Glossary of Terms Used in Personal Web Server version 4.0

Select the first letter of the word from the list above to jump to appropriate section of the glossary.

Table of Contents


access control
Controlling who is allowed access to a computer’s content and applications.

Access Control List. A list that identifies which hosts have access to which services.

Active Group, The
A standards organization, under the auspices of The Open Group, which is an open, customer-driven steering committee responsible for the ongoing development and management of ActiveX technologies and licensing.

Active Server
A collection of server-side technologies that are delivered with Windows NT. These technologies provide a consistent server-side component and scripting model and an integrated set of system services, for component application management, database access, transactions, and messaging.

Active Server Pages (ASP)
A server-side scripting environment that runs ActiveX scripts and ActiveX components on a server. Developers can combine scripts and components to create Web-based applications.

An umbrella term for Microsoft technologies that enable developers to create interactive content for the World Wide Web. A set of language-independent interoperability technologies that enable software components written in different languages to work together in networked environments. The core technology elements of ActiveX are the Component Object Model (COM) and Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM). These technologies are licensed to The Open Group standards organization, and are being implemented on multiple platforms. See also COM; CGI; DCOM; Java.

ActiveX Automation
A language-neutral way to manipulate an ActiveX component’s methods from outside an application. ActiveX Automation is typically used to create components that expose methods to programming tools and macro languages. ActiveX Automation was previously called OLE Automation.

ActiveX component
A compiled software component based on COM that encapsulates a set of business functionality. The functionality in an ActiveX component is accessed through ActiveX Automation interfaces. The ActiveX component can execute either on a client computer or on a server computer, transparent to the calling application, through DCOM. ActiveX components can be driven by a scripting language such as Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript) or Microsoft JScript. All Java applets, running in the Microsoft virtual machine for Java, are automatically ActiveX components and use the file name extension .class. ActiveX components that run within the calling application process use the file name extensions .dll or .ocx. ActiveX components that run outside of the calling application process use the file name extension .exe. See also COM; DCOM.

ActiveX Control
A compiled software component based on the Component Object Model (COM) that encapsulates a set of business or user interface functions. An ActiveX Control is used to provide user interface components and is designed to run on the client computer. ActiveX Controls can be embedded in Web pages for use over the Internet as well as combined to create client/server applications that run over a corporate network. They can be created by a variety of programming languages from Microsoft or from third-party vendors. ActiveX Controls use the file name extension .ocx. See also COM.

ActiveX object
An object that is exposed to other applications or programming tools through Automation interfaces.

ActiveX scripting
The act of using a scripting language to drive ActiveX components. ActiveX Scripting is made possible by plugging a scripting engine into a host application. A scripting engine enables the processing of a specific scripting language such as VBScript or JScript. Examples of host applications that contain scripting engines are Microsoft Internet Explorer and Internet Information Server (IIS) with Active Server Pages (ASP). See also Active Server Pages; ActiveX Automation; ActiveX component; scripting engine; script.

ActiveX server component
An ActiveX component designed to run on the server side of a client/server application. See ActiveX component.

A collection of Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) objects that has a single distributed logical thread of execution. Every Microsoft Transaction Server object belongs to one activity.

The part of the system that performs information preparation and exchange on behalf of a client or server application. In simple network management protocol (SNMP), agent information consists of comments about the user, the physical location of the computer, and the types of service to report based on the computer’s configuration.

Active Data Objects. A set of object-based data access interfaces optimized for Internet-based, data-centric applications. ADO is based on a published specification and ships with Microsoft Internet Information Server and Microsoft Visual InterDev.

A composition technique for implementing component objects whereby a new object can be built using one or more existing objects that support some or all of the new object’s required interfaces.

A name that maps part of a URL to a physical directory on the server. In general, an easily remembered name used in place of an IP address, directory path, or other identifier; also called a friendly name. See also hostname; virtual directory; virtual server.

ALT string (for images)
An optional text string that an HTML author might include with an HTML IMG tag, which is used to describe the associated image. For example, for an image of a waterfall, the ALT string might read: “GIF image of waterfall.” The ALT string allows people who use text-only browsers or who have chosen not to download images, to know what the image depicts.

A source or target of a hypertext link. An anchor can be either a text or a graphic, and can occur anywhere on a Web page.

anchored graphic
A graphic, such as a button, that contains a link. See also thumbnail.

annotation file
For the FTP service, a summary of the information in a given directory. This summary appears automatically to remote browsers.

anonymous FTP
Anonymous File Transfer Protocol. Anonymous FTP makes it possible for a user to retrieve documents, files, programs, and other archived data from anywhere in the Internet without having to establish a login name and password. By using the special login name of “anonymous,” the network user will bypass local security checks and will have access to publicly accessible files on the remote system.

anonymous-only logons
This feature allows remote access only by the IUSR_computername account. Remote users can connect to that computer only without a user name and password, and they have only the permissions assigned to that account.

American National Standards Institute. ANSI serves as a quasi-national standards organization. It provides area charters for groups that establish standards in specific fields, such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Standards approved by ANSI are often called ANSI standards (for example, ANSI C is the version of the C language approved by ANSI). Additionally, ANSI is commonly used to refer to a low-level table of codes used by a computer. Most computers can choose among several different software code tables for deciding how to display information on a screen and how keys pressed on a keyboard appear as characters on a computer screen or printer.

apartment model multi-threading
The Component Object Model (COM) supports a form of multi-threading in Windows 95 and Windows NT called the apartment model. The apartment is essentially a way of describing a thread with a message queue that supports COM objects. Apartment model multi-threading enables multiple application threads—one for each apartment—that are managed by COM.

apartment thread
A thread used to execute calls to objects of components configured as “apartment threaded.” Each object “lives in an apartment” (thread) for the life of the object. All calls to that object execute on the apartment thread.

Application Programming Interface. A set of routines that an application program uses to request and carry out lower-level services performed by a computer’s operating system. Also, a set of calling conventions in programming that define how a service is invoked through the application.

An HTML-based program built with Java that a browser temporarily downloads to a user’s hard disk, from which location it runs when the Web page is open.

A computer program, such as a word processor or electronic spreadsheet; or a group of ASP scripts and components that perform such tasks.

application root
The root directory for an application; all directories and files contained within the application root are considered part of the application. Also called an application starting point directory.

A constant, variable, or expression passed to a procedure.

A set of sequentially indexed elements having the same type of data. Each element of an array has a unique identifying index number. Changes made to one element of an array do not affect the other elements.

Address Resolution Protocol. One of the network maintenance protocols that is a member of the TCP/IP suite (not directly related to data transport). It is used to dynamically discover the low-level physical network hardware address that corresponds to the high-level IP address for a given host. ARP is limited to physical network systems that support broadcast packets. It is defined in RFC 826. See also TCP/IP.

American Standard Code for Information Interchange. A 7-bit character set widely used to represent letters and symbols found on a standard U.S. keyboard. By standardizing the values used for these characters, ASCII enables computers and computer programs to exchange information. The ASCII character set is the same as the first 128 characters (0-127) in the ANSI character set.

ASCII file
Also called a text file, a text-only file, or an ASCII text file, it refers to a file in the universally recognized text format called ASCII. An ASCII file contains characters, spaces, punctuation, carriage returns, and sometimes tabs and an end-of-file marker, but it contains no other formatting information.

See file name extension mapping.

asynchronous transmission
A form of data transmission in which information is sent one character at a time, with variable time intervals between characters; generally used in communicating by way of a modem. Because asynchronous transmission does not rely on a shared timer that would enable the sending and receiving units to separate characters by specific time periods, each transmitted character consists of a number of data bits (the character itself) preceded by a “begin character” signal, called the start bit, and ending in an optional parity bit followed by 1, 1.5, or 2 “end character” signals, called stop bits.

Asynchronous transer mode. A communications protocol defined for high-speed data communications.

A feature of a transaction that indicates that either all actions of the transaction happen or none happen.

Information that indicates whether a file is read-only, hidden, system, or compressed file, and whether the file has been changed since a backup copy of it was made.

Tracking activities of users by recording selected types of events in the security log of a server or a workstation.

Verifying a user’s identity based on user account information. A typical authentication method can involve prompting for user name and password.

authentication certificate
See digital certificate.

In relation to computers, especially to remote computers on a network open to more than one person, the right granted to an individual to use the system and the data stored on it. Authorization is typically set up by a system administrator and checked and cleared by the computer. This requires that the user provide some type of identification, such as a code number or a password, that the computer can verify against its internal records. The terms permission and privilege are synonymous with authorization.

automatic directory listing
Providing a directory listing by default when a URL without a file name is received; also called directory browsing.

A technology that allows a client application to create and control an object by using the exposed object’s properties and methods.

Automation object
An object that is exposed to other applications or programming tools through Automation interfaces.


The capacity of the transmission medium stated in bits per second (bps) or as a frequency (Hz). Generally, a higher bandwidth number indicates faster data-transfer capability. In communications, the difference between the highest and lowest frequencies in a given range. For example, a U.S. telephone line accommodates a bandwidth of 3000 Hertz (Hz), the difference between the lowest (300 Hz) and the highest (3300 Hz) frequencies it can carry. In computer networks, greater bandwidth indicates faster data-transfer capability and is expressed in bits per second (bps).

bandwidth throttling
Setting the maximum portion of total network capacity that a service is allowed to use. You can deliberately limit a server’s Internet workload by not allowing it to receive requests at full capacity, to save resources for other programs such as e-mail.

Basic authentication
An authentication protocol supported by most browsers, including Internet Explorer. It is a method of authentication that encodes user name and password data transmissions. Basic authentication is sometimes called “clear text” authentication because the base-64 encoding can be decoded by anyone with a freely available decoding utility. Note that encoding is not the same as encryption. See also challenge/response authentication; encryption.

Roughly the speed at which a modem transfers data. One baud is approximately equal to one bps, although baud rate and bps are not always synonymous. Bps is usually a more accurate measure of modem speed.

See DNS.

The way in which Microsoft Visual Basic code uses Automation to access objects in another application. See also Automation; early binding; late binding.

A type of variable that can have only two values, typically 1 or 0. Boolean variables are often used to express conditions that are either True or False. Queries with Boolean operators (And, Or, Not, and Near) are referred to as Boolean queries.

Boolean expression
An expression that evaluates to either True or False.

Bits per second. The speed at which data bits are transmitted over a communications medium, such as a transmission wire or a modem. Common PC modem speeds are 28,800 and 14,400 bps.

broken link
A reference to a resource that cannot be located, because the URL is not valid, the resource the link points to doesn’t exist, or the server containing the resource is busy or having other technical difficulties.

A client tool for navigating and accessing information on the Internet or an intranet. A browser interprets hypertext markup language (HTML) and displays information on a computer screen. A popular example is Microsoft Internet Explorer.

bulk data encryption
The encryption of all data sent over a network.

business rules
The laws, regulations, policies, and procedures that you encode into a computer system. Also known as business logic.

The executable form of Java code that executes within the Java virtual machine (VM). Also called interpreted code, pseudo code, and p-code.


A location for frequently accessed files that are read from memory or a local disk, for faster access.

To transfer program execution to some other section of code, usually a subroutine, while saving the necessary information to allow execution to resume at the calling point when the called section has completed execution.

A client that invokes a method of an object. An object’s caller isn’t necessarily the object’s creator. For example, client A could create object X and pass this reference to client B, and then client B could use that reference to call a method of object X. In this case, client A is the creator, and client B is the caller.

catalog agent
An automatic software program that periodically opens all files in a designated set of directories and indexes their contents; also called a link crawler.

certificate authority (CA)
An entity that issues, manages, and revokes certificates.

certificate, client
A digital certificate that functions in a way similar to a driver’s license or passport. Client certificates can contain detailed identification information about the use and organization that issued the certificate.

certificate, digital
An encrypted file, containing user or server identification information, that is used to verify identity; also called an authentication certificate. Called a client certificate when issued to users, a server certificate when issued to a server administrator. See also key pair; client certificate.

Certificate Revocation List
A document maintained and published by a certificate authority (CA) that lists certificates that have been revoked by the certificate authority.

Common Gateway Interface. A server-side interface for initiating software services. A set of interfaces that describe how a Web server communicates with software on the same computer. Any software can be a CGI program if it handles input and output according to the CGI standard. CGI applications always run out of process. See also gateway; server.

CGI bin directory
The directory on a server where CGI script programs are stored. For Microsoft Content Analyzer, the location of the CGI bin directory is specified when the administrator uses the New command to map a site located on a local or networked file system.

CGI script
A program that allows a server to communicate with users on the Internet. For example, when a user enters information in a form on a Web page, a CGI script interprets the information and communicates it to a database program on the server.

challenge/response authentication
A method of authentication in which a server verifies user account information by means of a cryptographic exchange; actual passwords are never transmitted.

A system from IBM that enables users working at remote terminals to enter transactions. These transactions can then be processed concurrently by business application programs. CICS includes facilities for building, using, and maintaining databases.

In Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript), the formal definition of an object. The class acts as the template from which an instance of an object is created at run time. The class defines the properties of the object and the methods used to control the object’s behavior. See also VBScript.

class factory
An object that implements the IClassFactory interface, which allows it to create objects of a specific class.

class ID
A universally unique identifier (UUID) that identifies a COM component. Each COM component has its CLSID in the Windows registry so that it can be loaded by other applications.

class restrictions
A general term sometimes used for access control by IP address filtering and hostname filtering.

An application or process that requests a service from some process or component. A client facilitates a connection to server computers and manages and presents information retrieved from those sources. In a client/server environment, the workstation is usually the client computer. In referring to COM objects, an object that requests services from another object.

client/server architecture
A model of computing whereby client applications running on a desktop or personal computer access information on remote servers or host computers. The client portion of the application is typically optimized for user interaction, whereas the server portion provides the centralized, multi-user functionality.

client certificate
A digital certificate.

client tier
A logical layer of a client/server application that represents a local computer where browser software displays a Web page. See also middle tier; data source tier.

collision detection

Component Object Model. The object-oriented programming model that defines how objects interact within a single application or between applications. In COM, client software accesses an object through a pointer to an interface—a related set of functions called methods—on the object.

The phase in a transaction when all interactions are finalized and the persistent state of the underlying database is changed.

communications protocol
A set of rules or standards designed to enable computers to connect with one another and to exchange information with as few errors as possible. Some communications protocols contain other protocols, such as hardware protocols and file transfer protocols. Examples include HTTP, TCP/IP, and SNA.

compile time
The time during which a program is translated from source language into machine language.

A discrete unit of code built on ActiveX technologies that delivers a well-specified set of services through well-specified interfaces. Components provide the objects that clients request at run time.

The appearance of simultaneous execution of processes or transactions by interleaving the execution of multiple pieces of work.

connected user
A user who is currently accessing one of the services of a Web server.

connection pooling
A performance optimization based on using collections of pre-allocated resources, such as objects or database connections. Pooling results in more efficient resource allocation.

content type
The type of file (such as text, graphic, or sound), usually indicated by the file name extension (such as .txt, .gif, or .wav, respectively).

In a graphical user interface, an object on the screen that can be manipulated by a user to perform an action. Perhaps the most common controls are buttons that a user can click to select an option, and scroll bars that a user employs to move through a document or position text in a window.

A means by which, under the HTTP protocol, a server or a script can maintain information on the client workstation. Cookies are small text files which are stored in the user’s browser by the Web server. Cookies contain information about the user such as an identification number, a password, how a user shopped on a Web site, or how many times the user visited that site. A Web site can access cookie information whenever the user connects to the server.

Common Object Request Broker Architecture. An Object Management Group specification for the interface definition between OMG-compliant objects.

See spider.

See Microsoft Cryptographic API.

A field science involving the transmission of information in an encoded form so that only an intended recipient can decode the information and reveal its meaning. Encoded information is commonly said to be encrypted.

Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection. The mechanism whereby hosts make sure that the network is not already being used before sending a packet. Collision detection means that the network can determine when this happens and provide corrective measures.

A piece of software that returns rows of data to the application. A cursor on a resultset indicates the current position in the resultset.

In logging, to close an existing log file and start a new one.


A networking program that runs in the background.

A self-contained, independent entity of data carrying sufficient information to be routed from the source to the destination computer without reliance on earlier exchanges between the source and destination computer and the transporting network. See also frame; packet.

data provider
Software that implements OLE DB methods and interfaces.

data source
The name that applications use to request a connection to an Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) data source. It specifies the computer name and (optionally) database that the data source name (DSN) maps to. A system data source is a data source that is available to anyone using the computer. Data sources that will be used with a Web server need to be system data sources.

data source tier
A logical layer that represents a computer running a DBMS, such as a SQL Server database. See also client tier; middle tier.

Distributed Component Object Model. Additions to the Component Object Model (COM) that facilitate the transparent distribution of objects over networks and over the Internet. DCOM is part of the specification managed by The Open Group for deployment across heterogeneous platforms.

A situation in which two or more threads are permanently blocked, with each thread waiting for a resource exclusively held by one of the other threads that is blocked. For example, if thread A locks record 1 and waits to lock record 2, while thread B has locked record 2 and waits to lock record 1, the two threads are deadlocked.

A software tool used to detect the source of program or script errors, by performing step-by-step execution of application code and viewing the content of code variables.

declarative security
In Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS), security that is configured with MTS Explorer to control access to packages, components, and interfaces by defining roles. See also programmatic security.

default document
The file sent by a Web server when it receives a URL that does not specify a file name. This document can be generated automatically by the server, or it can be a custom file placed in that directory by the administrator.

default gateway
In TCP/IP, the intermediate network device on the local network that has knowledge of the network IDs of the other networks in the Internet, so it can forward the packets to other gateways until the packet is eventually delivered to a gateway connected to the specified destination.

Data Encryption Standard. A type of encryption designed to protect against password discovery and playback. Microsoft Remote Access Service (RAS) uses DES encryption when both the client and the server are using RAS.

design time
The time during which a user builds an application in the development environment by adding controls, setting control or form properties, and so on. In contrast, during run time, a user interacts with the application.

Design-time ActiveX Controls
Visual authoring components that help a developer construct dynamic Web applications by automatically generating standard HTML and scripting code. They are analogous to wizards. Design-time ActiveX Controls exist at design time, and not at run time.

developer isolation
A feature of some software that provides a way for an application developer to create and test scripts without a connecting to a Web server.

Dynamic host configuration protocol. A standard protocol that assigns Internet Protocol (IP) configurations to computers. The DHCP-server computer makes the assignments, and the client computer calls the server computer to obtain the address.

Dynamic HTML. A set of innovative features in Internet Explorer version 4.0 that can be used to create HTML documents that dynamically change their content and interact with the user. By using DHTML, authors can provide special effects on a Web page without relying on server-side programs.

A connection to a computer by telephone, through a modem.

Dial-up Networking
A component of Windows NT and Windows 95. Makes it possible for users to connect to remote networks such as the Internet or a private network.

digital signature
The part of a digital certificate that contains an encryption key that uniquely identifies the holder of the certificate. See also client certificate; key pair.

directory browsing
A feature that automatically provides a default Web page of available directories and files to browsers that submit a URL that does not specify a particular file.

directory replication
The copying of a master set of directories from a server (called an export server) to specified servers or workstations (called import computers) in the same or other domains. Replication simplifies the task of maintaining identical sets of directories and files on multiple computers, because only a single master copy of the data must be maintained. Files are replicated when they are added to an exported directory, and every time a change is saved to the file.

directory service
Middleware that locates the correct and full network address from a partial name or address typed into a dialog box. See also middleware.

disconnected recordset
A recordset in a client cache that no longer has a live connection to the server. If you need to do something with the original data source, such as updating data, you need to re-establish the connection.

discovery mechanism
A way of finding other servers on the network.

distributed processing
The physical or logical distribution of software components, processing, data, and management of application software.

Dynamic-link library. A feature of the Microsoft Windows family of operating systems that supports executable routines—usually serving a specific function or set of functions—to be stored separately as files with the extension .dll, and to be loaded only when called by the program that needs them. This saves memory during program execution and enables code reusability.

Domain Name System. A protocol and system used throughout the Internet to map Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to user-friendly names. Sometimes referred to as the BIND service in BSD UNIX, DNS offers a static, hierarchical name service for TCP/IP hosts. The network administrator configures the DNS with a list of host names and IP addresses, allowing users of workstations configured to query the DNS to specify remote systems by host names rather than by IP addresses. For example, a workstation configured to use DNS name resolution can use the command ping remotehost rather than ping if the mapping for the system named “remotehost” was contained in the DNS database. DNS domains are not the same as Windows NT networking domains.

DNS name
See domain name;DNS.

DNS name servers
In the DNS client/server model, the servers containing information about a portion of the DNS database, which makes computer names available to clients querying for name resolution across the Internet. See also DNS.

DNS reverse lookup
Finding an IP address corresponding to a domain name.

DNS spoofing
Assuming the DNS name of another system by either corrupting a name-service cache, or by compromising a domain-name server for a valid domain.

In Windows NT, a collection of computers defined by the administrator of a Windows NT Server network that share a common directory database. A domain provides access to the centralized user accounts and group accounts maintained by the domain administrator. Each domain has a unique name. See also domain, Internet.

domain controller
For a Windows NT Server domain, the server that authenticates domain logons and maintains the security policy and the master database for a domain.

domain, Internet
The friendly name, such as, used for a site on the Internet. A fully qualified domain name (FQDN) also contains the name of the server; for example,

domain name
Part of the Domain Name System (DNS) naming structure, a domain name is the name by which a domain is known to the network. Domain names provide a text representation of a resource’s IP address, using the unique name of the server computer, plus the kind of operation it’s involved in, such as .com for a business or .edu for an academic institution. Domain names may have several parts, separated by periods. For example, is the domain name for the Microsoft site, where is the unique name for Microsoft’s server on the World Wide Web, and .com is the type of activity the company is involved with (in this case, a commercial business). See also DNS.

Data Source Name. The logical name used by Open Database Connectivity (ODBC) to refer to the drive and other information required to access data. The name is used by Internet Information Server for a connection to an ODBC data source, such as a SQL Server database.

dynamic HTML

dynamic page
A Web page created automatically based on information provided by the user.


Electronic commerce. The process of buying and selling over the Web—often based on software products such as Microsoft Merchant Server.

A system whereby a computer user can exchange messages with other computer users (or groups of users) through a communications network. E-mail is one of the most popular uses of the Internet.

early binding
Binding that occurs at compile time rather than at run time. See binding; compile time; late binding.

The technique used by layered protocols in which a layer adds header information to the protocol data unit (PDU) from the layer above. As an example, in Internet terminology, a packet would contain a header from the physical layer, followed by a header from the network layer (IP), followed by a header from the transport layer (TCP), followed by the application protocol data.

A way of making data indecipherable to protect it from unauthorized viewing or use, especially during network transmission or when it is stored on a transportable magnetic medium while it is being sent from computer to computer.

enterprise server
Refers to the server to which multiple primary domain controllers (PDCs) in a large organization or enterprise will replicate.

A 10-Mb/s standard for Local Area Networks (LANs) initially developed by Xerox and later refined by Digital, Intel, and Xerox (DIX). All hosts are connected to a coaxial cable where they contend for network access using a Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) paradigm. See also CSMA/CD.

Any action, often generated by a user or an ActiveX Control, to which a program might respond. Typical events include pressing a keyboard key, choosing a button by using a mouse click, and other mouse actions. Programmers write code to respond to these actions.

An abnormal condition or error that occurs during the execution of a program and that requires the execution of software outside the normal flow of control.

executable program
A computer program that is ready to run. For example, a word processing program that a user does not have to alter before using it to create documents.

expires header
An expiration date or time for a file sent by a server; the expiration information is used by proxy servers and browser caches.

To retrieve a resource by way of its URL. If the resource is a page that contains links to other resources, exploring the page also looks up the URLs for those linked resources. Microsoft Content Analyzer explores a resource when the user clicks the map object’s question mark icon, or uses the Explore command.

extended partition
Created from free space on a hard disk, an extended partition can be subpartitioned into zero or more logical drives. Only one of the four partitions allowed per physical disk can be an extended partition, and no primary partition needs to be present to create an extended partition. See also logical drive.

An intranet that can be accessed by selected outside (Internet) users.


When the failed server node is fully restored to action.

When one individual computer fails, another automatically takes over its request load. The transition is invisible to the user.

Frequently Asked Questions. Usually a document containing questions and answers that address the basics. A visitor can find an FAQ on most every Web site. A FAQ serves to introduce a visitor to the topic or subject of the Web site and to offer general guidelines about how to best use the site.

fault tolerance
The ability of a cluster to ensure that information is available to the user regardless of individual server failures. See also replication; failover.

file name extension mapping
Connecting all files with a certain file name extension to a program. For example, by a default setting in Windows NT Explorer, all .txt files are associated with Notepad.

file space
A term sometimes used for the file-directory tree of a server.

In Internet Information Server, a feature of ISAPI that allows pre-processing of requests and post-processing of responses, permitting site-specific handling of HTTP requests and responses.

filter, content
An Index Server component that is responsible for reading a document from the disk and extracting information. Typically filters are associated with particular document formats. For example, Microsoft Word documents have their contents extracted by a different filter than Microsoft Excel documents.

filtering, hostname
Allowing or denying access based on the hostname from which the browser is attempting access.

filtering, IP address
Allowing or denying access based on the IP address from which the browser is attempting access.

A program that displays information about a particular user, or all users, logged on the local system or on a remote system. It typically shows full name, the last time the user logged on, idle time, terminal line, and terminal location (where applicable). It may also display plan and project files left by the user.

A system or combination of systems that enforces a boundary between two or more networks and keeps intruders out of private networks. Firewalls serve as virtual barriers to passing packets from one network to another. See also proxy server.

In Web publishing, a short addition to every Web page sent out by the server; see server-side include.

In Web publishing, a Web page or portion of a Web page that is filled out by the user and sent back to the server for processing.

Fully qualified domain name. Also called fully qualified hostname (FQHN); see domain, Internet.

A frame is a datalink layer packet which contains the header and trailer information required by the physical medium. That is, network layer packets are encapsulated to become frames. See also datagram; encapsulation; packet.

friendly name
A name that substitutes for an IP address, for example, instead of an IP address such as

FrontPage server extensions
A group of files installed on a Web server to give that server the ability to provide special Microsoft FrontPage functionality. With FrontPage server extensions, administrators can view and manage a Web site in a graphical interface. Also, authors can create, edit, and post Web pages to IIS remotely.

File Transfer Protocol. The Internet standard high-speed protocol for downloading, or transferring, files from one computer to another.


A hardware or software device that directs network traffic. Conversion software that integrates dissimilar entities such as network protocols, software object models, or data storage devices.

Graphics Interchange Format. A computer graphics file format developed in the mid-1980s by CompuServe for use in photo-quality graphic image display on computer screens. Now commonly used on the Internet.

An early Internet protocol and software program designed to search for, retrieve, and display documents from remote computers or sites.

Graphical User Interface. A user interface that displays graphics and characters and which provides an event model for users to control the operating environment.

Identifiers (IDs) assigned to COM objects that are generated through a sophisticated algorithm. The algorithm guarantees that all COM objects are assigned unique IDs, avoiding any possibility of a naming conflict, even in distributed systems with millions of objects supplied by different vendors.


An informal term for the process in which two computers share information. For example, a security handshake involves the exchange of security tokens such as digital certificates.

An informational listing at the top of an HTTP request or response.

hit count
The number of times any given resource in a site is accessed by visitors. See also usage data.

home directory
The root directory for a Web site, where the content files are stored. In Internet Information Server, by default, the home directory and all its subdirectories are available to users. Also called a document root or Web root. Also the root directory for an Internet Information Server service. The directory is accessible to the user and contains files and programs. Typically the home directory for a site contains the home page. See also home page.

home page
The initial page of information for a collection of pages. The starting point for a Web site or section of a Web site is often referred to as the home page. Individuals also post pages that are called home pages. See also default document.

Any computer that provides services to remote computers or users. A computer connected to a network.

The name of a computer connected to a network; also called sitename.

Hypertext Markup Language. A simple markup language used to create hypertext documents that are portable from one platform to another. HTML files are simple ASCII text files with codes embedded (indicated by markup tags) to indicate formatting and hypertext links. The formatting language used for documents on the World Wide Web. See also DHTML; SGML; XML.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The underlying protocol by which Web clients and servers communicate. HTTP is an application-level protocol for distributed, collaborative, hypermedia information systems. It is a generic, stateless, object-oriented protocol. A feature of HTTP is the typing and negotiation of data representation, allowing systems to be built independently of the data being transferred.

Also called simply a link. A way of jumping from one place to another on the Internet. Hyperlinks usually appear in a different format from regular text. Users initiate the jump by clicking the link.

Documents with links to other documents. Click a link to display the other document.


Internet Control Message Protocol. An extension to Internet Protocol (IP), ICMP allows for the generation of error messages, test packets, and informational messages related to IP. See also PING. IDC
Internet Database Connector. IDC is a core component of IIS. It provides database connectivity between IIS applications and any ODBC-compliant database.

identities, multiple
A term sometimes used for multiple Web sites hosted on one computer; also called virtual servers; see Web site.

Internet Engineering Task Force. A protocol engineering and development organization focused on the Internet. The IETF is a large, open international community of network designers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution of the Internet architecture and the smooth operation of the Internet. It is now under the auspices of the Internet Society, a non-governmental international organization for global cooperation and coordination for the Internet and its inter-networking technologies and applications. To read more about IETF, see

A bitmapped graphic image that links to multiple URLs by way of hotspots on the image. You can click different regions of an imagemap to jump to different resources in the site. Imagemaps can be server-side or client-side. Server-side imagemaps map each URL on the server; they require CGI scripts. Client-side imagemaps, on the other hand, do not require mediating CGI scripts because the URL mapping is contained in an HTML file. Microsoft Content Analyzer recognizes client-side imagemaps and shows the links as children of the imagemap’s parent page.

index file
See default document.

Generally, the ability of a newly created object to automatically have, or inherit, properties of an existing object; for example, a newly created child directory can inherit the access-control settings of the parent directory. A programming technique that duplicates the characteristics down a hierarchy from one class to another.

A characteristic of how an image is specified in an HTML page, which indicates that the image is to be downloaded and displayed in the Web page.

in-process component
A component that runs in a client’s process space. This is typically a dynamic-link library (DLL).

An object of a particular component class. Each instance has its own private data elements or member variables. A component instance is synonymous with object.

To create an instance of an object. The process of creating or activating an object based on its class.

interactive application
A program written in Visual Basic, C, Perl, or as a Windows NT batch file. The user initiates the program by clicking a hyperlink.

A group of logically related operations or methods that provides access to a component object.

internal Web
An intranet; also sometimes called an internal network, private network, local area network (LAN), or wide area network (WAN).

Abbreviation for internetwork. A set of dissimilar computer networks joined together by means of gateways that handle data transfer and the conversion of messages from the sending network to the protocols used by the receiving networks. These networks and gateways use the TCP/IP suite of protocols. Originally part of the Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Project Administration (DARPA).

Internet service
Any protocol for transferring information over the Internet, except HTTP. The protocol is the first part of the full URL for a resource. Internet service types include Gopher, telnet, WAIS, NNTP, and FTP. See also HTTP; protocol.

Internet Network Information Center. A coordinator for DNS registration of names in the .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov, and .mil top-level domains. To register domain names and obtain IP addresses, contact InterNIC at

The ability of software and hardware on multiple computers from multiple vendors to communicate meaningfully.

This term is generally used to describe the application of Internet technologies on internal corporate networks. A TCP/IP network that can be connected to the Internet but is usually protected by a firewall or other device (for example, a corporate network).

Internet Protocol. The part of TCP/IP that routes messages from one Internet location to another. IP is responsible for addressing and sending TCP packets over the network. IP provides a best-effort, connectionless delivery system that does not guarantee that packets arrive at their destination or that they are received in the sequence in which they were sent. See also packet.

IP address
Internet Protocol address. A unique address that identifies a host on a network. It identifies a computer as a 32-bit address that is unique across a TCP/IP network. An IP address is usually represented in dotted-decimal notation, which depicts each octet (eight bits, or one byte) of an IP address as its decimal value and separates each octet with a period. For example:

Internet Server Application Program Interface. An application program interface that resides on a server computer for initiating software services tuned for Microsoft Windows NT operating system. It is an API for developing extensions to the Microsoft Internet Information Server and other HTTP servers that support the ISAPI interface. See also API.

Integrated Services Digital Network. An emerging technology that is beginning to be offered by most telephone service providers as a faster alternative to traditional modems. ISDN combines voice and digital network services in a single medium, making it possible to offer telephone customers digital data service and voice connection through a single “wire.” A dial-up ISDN line can offer speeds up to 128,000 bps. A type of phone line used to enhance wide area network (WAN) speeds, an ISDN line can transmit at speeds of 64 or 128 kilobits per second. An ISDN line must be installed by the phone company at both the server site and the remote site. See also bps.

International Organization for Standarization. A voluntary, nontreaty organization founded in 1946 which is responsible for creating international standards in many areas, including computers and communications. Its members are the national standards organizations of the 89 member countries, including ANSI for the U.S. See also ANSI.

Internet service provider. Public provider of remote connections to the Internet. A company or educational institution that enables remote users to access the Internet by providing dial-up connections or installing leased lines.


A derivative of the C++ language, Java is SunSoft’s distributed programming language, offered as an open standard.

Java virtual machine
A system that runs Java programs.

An object model being developed by SunSoft that is targeted to interoperate with a variety of other object models, including COM and CORBA. See also COM; CORBA.

A scripting language that evolved from Netscape’s LiveScript language and was made more compatible with Java. It uses an HTML page as its interface. See also JScript.

Java Database Connectivity. Data access interfaces based on ODBC for use with the Java language.

Joint Photographic Experts Group. A widely accepted international standard for compression of color image files, sometimes used on the Internet.

The Microsoft open implementation of JavaScript. JScript is fully compatible with JavaScript in Netscape Navigator version 2.0.

just-in-time activation (JIT)
The ability for a Microsoft Transaction Server object to be activated only as needed for executing requests from its client. Objects can be deactivated even while clients hold references to them, allowing otherwise idle server resources to be used more productively.


Kilobytes per second.

The basis of most of the distributed computing environment (DCE) security services. Kerberos provides for the secure use of distributed software components. See also cryptography; encryption.

In the Windows NT registry, a folder that appears in the left pane of a Registry Editor window. A key can contain subkeys and value entries. For example: Environment is a key of HKEY_CURRENT_USER.

key pair
The combination of private and public encryption keys that provides verification of the source of data sent across a network. See also client certificate; digital signature; session key.

In search-engine technology, a significant word, which is used for content indexing; see also noise word. In programming, a word reserved for a command or other program instruction.

keyword index
A file of significant words appearing in documents; used for keyword searches.


Local area network. A group of computers and other devices intended to serve an area of only a few square kilometers or less and connected by a communications link that enables any device to interact with any other on the network. Because the network is known to cover only a small area, optimizations can be made in the network signal protocols that permit data rates of up to 100 Mbps. See also Ethernet; token ring; WAN.

late binding
When Visual Basic has to look up an object and its methods and properties each time it executes a line of code that includes that object. See also binding; early binding.

The state of being latent, or to lie hidden; not currently showing signs of existence. Sometimes attributed to the time taken to retrieve pages from the World Wide Web.

Lightweight Directory Access Protocol. A protocol used by some directory services.

See hyperlink.

load balancing
When a server cluster shares the information requests equally over all of its active nodes. This can be done either statically, by loading all the content and all of the metabases onto all of the nodes and then routing the requests equally, or dynamically by having a central hard drive containing the content and routing the nodes to it dynamically as the request load varies.

local group
For Windows NT Workstation, a group that can be granted permissions and rights only for its own workstation. However, it can contain user accounts from its own computer and (if the workstation participates in a domain) user accounts and global groups both from its own domain and from trusted domains.

A placeholder for the name of the computer on which a program is running.

log file
The file in which logging records are stored. This file can be either a text file or a database file.

Storing information about events that occurred on a firewall or network.

logical drive
A subpartition of an extended partition on a hard disk. See also extended partition.

LU 6.2
A type of preset unit that supports communication between programs in a distributed processing environment.


main thread
A single thread used to run all objects of components marked as “single threaded.” See also apartment thread.

Mail or Messaging Applications Programming Interface. An open and comprehensive messaging interface used by programmers to create messaging and workgroup applications—such as electronic mail, scheduling, calendaring, and document management. In a distributed client/server environment, MAPI provides enterprise messaging services within Windows Open Services Architecture (WOSA).

The process of packaging and sending interface method parameters across thread or process boundaries.

master properties
In IIS and Microsoft Personal Web Server (PWS), the properties of specific files and directories, including access controls and other options.

Megabytes per second.

An encryption method used on the Internet.

message passing
A method for processes running in parallel to interact with one another.

message queuing
Server technology that developers can use to build large-scale distributed systems with reliable communications between applications that can continue to operate reliably even when networked systems are unavailable.

meta-authoring environment
A term sometimes used for the process of both authoring Web pages and setting up a Web site.

A structure for storing Internet Information Server configuration settings; the metabase performs some of the same functions as the system registry, but uses less disk space.

Data used to describe other data. For example, Index Server must maintain data that describes the data in the content index. This data that Index Server maintains is called metadata because it describes how data in the index is stored.

A procedure (function) that acts on an object.

Management Information Base. Software that describes aspects of a network that can be managed by using the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP). The MIB files included in Windows NT can be used by third-party SNMP monitors to enable SNMP monitoring of the WWW and FTP services of Microsoft Internet Information Server.

Microsoft Crytographic API
An application programming interface providing services for authentication, encoding, and encryption in Win32-based applications.

middle tier
Also known as application server tier. The logical layer between a user interface or Web client and the database. This is typically where the Web server resides, and where business objects are instantiated. The middle tier is a collection of business rules and functions that generate and operate upon information. They accomplish this through business rules, which can change frequently, and are thus encapsulated into components that are physically separate from the application logic itself. See also client tier; data source tier.

The network-aware system software, layered between an application, the operating system, and the network transport layers, whose purpose is to facilitate some aspect of cooperative processing. Examples of middleware include directory services, message-passing mechanisms, distributed transaction processing (TP) monitors, object request brokers, remote procedure call (RPC) services, and database gateways. Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) is middleware.

MIME mapping
Multipurpose Internet Mail Extension mapping. A way of configuring browsers to view files that are in multiple formats. An extension of the Internet mail protocol that enables sending 8-bit based e-mail messages, which are used to support extended character sets, voice mail, facsimile images, and so on.

mirror set
A fully redundant or shadow copy of data. Mirror sets provide an identical twin for a selected disk; all data written to the primary disk is also written to the shadow or mirror disk. The user can then have instant access to another disk with a redundant copy of the information on the failed disk. Mirror sets provide fault tolerance. See also fault tolerance.

Microsoft Network, The. An online service that offers a free Internet site to all Internet users. Subscribers can also use proprietary information and obtain Internet access.

Microsoft Transaction Server. MTS combines the features of a transaction-processing (TP) monitor and an object-request broker (ORB) in an easy-to-use product.

multihomed host
A host which has a connection to more than one physical network. The host may send and receive data over any of the links but will not route traffic for other nodes. See also host; router.

multi-tier architecture
Also known as three-tier architecture, multi-tier architecture is a technique for building applications generally split into user, business, and data services tiers. These applications are built of component services that are based on an object model such as ActiveX.

Running several processes in rapid sequence within a single program, regardless of which logical method of multitasking is being used by the operating system. Because the user’s sense of time is much slower that the processing speed of a computer, the impression of multitasking appears simultaneous, even though only one task at a time can use a computer processing cycle.


name resolution
The method of mapping friendly names to IP addresses. See also friendly name.

network sniffer
A hardware and software diagnostic tool that can also be used to decipher passwords, which may result in unauthorized access to network accounts. Clear-text passwords are susceptible to network sniffers.

Network News Transfer Protocol. The protocol used to distribute network news messages to NNTP servers and to NNTP clients (news readers) on the Internet. NNTP provides for the distribution, inquiry, retrieval, and posting of news articles by using a reliable stream-based transmission of news on the Internet. NNTP is designed so that news articles are stored on a server in a central database, thus users can select specific items to read. Indexing, cross-referencing, and expiration of aged messages are also provided. Defined in RFC 977.

A computer that is attached to a network; also called a host. Also, a junction of some kind. On a local area network, a device that is connected to the network and is capable of communicating with other network devices.

noise word
An insignificant word, such as the, and, or be, ignored during indexing; also called an ignored word.

NTLM challenge/response authentication
See challenge/response authentication.


In object-oriented programming, a variable comprising both routines and data that is treated as a discrete entity. An object is based on a specific model, where a client using an object’s services gains access to the object’s data through an interface consisting of a set of methods or related functions. The client can then call these methods to perform operations.

object orientation
Representing the latest approach to accurately model the real world in computer applications, object orientation is an umbrella concept used to describe a suite of technologies that enable software products that are highly modular and reusable. Applications, data, networks, and computing systems are treated as objects that can be mixed and matched flexibly rather than as components of a system with built-in relationships. As a result, an application need not be tied to a specific system or data to a specific application. The four central object-oriented concepts are encapsulation, message passing, inheritance, and late binding.

object-cache scavenger
The code that periodically scans the cache for objects to be discarded. It deletes from the cache files that have not been used recently and therefore are unlikely to be used again in the near future.

Object Request Broker
See ORB.

Open Database Connectivity. An application programming interface that enables applications to access data from a variety of existing data sources standard specification for cross-platform database access.

Online Analytical Processing. A multi-dimensional database used for decision support analysis and data warehousing.

Object Linking and Embedding. A set of integration standards to transfer and share information among client applications. A protocol that enables creation of compound documents with embedded links to applications so that a user does not have to switch among applications in order to make revisions. OLE is based on the Component Object Model (COM) and allows for the development of reusable, plug-and-play objects that are interoperable across multiple applications. This has been broadly used in business, where spreadsheets, word processors, financial packages, and other applications can share and link disparate information across client/server architectures.

Data-access interfaces providing consistent access to SQL and non-SQL data sources across the enterprise and the Internet.

Object Management Group. A vendor alliance formed to define and promote CORBA object specifications.

Open Group, The
Parent company of a number of standards organizations including The Active Group—now managing the core ActiveX technology, X/Open, and OSF.

Object Request Broker. Manages interaction between clients and servers including the distributed computing responsibilities of location referencing as well as coordinating parameters and results.

out-of-process component
An ActiveX component that runs in its own separate memory space separate from a container application. Microsoft Transaction Server (MTS) enables components implemented as DLLs to be used out-of-process from the client by loading the components into surrogate server processes.


A transmission unit of fixed maximum size that consists of binary information representing both data and a header containing an ID number, source and destination addresses, and error-control data. A piece of information sent over a network.

See Web page.

Redundant information that is associated with a block of information. In Windows NT Server, stripe sets with parity means that there is one additional parity stripe per row. Therefore, you must use at least three, rather than two, disks to allow for this extra parity information. Parity stripes contain the XOR (the Boolean operation called exclusive Or) of the data in that stripe. Windows NT Server, when regenerating a failed disk, uses the parity information in those stripes in conjunction with the data on the good disks to recreate the data on the failed disk. See also fault tolerance; stripe set; stripe sets with parity.

parser, HTML
Software that interprets HTML tags; there are different HTML parsers for different versions of HTML and its extensions.

A partition is a portion of a physical disk that functions as though it were a physically separate unit.

password authentication
See authentication.

path, physical
A universal naming convention (UNC) directory path. See also path, relative.

path, relative
A UNC directory path with placeholders, or wildcards, at some levels. The term relative path is also sometimes used to mean the physical path that corresponds to a URL. See also URL.

path, URL
A term sometimes used for the full URL submitted to the server; a URL path may or may not include a specific file name. See also URL.

Private Communication Technology. A protocol, similar to SSL, used to establish a secure link. PCT can internact with a client supporting SSL, and offers an enhanced encription algorithm negotiation and longer encryption keys.

Practical Extraction and Report Language. A scripting (programming) language that is frequently used for CGI scripts. It is an interpreted scripting language. See also script.

The levels of file or directory access granted to users, such as read-only or full-control access. See also Access Control List.

Pretty Good Privacy. A security application that uses public-key encryption.

Packet INternet Groper. A command used to verify connections to one or more remote hosts. The ping utility uses the ICMP echo request and echo reply packets to determine whether a particular IP system on a network is functional. The ping utility is useful for diagnosing IP network or router failures. The term is also used as a verb. See also ICMP; router.

Conditions set by the system administrator such as how quickly account passwords expire and how many unsuccessful logon attempts are allowed before a user is locked out. These policies manage accounts to prevent exhaustive or random password attacks.

port number
A number identifying a certain Internet application. For example, the default port number for the WWW service is 80.

Point-to-Point Protocol. A set of industry-standard framing and authentication protocols included with Windows NT Remote Access Service (RAS) to ensure interoperability with third-party remote access software. PPP negotiates configuration parameters for multiple layers of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) model. The Internet standard for serial communications, PPP defines how data packets are exchanged with other Internet-based systems using a modem connection.

Point-to-Point Tunneling Protocol. The Internet can be used for low-cost, secure remote access to a corporate network with virtual private networking support on Windows NT. This new protocol works by using a local call to an Internet service provider to gain secure access to the corporate network using the Internet. PPTP, an open, industry standard, supports the most prevalent networking protocols—IP, IPX, and Microsoft Networking (NetBEUI). Companies can use PPTP to outsource their remote dial-up needs to an Internet service provider or other carrier to reduce cost and complexity.

In Windows NT, an object consisting of an executable program, a set of virtual memory addresses, and a thread; in UNIX, a synonym for thread. See also thread.

process isolation
Running an application or component out of the server process.

program file
A file that starts an application or program. A program file has an .exe, .pif, .com, .cmd, or .bat file name extension.

programmatic security
Procedural logic provided by a component to determine if a client is authorized to perform the requested operation. See also declarative security.

properties, document
Information about a document and its physical location on a hard disk.

properties, link
Information about an HTML document and the full URL associated with it.

A set of characteristics of an object.

The method by which computers communicate on the Internet. The most common protocol for the World Wide Web is HTTP. Other Internet protocols include FTP, Gopher, and telnet. The protocol is part of the full URL for a resource.

A software program that connects a user to a remote destination through an intermediary gateway.

proxy server
A proxy server acts as a go-between, converting information from Web servers into HTML to be delivered to a client computer. It also provides a way to deliver Internet services to computers on a private network without connecting those computers directly to the World Wide Web. See also firewall.

public-key encryption
A security method that uses encryption and two keys, on public and the other private. RSA is an example of public-key encryption. Note that the keys are used to negotiate a secure link, not to encrypt data. See also RSA; session key.


query form
An online form that the user fills out to search for information by keyword or concept; also called a search interface.

query restriction
What to look for in a search; a query restriction narrows the focus of a search. Also called a search expression or search string.


Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. A method used to standardize and categorize fault-tolerant disk systems. Six levels gauge various mixes of performance, reliability, and cost. Windows NT includes three of the RAID levels: Level 0, Level 1, and Level 5.

Random-access memory. Memory that can be read from or written to by the computer or other devices. Information stored in RAM is lost when the user turns off the computer.

Remote Access Service. A service that allows remote clients running Microsoft Windows or Windows NT to dial in to a network.

A term sometimes used for domain, in this case to refer to user domains established for security reasons, not Internet domains. For password-protected files, the name of the protected resource or area on the server. If you try to access the protected resource while browsing, the name of the realm usually appears in the dialog box that asks for your user name and password.

The process of automatically redirecting a browser to a different file or directory that that specific in the original request.

The Windows NT registry is a database repository for information about a computer’s configuration. It is organized in a hierarchical structure, and is comprised of subtrees and their keys, hives, and value entries.

remote administration
Administering a computer from another computer over the network.

Remote Data Services
A Web-based technology that brings database connectivity and corporate data publishing capabilities to Internet and intranet applications.

Copying from one server node to another of either content or the metabase, or both. This copying can either be done manually or automatically by using replication software. Replication is a necessary function of clustering to ensure fault tolerance.

resource dispenser
A service that provides the synchronization and management of nondurable resources within a process, providing for simple and efficient sharing by MTS objects. For example, the ODBC resource dispenser manages pools of database connections. See also ODBC.

resource manager
A system service that manages durable data. Server applications use resource managers to maintain the durable state of the application, such as the record of inventory on hand, pending orders, and accounts receivable. The resource managers work in cooperation with the transaction manager to provide the application with a guarantee of atomicity and isolation (using the two-phase commit protocol). Microsoft SQL Server is an example of a resource manager.

Request for Comments. The document series, begun in 1969, which describes the Internet suite of protocols and related experiments. Not all (in fact very few) RFCs describe Internet standards, but all Internet standards are written up as RFCs. The RFC series of documents is unusual in that the proposed protocols are forwarded by the Internet research and development community, acting on their own behalf, as opposed to the formally reviewed and standardized protocols that are promoted by organizations such as ANSI.

A fast, automated program, such as a search engine, indexing program, or cataloging software, that requests Web pages much faster than humans can. When Microsoft Content Analyzer automatically explores a Web site, it operates as a robot. Other commonly-used terms for robot include crawler and spider. See also explore.

An intermediary device on a communications network responsible for making decisions about which of several paths each message will use on a network or the Internet. To do this, a router uses a routing protocol to gather information about the network, and algorithms to choose the best route.

Remote Procedure Call. A widely used standard defined by the Open Software Foundation (OSF) for distributed computing. The RPC transport enables one process to make calls to functions that are part of another process. The other process can be on the same computer or on a different computer on the network.

A public-key cryptography for Internet security. This acronym derives from the last names of the inventors of the technology: Rivest, Shamir, and Adleman.

run time
The time during which a program actually runs. See also design time.


The capability to use the same software environment on many classes of computers and hardware configurations. Although often associated with an evolution to large systems, larger organizations often have need for the same software service to be provided with good performance to both small and large groups of users.

Defines the visibility of a variable, procedure, or object. For example, a variable declared as Public is visible to all procedures in all modules. Variables declared in procedures are visible only within the procedure and lose their value between calls.

A kind of program that consists of a set of instructions for an application or utility program. A script can be embedded in a Web page. See also ActiveX; CGI.

scripting engine
A program that interprets and executes a script. See also script.

Software Development Kit. A kit that programmers can use to create new applications.

search expression
See query restriction.

search interface
See query form.

search string
See query restriction.

A locking mechanism used inside resource managers or resource dispensers. Semaphores have no symbolic names—only shared and exclusive mode access—no deadlock detection, and no automatic release or commit.

A term used for any of the following: a computer on a network that sends files to, or runs applications for, other computers on the network; the software that runs on the server computer and performs the work of serving files or running applications; or, in object-oriented programming, a piece of code that exchanges information with another piece of code upon request.

server certificates
Unique digital identifications that form the basis of a Web server’s SSL security features. Server certificates are obtained from a mutually trusted, third-party organization, and provide a way for users to authenticate the identity of your Web site. The server certificate contains detailed identification information, such as the organization affiliated with the server content, the organization that issued the certificate, and a unique identification file called a public key. This means that server certificates assure users about the authenticity of Web server content, and that it is safe to establish a secured HTTP connection.

server cluster
A group of server computers that are networked together both physically and with software, in order to provide cluster features such as fault tolerance or load balancing. See also fault tolerance; load balancing.

server node
Each individual computer in a server cluster is a server node.

server process
A process that hosts MTS components. An MTS component can be loaded into a surrogate server process, either on the client computer (local) or on another computer (remote). It can also be loaded into a client application process (in-process).

server-side include
A file or other object that is included with a page sent out by a Web server; a footer is an example of a simple server-side include.

In Internet Information Server, services that use the most common Internet protocols, HTTP and FTP; in Windows NT, a process that performs a specific system function and often provides an application programming interface (API) for other processes to call. Also a way of running a server continuously, even when the administrator is not logged on. See also application.

session key
A digital key that is created by the client, encrypted, and sent to the server. See also certificate; digital signature; key pair.

Standard Generalized Markup Language. An ISO standard (ISO 8879:1986) which supplies a formal notation for the definition of generalized markup languages. It is an international standard for the definition of device-independent, system-independent methods of representing texts in an electronic form. SGML is a metalanguage, that is, a means of formally describing a language, in this case, a markup language. See also HTML; ISO; XML.

shared property
In MTS, a variable that is available to all objects in the same server process by way of the Shared Property Manager. The value of the property can be any type that can be represented by a variant.

single-threaded control
A model in which all objects are executed on a single thread.

See hostname.

slow link
A modem connection, usually from 9,600 bps to 56,000 bps.

Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. A protocol defined in STD 10, RFC 821, used to transfer e-mail on the Internet.

Systems Network Architecture. Systems Network Architecture. A widely used communications framework developed by IBM to define network functions and to establish standards for enabling its different models of computers to exchange and process data. SNA contains separate layers. As changes occur in one layer, no other layer need be changed.

Programs hosted in the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) to actually manage your server applications. In Internet Information Server 4.0, Internet Service Manager and MTS Explorer are implemented as snap-ins. When the administrator starts Internet Service Manager, an MMC console loads the Internet Service Manager snap-in. Administrators can manage IIS applications and MTS packages from a single console.

See network sniffer.

Simple Network Management Protocol. SNMP (RFC 1157) is the Internet’s standard for remote monitoring and management of hosts, routers, and other nodes and devices on a network. A TCP/IP-derived protocol governing network management and monitoring network devices. A protocol for monitoring your network. See also MIB.

A software object used by a client to connect to a server; basic components include the port number and the network address of the local host.

A fast, automated program—such as a search engine, indexing program, or cataloging software—that requests Web pages much faster than humans can. When Microsoft Content Analyzer automatically explores a Web site, it operates as a spider. Other commonly used terms for spider are crawler and robot.

Impersonating another person or computer, usually by providing a false e-mail name, URL, or IP address.

Structured Query Language. The international standard language for defining and accessing relational databases.

SQL Access Group (SAG)
A consortium of vendors established in November 1989 to accelerate the Remote Data Access standard and to deliver protocols for interconnectivity among multiple SQL-based software products.

SQL logging
Logging to a Microsoft SQL Server database instead of a text file. See also logging.

Secure Sockets Layer. A protocol that supplies secure data communication through data encryption and decryption. Uses RSA public-key encryption for specific TCP/IP ports. Intended for handling commerce payments. An alternative method is Secure-HTTP (S-HTTP), which is used to encrypt specific Web documents rather than the entire session. SSL is a general-purpose encryption standard. SSL can also be used for Web applications requiring a secure link, such as E-commerce applications, or for controlling access to Web-based subscription service.

stateful object
An object that holds private state accumulated from the execution of one or more client calls.

stateless object
An object that does not hold private state accumulated from the execution of one or more client calls.

static page
HTML pages prepared in advance of the request and sent to the client upon request. This page takes no special action when requested. See also interactive application.

stripe set
Refers to the saving of data across identical partitions on different drives. A stripe set does not provide fault tolerance; however, stripe sets with parity do provide fault tolerance. See also fault tolerance; partition; stripe sets with parity.

stripe sets with parity
A method of data protection in which data is striped in large blocks across all the disks in an array. Data redundancy is provided by the parity information. This method provides fault tolerance. See also fault tolerance; stripe set.

An interface-specific object that provides the parameter marshaling and communication required for an application object to receive calls from a client that is running in a different execution environment, such as on a different thread or in another process. The stub is located with the application object and communicates with a corresponding proxy that is located with the client that calls it.

subnet mask
A TCP/IP configuration parameter that extracts network and host configuration from an IP address.

System Data Source Name (DSN)
A name that can be used by any process on the computer. Internet Information Server uses system DSNs to access ODBC data sources. See also DSN.


A U.S. telephone standard for a transmission facility at digital signal level 1 (DS1) with 1.544 Mbps in North America and 2.048 Mbps in Europe. The bit rate is with the equivalent bandwidth of approximately twenty-four 56 Kbps lines. A T1 circuit is capable of serving a minimum of 48 modems at 28.8 Kbps, or 96 modems at 14.4 Kbps. T1 circuits are also used for voice telephone connections. A single T1 line carries 24 telephone connections with 24 telephone numbers. When used for voice transmission, a T1 connection must be split into 24 separate circuits.

A U.S. telephone standard for a transmission facility at digital signal level 3 (DS3). Equivalent in bandwidth to 28 T1s. The bit rate is 44.736 Mbps. T3 is sometimes called a 45-meg circuit.

Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. A communications standard for all computers on the Internet. On the sending end, TCP breaks the data to be sent into data segments. IP assembles segments into packets that contain data segments, as well a sender and destination addresses. IP then sends packets to the router for delivery. On the receiving end, IP receives the packets and breaks them down into data segments. TCP assembles the data segments into the original data set. See also packet.

A protocol used for interactive logon to a remote computer.

A variant of Ethernet which allows stations to be attached by a twisted-pair cable.

The basic entity to which the operating system allocates CPU time. A thread can execute any part of the application’s code, including a part currently being executed by another thread. All threads of a process share the virtual address space, global variables, and operating-system resources of the process.

three-tier architecture
Divides a networked application into three logical areas. The first tier handles presentation, the second processes business logic, and the third processes the data.

Controlling the maximum amount of bandwidth dedicated to Internet traffic on your server. This feature is useful if you have other services (such as e-mail) sharing the server over a busy link.

A setting that automatically cancels an unanswered client request after a certain period of time.

A small version of a graphic with a link to a larger version of the same graphic.

token ring
A token ring is a type of network with nodes wired into a ring. Each node constantly passes a control message (token) on to the next; whichever node has the token can send a message. Often, “token ring” is used to refer to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.5 token ring standard, which is the most common type of token ring. See also LAN.

A group of processing activities that are either entirely completed, or if not completed, that leave the database and processing system in the same state as before the transaction started.

transaction context object
An object used to allow a client to dynamically include one or more objects in one transaction.

transaction manager
A system service responsible for coordinating the outcome of transactions in order to achieve atomicity. The transaction manager ensures that the resource managers reach a consistent decision on whether the transaction should commit or fail.

transaction processing (TP)
The real-time handling of computerized business transactions as they are received by the system. Also called online transaction processing (OLTP).

Transaction Server object
A COM object that executes in the MTS run-time environment and follows the Transaction Server programming and deployment model.

tree, directory
A conceptual model used to describe the directory structure of a file directory or a Web site.

two-phase commit
A protocol that ensures that transactions that apply to more than one server are completed on all servers or none at all. Two-phase commit is coordinated by the transaction manager and supported by resource managers.

two-tier architecture
See client/server architecture.


Universal naming convention. The naming convention used for physical directories.

In communications, the process of transferring a copy of a file from a local computer to a remote computer by means of a modem or network. With a modem-based communications link, the process generally involves instructing the remote computer to prepare to receive the file on its disk and then wait for the transmission to begin.

Uniform Resource Locator. A naming convention that uniquely identifies the location of a computer, directory, or file on the Internet. The URL also specifies the appropriate Internet protocol, such as HTTP or FTP. The following is an example of a URL:

URL directory
See virtual directory.

URL mapping
A term sometimes used for the process of associating a URL with a physical directory. See virtual directory.

usage data
Information the administrator can import to tell how other people are accessing and using a site. Analyzing this data helps an administrator identify a site’s most popular (or unpopular) areas and clarifies the most common navigational paths through the site. See also hit count.

The most popular news group hierarchy on the Internet.


Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications. The development environment and language found in Visual Basic that can be hosted by applications.

Microsoft Visual Basic Scripting Edition. A subset of the Microsoft Visual Basic language, VBScript is implemented as a fast, portable, lightweight interpreter for use in World Wide Web browsers and other applications that use ActiveX Controls, OLE Automation servers, and Java applets.

virtual directory
A directory name, used in an address, which corresponds to a physical directory on the server; sometimes called URL mapping.

virtual document
A term sometimes used for a document created automatically in response to information provided by the user; also called a dynamic document. A virtual document is created only in answer to a browser request, and is not permanently stored in a physical directory. An ASP page is an example of a virtual document.

virtual machine
The mechanism the Java language uses to execute Java bytecode on any physical computer. The virtual machine (VM) converts the bytecode to the native instruction for the destination computer.

virtual server
When a single computer hosts several Web sites, it looks like several servers to a browser; these multiple Web sites on a single computer are sometimes called a virtual servers. Virtual servers are also known as webs, Web sites, and multiple identities.

volatile objects
Typically, files that the Web site administrator updates frequently.

volume set
A combination of partitions on a physical disk that appear as one logical drive. See also logical drive.

Virtual Reality Modeling Language. A language for coding three-dimensional HTML applications.


World Wide Web Consortium. Founded in 1994 to develop common standards for the World Wide Web, the W3C is an international industry consortium jointly hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Laboratory for Computer Science (MIT/LCS) in North America, by the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA) in Europe, and by the Keio University Shonan Fujisawa Campus in Asia. Initially, the W3C was established in collaboration with CERN, where the Web originated, with support from DARPA and the European Commission. You can read more about it at

A method for searching and retrieving information from databases available on the Internet.

Web application
A software program that uses HTTP for its core communication protocol and delivers Web-based information to the user in the HTML language. Also called Web-based application.

Web page
A World Wide Web document. Pages can contain almost anything, such as news, images, movies, and sounds.

Web server
In general terms, a computer equipped with the server software that uses Internet protocols such as HTTP and FTP to respond to Web client requests on a TCP/IP network.

WINS server
Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) server. A server that uses the WINS protocol to map Internet Protocol (IP) addresses to user-friendly names. See also DNS.

working directory
A term sometimes used to describe the directory in which the Web server software is installed.

working set
The RAM allocated to a process in the Windows NT operating system.

Windows Open Services Architecture. Standards for creating cross-platform applications that utilize Windows services.

World Wide Web. The most graphical service on the Internet, the Web also has the most sophisticated linking abilities. Also the Web or WWW. A set of services that run on top of the Internet providing a cost-effective way of publishing information, supporting collaboration and workflow, and delivering business applications to any connected user in the world. The Web is a collection of Internet host systems that make these services available on the Internet using the HTTP protocol. Web-based information is usually delivered in the form of hypertext and hypermedia using HTML.


eXtensible Markup Language. A data format for structured document interchange on the Web. It is called the “extensible markup language” because it is not a fixed format like HTML. XML is designed to enable the use of SGML on the World Wide Web. XML is not a single markup language: it is a metalanguage that allows an author to design a markup language. A regular markup language defines a way to describe information in a certain class of documents (for example, HTML). With XML, authors can define their own customized markup language for many classes of documents.

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