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EIDX Glossary

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This letter last updated 28 February 2003

RAND - See Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory.

Raw Data - Unprocessed and usually unformatted data; a stream of bits that has not been filtered for commands or special characters. More generally, information that has been collected but not evaluated.

Re-intermediation - The movement away from disintermediation and toward partnering with traditional intermediaries, such as distributors and resellers, and with new types of web-based intermediaries, such as B2B exchanges.  This has occurred as manufacturers have discovered why they used intermediaries in the first place:  The customer service resources needed multiply with the number of orders handled, and direct sales means not only handling the big orders from the golden goose customers, but also handling many small orders, shipping, returns, complaints, etc.

Read - Process of gathering information from an input source to be used by the computer. Reading is the means by which a computer receives information, typically from a disk drive; the opposite is writing the process of transferring information to storage such as a disk or to a device such as a printer or the screen. A disk read means that information is transferred from disk into memory. A computer can also be said to read the keyboard when it accepts keystrokes from the user.

README Riles - Files found on FTP sites or with a software installation media that explain what is in a given FTP directory or provide installation or important application notes or which other useful information (such as how to use FTP).

Real Soon Now - A vague term used to describe when something will actually happen.

Receipt Acknowledgment - a/k/a Functional Acknowledgment, Control MessageWhen one party (e.g. buyer) sends an electronic message to another party (e.g. seller), the recipient sends back a signal back advising the sender that the message reached the intended destination, and indicating whether or not the message was syntactically correct and in conformance to the standard identified in the message.  The receipt acknowledgment is called a "business signal" by some in order to distinguish it from a business document containing business data.  A receipt acknowledgment has no legal authority - it does not address the business contents of the sent document.  The origin and destination are usually eBusiness gateways.  The signal sent back to the originator generally indicates that the message was received at the recipient's gateway; it does not guarantee that the message made into the recipient's back-end application.  The reliability of the interface between the recipient's gateway and recipient's back-end application should be determined as part of the testing and implementation process.

Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory - A model for pricing software, specifications, etc. if a person or organization owns the Intellectual Property (IP) and does not want to make it available Royalty Free (RF).  This pricing model is controversial when used to charge a fee or royalty for standards that claim to be "open," i.e. available all regardless of membership status in or contributions to any organization. The "non-discriminatory" means that the pricing policy must be applied equally to all - individuals and organizations.  One difficulty with RAND is that a "reasonable" fee to one person may be a significant price barrier to another.  Opinions differ as to criteria for a reasonable fee or royalty and therefore at what point the pricing may be considered non-discriminatory.   The waters get muddied further when you have a situation where someone who has paid a fee or royalty wants to deploy the IP in question to other trading partners, and the IP owner's pricing model allows them to do this at no additional fee.

Referring Server - The name of a server that refers back to the Trust Certificate server. All referring servers will have a redirect file and a trust certificate to vouch for their security.

Registry - A mechanism for discovering and retrieving something (a piece of information, a document, a template, software, a service, etc.) over the internet. The registry provides information about the item, including the location of the repository containing the item.   Sometimes a repository contains its own registry describing all the contents of the repository, and sometimes a registry keeps track of one or more repositories that are located in different places on the internet.

Registration Authority - Verifies the identity of a requestor before a certificate authority grants a digital certificate.

Relational Data Base - Type of data base or data base management system that stores information in tables (rows and columns of data) and conducts searches by using data in specified columns of one table to find additional data in another table. In a relational data base, the rows of a table represent records (collection of information about separate items) and the columns represent fields (particular attributes of a record). In conducting se arches, a relational data base matches information from a field in one table with information in a corresponding field of another table to produce a third table that combines requested data from both tables.

Relationship - A directed association. Example: places (Customer places Order)

Release - A unique sub-issue of a Directory Set within a Version. Releases are used to further define Version publications of UN/EDIFACT and other standards. See Version/Release.

Release Character - A character used to restore to its original meaning any character used as a syntactical separator. [ISO 9735]  A release character is used to allow a symbol which has been defined as a delimiter to be used with its normal meaning in a string of data.  The release character precedes the separator which is to be returned to its normal meaning.  See also Character Sets Table.

  • Release Characters may be used in the EDIFACT standard. 
  • The X12 standard has no provision for release characters. 
  • Instead of single Release Characters, HTML and XML use "Escape Sequences".
  • Examples:  If "+" is a data element separator and "?" is a release character:
    • Data contains "+":  The mathematical expression "1+2+3=6" is sent as "1?+2?+3=6"
    • Data contains "?":  The phrase "What is your name?" is transmitted as "What is your name??"

Repeating Segment - A segment which may repeat in a message as specified in the relevant message type specification. [ISO 9735]

Replenishment - The process of filling up or making complete again by supplying what has been used up.  Forecast-based replenishment is the replenishment of goods based on estimated future demand.

Repository - A digital "place" for storing and retrieving certificates and other data.

  • For expanded definition, click here.

Request for Comments (RFC) -  A series of documents that describe various technical aspects of the Internet.

Request for Proposal (RFP) - Solicitation to suppliers, inviting them to place competitive proposals or bids for planned products or projects. Often, the projects are extensive in their scope. An increasing number of RFPs are being placed online, either on the Web site of the prospective purchaser, or on lead generation sites.

Request for Quotation (RFQ) - Invitation to suppliers to bid on relatively short-term projects or inexpensive products. As with RFPs, RFQs can be posted on potential purchaser or lead generation Web sites.

Reseller - 1) A business that buys goods from a manufacturer and resells them to customers unchanged.  2) Value Added Reseller (VAR) - a business that buys a  product from a manufacturer and adds value to it before selling it to a retailer or consumer.  Value-added features could include adding software, configuring components into a system, etc.  See also  Component Supplier, Supplier, Manufacturer, Distributor.

Resources - Organizations, People or Computer systems carrying out activities.

RSA - A public key algorithm developed by RSA Data Security, Inc. It can be used to generate digital signatures, encrypt messages, and provides private/public key management encryption.

Return on Investment (ROI) - A measure of the benefit of investing resources into something, as measured by the cost savings (cost avoidance) or profit to be gained over a period of time as a result of the investment.  The Break Even Time (BET) should be examined as part of analyzing ROI.

Reverse Auctions - 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.

Rip-and-Read - Refers to a process where a trading partner receives business data electronically, but just prints it out to be handled like any paper document.  Companies engage in this practice when they have a trading partner, especially a customer, who wants to automate the transmission of their business data.

Rip-and-Read Plus - Takes Rip-and-Read one step further:  The recipient of the transmission prints it out, swings the chair around, and manually enters the data into a computer.  Or the recipient's data center prints it out, and a designated employee picks up printouts from the data center, stops by the coffee station, has a chat with a colleague, then spills some coffee on the way to the computer, and anything that didn't get lost on the way or obliterated by the coffee gets entered into the computer.

Risk Analysis - In security, the process of identifying security risks, determining their magnitude, and identifying areas needing safeguards. Risk analysis is a part of risk management. Synonymous with risk assessment.

RosettaNet - RosettaNet is a supply chain consortium whose mission is to define standards around industry business processes and to develop real-time XML-based standards to support those processes (data transfer).

Router - A device that finds the best path for a data packet to be sent from one network to another.  A router stores and forwards electronic messages between networks, first determining all possible paths to the destination address and then picking the most expedient route, based on the traffic load and the number of hops.  A router works at the network layer (layer 3 of the OSI model); a bridge works at the data link layer (layer 2).  A router does more processing than a bridge does.

Royalty Free (RF) - A model for providing software, specifications, etc. at no cost if a person or organization owns the Intellectual Property (IP) and is not concerned with generating revenue from that IP.  Royalty free rights may be granted based on membership in an organization or participation in the development of the IP, or may be granted to the public with no conditions attached.   Compare this with a RAND model.  If a standards organization has a Royalty Free policy for its IP, organizations that have a revenue opportunity may be discouraged from contributing it's IP to an effort.  On the other hand, a Royalty Free policy for a standard reduces the likelihood that users will face patent or licensing issues, which may reduce the cost of using the standard and facilitate faster adoption.