have heard about like Windows
NT, UNIX, and Linux.
- opt-in e-mails
See permission-based marketing.
- order fulfillment
All of the processes and systems required to deliver a product or service
to a customer after the order has been received.
The hiring of another company to take care of part of your business processes
(e.g., payroll, legal, web development, design, order fulfillment).
(Peer-to-peer) Technology that connects client computers directly
with other client computers. It enables sharing and exchanging of information.
It differs from client-server technology, where servers are dedicated
to serving client computers.
- payment gateway
Internet payment gateways process real-time credit card transactions and
act as the middleman between your e-commerce server and your Internet merchant
account (bank account).
Why do they exist? They exist because credit card processors will not
allow individual merchants to access their systems through the Internet.
They do not permit this because of security issues. Credit card processors only permit companies
whose software has been "certified" to access their systems.
(Portable Document Format) PDF files preserve document integrity,
reduce file sizes, and are platform-independent. Text and graphic files
can be converted to a PDF file through Adobe Acrobat.
Download a free Acrobat Reader to view and print the PDF files on the
E-Future Centre’s web site.
(Personal Information Protection Act) Privacy legislation that
will apply to all Alberta businesses on January 1, 2004. Substantially
similar to PIPEDA.
(Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act)
Privacy legislation that governs the collection, use, and disclosure of
personal information by organizations in a manner that recognizes both:
The right of an individual to have his or her personal information protected
The need of organizations to collect, use, or disclose personal information
for purposes that are reasonable
Under the Act, companies’ responsibilities are to:
- be accountable
- identify the purpose
- limit collection
- limit use, disclosure, retention
- be accurate
- use appropriate safeguards
- be open
- give access
- challenge compliance
A software module that adds a specific feature to a larger program. For
example, you can get free plug-ins for your browsers to display PDF files,
video, and sound files. Examples of popular plug-ins include Acrobat Reader,
Flash Player, and QuickTime.
(Post Office Protocol) The protocol responsible for retrieving
e-mail from a mail server.
- pop-up ad
An ad that appears in its own window when a user opens or closes a web
Think of a port as a door. Personal computers have ports that allow certain
types of information to pass through. For example, web communications are
usually carried out via port 80.
Gateways to the World Wide Web. Users can do their searching,
navigating, and other web-based activities from a portal (e.g., MSN.ca,
(Pay-Per-Click) A method of advertising displayed in
search engine results pages. They are the “sponsored
links” or results that are displayed usually at the top or
side of the page. Advertisers bid money on where their
“sponsored link” will be located and charged the bid
amount each time someone clicks on their pay-perclick
The right to control access to one’s person and information about oneself.
A policy related to the collection, use, and disclosure of personal information
collected in the course of business.
- programming languages
Computer languages instruct computers to perform specific tasks. Usually
programming languages refer to high-level languages, like C, C++, Perl,
and others, as opposed to low- level machine languages.
There is also an important distinction between scripting and compiled
languages. Compiled languages (e.g., C, C++, Java, C#, Visual
Basic, FORTRAN) run faster, because they’re precompiled to computer language.
These languages may take longer to debug and compile.
Markup languages (e.g., HTML, XML) define the structure
and layout of a web document by using a variety of tags and attributes.
- proprietary software
Commercial software whose source code cannot be modified. Proprietary
is the opposite of open source code.
Open source code and architectures allow for products from different companies
to be mixed and matched more easily.
A set of rules that determines how two computers communicate with one
another over a network.
- proxy server
A firewall that communicates with the Internet on behalf of a secure internal
- public-key encryption
(PKI) Also known as an asymmetrical key encryption. With this
type of encryption, a pair of encryption keys are used—a public key
and a private key. The public key is made available to anyone who wants
to send an encrypted message to the holder of the private key. The only
way to decrypt the message is with the private key.
A pure-play e-retailer (or e-tailer) sells products exclusively
online and does not have a brick-and-mortar location.
- rasterized graphic
Raster images (also bitmap images) are made up of a grid of dots,
or pixels, each pixel containing color information. When you are working
with raster images, you are in reality working with pixels, not objects
or shapes. These images are resolution dependent and degrade if resized.
Raster file formats include (.gif, .jpg, .bmp, and .pcx). Compare with vector
(return on investment) Profit or cost savings realized on a financial
investment. An ROI calculation is sometimes used along with other approaches
to develop a business case and determine whether to proceed with a project
Computer that determines the best way for data packets to reach their
destination on the Internet.
(Real Simple Syndication) Is used to broadcasts updates
of websites to subscribers. RSS uses XML code to scan a
website for new or altered content. If new or
additional content is found the RSS broadcasts to all
the subscribers the updates.
A popular buzzword that refers to the ability for a hardware or software
system to start small and grow to meet future demands.
- screen resolution
Refers to the sharpness and clarity of an image. For monitors, it refers
to the number of dots (pixels) that can be placed side by side on a screen
(e.g., 800 x 600 screen resolution is capable of placing 800 dots on 600
With printers, the resolution refers to the number of dots printed per
inch (dpi). Graphics for web sites should be saved at 72 dpi, while graphics
for your desktop printer can be saved at 150-300 dpi.
- seal of approval
There are various seals of approval related to security, privacy, and
business reliability. For example, the Better Business Bureau Online ( www.bbbonline.com)
has a privacy and reliability seal program for businesses.
- search engine
A program that searches for web sites and documents on the Internet based
on search terms.
- sell-side application
An e-marketplace with one seller and multiple buyers.
A computer that allocates resources for a computer network.
(Secure Electronic Transaction protocol) A standard that enables
secure credit card transactions by verifying that buyers are who they claim
to be through the use of digital signatures.
- shopping cart
An electronic commerce utility that keeps track of selected items for
purchase and automates the purchasing process.
(Secure HyperText Transfer Protocol) An extension to the HTTP protocol
to support sending data securely over the World Wide Web. Not
all Web browsers and servers support S-HTTP.
S-HTTP is designed to send individual messages securely, as opposed to
sending anything securely between between two computers (See SSL).
(Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) A protocol for sending e-mail
messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet
use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can
then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP.
- source code
The source code consists of the programming statements that are created
by a programmer and then saved to a file. Once source code is compiled,
it is often referred to as object code, which can be read by the computer.
Unsolicited, bulk electronic junk mail. Typically spam is generally e-mail
advertising sent to a massive mailing list or newsgroup.
(Also search bot, web robot, webcrawler) A
program that scours the Internet and indexes millions of web sites for
search engines, jumping from web link to web link.
(structured query language) Standardized query language for requesting
information from a database.
(Secure Sockets Layer) A protocol developed by Netscape for setting
up a secure connection between a client and a server and transmitting any
amount of data securely.
- supply chain management
The process of using the Internet as a tool to collaborate more closely
with suppliers and other participants in the supply chain and to improve
products and processes.
A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of 1.544 Mbps. A T-1
line actually consists of 24 individual channels, each of which supports
A dedicated phone connection supporting data rates of about 43 Mbps. A
T-3 line actually consists of 672 individual channels, each of which supports
T-3 lines are used mainly by Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
connecting to the Internet backbone and for the backbone itself.
(Transfer Control Protocol / Internet Protocol) The set of protocols
that provide the basis for the operation of the Internet. The TCP protocol
includes rules that computers on a network use to establish and break connections.
The IP protocol determines the routing of the data packets.
(top-level domain) The last part of a domain name (e.g., .com,
.ca, .net, .org, .gov).
- Trojan horse
A program hidden inside another program or web page that masks its true
purpose. Trojan horses are usually destructive.
(Uniform Electronic Transactions Act) E-commerce legislation
based on the United Nations’ Model on E-Commerce.
- unique visitors
Unique visitors are counted using visitor IP addresses, domain
names, or cookies on a daily basis.
A popular multi-user, multitasking operating system (OS) developed
in the early 1970s. UNIX is portable, flexible, and powerful and is the
leading operating system for workstations.
To transmit data from your computer to a network or web server. If you
want a web page or document to be available on the Internet, you need to
upload it to a web server.
(Uniform Resource Locator) A complete web site address (e.g., http://www.e-future.ca)
including the protocol to be used (HTTP) and the domain name ( www.e-future.ca).
Ease-of-use of a company’s web site.
(User’s News Network) A worldwide bulletin board system
that allows subscribers to read and post articles within over 14,000 forums,
- value chain
A value chain is a high-level model of how businesses receive raw materials
as input, add value to the raw materials through various processes, and
sell finished products to customers.
E-business presents several ways to reduce inefficiencies in business
processes and to improve the value chain.
(Value-added network) A value-added network (VAN) is a third-party
service organization that provides a variety of services for businesses
that want to do business using EDI. Most importantly it provides
the communications link between EDI trading partners.
A sarcastic term used for software that has been announced but is not
yet available. It is always a good idea to test-drive your e-business software
or platform and find out who else is currently using it.
- vector graphic
Vector images refer to images that are made up of lines that are described
mathematically. They are resolution independent and can be resized and
not lose any quality. Vector graphics (.eps files) are also very small
compared to raster images (.jpgs, .gif., .pcx files).
- vertical portal
An e-marketplace or exchange whose members are in one industry or segment
(e.g., steel, agriculture, electronics).
- viral marketing
Word-of-mouth advertising in which customers promote a product or service
without cost to a company.
A piece of code that attaches itself to a host and, once activated, propagates
itself. Viruses may act maliciously and disrupt your network operations.
It is recommended to purchase an anti-virus program and update your virus
definitions frequently as a first level of defence.
(virtual private network) A network that combines encryption,
authentication, and protocol tunneling technologies to provide secure transport
of private communications over the public Internet. Most enterprises rely
on third-party companies to host their VPNs.
(World Wide Web Consortium) The W3C develops interoperable technologies
(specifications, guidelines, software, and tools) to lead the Web to its
full potential. W3C is a forum for information, commerce, communication,
and collective understanding ( www.w3.org).
(wide area network) Computer networks that are connected securely
over great distances.
(Wireless Application Protocol) A secure specification that
allows users to access information instantly via handheld wireless devices
such as mobile phones, pagers, two-way radios, smart phones and communicators.
(Short for World Wide Web) Often the terms web and Internet are
used interchangeably. The web, however, is the system of Internet servers
that support HTML pages and links to other documents.
You can access the web by getting an Internet connection and using a web
- web hosting
The placement and maintenance of a web site on a server.
- web server
A computer that is connected to the Internet and that stores files written
in HTML that are publicly available through an Internet connection.
(Wireless Markup Language) An XML language used to specify
content and user interface for wireless devices
A computer program that replicates from machine to machine across network
connections, often clogging networks and computer systems as it spreads.
(See World Wide Web)
(What You See Is What You Get) Pronounced wizzy-wig.
A WYSIWYG application displays text and graphics on the screen exactly
as it will appear when the document is printed, or in the case of web pages,
when the document is published to the web
(Extensible Markup Language) XML allows designers to create their
own customized tags, enabling the definition, transmission, validation,
and interpretation of data between applications and between organizations
if common tags are used.