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Business - Information Technology

Information technology jargon (IT jargon) is another continually changing phrase book - as the technology evolves so does the the technology jargon - it never stops.

Many IT people are perceived as boring in jobs that they do not understand what they are actually there for but their IT jargon definitely makes up for any personality or career inadequacies.

A lot of the information technology jargon are simply acronyms that can take a lot of learning to fully understand. Others are lively phrases full of colour and expression that makes IT jargon one of the best in everyday life.

You can never sit back and relax with Information technology jargon otherwise you run the risk of being old fashioned and out of date which wont look cool.


Information Technology Jargon or IT Jargon.


Acquiring Bank - A bank that processes online payments on your behalf, levies a fee and pays the balance into your bank account.

ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) - A means of delivering high communication speeds over existing copper phone lines.

Analog - The technology used by the original mobile phones. Like traditional radio broadcasts, phone conversations and information are transmitted in the form of a continually varying current or radio wave. The transfer of information can be slow, so newer digital technology has largely taken its place.

Apache - A free web server program. Apache is usually associated with Unix/Linux, but is also available for Windows. A web server is the high-powered computer that runs your website.

ASP (active server page) - These are used on database driven websites.

ASP (Application service provider) - A company that offers companies access to software applications over the Internet.

Audio conferencing - A bureau service provided by telephone service providers (such as BT) can allow you to have a telephone conference call involving several people in different locations.



Back-up - The essential job of saving and storing data on a tape or other storage device, such as a CD-ROM, outside your computer hard disk or computer network.

Bandwidth - The volume of data a line or channel can carry every second. Digital bandwidth is measured in bps (bits per second). The greater the bandwidth the quicker information can travel through it. Higher bandwidths are required for specialist applications like multimedia.

Banner ads - A graphic image which acts as an advertisement to entice site visitors to ‘click through’ to obtain further information.

BPS - Bits per second. The rate at which one bit can be carried, normally expressed in thousands, Kbps, or millions, Mbps.

Broadband – High speed access to the Internet, generally at speeds of around 512Kbps or faster, such as ADSL or Cable Modem.

Browser - Software, such as Netscape Navigator and Microsoft's Internet Explorer, that lets you navigate around the web. Most browsers are provided free of charge.



Cable modem – A device allowing high speed access to the Internet over the same wiring used by Cable Television networks.

Cabling - Cables used to link computers together so they form a network and can communicate with each other.

Cache - A folder on a computer that stores pages already visited on the web. Used to reduce download times, especially when clicking the ‘back’ button on a web browser.

CD-ROM - One of the most popular formats for storing large amounts of electronic information. A CD-ROM can store 400 times as much information as a floppy, equivalent to 300,000 pages of text or one hour of video and audio footage.

CGI (Common Gateway Interface) -This is the mechanism by which a "script" receives the data entered by a web user (when you fill in an online form and click 'submit', for example).

Client/server - A type of computer system that has a powerful main computer (the server or file server) and a string of computers linked to it (clients).

Co-location - This is where a company places its own server (high-powered computer) in the data centre of a hosting company. Responsibility for the maintenance of the server resides with the company that owns it.

Configuration - The way a computer or piece of software is connected or set up to operate in a particular way.

Cookie - An information item placed on your computer by certain web sites you visit. This information can then be read by the same web site should you return at a later date. Some individuals see cookies as an invasion of privacy and so configure their web browser not to accept them.

Coverage - The land area where mobile phone services are available.



DAT - Digital Audio Tape (DAT) is a compact, high capacity form of data storage, suitable for archiving or backing up large amounts of data.

Database - A database collects information into an electronic file, for example a list of customer addresses and associated orders. Each item is usually called a 'record' and the items can be sorted and accessed in many different ways.

Data compression - A process that reduces the amount of data needed to store or send a video or audio signal.

Data storage - Any type of information - words, figures, still or moving images, sound or music - can be coded into a single electronic form: digital. Once in digital format, all these types of material can be shared, copied, processed, indexed and transmitted from computer to computer, quickly and flexibly.

Dedicated server - A server which is used solely for use by one organisation. The server is leased and stored in the data center of the host company.

Desktop publishing - Desktop publishing (DTP) software was originally developed to allow computer users to create professional-looking newsletters, magazines and brochures, complete with pictures, diagrams and colour. Now that word-processing software can do most of these things, DTP software has become more of a tool for professional designers, though small companies often use DTP for producing newsletters and reports.

Digital certificate - An electronic statement issued by a certificate authority that verifies a company's identity by validating that company's public key.

Digital signature - A section of data appended to a message which authenticates the information. Signatures are encoded by the sender's private key and can then verified by the sender's public key. Any unauthorised changes to the file will be reported by an invalid signature for that file.

Document management systems - The control of electronic documents, such as images, spreadsheets and word-processed files. A document management system is created by combining several types of software to control document identification, storage, retrieval, tracking, version control, workflow management and presentation. Good systems can create, use and control documents across different computers, software packages and company divisions.

Domain name - A convention used to allocate and structure the Internet hierarchy into meaningful sections. For example, at the higher level are the com, org, uk and net domains, which can then be broken down into further domains such as scottish-enterprise.com, scotent.co.uk, etc.

Drive - The device in a computer that reads data from a disk.

DTP - See Desktop publishing.

DVD (digital versatile disk) - A high-density format for playing full motion video. It provides vast data storage capacity (currently 4.7Gb, more than 7 CDs). Although popular within the home market, DVDs can also be used to hold computer data.



E-business – Covers the wider use of web technology, from running corporate intranets, to communicating by e-mail or posting up a web site. You don’t have to sell online to be involved in e-business.

E-commerce - Popular term for almost any sort of business, or part of a business, that takes advantage of the new sales opportunities opened up by the technologies of the world wide web. E-commerce can be business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), consumer-to-consumer (C2C, as in the case of auction sites, such as eBay and QXL) and even, in rare instances, consumer-to-business (C2B, as at Priceline.com, where consumers say how much they want to pay for an air ticket and wait for an airline to take up their offer).

EDI - Electronic data interchange. EDI is the exchange of business documents, like orders and invoices, between computers run by trading partners. It is fast, saves on paperwork, gives greater control over the way you operate and develops closer trading partnerships. It depends on proprietary systems, which are not always compatible with each other, and is gradually being superseded by open, Web-based technologies such as XML.

EDIFACT - This is an international standard for EDI, allowing information to be successfully transferred between trading partners.

Email - An email can be sent over corporate computer networks and the internet in minutes. Distance is no object. E-mail is cheap, quick, convenient and flexible. You can send an e-mail to a colleague, if your company's computers are networked, or to customers around the world, via the internet. Emails can contain different file types such as text, graphics, video, audio, spreadsheets, etc.

Encryption - A method of scrambling sensitive messages and data so that they cannot be read without a password.

Ethernet - A popular standard for linking computers in a network. Thin Ethernet networks use the same coaxial cable that is used to connect a TV to an aerial.

Expansion port - A slot inside a computer into which additional hardware, such as a network card or an internal modem, can be plugged.

Extranet - A website offering secure access to suppliers, partners and clients to share corporate information.



File server - Also known as a server, this is a dedicated machine that runs the network operating system that services all the other computers in a network (the 'clients'). All the working files of a company are stored centrally on this server.

Firewall - Security tools that analyse the communications traffic passing between networks. Rules set up within the firewall decide whether or not to allow specific traffic types to pass between these networks. Firewalls are most commonly used at the point where a private corporate network meets the public Internet.

FTP (file transfer protocol) - A method of transferring files from one computer to another. It is the standard way of uploading web pages to a server.



Gateway - An access point connecting one network on the Internet with another neighbouring network. There are also payment gateways that offer direct access into a bank’s private network.

GIF (Graphical Interchange Format)- A compressed graphics system used commonly on the Internet to reduce download times. They have the suffix .gif.

Group calendaring - A shared electronic diary, where everyone records meetings, appointments, leave and things to do. Group calendars are particularly useful in planning meetings between busy people, group working and project teams. They can also be used to log progress on a project.

Groupware - Software programs to support groups of people who work together, but not necessarily in the same place. Examples include Lotus Notes and Novell GroupWise. Groupware ties together common activities, such as e-mail and group calendaring and helps people share information more effectively.

GSM (global system for mobile communications) - A digital network technology used by mobile phone network operators.



Hard disk - Situated inside the computer, the hard disk stores permanent data.

Home page - The first page you see when you connect to a website. Getting your home page right is one of the first essentials for e-commerce.

Host - A company that leases its server (computer) space to websites.

HTML (hypertext mark-up language) - The computer language web pages are written in. You do not need to learn to write HTML code, as there are inexpensive software packages that will do the coding for you, behind the scenes. Variants, such as DHTML and XML, are now becoming more popular types of code. Pages written in these new formats can be used in newer internet browsers.

HTTP (HyperText Transport Protocol) - The communications mechanism used to exchange information on the Internet.

Hyperlink - A connection linking different pieces of information on the web. Hyperlinks (or 'hot links') appear as hot spots on a web page, in the form of highlighted words or images. By clicking on the hyperlink, the reader can instantly jump to another part of your site or to a completely different website.



IIS (Internet Information Server) - This is the Microsoft web server program. A version called PWS (personal web server) is included with Windows 98.

Internet - The Internet is a global network of computers with roughly 500 million users, all over the world. Anyone can join this network. From your computer you can send and receive information anywhere in the world - all at the cost of a local phone call, 24 hours a day. As people gradually learn more and more about how to use this technology, the Internet is transforming whole industries and creating new ones from scratch.

Intranet - An intranet is a 'private internet', not necessarily linked to the Internet itself, that can provide a powerful means of communication within a company or a group of trading partners. If it is linked to the larger Internet, it will be via secure 'firewalls' to protect your private information. An intranet can help a business, which has several different kinds of computer - Windows or DOS PCs, Macintosh computers, Unix workstations - which need to talk to one another. Internet standards are designed to allow different computers and network types to communicate, so an intranet can remove many potential technical headaches.

IPP - Internet Payment Provider - a company offering merchant account creation and online transaction services.

IRC - Interactive Relay Chat - a method of communicating with other users on the Internet in real time using a text-based service.

ISDN (integrated services digital network) - A fast phone line that significantly increases the rate at which you can transmit and receive information (either 64 or 128kbps), for example when connect to the Internet. If you have large files of data to transmit (such as video or high resolution photography) or you want to video and data conference regularly, you may want an ISDN line. Broadband connections are even faster than ISDN, and are beginning to supersede it).

ISP (Internet service provider) - A company that provides third party access to the Internet. All ISPs offer some standard basic services, such as 24-hour Internet access, a unique e-mail address for your company, storage space for your own website and basic software programs for browsing the Internet.



Java - An object-oriented programming language, developed by SUN, that has seen widespread adoption for use on the Internet. With Java, web designers can create more sophisticated and enhanced web pages - for example, with animated graphics or built in spreadsheets. Small Java programs, known as applets, can be embedded within a web page.

JIT (just in time) - A method of reducing stock holdings by having the necessary amount of materials arriving "just-in-time" for production.

JPEG (Joint Picture Expert Group) - A graphical image compression system used widely on the Internet to reduce download times for images. They have the suffix .jpg.





LAN (Local Area Network) - A way of linking computers in one building together so that they can share files, software, hard disks and peripherals such as a printer or scanner.

Mobile communications - Mobile communications let you operate without the need for a fixed phone line, giving your business greater operational flexibility, faster customer responsiveness and savings in staff time. Connecting your phone to a laptop computer lets you send, receive and access business information wherever you are, creating a "virtual office".

Link - A hypertext facility that allows a connection between two objects on the Internet, whether they be text, video, audio or graphics.

Listservers - Applications that automatically manage e-mail discussion forums. They can be sent commands via e-mail to perform several functions such as subscribing and unsubscribing to specific lists, providing a member list, etc.

Logs - Web servers normally produce log files that can be analysed to measure website objectives. For example, number of visitors, time spent on the site, information sought, etc.



Merchant account - An account held by an acquiring bank (a bank that processes online payments on your behalf).

Meta tags - Information stored in a web page that's not displayed in the browser window and which contains keywords describing the site. Some search engines use these meta tags to index that site.

MIME (Multimedia Internet Mail Extensions) - a facility which allows emails to contain several sections, with each containing different media types.

Mobile communications - Mobile communications let you operate without the need for a fixed phone line, giving your business greater operational flexibility, faster customer responsiveness and savings in staff time. Connecting your phone to a laptop computer lets you send, receive and access business information wherever you are, creating a "virtual office".

Modem (Modulator/Demodulator) - A device that enables computer signals to travel over phone lines. Modems come in different speeds. If you intend to use the Internet, you should usually go for a fast 56 Kbps V90 standard modem. Also check out special modems and access to faster ISDN or broadband connections. These are now widely available in many urban areas of Scotland.

Multimedia – Programs that use or offer a range of media, e.g. data, voice and video.



Net - The Net is a common term for the Internet.

Netiquette - The ethical and cultural rules of using the Internet, such as not posting advertisements to Usenet discussion groups (unless they allow them), not posting the same message to several newsgroups, avoidance of "shouting" in e-mails (using nothing but capital letters), avoiding sending unsolicited e-mails, etc.

Networking - A network is nothing more than two or more computers joined together by a cable and software. They can then share information, like a customer database, and peripherals, like printers and CD-ROM writers. They can share software programs, such as work processing packages, and communicate using e-mail.

Network card - A wafer-shaped piece of hardware that enables a computer to be linked up, via cabling, to other machines in the network.

Newsgroups - General discussion forums, rather like global electronic blackboards, covering every subject imaginable. There are more than 45,000 such groups.





Palmtop - A palmtop (or PDA, personal digital assistant) is basically a computer in the form of an electronic organiser. They are becoming increasingly powerful and can be used as an alternative to laptops, though their keyboards and displays are much smaller.

Passphrase - A string of digits or characters providing confidential authentication information.

Payment Gateway - A system that provides online e-commerce facilities to merchants on the Internet that links directly into a bank's financial system.

PC - Personal computer.

PCN (personal communications network) - A digital network technology operated by some of the mobile phone operators.

PDA - See palmtop.

Peer-to-peer (P2P) - One of the simplest network arrangements, involving linking a series of computers together without the use of a server.

Peripheral - A peripheral is anything that is not part of the main computer unit, such as the keyboard, monitor or printer.

PERL ( Practical Extraction and Reporting Language) - A popular language for web scripting (used to create web pages and web sites). Although Perl can be used on any system, it is usually associated with Unix/Linux.

PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) - A popular scripting language supported by Unix/Linux and Windows systems.

Plug and play - A Windows option that allows multimedia peripherals, such as a CD-ROM drive, to be automatically recognised and set up by the operating system.

Portal - A web site that is used to get to another site and a range of services. Scottish-Enterprise.com is a portal site.

POP - It is important, when use a dial-up connection to the Internet, that you do so though a local Point-of-Presence (POP). This means that all your connections are charged as local rate calls. If you had to call long-distance, your phone bill would soon mount up. Most internet providers now charge a flat monthly fee and waive call charges (within limits).

Portal - A website that acts as a comprehensive information source covering a specific sector or subject, and which is used to get to another site and a range of services. Scottish-Enterprise.com is a portal site.

Proxy server - An intermediary application that sits between a client and a server, and which stores and forwards requests and information. Often used in conjunction with a firewall to monitor Internet traffic and activity.

Proprietary - A proprietary operating system is one that can only be used on one brand of computer and uses software especially written for that system, for instance Apple OS can only be used on Apple Macintosh computers.

Protocol - The set of rules governing the format and control of messages being sent around a network.





RAM (Random Access Memory) - The main memory of a computer. Upgrading the available RAM will often dramatically improve a PC's performance. 128 MB of RAM is often standard for new PCs, although double this figure is much better. RAM is now very cheap.

Real Time Transaction - An Internet payment system in which credit card details are authenticated and verified within a matter of seconds.

Reciprocal Link - When two (or more) websites exchange URLs by mentioning each other on their own sites.

ROM (Read Only Memory) - Where PCs store important information that they need to run the operating system and other software. Unlike RAM, ROM is permanent and its contents cannot be changed, replaced or deleted.



Scanner - A scanner is a device that captures text or images from a document for storage in a computer system. Scanners can be used to grab photographs for desktop publishing or to store copies of incoming letters, invoices and so on. Once you have digital copies of documents, you can cut the amount of paper you need to store, access their contents from anywhere on your network an, with the right software, search for information faster and more accurately.

Script - A program which is executed by the web server. ASP and PHP are two popular scripting languages as they allow program instructions to be mixed with HTML.

SCSI - Pronounced 'scizzy', a SCSI (small computer system interface) port is a specification for connecting hard disks, CD-ROMs, printers and other devices to a computer.

Search engines - Search engine software (on sites such as Google, Yahoo! Alta Vista or Lycos) helps you find what you are looking for on the World Wide Web. When you type in a word or phrase to describe what you are looking for, the search engine matches this against its index, to offer a list of likely matches. Getting an e-commerce site listed on the major search engines is vital for attracting visitors and business.

Secure server - A web server offering e-commerce facilities via a secure web site by use of technologies such as encryption and digital certificates.

Shareware - Shareware software is distributed free, usually via the Internet. You can use it for evaluation purposes, but are trusted to send money to the authors if you want to use it regularly. Sometimes sending a payment brings a more powerful version of the software, together with access to technical support and future upgrades. For small software firms, shareware can provide access to markets without the need to invest heavily in marketing and distribution.

Shopping Basket - A software system used by websites that allows visitors to place their goods and products in an electronic shopping cart. Items can be added and removed very easily before proceeding to the "checkout" at the website to pay for the goods purchased.

Signatures - When a file is passed through a message digest, the resulting output number is encrypted with your private key to create a digital signature. This can then be attached to the original file so recipients can decrypt your signature and check the message digest number to ensure the file has not been tampered with in transit.

Software - Software is the program, or set of instructions, that tells a computer what to do. There are two basic types of software. The "operating system" – such as Windows XP - controls the basic workings of a computer, while "application software" – such as Microsoft Word, Sun’s Star Office and Adobe Photoshop - allows you to do particular jobs. There are also other types of software - for example, network software, which enables a group of computers to communicate with one another, and language software, which helps programmers to write other software.

Sound card - A device that allows a computer to play sophisticated audio files.

Spam - Unsolicited email advertising which targets many recipients simultaneously.

Spider - Search engine software that automatically scans the Internet, collecting information as they go, which is then indexed and stored on the search engine's query database.

Spreadsheet - Software that allows you to store, compare and analyse large amounts of numerical data. Spreadsheets are commonly used for budgets, forecasting and accounts. One distinctive feature of a spreadsheet is its ability to project possibilities and answer "what-if?" questions.

SSL (Secure Socket Layers) - Netscape's de facto standard for encrypting TCP/IP applications, but used mainly for encrypting communications over the web.

Surfing - Slang term for the process of moving around the web. Now out of favour, because of its implications of directionless wandering.



Tags - Elements within web pages that describe how the information in that web page should be structured and displayed.

TCP/IP - Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol – the fundamental communication mechanism used on the Internet. Invented by Robert Kahn and Vint Cerf.

Teleworking - What happens when people use technology such as video and data conferencing to work with each other at a distance.

Telnet - An application allowing remote login between computers located anywhere on the Internet.

Terminal Adapter - A device allowing data to be sent over an ISDN line, much like a conventional modem does over a telephone line.

Topology - A network's topology is a description of the kind of layout that has been used to cable the computers together.

Twisted pair - Twisted pair is a networking cabling system that uses the same kind of cabling as ordinary phone wires.



UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) - A system which allows computers to keep running for a limited time during a power failure. It gives you the chance to save data before your system crashes.

URL (uniform resource locator) - is the address of a file accessible on the Internet, such as a website address. The unique identification of a web site or web resource, such as http://www.scottish-enterprise.com



VAN - Companies using EDI (electronic data interchange) usually exchange transactions through a third party VAN (value added network). These VANs enable their customers to send electronic messages to any number of trading partners, whenever they choose.

Video and data conferencing - Video and data conferencing lets you see and speak to a customer anywhere in the world, work on documents together, present your products or discuss new ideas. It can save fares and travel time, improve customer relationships, allow quicker decision making and cut time to market.

Visitors - The number of people arriving at your website. Can be measured over an hour, day, week, month, etc.

Voicemail - Voicemail is effectively a personal answering machine, which allows callers to leave you messages that can then be stored, copied or forwarded.



WAN (Wide Area Network) - WANs offer ways of linking computers at different office sites, perhaps hundreds of miles apart, so that they can share information and specialised peripherals.

Web - The web is the common shorthand term for the World Wide Web.

Web browser - A software program that enables someone to surf the web. The two most common browsers are Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Netscape.

Web server - A software program that manages a web site, fulfilling user requests, monitoring web site usage, checking access controls, etc.

Web page - A web page is a "page" of information - though it can be almost any length - made available via the Internet.

Web site - A website is an organised and structured collection of web pages. A clear, interesting, well-planned website is the cornerstone of any e-commerce operation.

WiFi (Wireless Fidelity) - A radio frequency standard that is used to connect devices, such as computers, together using a wireless connection. Instead of computers being connected with network cables, signals are sent over radio frequencies using wireless network cards and hubs.

World Wide Web - The web gives you user-friendly access to millions of pages of business information and thousands of sources of supply you never knew about before. It also offers the opportunity to access customers and markets you could never have hoped to reach in the past. Having your own website lets you promote and sell your products and services to the world. Customers can potentially look through your catalogue, place orders and pay by credit card - all on-line, 24 hours a day. The web can also provide cheap, effective ways to beef up your after-sales service and to work more closely with all your trading partners.



XML (eXtensible Markup Language) – A modern, very flexible language that is increasingly being used to send all kinds of data across the Internet. XML’s uses include the exchange of critical financial data, as well as serving Web pages in a similar way to HTML.





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