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EIDX Glossary

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C

This letter last updated 01 February 2003

C++ - An object-oriented programming language. Java is based on C++.

Cache - Special designated part of memory used to store information that is read from the disk drive so that the information can be retrieved quickly from cache memory the next time it is needed instead of from the slower disk drive. The drive is read once and the information is stored in the cache. When the same information is asked for again by the system, it searches the cache memory first, therefore speeding up the search process.

CALS - Continuous Acquisition & Life-Cycle Support, formerly Computer- Aided Acquisition and Logistic Support. CALS is a global strategy to further enterprise integration through the streamlining of business proc esses and the application of standards and technologies for the development, management, exchange, and use of business and technical information.

Catalog Aggregators

Cardinality - The number of the instances of one entity that are related to another entity.  Examples: Zero to one, one-to-one, one-to-many, many-to-many, 2 to 9.  Also referred to as "multiplicity".

CASE tool - Computer software which enforces the rules of and facilitates the use of formal modeling techniques.

CCD+ NACHA  - Format that is used for one payment with one addendum record (invoice).

CEN - European Committee for Standardization, standardization committee for the European Community.

Certificate - A computer-based record documenting that a particular public key belongs to an identified person or company.

Certificate Authority - A certificate authority manages security credentials for Web sites and other on-line transmissions.

Certificate Revocation List (CRL) - A list of certificates that have been revoked by the issuing certification authority. Each certification authority maintains a CRL that includes revoked certificates issued by that authority.

Change Request (CR) - Term used to describe the UN/EDIFACT processes of evaluating, approving and recording revisions to UN/EDIFACT messages. CR is the term used to identify a Change Request after a CR number has be en assigned. A UN/EDIFACT CR form is used to request changes to UN/EDIFACT standards. Similar in nature to an ASC X12 DM.

Channel - The system of intermediaries that moves products from producers of goods and consumers of goods.

Channel Enablers - Web sites that list products from multiple companies, driving eCommerce traffic to company-owned sites rather than handling the transactions themselves.

Character set - A finite set of different characters that is considered complete for a given purpose. [ISO 9735]

Checksum - Method of verification used by the computer to ensure that transmitted data are free of errors. The computer sending the information sends a checksum on the unit of data sent; the receiving computer verifies the checksum against the data received to see if it arrives at the same figure. If so, the data have transmitted properly.

Click and Order - Used to describe a business interacting with customers via the web.  c.f. Brick and Mortar.

Nickname for a brick-and-mortar that has moved into e-commerce

Client - The computer in a computer link accessing the server, which is the main computer supplying a service to other computers.

Closely Coupled - See tightly coupled.

Closed Loop MRP - Method for putting a reality check into planning, to determine if the plan is realistic.  It involves continually checking actual production against plan (“Has the plan been achieved so far?”) and against available resources (“Can the plan be achieved?”)

  • Actual vs. plan, becomes “feedback” used to constrain (or further constrain) demand

Code - (a) a character string used as an abbreviated means of recording or identifying information. (b) to represent or identify information using a specific symbolic form that can be recognized by a computer. [ISO TC154/SC1]

Collaboration Protocol Agreement (CPA) - Describes the intersection between two partners' Collaboration Protocol Profiles plus the results of negotiation.  Resulting agreement describes which transport protocols, security protocols, document exchange protocols, and business processes the partners agree to perform with each other out of the possible business processes in the intersection, which documents and versions, etc.  ebXML published version 1.0 of the specification for creating the CPP and CPA.  The work is being carried forward by the ebTWG.

Collaboration Protocol Profile (CPP) - Describes one entity's electronic trading capabilities - what business processes they support, what communications protocols, what business documents, which versions of all of the above, security requirements, etc.   May be contained within a Trading Partner Profile (TPP), and be used to generate a Collaborative Protocol Agreement (CPP).  While logically, a CPP is a single document, in practice, the CPP may be a set of linked documents that express various aspects of the capabilities.  A CPP is not an agreement.  It represents the capabilities of a Party.  ebXML published version 1.0 of the specification for creating the CPP and CPA.  The work is being carried forward by the ebTWG.

Collaborative - Another word used to mean more than one thing.  One definition of "collaborate" is to work together in a joint effort. The term "collaborative" is applied to real-time interactions, groupware, shared information spaces, file sharing, advanced monitoring and management, supply chain integration, etc. In the context of eBusiness, we call a process "collaborative" if it allows real-time, electronically-enabled business interactions. Collaboration allows supply chain partners to make joint decisions by sharing information real time and/or interacting on-line using a solution that allows interactive information/knowledge exchange.

Command line - On Unix host systems, in MS-DOS, etc., this is where you tell the machine what you want it to do, by entering commands.

Commentor - An ASC X12 member who votes to "approve" with editorial comment or "disapprove" on a letter ballot.

Commercial and Government Entity code - Five-position company identification code issued by the Defense Logistics Agency for use in DoDs supply management program.

Common Gateway Interface (CGI) - the CGI standard lays down the rules for running external programs in a Web HTTP server. External programs are called gateways because they open up an outside world of information to the server.

Communications Protocol - Rules that allow communications hardware and software to communicate.   Interoperability is a major concern when disparate systems attempt to communicate; both sides must understand the same protocol for the communication to be successful.   A communications protocol defines:

  • rate of transmission in bits per second
  • whether the transmission is to be synchronous(1) or asynchronous(1)
  • whether the data is to be transmitted in half-duplex mode (data can only be transmitted in one direction at at time) or full-duplex mode (data can be transmitted in both directions at once)
  • rules for detecting and recovering from transmission errors
  • rules for encoding and decoding data (data compression and decompression)

Communications Software - Computer program or set of programs that enable two computers to communicate through a phone line, other hard-wired medium, or wireless media to transmit and receive data, using a communications protocol.  c.f. Mapping Software, Translator.

Communications Options include:

  • Direct, point-to-point connections between trading partners
  • Point-to-point connection via one partner's private network
  • Communications via a network service provider such as a VAN or ISP (internet)

The communications options above use one or more of these connection options include:

Company Identification Code - Code consisting of numbers, letters, or combination that uniquely identifies a trading partner who does business.

Compliance checking - see Validation.

Component Business Model - See Scenario.

Component data element separator - A character used to separate component data elements in a composite data element. [ISO 9735]

Component data element - A simple data element which is a subordinate portion of a composite data element and an interchange identified by its position within the composite data element. [ISO 9735]

Component Supplier - Refers to a manufacturer that produces component products, such as resistors that are used in a PC board, PC boards that are used in computers, etc.   Component Suppliers often use the services of a Distributor to sell their products.  See also Supplier, Reseller, Manufacturer.

Composite data element - A data element containing two or more component data elements. [ISO 9735]

Computational Model - A model based on the hypothesis that the mind is a type of computer that can be described in algorithmic terms.

Computer Fraud - Computer-related crimes involving deliberate misrepresentation, alteration, or disclosure of data in order to obtain something of value, usually for monetary gain.

Condition - Term referring to a result being either true or false, or equal or not equal.

Conditional - (a) Process or action that takes place based on the determination of whether or not a condition is true.  (b) A statement in a segment or message directory of a condition for the use of a segment, a data element, a composite data element, or a component data element (cf. mandatory). [ISO 9735]

Consensus - Consensus is used for approval, by X12 members, of ASC X12 DSTU and ANS. Consensus is established when substantial agreement has been reached by directly and materially affected interests. Substantial agreement means much more than a simple majority, but not necessarily unanimity. Consensus requires that all views and objections be considered, and that a concerted effort be made toward their resolution.

Consigned inventory - Inventory which is in the possession of one party (e.g. customer, dealer, agent, etc.), but remains the property of another party (e.g., manufacturer, prime contractor, etc.) by mutual agreement.  The possessor of the inventory does not hold title to the inventory. Liability for the inventory is per contractual agreement title may or may not pass to the possessor depending on the contractual agreement.   See also Allocated Inventory, Safety Stock.

  • For expanded definition, click here.

Consignment - 1)  The process of managing consigned inventory.  2) A shipment of goods.  The term "shipment" is primarily U.S. usage, and outside the U.S. the term "consignment" is more commonly used.  It comes from the fact that when a seller ships goods to a buyer, the inventory is "consigned" to a carrier, who does not take ownership of the goods.  The seller is referred to as a "consignor" and the buyer as a "consignee".  This latter use of the term has little to do with whether or not the seller is consigning inventory to the buyer, warehouse, or other delivery party, but retaining ownership under the terms and agreement for a consignment program.  See also Allocated Inventory, Safety Stock.

Constraint - Event, condition or rule that limits the alternatives for completing a task, restricts possible occurrences of something, or defines allowable combinations of things, or requires additional activities to performed.  For example, a constraint might specify that if you use one data element, you may not use another or if one event or activity occurs, another event or activity may not occur.  Alternatively, a constraint may say that if you use an element, you must use another companion element (e.g. if you specify a that a payment method is credit card, you must also supply the credit card number), or if an event or activity occurs, some other event or activity must occur.

Consumer - An individual who buys goods for personal use and not for manufacture or resale.

Consumption - The using of of goods or services having an exchangeable value either through selling or transferring to another party, through use in the production of other goods, or through removal from available stock.   See also Inventory Shrinkage.

  • Anecdote:  Sociologist Thorstein Veblen coined the term "conspicuous consumption" to describe the acquisition of goods and services not because of need, but because of a desire to flaunt one's wealth.

Contract Manufacturer (CM) - (a/k/a Electronics Manufacturing Service) Firm performing part of the work for a Prime Contractor.

Control character - See Delimiter.

Control segment - Means to transfer control information for grouping data segments.

Control validation - Confirmation that information within the control segments is correct.

Controls - The rules which govern the transformation of the inputs into the outputs by the activity.

Core Component - A component that occurs in many different areas in business information exchange.  It can be an individual piece of business information, or a grouping of pieces of logically related business information that make up business concept.  Examples:

  • "Name" is used in many business documents and and in many business domains.
  • Shipment Instruction could represent a grouping of pieces of information such as Carrier Name, Transport Method, etc. 
  • Different types of forecasts contain some data elements.  Those data elements used in all the forecast types are the Forecast Core Components.  The list of Forecast Core Components may contain other core components, such as Contact Information, Date, etc.

Corporate Affiliate Certificate - An X.509 digital ID that identifies to an eMarketplace those representatives of a company who are empowered to digitally sign content, such as bids and offers. GeoTrust maintains this ID.

Corporated Trading Exchange (CTX) - NACHA format that is used for one payment with multiple addenda records. CTX is the marriage of ACH and ASC X12. A significant amount of remittance information can accompany value transfer.

Cookies - A block of data that a Web site arranges-with or without the consent of the reader-and stores on the user's system. Cookie data may include such information as a credit card number, the particular size or weight of a part ordered, or a password. Cookies may or may not be matched to personally identifiable information.

Coupling - A measure of the strength of the interconnections between system components; the degree to which the components depend on one another.  Systems are described as "loosely coupled" or "tightly coupled."

Credit and Rebill - In the Ship-from-Stock and Debit scenario, and exception where a distributor has neglected to take a debit that should have been claimed.  The distributor initiates a transaction that "back outs" the sale on paper, and then re-reports the sale for which the debit can be claimed.

Critical Mass - An amount or level of B2B transactions between companies or vertical or horizontal marketplaces that serve to maximize technical and commercial efficiencies.

Cryptography - The use of codes to convert data into a format that can be read only by authorized individuals.

Customer - Same as buyer.