Bruce Poropat

IT Glossary

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Words in italics defined elsewhere in glossary.

ActivePerl
Distribution of the Pearl scripting language from ActiveState Software, Inc.
AJAX
Asynchronous JavaScript and XML—a set of techniques that allow a browser-based application to communicate with a server without reloading the page
Akamai
A content delivery network (CDN) provider
Application programming interface (API)
A set of function definitions an application presents to external applications
application server
Application that provides an abstract interface to a a database server, typically for use by a web server
asynchronous
Not synchronized—applies to a processes that runs continuously while servicing messages that arrive randomly
authoritative name server
Name server that contains a full copy of its domain's zone file, which defines all public names and corresponding IP addresses for that domain
batch file
A text file that contains a series of commands for the Windows OS to execute
cache
A secondary memory environment that serves applications and data faster than the primary memory environment—for example, a RAM cache for a hard disk
.cfm
Filetype of a ColdFusion CFML scripting language file
CFML
ColdFusion Markup Language—ColdFusion’s scripting language
client
An application or computer system that remotely accesses a service on another computer system (a server) via a network—for example a browser accessing a website
CNAME
DNS record that maps a URL name as an alias to another URL name
ColdFusion
Adobe's Java based software development framework and application server for dynamic websites
content delivery network (CDN)
A system composed of a large number of geographically dispersed servers that cooperate over the Internet to provide caching and Internet traffic management to speed content delivery to users
content management
The process of storing, organizing, retrieving, and distributing content
continuous integration
The practice of integrating small changes to a codebase on a continuous and frequent basis
Continuum
A continuous integration server from the Apache Software Foundation that works with Apache Maven to run scheduled builds
convenience method
A programming method that simplifies a method call by providing reasonable defaults for some arguments
cookie
HTTP cookie: data a client stores on behalf of a server, typicaly to hold information across pages reads or sessions
Coremetrics
A web analytics infrastructure provider
CSS
Cascading Style Sheet—a page style description language for HTML and XHTML
.css
Filetype of a plain text file that contains CSS
.csv
Filetype for a comma separated values file—a plain text file, usually converted from more complex data files, containing a list of values separated by commas
.ctl
Filetype for an Oracle database control file, which is associated with a .dat file and contains the database name, timestamp, structure, relationships to other databases, and other information
daemon
In Linux, Unix, and other operating systems, a software background process that provides a specific function or set of functions to other process or applications
.dat
Filetype for the Oracle database file that contains the data tables
Dojo Toolkit
Open source modular JavaScript library that facilitates rapid JavaScript/Ajax development
DNS
Domain name system/domain name service—an Internet service that runs on a name server to translate domain names into IP adresses
DTC
Distributed Transaction Coordinator; Windows component that coordinates transactions spanning multiple resources: databases, message queues, and file systems
DTC
Direct to customer, i.e., catalog-phone sales
edge server
One of a network of geographically spread servers that collectively form a distributed website cache
Edge Side Includes (ESI)
XML-based, edge server-hosted scripting language
Flash
Adobe's Multimedia presentation platform, which consists of a language, authoring tools, and a browser-based player
generation
Unique version of a build component (application, content, product), placed in a run environment and identified by a generation number derived from the build number for that component
global traffic manager (GTM)
Part of a content delivery network that routes requests based on real time analysis of Internet traffic
glue code
Code that connects otherwise incompatible software components
Groovy
Java-like scripting language that targets the Java Virtual Machine
hero, hero graphic, hero image
Webpage image that conveys the character of a web page
HTML
Hypertext Markup Language—a page description language
HTTP
Hypertext Transfer Protocol—a request/response communications protocol used between a client (typically a Web browser) and a server
IP address, IP number
Internet protocol address—numerical address that identifies a unique machine on the Internet
.jar
Filetype for a Java archive file—a compressed file that contains Java class files and other resources for an application
Java
An object oriented programming language
Java Development Kit (JDK)
Java development tools, compiler, and runtime environment
Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (J2EE)
Version of the Java platform expanded with additional libraries to support server programming
Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
Java Virtual Machine and associated runtime libraries
JavaScript
A browser-supported scripting language; unrelated to Java, though with a similar syntax
JavaServer Faces
Java web application framework for developing user interfaces for Java EE applications
Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
Program that executes Java bytecode on a specific hardware platfomr
JDBC
Acronym for Java Database Connectivity, a Java API that defines communication between Java applications and databases
Just-in-time compiler (JIT)
Compiler that translates intermediate code (for example, Java bytecode) to machine instructions on the fly
JQuery
Open source JavaScript libraries that form a Web application framework that emphasizes interaction between JavaScript and HTML
JRun 4
Adobe's Java (J2EE) application server
landing page
Page a user lands on after clicking on a link in an ad or in search results
Linux
An open source operating system similar to UNIX
Maven
Open source tool from the Apache Software Foundation for application build and software project management
Mercado
Third-party tool for implementing on-site search
model-view-controller (MVC)
A software design technique that intends to separate data and logic (the model) from user interface (the view), so that changes to one don’t affect the other
MSDTC
See DTC
multivariate testing
Testing versions of a design (of a webpage, for example) based on independently varying design elements—i.e., three alternate descriptive texts times three alternate images equals nine versions
name server
Server that maps between human-convenient host names and IP addresses, i.e., www.example.com = 105.97.30.105
natural search
Search by external agents (Google, Ask, etc.)
object
In object oriented programming languages such as Java and C++, a unit of code that encapsulates both data and behavior; i.e., it can both store information and do something with that information
object tree
Hierarchal system of class definitions that conforms to a tree structure
open source
Free software for which the source code is available and free to modify, often with certain conditions
operating system (OS)
Software that provides programmers and users an interface to the architecture and resources of a computer
Oracle Database
Relational database management system (RDBMS) provided by Oracle Corporation
origin server
Server that originates a website or other specific data—the most upstream server
Performics
Third-party tool the Pottery Barn sites use to improve natural search (Google, Ask, etc.) results
Perl
An open-source scripting language
POJO
Plain old Java object—as opposed to an Enterprise Java Bean or other special object
Representational state transfer (REST)
Design style centered on the principle that a client must be able to request an operation or retrieve every manifestation of a resource by a unique URL, without the system relying on cookies or other client-side information extraneous to the URL
rich Internet application (RIA)
Web application that uses client-side scripting and host-side data handling in an application server to create a user experience similar to a traditional desktop application
search bot
Automated process search engines use to visit and index websites
search engine
Internet business that finds websites and catalogs them in a searchable index search engines use to visit and index websites
search engine optimization (SEO)
Collective products and practices that enhance a website’s ranking in search engines
server
An application or computer that performs services for client applications and computers connected via a network
service
A software background process that provides a specific function or set of functions to other process or applications
service-oriented architecture (SOA)
A software design approach, in which services—small task-specific programs—provide functions to other services and larger applications
servlet
A piece of Java software inside a web server that handles an HTTP request for a specific URL
shell script
In Linux, a text file containing a series of commands for the OS to execute
site map
Webpage with an organized list of links to all or most pages on a site
Sitemap protocol
XML file that provides information to search bots visiting a website—including when pages last changed, how often they change, and how important they are relative to other pages on the site
SKU
Pronounced "skyoo" or "es kay you"—acronym for stock keeping unit, a system for uniquely numbering merchandize for identification, tracking, and inventory control
SOAP
XML protocol for making remote procedure calls (originally stood for Simple Object Access Protocol)
Spring context
Spring Framework term for a “container” of instantiated and configured objects in a Java application server to support an application
Spring Framework
(Spring for short) An open source application framework for Java
Subversion (SVN)
Open source version control system for keeping track of changes made to electronic data, particularly source code
SureRoute
Akamai component that detects the current best performing origin server for a particular user
Tapestry
An object-oriented Java web application framework for building model-view-controller style web applications
TTL
Time to live—preset interval between cache refreshes
tracking pixel
A single pixel graphic file on a web page, typically hosted by a different website, which counts page hits and collects other information every time their servers receive a request for the pixel—also called a web bug, tracking bug, or web beacon
Unified Modeling Language (UML)
Standard set of symbols and diagrams that model software and other complex systems
UNIX
An operating system—and trademark of the industry standards consortium, The Open Group
URI
Uniform Resource Indicator—a URL-like identifier that identifies a protocol or resource
URL
Uniform Resource Locator—a web page address
World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)
An international organization that defines standards for Internet and related technologies
.war
Web archive file—a jar file that contains all the components of a web application in a specific structure
Web
The World Wide Web—capitalized as a noun, increasingly uncapitalized as an adjective, as in "web address"
Web analytics
Set of techniques developers use to gather and analyze data that tracks user activity on a website
XHTML
Extensible Hypertext Markup Language—a page description language related to and similar to HTML
XML
Extensible Markup Language, a W3C-maintained markup language that defines structure in text files—originally for publishing, now used for many kinds of data exchange
XSL, or XSLT
Extensible Stylesheet Language, or Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations—XML-based language that manipulates XML documents, typically converting them to other XML formats or to human readable form

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