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EIDX Glossary

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EIDX Collection of Acronyms and Abbreviations.



This letter last updated 17 December 2002

S-HTTP - See Secure Hypertext Transport Protocol.

Safety Stock- Inventory reserved for protection against fluctuations in demand and/or supply. The possessor of the inventory holds title to the inventory; title transfer is not applicable - safety stock either remains safety stock, gets sold, gets consumed, becomes allocated, becomes consigned, shrinks, or gets lost. Synonyms: Buffer stock; hedge.   See also Consigned Inventory, Allocated Inventory.

Sales Representative - A party who sells another party's goods in return for a commission.

Seal - A digital confirmation that content is secure and/or authentic.

Scenario - Description or outline of possible or hypothetical events or actions.  In business process modeling, a formal specification of a group of business activities that may take place between parties to achieve a particular business objective.

  • For EIDX, a Component Business Process Model is like an "implementable chunk" of processing -  it represents how companies tend to partition implementations or automation of business processes.  It's really a "re-usable" chunk of business process steps.   In RosettaNet's legacy architecture, this equates to a Partner Interface Process (PIP™).  A Scenario will combine two or more of these component business process models. 

See also When is it a component business process model and when is it a scenario?

Screen Capture - A part of your communications software that opens a file on your computer and records in it whatever scrolls past on the screen while the your computer is connected to a host system.

Screen Scraper - A program that uses HTML to pull information off one Web site and deposit it into another site or a database.

Script - A set of instructions for an application or utility to use.

Secure - Data and communications that are protected from interference, tampering, and viewing by unintended third parties.

Secure Electronic Transaction Protocol (SET) - A protocol developed jointly by Visa and MasterCard that allows secure credit card transactions over the Internet.

Section Control Segment -A service segment used to separate header, detail and summary sections of a message where necessary to avoid ambiguities in the message segment content.

Secure Hypertext Transport Protocol (S-HTTP) - An extension of HTTP that allows for secure transmission of files.  S-HTTP is alternate to SSL (see also HTTPS).  An S-HTTP file is either encrypted, contains a digital certificate, or both.  SSL is designed to establish a secure connection between computers, while S-HTTP is designed to secure individual messages.  S-HTTP is used when the requirements for authentication require something more secure than a user ID and password.  Web browsers accessing a Web server that supports S-HTTP are required to use S-HTTP protocol in URL that looks like this:

  • s

 Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) - A protocol developed by Netscape for transmitting private documents via the Internet, including confidential user information such as credit card numbers.  See also HTTPS.

Security Software - Software and utilities which prevent data and applications from being inappropriately accessed, altered, destroyed, or otherwise compromised.  There are four dimensions to electronic commerce security.

  1. Privacy: Ensuring that unauthorized parties cannot read the information that is being transmitted.
  2. Authentication:  Ensures the identity of a user or source of a transaction.
  3. Integrity: Ensuring that the message content cannot be changed (intentionally or accidentally) or, if it is changed, that the change will be detected.
  4. Non-repudiation.  Ensures that the sender cannot deny having sent a transaction, and the recipient cannot deny having received the transaction.

Segment - A predefined and identified set of functionally related data elements values which are identified by their sequential positions within the set. A segment starts with a segment tag and ends with a segment terminator. It can be a service segment or a user data segment. Segment Code - A code which uniquely identifies each segment as specified in a segment directory. [ISO 9735]

Segment Directory - A listing of identified, named, described and specified segments. [ISO 9735] See EDSD.

Segment Name - one or more words in a natural language identifying a data segment concept.

Segment Qualifier - See Qualifier.

Segment Table - A table showing the sequential order of segments, their arrangements in segment groups and the status and allowed repetitions of the segments and groups in a message.

Segment Tag - A composite data element in which the first component data element contains a code which uniquely identifies a segment as specified in the relevant segment directory. Additional component data elements can be conditionally used to indicate the hierarchical level and nesting relation in a message and the incidence of repetition of the segment. [ISO 9735]

Segment Terminator - A syntax character indicating the end of a segment. [ISO 9735]

Seller - Anyone who exchanges goods or services for money.  c.f. Supplier.

Semantics -  The branch of linguistics that deals with the meaning of words. 

  • In computer science, the term is frequently used to differentiate the meaning of an instruction from its format. The format, which covers the spelling of language components and the rules controlling how components are combined, is called the language's syntax. For example, if you misspell a command, it is a syntax error. If, on the other hand, you enter a legal command that does not make any sense in the current context, it is a semantic error. 
  • The XML standard published by W3C is all about the syntax.  Semantic standards have been created by hundreds of organizations who identify the all the information  they want to exchange and create tag names and assign semantic meaning to the tags.  It works pretty much like this:
    • “Thou shalt give a thing a name, and it will have but one name, and that thing with that name shall have but one meaning and one attribute.  Examples.
      • Organization #1:  “Thou shalt call its name “<LineItemNumber>” and the name “<LineItemNumber>” shall have but one meaning, which is “unique identifier for each item in a series.”
      • Organization #2:  Thou shalt call its name “<ItemID>” and the name “< ItemID >” shall have but one meaning, which is “unique identifier for each item in a series.”
      • Organization #3:  Thou shalt call its name "<ItemID>" and the name "<ItemID>" shall have but one meaning, which, is "the identification number of the product from the product catalog."

Separator Character - A character used for syntactical separation of data. [ISO 9735]   See delimiter.

Serial Line Internet Protocol (SLIP) - A protocol that allows you to use a dial-up connection as an internet connection.  PPP is generally considered to be more stable than SLIP.

Server - A computer that can distribute information or files automatically to clients in response to specifically worded requests.

Server Wallet - An application where an eCommerce purchaser's credit card and certificate information is stored on a server at the user's financial institution.

Service Character - See Delimiter.

Service Data Element- A data element used in service segments. [ISO 9735]

Service Provider - Any organization that provides a service, such as a telephone service, a network connectivity service, an inventory management service.  See also Agent, Intermediary.

Service Segment - A segment required to service the interchange of user data. [ISO 9735]

Service String Advice - A character string at the beginning of an interchange defining syntactically delimiting characters and indicators used in the interchange. [ISO 9735]

Session - Time during which a program is running. With the interactive programs typical of microcomputers, a session represents the time during which the program accepts input, processes information, and responds to user commands. In communications, session refers to the time during which two computers (or a computer and a terminal) maintain a connection and, usually, are engaged in transferring information. In this context, session also refers to a specific protocol layer in the ISO/OSI networking model that manages communication between remote users or processes.

Shareware - Software that is freely available on the Net. If you like and use the software, you should send in the fee requested by the author, whose name and address will be found in a file distributed with the software.

Shell - A software interface between the user and a computer's operating system.  The shell interprets commands entered by the user, and passes them on to the operating system.

Ship-from-Stock and Debit - Occurs when a distributor's margin (profit on a resale) for a product drops below an desirable level, due to the fact that the distributor is holding stock for a component supplier, purchased from that supplier at a price that no longer reflects actual market price. In order to resell product at an acceptable profit margin, the distributor requests a post-sales (supplier selling to distributor) reduction in cost from supplier in order that the resale of the product will meet competitors' pricing. If approved by the supplier, upon reselling the product, the distributor sends a claim to request confirmation that the difference between the distributor's in-to-stock price for the product and the resale price can be debited from what the distributor owes to the supplier for other transactions.   See EIDX Distributor Scenario 1 - Ship-from-Stock and Debit.  See also Meet Competition Quote.

Shrinkage - See Inventory Shrinkage

Sig Quote (.sig quote) - A profound/witty/quizzical/whatever quote that you include in your Signature File.

Signal - See Business Signal.

Signature - Sequence of data used for identification, such as an identifier appended to a message in an electronic mail message or in a fax.

Signature File (.sig file) - Sometimes, .signature file.  A file that gets appended to every e-mail you write.

Signal-to-noise - The amount of useful information to be found in a given ratio Usenet newsgroup. Often used derogatorily, for example: "the signal-to-noise ratio in this newsgroup is pretty low."

Simple Data Element - A data element containing a single value. [ISO 9735]

Simple API for XML (SAX) - An API for handling the parsing (mapping/translating) or interpreting of an XML file.  It is an alternative to the Document Object Model (DOM).  Both have advantages and disadvantages.  See more under XML Parsing.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) - A protocol used by most e-mail systems to send messages between servers.  Limited in its queuing ability, so it is usually used with complementing protocols like POP.

Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) - A form of remote procedure call (RPC) that sends an instruction or command from one system to another.  SOAP commands invoke code - causing an activity/event to occur - using XML over HTTP; unlike "plain" HTTP, SOAP applies DOM to HTTP in order to penetrate firewalls.  By being XML-based, using SOAP means that different operating systems can communicate with other. For example, a Windows 2000 user can invoke a web service running on a Linux machine.

Simple Segment - A segment which requires no qualification, i.e. whose meaning is fixed and explicit.

Site Authentication - The practice of verifying that the Web site being viewed is really the Web site that the user intends to use, and not a site that is "hijacked" or altered by a third party.

Smart Update - Notifies the user of an available upgrade for an on-line application, ensuring that the most up-to-date version of the application is available for use.

Smiley - See Emoticon

Snail Mail - Mail that comes through a slot in your front door or a box mounted outside your house, or sometimes on the ground when it's rainy and the ground has turned to mud.

Software - The instructions executed by a computer, as opposed to the physical hardware  on which they run.

Spoofing (E-mail) - Practice of sending an email that has a forged sender address, to violate privacy or to create mischief for a business.

Specialization - The process of defining a new class that inherits attributes from existing classes.  Anytime you here "is a" or "is a type of", you're talking about a specialization.  For example, the Replenishment Plan class is a specialization of the abstract class BasicForecastData.  The Replenishment Plan class is made up of (inherits) all the attributes in BasicForecastData plus some additional attributes that make up a valid Replenishment Plan definition.

Standard - Set of detailed technical guidelines used as a means of establishing uniformity in an area of hardware or software development. Computer standards have traditionally developed in either of two ways. The first, a highly informal process, occurs when a product or philosophy is developed by a single company and, through success and imitation, becomes so widely used that deviation from the norm causes compatibility problems or limits marketability.  his type of de facto standard setting is typified by such products as Hayes modems and IBM PCs. The second type of standard setting is a far more formal process in which specifications are drafted by a cooperative group or committee after an intensive study of existing methods, approaches, and technological trends and developments. The proposed standards are later ratified or approved by a recognized organization and are adopted over time by consensus as products based on the standards become increasingly prevalent in the market. Standards of this more formal type are numerous, including the ASCII character set, the RS-232-C, the SCSI interface, and ANSI standard programming languages, such as C and FORTRAN.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC code) - Coding system to identify specific industrial goods.

Standard Message - A standard message is an ordered selection of entities and attributes from an EDI standards directory to achieve a specific purpose. Example: UN/EDIFACT Invoice (INVOIC)

State Transition Table - A table that specifies the explicit change to make in a data base field as a result of a specific value changing in another data base field.

Status - Indication whether a segment group, segment, composite data element or data element item is mandatory (M) or conditional (C) in the application concerned.

Status 0 - A UN/EDIFACT standard which has reached the first stage of development and is recognized by the UN/ECE/WP.4 as a draft document under development. A Status 0 standard is submitted to WP.4 for information only. Status 0 is allocated by the responsible RT.

Status 1 - A UN/EDIFACT standard which has reached a reasonably high level of stability and has been submitted by the Rapporteurs to WP.4 for formal recommendation as Status 1. Status 1 documents are considered to have reached a level of stability which would enable their trial implementation.

Status 2 - A UN/EDIFACT standard which has been sufficiently trialed and has been submitted by the Rapporteurs to WP.4 for allocation of Status 2. UN/EDIFACT messages reaching this stage become a registered UNSM.

Stickiness - Refers to eCommerce sites' abilities to have buyers "stick around," rather than just look and leave. Buyers who get partially through a purchase process, such as adding items to a shopping cart (in B2C) or negotiating (in B2B), but do not complete potential transactions give the eCommerce site a 'problem with stickiness.' Many eCommerce sites attempt to boost 'stickiness' with value-added services, such as news about the products or industries, or by providing B2B trust services.

Subset - An extract of a message type for use within an industry or application. The extract shall follow the rules for omission of data units and the subset usually indicates only those units needed by the industry or application. See UNSM sub-set.

Subcommittee (- Subgroup of ASC X12 with development and maintenance responsibility for UN/EDIFACT standards within its approved purpose and scope. Only those subcommittees actually involved in message development have delegate members to the DLTG.

Subcontract - Enter into a contract that assigns some of the obligations of a prior contract to a third party.  Today, the terms subcontract and outsource are nearly synonymous.  The term subcontract more properly describes the situation where a contractor outsources part of the contract work.  Given that a purchase order is a contract between a buyer and a manufacturer, the term subcontract refers to any part of the obligations of that purchase order which assigned to a third-party, such as outsourcing some of the manufacturing of the ordered item(s).

Summary Section - The portion of the message which follows the body of the message and which contains summary information relating to the entire message. Synonymous with summary area.

Super Type Entity- The class of which the entity is a member.

Supplier - Anyone whose business is to supply particular services or goods.  Technically, an organization can be a supplier but not a seller if the organization supplies services or goods but does not exchange them for money, but for the most part, the terms supplier and seller are synonymous.  The difference is not as distinct as the difference between buyer and user (1).  See also Component Supplier, Distributor, Manufacturer, Reseller.

Supplier-Managed Inventory (SMI) - (a/k/a Vendor-Managed Inventory). Any replenishment process where the supplier determines when to ship parts and how many units to ship.  Calculation of replenishment requirements may be forecast-based or consumption-based.

Supply - The current and projected availability of goods and services.  See also Demand.

Supply Chain - The enterprises and activities involved in supplying products, from the ordering and receipt of raw materials through the manufacturing of products through the distribution and delivery to end customers.  These include:

  • Order acquisition and management
  • Logistics (physical distribution)
  • Managing transportation resources
  • Scheduling, what-if impact assessment
  • Inventory management and purchasing
  • Manufacturing and shop floor control
  • Contract Manufacturing

Click here for a description of one example supply chain.  What types of businesses and individuals support the computing technology and electronic components supply chain?

Switching Costs - Expenses associated with changing on-line marketplaces or suppliers, such as the set-up fees involved in moving your on-line inventory from one eMarketplace site to another.

Synchronous -  Synchronized - at the same time.  1) For computer programs, it refers to communications that do not occur predetermined or regular intervals.  It means that processes run only as a result of some other process being completing or handing off to the next process.  When data is transmitted from Computer A to Computer B, Computer A must to wait for a response from Computer B before transmitting more data, where as in asynchronous mode, Computer A does not have to wait for a response from Computer B before more can be transmitted.  2) In B2B, refers to communications where both partners have to be on-line at the same time.  Chat rooms and tools for on-line meetings use considered to be synchronous communication - others participants in the exchange must be on-line at the same time.

Syntax - Refers to the spelling and grammar of a programming language.  Computers are inflexible machines that understand what you type only if you type it in the exact form that the computer expects. The expected form is called the syntax.  Each program defines its own syntactical rules that control which words the computer understands, which combinations of words are meaningful, and what punctuation is necessary. In the standards world, syntax is the grammar or rules that define the structure of a standard.  Syntax does not convey the semantic meaning of any words in the standard.

  • When all the buzz around XML took off in the late 1990's, it was proclaimed to be a standard for eBusiness.  However, at that time, the only thing that was part of the "XML standard" published by W3C was the syntax, which includes such as:
    • "Thou shalt use pointy brackets to contain a tag."
    • "Thou may’st make up thine own tags as long as they don’t collide with a small set of pre-defined tags”
  • Since then, hundreds of standards for XML business content have been published.  Each of those standards has created their own set of tags and defined their semantic meaning.

Syntax Rules - Rules governing the structure of an interchange and its functional groups, messages, segments and data elements. [ISO 9735]

System Network Architecture (SNA) -  IBM designed network for information exchange between different IBM computers