Web-based Testing Glossary

The amount of data that can be transmitted in a fixed amount of time. For digital devices, the bandwidth is usually expressed in bits per second(bps) or bytes per second. For analog devices, the bandwidth is expressed in cycles per second, or Hertz (Hz). The bandwidth is particularly important for I/O devices. For example, a fast disk drive can be hampered by a bus with a low bandwidth. This is the main reason that new buses, such as AGP, have been developed for the PC.

CIDR - Classless Inter-Domain Routing
A newer way to specify and interpret Internet addresses than the 4 class system, this will expand the number of internet addresses and end the address wastage issues. The CIDR makes the address tables used by gateways and routers able to be much smaller, since a series of class C addresses are mapped to a single internet point of presence.

A model for binary code developed by Microsoft. The Component Object Model (COM) enables programmers to develop objects that can be accessed by any COM-compliant application. Both OLE and ActiveX are based on COM. Short for Distributed Component Object Model, an extension of the Component Object Model (COM) to support objects distributed across a network. DCOM was developed by Microsoft and has been submitted to the IETF as a draft standard. Since 1996, it has been part of Windows NT, and is also available for Windows 95. DCOM serves the same purpose as IBM's DSOM protocol, which is the most popular implementation of CORBA. Unlike CORBA, which runs on many operating systems, DCOM is currently implemented only for Windows.

Dynamic HTML refers to new HTML extensions that will enable a Web page to react to user input without sending requests to the Web server. Microsoft and Netscape have submitted competing Dynamic HTML proposals to W3C, which is producing the final specification.

Short for Domain Name System (or Service), an Internet service that translates domain names into IP addresses. Because domain names are alphabetic, they're easier to remember. The Internet however, is really based on IP addresses. Every time you use a domain name, therefore, a DNS service must translate the name into the corresponding IP address. For example, the domain name www.example.com might translate to The DNS system is, in fact, its own network. If one DNS server doesn't know how to translate a particular domain name, it asks another one, and so on, until the correct IP address is returned.

Short for document type definition, a type of file associated with SGML and XML documents that define how the markup tags should be interpreted by the application presenting the document. The HTML specification that defines how Web pages should be displayed by Web browsers is one example of a DTD. XML promises to expand the formatting capabilities of Web documents by supporting additional DTDs.

A new buzzword that refers to an intranet that is partially accessible to authorized outsiders. Whereas an intranet resides behind a firewall and is accessible only to people who are members of the same company or organization, an extranet provides various levels of accessibility to outsiders. You can access an extranet only if you have a valid username and password, and your identity determines which parts of the extranet you can view. Extranets are becoming a very popular means for business partners to exchange information.

1. In graphics and desktop publishing applications, a rectangular area in which text or graphics can appear.
2. In communications, a packet of transmitted information.
3. In video and animation, a single image in a sequence of images. See under fps.
4. In HTML, refers to dividing the browser display area into separate sections, each of which is really a different Web page.

Abbreviation of File Transfer Protocol, the protocol used on the Internet for sending files.

Any network node that can act as an entry to another node, on the internet a gateway connects two or more subnets. When dialing an ISP, you are connecting to a gateway. The computer that allows access to the internet from your corporate LAN is a gateway.

Pronounced jiff or giff (hard g) stands for graphics interchange format, a bit-mapped graphics file format used by the World Wide Web, CompuServe and many BBSs. GIF supports color and various resolutions. It also includes data compression, making it especially effective for scanned photos.

A type of GIF image that can be animated by combining several images into a single GIF file. Applications that support the animated GIF standard, GIF89A, cycle through each image. GIF animation doesn't give the same level of control and flexibility as other animation formats but it has become extremely popular because it is supported by nearly all Web browsers. In addition, animated GIF files tend to be quite a bit smaller that other animation files, such as Java applets.

Short for HyperText Markup Language, the authoring language used to create documents on the World Wide Web. HTML is similar to SGML, although it is not a strict subset. HTML defines the structure and layout of a Web document by using a variety of tags and attributes.

Short for HyperText Transfer Protocol, the underlying protocol used by the World Wide Web. HTTP defines how messages are formatted and transmitted, and what actions Web servers and browsers should take in response to various commands. For example, when you enter a URL in your browser, this actually sends an HTTP command to the Web server directing it to fetch and transmit the requested Web page.

The other main standard that controls how the World Wide Web works is HTML, which covers how Web pages are formatted and displayed. HTTP is called a stateless protocol because each command is executed independently, without any knowledge of the commands that came before it. This is the main reason that it is difficult to implement Web sites that react intelligently to user input. This shortcoming of HTTP is being addressed in a number of new technologies, including ActiveX, Java, JavaScript and cookies.

Currently, most Web browsers and servers support HTTP 1.1. One of the main features of HTTP 1.1 is that it supports persistent connections. This means that once a browser connects to a Web server, it can receive multiple files through the same connection. This should improve performance by as much as 20%.

Short for Internet Control Message Protocol, an extension to the Internet Protocol (IP) defined by RFC 792. ICMP supports packets containing error, control, and informational messages. The PING command, for example, uses ICMP to test an Internet connection.

A global network connecting millions of computers. As of 1999, the Internet has more than 200 million users worldwide, and that number is growing rapidly. More than 100 countries are linked into exchanges of data, news and opinions. Unlike online services, which are centrally controlled, the Internet is decentralized by design. Each Internet computer, called a host, is independent. Its operators can choose which Internet services to use and which local services to make available to the global Internet community. Remarkably, this anarchy by design works exceedingly well. There are a variety of ways to access the Internet. Most online services, such as America Online, offer access to some Internet services. It is also possible to gain access through a commercial Internet Service Provider (ISP).

A network based on TCP/IP protocols (an internet) belonging to an organization, usually a corporation, accessible only by the organization's members, employees, or others with authorization. An intranet's Web sites look and act just like any other Web sites, but the firewall surrounding an intranet fends off unauthorized access.

Like the Internet itself, intranets are used to share information. Secure intranets are now the fastest-growing segment of the Internet because they are much less expensive to build and manage than private networks based on proprietary protocols.

A protocol that Netware and Windows NT computers use to communicate between Windows 95/98 and Windows NT workstations. The protocol has been one that was synonymous with the Novell architecture. There is no need to load the IPX/SPX protocol unless you want to communicate with a NetWare server. It was developed by NOVELL for for its PC-based fileserver product called "Netware". Multiple network boards can be installed in a Netware server, which is often done to improve network performance.

Short for Java Database Connectivity, a Java API that enables Java programs to execute SQL statements. This allows Java programs to interact with any SQL-compliant database. Since nearly all relational database management systems (DBMSs) support SQL, and because Java itself runs on most platforms, JDBC makes it possible to write a single database application that can run on different platforms and interact with different DBMSs. JDBC is similar to ODBC, but is designed specifically for Java programs, whereas ODBC is language-independent. JDBC was developed by JavaSoft, a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems.

Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group, and pronounced jay-peg. JPEG is a lossy compression technique for color images. Although it can reduce files sizes to about 5% of their normal size, some detail is lost in the compression.

JScript is Microsoft 's extended implementation of ECMAScript (ECMA262), an international standard based on the Netscape 's JavaScript and Microsoft's JScript languages. JScript is implemented as a Windows Script engine. This means that it can be "plugged in" to any application that supports Windows Script, such as Internet Explorer, Active Server Pages, and Windows Script Host. It also means that any application supporting Windows Script can use multiple languages - JScript, VBScript, Perl, and others. JScript (and the other languages) can be used for both simple tasks (such as mouseovers on Web pages) and for more complex tasks (such as updating a database with ASP or running logon scripts for Windows NT ). Windows Script relies on external "object models" to carry out much of its work. For example, Internet Explorer's DOM provides objects such as 'document' and methods such as 'write()' to enable the scripting of Web pages.

Short for Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, a specification for formatting non-ASCII messages so that they can be sent over the Internet. Many e-mail clients now support MIME, which enables them to send and receive graphics, audio, and video files via the Internet mail system. In addition, MIME supports messages in character sets other than ASCII.

NAP - Network Access Point
The NAP is the major internet access switching facility that serve the general public. In the USA, some examples are New York, Sprint; San Francisco, PAC Bell; and Chicago, Ameritech.

The NetBEUI protocol is primarily used by Microsoft Networks for communication on a small network. A protocol used to connect Windows NT, Windows 95/98, Windows for Workgroups and LAN Manager. When configuring and using the NETBEUI architecture information is sent everywhere in the network instead of a specific destination. The major disadvantage is that NetBEUI is not routable. That is why, in a multi-LAN or multi-segment network or WAN, NetBEUI is often used with in conjunction with another protocol. A Windows workstation using only Client for Microsoft Windows and NetBEUI protocol will only see the computers located on it's segment of the network.

Short for Portable Network Graphics, and pronounced ping, a new bit-mapped graphics format similar to GIF. In fact, PNG was approved as a standard by the World Wide Web consortium to replace GIF because GIF uses a patented data compression algorithm called LZW. In contrast, PNG is completely patent- and license-free. The most recent versions of Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer now support PNG.

POP3 - Post Office Protocol 3
An email protocol used by browsers and mail programs (Eudora) to manage incoming mail. Received mail is stored on a central mail server (post office) and downloaded to the desktop periodically. Mail does not reside on the server after delivery. "Store & Forward"

A simulation server that controls traffic and is used to restrict activities on isolated systems. The firewall directs all traffic of a certain type to the proxy server, which then services the traffic or routes it to its "real" destination.

The structure of a database system, described in a formal language supported by the database management system (DBMS). In a relational database, the schema defines the tables, the fields in each table, and the relationships between fields and tables. Schemas are generally stored in a data dictionary. Although a schema is defined in text database language, the term is often used to refer to a graphical depiction of the database structure.

Abbreviation of Standard Generalized Markup Language, a system for organizing and tagging elements of a document. SGML was developed and standardized by the International Organization for Standards (ISO) in 1986. SGML itself does not specify any particular formatting; rather, it specifies the rules for tagging elements. These tags can then be interpreted to format elements in different ways.

SGML is used widely to manage large documents that are subject to frequent revisions and need to be printed in different formats. Because it is a large and complex system, it is not yet widely used on personal computers. However, the growth of Internet, and especially the World Wide Web, is creating renewed interest in SGML because the World Wide Web uses HTML, which is one way of defining and interpreting tags according to SGML rules.

Short for Simple Mail Transfer Protocol, a protocol for sending e-mail messages between servers. Most e-mail systems that send mail over the Internet use SMTP to send messages from one server to another; the messages can then be retrieved with an e-mail client using either POP or IMAP. In addition, SMTP is generally used to send messages from a mail client to a mail server. This is why you need to specify both the POP or IMAP server and the SMTP server when you configure your e-mail application.

Short for Simple Network Management Protocol, a set of protocols for managing complex networks. The first versions of SNMP were developed in the early 80s. SNMP works by sending messages, called protocol data units (PDUs), to different parts of a network. SNMP-compliant devices, called agents, store data about themselves in Management Information Bases (MIBs) and return this data to the SNMP requesters.
SNMP 1 reports only whether a device is functioning properly. The industry has attempted to define a new set of protocols called SNMP 2 that would provide additional information, but the standardization efforts have not been successful. Instead, network managers have turned to a related technology called RMON that provides more detailed information about network usage.

SSI - Server Side Includes
Server Side Includes (SSIs) are directives, embedded in your html document as comments, that are executed by the web server. The result of each directive is included, in-line, in the document returned to your browser.

T1 / T3
The T carrier was introduced for digitized voice transmission in the 1960's, T1 used by many corporations and small ISP's can send 1.544 million bits per second, T3 can transmit 44.736 million bits per second. The T-carrier lines are full duplex and many messages can be transmitted on the same line by using TDM (Time Division Multiplexing).

A protocol used to connect computers to the internet and wide area networks. This is the dominant protocol for internet architecture which deals with packet delivery of items, and the assurance of delivery of information. IP handles the routing of packets, while the TCP handles the slicing, assembling and fault checking of the packets that are being sent or delivered.

A terminal emulation program for TCP/IP networks such as the Internet. The Telnet program runs on your computer and connects your PC to a server on the network. You can then enter commands through the Telnet program and they will be executed as if you were entering them directly on the server console. This enables you to control the server and communicate with other servers on the network. To start a Telnet session, you must log in to a server by entering a valid username and password. Telnet is a common way to remotely control Web servers.

Pronounced yoo-niks, a popular multi-user, multitasking operating system developed at Bell Labs in the early 1970s. Created by just a handful of programmers, UNIX was designed to be a small, flexible system used exclusively by programmers. Although it has matured considerably over the years, UNIX still betrays its origins by its cryptic command names and its general lack of user-friendliness. This is changing, however, with graphical user interfaces such as MOTIF.

UNIX was one of the first operating systems to be written in a high-level programming language, namely C. This meant that it could installed on virtually any computer for which a C compiler existed. This natural portability combined with its low price made it a popular choice among universities. (It was inexpensive because antitrust regulations prohibited Bell Labs from marketing it as a full-scale product.)

Bell Labs distributed the operating system in its source language form, so anyone who obtained a copy could modify and customize it for his own purposes. By the end of the 1970s, dozens of different versions of UNIX were running at various sites.

After its breakup in 1982, AT&T began to market UNIX in earnest. It also began the long and difficult process of defining a standard version of UNIX. As of 2007, the owner of the trademark is The Open Group, an industry standards consortium.

Due to its portability, flexibility, and power, UNIX has become the leading operating system for workstations. Historically, it has been less popular in the personal computer market, but the emergence of Linux is revitalizing UNIX across all platforms.

W3C is the abbreviation for the international World-Wide Web Consortium.
The purposes of the Consortium are: support the advancement of information technology in the field of networking, graphics and user interfaces by developing the World-Wide Web into a comprehensive information infrastructure; to encourage the industry to adopt a common set of World-Wide Web protocols. Membership: the Consortium is financially self-supporting through membership fees. Membership in the Consortium is open to any operating organization. There are two membership categories: Full and Affiliate. The membership fee for a Full Member is $150,000.00. Affiliate fee is $15,000.00. Corporate Members include: Microsoft, Sun, Netscape, IBM and many other major technology vendors.

Pronounced wizzy-wig, stands for what you see is what you get. A WYSIWYG application is one that enables you to see on the display screen exactly what will appear when the document is printed. This differs, for example, from word processors that are incapable of displaying different fonts and graphics on the display screen even though the formatting codes have been inserted into the file. WYSIWYG is especially popular for desktop publishing.

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