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The A-Z of ebusiness (S)

Your essential guide to all the latest buzzwords...
Written by silicon.com staff, Contributor

Your essential guide to all the latest buzzwords...

Satellite TV
A TV distribution platform relying on transmission through a satellite dish Scalability
A measure of the ability of a system to expand and contract as business requirements change. A system with a high degree of scalability can be 'scaled up' for increased performance when necessary, or 'scaled down' to reduce costs. Systems that 'do not scale' have some inherent limitations that prevent the system from expanding to meet greater volumes of useage. Scanner
In relation to computers, a hardware device that is used to 'scan' an item into electronic form. There are a number of types of scanners. Some common uses for scanners are to scan documents and bar codes. In the security industry, scanners are increasingly being used to scan finger prints and retinal patterns. In telecommunications, a scanner is a device used to monitor radio frequencies for signals that are of interest to the user. Schema
In computing terms, this is the way in which a database is structured. Search Engine
Search engines are used to find information on the web. A user will usually experience a search engine as a website accessible in their browser where they will type in a keyword or phrase and the engine will search against content on the web to provide a list of results that match the search criteria. Segmentation
Different customers have different needs and privileges. Traditionally marketeers have divided their target market into segments with similar characteristics in order to tailor communications to each group. Server
A server is a computer or a program on a server computer that provides services to other computer programs in the same or other computers. The computer that hosts the server program is also frequently referred to as the server. A server specific to the web enables websites or HTML pages to be served when requested by the user. Set
Secure Electronic Transaction, system used to keep financial transactions over the internet protected and confidential by providing digital certificates and digital signatures used by clients, suppliers and clients' banks. Users must have SET-enabled browsers. Set-Top Box
Set-top box is the name given to the box that enables an analog television set to receive the digital transmission of content. It does this by converting the incoming digital signal into an analog signal that can be understood by the TV. Most set-top boxes have a return path to enable interactivity. Shareware
This is software distributed for free (usually on the internet) on a trial basis. Sometimes the software is not fully functional eg it will only operate for a limited time period or certain functions of the software are locked out. 'Shareware' normally requires payment of a fee for full use. Signature File
A file containing a set text that is to be appended to each email that is sent by a user. Signature files are often used to include personal details or security messages. Simulcast
This means broadcasting the same content over different transmission systems. For example, most TV broadcasters simulcast their content both in digital and analogue so viewers without set-top boxes can receive the content. SMS
Short Message Service. A service for sending text messages of up to 160 characters to mobile phones. SMTP
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. It is a TCP/IP protocol which is used most commonly to send email messages from one server to another. Software
This is a general term used in relation to coded programs, instructions and routines that control the functioning of any hardware or a computer. Source Code
Means code (ie programming instructions) written by a computer programmer which is formulated in a high level programming language. In order to run the program on a computer, the source code will need to be converted into 'object code' (ie machine language). Spam
Spam refers to unsolicited impersonal junk email. It is generally sent in bulk to a list of addresses obtained from companies that create email distribution lists. Most companies targeting specific user groups will now only do so through specific opt-in permission-based lists, either through a website or through list rental. Speed Of Delivery
The measurement or rate at which an electronic message, file or data can be delivered to the intended recipient(s). Spiders
Computer programs which 'crawl' over the web in an effort to find web pages and feed these web pages to search engines. Splash Page
A splash page is often the first page of a website, used to capture a surfer's attention for a short time as a promotion or as a lead-in to the homepage. Often contains information on what browser or software will be needed to view the site. Spyware
Software that will be stored on your hard drive as part of free applications, gathering information which will be transmitted to advertisers to enable them to personalise their advertisements. Unlike ordinary cookies, spyware cannot be removed without additional software. Spyware is also known as 'adware', because it is usually sponsored by advertisers.
SQL (Structured Query Language)
This is a specialised language used to update and request information from a relational database. SSL
Secure Socket Layer, a system used to keep transactions over the internet protected and confidential using encryption and digital certificates. SSL has already been succeeded by TLS (see TLS). Star Schema
Schema is a graphic representation of the structure or framework of a database system (rather than text). A star schema is a dimensional data structure comprising a single fact table which is surrounded by other single tables, each representing de-normalised dimensions. Start-up
This is a general term coined to refer to new or recently created companies (usually funded by venture capitalists) which undertake ecommerce transactions or other ebusiness activities over the internet. Click here for the full index: http://www.silicon.com/a55850
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