A class that contains the common features of components of several classes, but
cannot it be instantiated by itself. It represents an abstract concept for
which there is no actual concrete expression. For instance, "mammal" is an
abstract class - there is no such real, concrete thing as a generic mammal.
Instead, there are only
instances of mammal,
such as human being and monkey, which are types of mammals, and share
common characteristics, such as having warm blood and body hair in at least
part of the lifecycle.
Abstraction - 1) A process of identifying which
details in a given context are essential, and should be visible, and which are
non-essential and can be hidden "behind the scenes". Abstraction also
helps to identify common components of objects or processes that could be
grouped in a way that makes those components or processes re-usable in more than
one context without having to repeat all the details in every context.
Abstraction is very useful when developing standards for business documents,
where blocks of information like contact information, address information, etc.
are repeated in many document definitions. See also
and Information Hiding.
2) Another type
of abstraction is the process of creating an abstract class. This is
convenient when several types of a thing share common attributes or components,
and you only want to define the components only once. For example, you
could define an abstract class
which you describe attributes that are used in all types of
forecasts, but you would never create an actual "BasicForecastData"
document or file. Instead you would create type of forecast, such as a
Replenishment Plan. The Replenishment Plan class is a
BasicForecastData; it uses all the attributes
in BasicForecastData plus some additional
The transformation of inputs into outputs via a resource under the direction of a control.
- Test performed by the user that checks a device for its proper function as specified
by the manufacturer.
Address - The location of something on the internet. See
also IP Address, domain.
Agent - 1) A person or party empowered to
perform activities or make decisions on behalf of another person or party.
When buyers or seller's use a third-party to perform some function, such as
inventory storage and management, the third-party is the buyer's or seller's
agent. 2) A software program that performs some function on behalf of a user,
especially software that performs the function out on the internet.
Software that is capable of making decisions based on information it finds
is called an intelligent agent.
See also Intermediary,
Aggregator Model - Models where buyers pool requirements to increase
their buying power, and buy in a block, sellers pool their offerings under one
umbrella to increase their selling power. Also called
Net Market. More information about
B2C aggregator model
here. Note: The
FCC is starting to watch aggregates
for price fixing.
- Special set of simple mathematical and logical procedures used to solve a
problem in a finite number of steps.
- Allocated inventory is inventory on hand or on order which is assigned to a specific production or customer order. The possessor of the inventory holds title to the inventory; title may transfer when
the goods are transferred (sold/shipped) to the customer, or allocated inventory
may become consigned inventory, with title transfer to occur based on
contractual agreement. Synonyms: Reserved inventory (reservation); assigned
inventory; mortgaged inventory; obligated inventory; bonded inventory.
See also Consigned Inventory,
Communication - A method of transmitting signals where data is represented
by continuously variable, measurable, physical quantities, such as length,
width, voltage, or pressure. Opposite of Digital Communication.
- Computers are digital devices.
If you are using dial-up
communications, your modem
converts the computer's digital
signals to analog signals for transmission over phone lines, and converts
analog signals received into digital signals for the computer. If
you have DSL, the signals don't have
to be converted; in this case the function of the modem is to enable the
higher signal speeds.
Anonymous - Something that is not named
or identified. In Internet terms, a method of accessing a site or establishing a
connection to a server where the user is not identified, or displaying data so that the
target of the information is not identified by name nor by implication.
National Standards Institute.
Organization devoted to development of voluntary standards to enhance productivity and
international competition of American industrial enterprises.
ANSI standard - Document published by ANSI that has been approved through the consensus process of
public announcement and review. Each of these standards must have been developed by an
ANSI committee and must be revisited by that committee within 5 years for update.
Anti-disintermediation - See
Anti-virus Software - Software programs
that detect, cleanse, and erase harmful virus files on a computer, Web server, or network.
Unchecked, virus files can unintentionally be forwarded to others, including trading
partners. Because new viruses regularly emerge, anti-virus software should be updated
frequently. Here's a current list of available anti-virus products.
Applet - A program that can be downloaded over a network and launched
on the user's computer. See Java.
- Transaction set whose purpose is to return a response to a transaction set that has
been received and processed in an application program. The Purchase Order Acknowledgment
transaction set 855 is an example of an application acknowledgment. It is used to respond
to the Purchase Order transaction set 850, which queries whether the receiver can fulfill
the order and if it can be done on time.
a specific function or a computer program that implements one or more business processes.
Application Interface Software - Software
that performs integration.
It is most commonly used to refer to the integration between a
gateway and a company's
back-end systems, which gives us the term
"back-end integration". Sometimes the application interface
software is created by changing the application itself to enable interfaces, and
sometimes middleware is used.
- During the inbound flow (from your trading
partner to you), the application software extracts data from your
application system and places it in a flat file for subsequent conversion into
a standard data format prior to
transmission to one or more
trading partners. Some applications extract data directly into a
standard format, but if multiple standards need to be supported, the data may
still need to be mapped before being sent to a partner.
- When the data flow is outbound (from you to your trading partner), the
application system interface software extracts data from a flat file and
prepares it for acceptance by your application program.
- Some middleware applications
packages do not use a flat file. They exchange data directly with the
application system data base, eliminating the need for interface software
between the application system and the translation software.
Provider (ASP) - An Internet-based provider of hosted applications and/or services,
or an applications/services outsourcer. ASPs provide applications and
as a business-to-business auction site or
electronic catalog. Think of such applications and services as being
available for rent (for hire); the ASP is the landlord and is responsible for
maintenance, improvements, certain utilities, pest control (security), etc. An ASP provides comprehensive services to fill a market need.
Many of these ASPs provide
many use a term other than "ASP" to describe themselves, such as ESP (Exchange
SP, eBusiness SP) or FSP (Full SP).
motivated to keep applications upgraded in order to keep pace with
ASP's are useful
for businesses that want to have up-to-date, internet-enabled applications but
do not necessarily want to build, own and maintain those applications.
system-neutral, internet-based applications provided by ASP's are also a boon
to to Macintosh®
users who often find that most off-the-shelf applications are useable only on
PC platforms with a Windows®
applications through a dial-up connection can be slow. If you are
thinking of signing up with an ASP, ask if the application has been tested on
a dial-up connection as well as a fast DSL, cable-modem or T1 internet
Architecture - The design of the overall
structure of a computer (hardware) system, software system, or network.
Specifically, the design of how the components fit together. The
architecture is the "high level" or "top level" design. An architecture
may be based on a high-level, conceptual
framework, or may be build as a means of discovering a conceptual
framework. An architecture itself can become a framework for designing multiple
systems, and for the analysis and comparison of those systems.
By identifying the shared components of different
systems at the right level of generality, an architecture promotes the design
and implementation of components and subsystems that are reusable,
cost-effective and adaptable, i.e., critical interoperability interfaces and
services are identified.
- A Network
Architecture defines the underlying structure of a computer
network, including hardware, functional layers,
interfaces, and protocols (rules) used to establish communications and to ensure the
reliable transfer of information. Since a computer network is a mixture of hardware and
software, network architectures are designed to provide both philosophical and physical
standards for enabling computers and other devices to handle the complexities of
establishing communications links and transferring information without conflict. There are
numerous network architectures in existence, among them the internationally accepted
seven-layer open systems interconnectivity (OSI) model of the International Organization
for Standardization (ISO) and IBM's System Network Architecture (SNA).
Both the OSI and
SNA architectures organize network functions in layers, with each layer
dedicated to a particular aspect of communication or transmission and with the
use of protocols that define how functions are carried out. The objective of
these network architecture is to create communication standards that will enab
Area (in a
transaction set or message) - Identifies a predefined area within a transaction set (header, detail, summary)
containing segments and their various attributes.
ARPANet - A predecessor of the Internet. Started in 1969 with funds from the Defense
Department's Advanced Projects Research Agency.
American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Standard set of characters devised in 1968 to enable efficient data exchange and
compatibility among different computer devices and peripherals.
The ASCII character set
is composed of only those characters included in the
original 128-character ASCII standard. ASCII is
a seven bit code with an eighth bit used for parity. The term is used to
describe the format for transmission and for storage.
- ASCII is a universal computer code for English letters and
characters. Computers store all information as binary numbers. In ASCII, the
letter "A" is stored as 01000001, whether the computer is made by IBM, Apple
- ASCII also refers to a method, or protocol, for copying
files from one computer to another over a network, in which neither computer
checks for any errors that might have been caused by static or other problems.
- Not synchronized - not at the same time. 1) For computer
programs, it refers to a form of concurrent input and output communication with
no timing relationship between the two signals; data is transferred one
character at a time. It means that processes operate
independently of other processes; when data is transmitted from
Computer A to Computer B, Computer A does not have to wait for a response from
Computer B before transmitting more data, where as in
synchronous mode, Computer A must wait for
a response from Computer B before more can be transmitted.
B2B, asynchronous refers to communications
where both partners don't have to be on-line at the same time. E-mail is
considered to be asynchronous communication - you can send your message any
time, whether or not the recipient is on-line.
- Using the second definition of the
term, trading partners desire the ability to exchange business data
asynchronously. In point-to-point communications, while it is true that
the partner's system does not have to be on-line, the machine the partner uses
for internet communications does have to be on-line, or your computer will
receive and error signal that your data could not be transmitted. Your
transmission process should include parameters for number of retries over n
number of minutes before the communications session generates an error message
and closes. The desire for asynchronous(2) communication is also why
companies with large internet volumes are turning once again to
VANs to handle internet traffic.
The VAN provides 24x7 connectivity, and can continually perform transmission
retries to your partner's machine, thus eliminating the need for you to keep
your machine connected for very long periods of time.
- a characteristic of an entity or object which allows
one instance of the entity or object to be differentiated from another instance
of the entity or object.
Auction - An
auction is really a specific way for a buyer to locate items they want to buy or
for a seller to advertise items they want to sell. An auction usually
reduces the negotiation to a single variable, price.
Auction (Reverse Auction)
- In 'standard' on-line auctions, items or services available for sale are posted and
buyers place bids for them. On a Reverse Auction Web site, the buyers post their needs,
and suppliers bid for the business. This is really a form of the
traditional quote process, whereby a buyer
sends out a Request for Quote, usually
indicating maximum acceptable price, and sellers respond with
(bids for the buyer's business), and the
buyer may choose to send the request to a limited list of suppliers (Closed
Auction) or may broadcast the need publicly (Open