Microsoft Commerce Server 2000 Glossary

Commerce Server 2000


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

Active Directory 

The directory service for Microsoft Windows 2000 Server. Active Directory stores information about objects on the network and makes this information available for authorized system administrators and users. It gives network users access to permitted resources anywhere on the network using a single logon process. It also provides system administrators with an intuitive hierarchical view of the network and a single point of administration for all network objects.

Active Directory Service Interfaces (ADSI) 

A Component Object Model-based (COM-based) directory service model that ADSI-compliant client applications use to access a wide variety of distinct directory protocols, including Windows Directory Services, Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), and Novell Directory Services (NDS), while using a single, standard set of interfaces. ADSI shields the client application from the implementation and operational details of the underlying data store or protocol.

Active Server Pages (ASP) 

A server-side scripting environment that can be used to create dynamic

Web pages or to build Web applications. ASP pages are files that contain HTML tags, text, and script commands. ASP pages can call Component Object Model (COM) components to perform tasks, such as connecting to a database or performing a business calculation. With ASP, you can add interactive content to Web pages or build entire Web applications that use HTML pages as the interface to your customers.

Active User Object (AUO) 

A framework that provides a single, unified access mechanism for all user-profile information, so there is no need to specify user identification and profile storage location. You can configure a computer to define a virtual namespace of profile information, specifying the configuration information needed to access profile data from a variety of sources.

AUO is technically a container of ADSI objects. You define the number of objects that the AUO will contain and provide the information for managing these objects. By writing or reusing ADSI providers, you can access profile information that exists in any store.

ActiveX Data Objects (ADO) 

A high-level, language-independent set of object-based data access interfaces optimized for data application. ADO enables client applications to access and manipulate data from a database server through an OLE DB provider. See also ActiveX Data Objects (Multidimensional) (ADO MD).

ActiveX Data Objects (Multidimensional) (ADO MD) 

A high-level, language-independent set of object-based data access interfaces optimized for multidimensional data application. Visual Basic and other automation languages use ADO MD as the data access interface to multidimensional data storage. ADO MD is a part of ADO version 2.0 and later. See also ActiveX Data Objects (ADO).

anonymous access

One of the authentication methods that you can set at the Web Site or Application levels in Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0. Anonymous authentication is used to establish an anonymous Web (HTTP) connection without providing a user name or password. It is commonly used in the public areas of an Internet site. If you enable anonymous authentication for a site, an anonymous connection will be made even if authenticated access has also been enabled, unless more restrictive NTFS permissions exist on the individual file being requested. Also called anonymous authentication.

anonymous user 

A user who accesses content on a Web site without providing a user login name and password.


From a Commerce Server 2000 administration standpoint, an application is an ASP application accessible through a single Uniform Resource Locator (URL). An application appears in both the Commerce Server and Internet Information Services (IIS) console trees. The application that appears in the Commerce Server Manager console tree is a logical representation of the application in IIS.

Application Center 2000 

A Microsoft deployment and management tool for high-availability Web applications built on Microsoft Windows 2000.


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


See Active User Object.

authenticated access 

A user access option that you can set at the Default Web Site or Application levels in IIS. As opposed to anonymous access, authenticated access requires a user to have a valid account and password to access the site. The three types of authenticated access are Basic authentication, Digest authentication, and Integrated Windows authentication/NTLM.


A process that verifies that a user has the correct permissions to access a resource such as a Web page or database, or has the correct privileges to perform a task such as performing backups.


A measure of fault tolerance for a computer, server cluster, or system and its programs. A highly available computer or system is one that is up and operating at an acceptable service level at least 99.9 percent of the time.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

B2B site 

See business-to-business site.

B2C site 

See business-to-consumer site.


The list of items a user selects to purchase from an e-commerce Web site.

BizTalk Server 2000 

A Microsoft product that provides the tools and infrastructure companies need to exchange business documents among various platforms and operating systems regardless of the application being used to process a business document.

Business Desk 

See Commerce Server Business Desk.

business-to-business site 

An e-commerce Web site designed for the creation and transmission of purchase orders between businesses that have an established relationship. Also known as a supplier site or a B2B site.

business-to-consumer site 

A commerce Web site designed for retail shopping by the public. Also known as a retail site or a B2C site.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


A special memory subsystem in which frequently used data values are duplicated for quick access. A cache stores the contents of frequently accessed RAM locations and the addresses where these data items are stored. When the processor references an address in memory, the cache checks to see whether it holds that address. If it does, the data is returned to the processor; if it does not, a regular memory access occurs.


A marketing program that uses many communication vehicles (for example, ads and direct mail) to accomplish a specific result, such as increasing marketing share, introducing new products, or retaining customers.

campaign item 

A communication vehicle that contributes to the specified result of a campaign. You can create three types of campaign items in Commerce Server: ads, direct mail, and discounts. You can use third-party products to create additional types of campaign items.

capacity planning 

Planning for application, hardware, and network requirements to support expected site traffic and to achieve site performance goals.


A collection of categories and products.

catalog properties 

The basic properties that describe a catalog, such as name, start date, end date, currency, unit of weight measure, and product unique ID.

catalog schema 

A description of a catalog that specifies the format of its category definitions, product definitions, and property definitions. Several catalogs can share one schema.


The process of finalizing a purchase on a Web site. For example, when customers shop on your Web site, they may select several items and save them in their shopping basket. When they have finished shopping, they click on a checkout link or graphical button that takes them to an online form where they enter their name, billing address, payment type, and shipping information.

click URL 

The URL that users see when they click a piece of content on your Web site or in a direct mail message. See also Uniform Resource Locator (URL).


The program or user that makes a request in a client/server relationship. For example, someone who uses Commerce Server Business Desk makes client requests for information from the Business Desk server.


See Component Object Model.

comma-separated value file (CSV) 

A text file that uses the comma character to separate, or delimit, columns or database fields. Most databases and other programs can export and import a CSV file, so that database files can be created in one program and used by another program.

Commerce Server Business Desk 

A Web-based site management tool available in Commerce Server 2000 that hosts business management modules you use to manage and analyze your e-commerce sites. For example, you can update pricing information in your catalog, target new ads to specific users, and then run reports to measure how these changes affect site productivity. Commerce Server Business Desk is accessible from any computer running Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5 and because it is Web based, it can be accessed either locally or remotely.

By default, every Commerce Server Web site has a distinct instance of Business Desk associated with it. It is designed so that site developers can modify or extend the management functionality provided with Business Desk.

Commerce Server Direct Mailer 

A global resource that is also a Microsoft Windows 2000 service. Direct Mailer runs direct mail campaigns. It processes lists of recipients, constructs personalized message bodies from either Web pages or static files, and sends the mail message to the recipient. Use Commerce Server Manager to configure and manage Direct Mailer, and to specify the database connection string to the Direct Mailer database.

Commerce Server Manager 

A system administration tool that you use to manage and configure Commerce Server resources, sites, applications, and Web servers. The Microsoft Management Console (MMC) hosts Commerce Server Manager.

Commerce Server Site Packager 

A deployment tool that you use to package your site, applications, and resources into a single file (that has a .pup extension), and then move that file to another computer. Using Site Packager, you can deploy your site on multiple computers in a distributed environment.

Component Object Model (COM) 

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, which is a related set of properties and methods.

connection string 

A series of semicolon-delimited arguments that define the location of a database and how to connect to it.

content replication 

A method of copying Web site content from one server node to another. You can copy files manually, or use replication software to copy content automatically. Replication is a necessary function of clustering to ensure fault tolerance.

Content Selection Framework (CSF) 

A development framework for the targeted delivery of content. The Content Selection Framework (CSF) provides the components you use to build a business-specific messaging system. CSF provides a platform for making high-speed decisions to target content to users.


Information about a user, such as an identification number, a password, click history, or number of times the user visited a site, stored in a file. A cookie can also store ticket data. Commerce Server supports both persistent and non-persistent cookies. Persistent cookies are stored on the user computers. Non-persistent cookies are used to track the activity of authenticated users who visit your site. When the session ends, the non-persistent cookie is deleted.

CS Authentication resource 

A Commerce Server resource with global-level properties, managed through Commerce Server Manager. Use CS Authentication to configure authentication options for a site.


See Content Selection Framework.


See comma-separated value file.


A structure that contains a subset of the data in the Commerce Server Data Warehouse, defined by shared dimensions and measures. A cube in Commerce Server 2000 is created during the unpacking process, and is populated and processed for data retrieval when the Report preparation DTS task is run. Storing data in cubes increases the speed of data retrieval.

custom price 

The specific pricing rules that apply to products in a custom catalog. There are three types of custom prices: percentage off, fixed amount off, and explicit price.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

data store 

A database containing data used by an e-commerce site, such as information about registered users, products, or ads. This also refers to the server that contains the data (the data-store server).

Data Transformation Services (DTS) 

A SQL Server component used to import, export, and transform data from different data sources. Commerce Server provides a set of DTS tasks that you use to import data into the Commerce Server Data Warehouse.

Data Warehouse 

In Commerce Server, a combination of a SQL Server database, an online analytical processing (OLAP) database, and a set of processes that a system administrator uses to import and maintain large amounts of data from multiple data sources.

denial-of-service attacks 

A form of hacker attack characterized by a large number of connection requests that consume all memory on a server. In extreme cases, the server can crash in the face of such an attack; in other cases, normal processing returns when the attack ceases.

design-time control (DTC) 

A special type of Microsoft ActiveX control used to generate text in an editing environment. Typically, a user is presented with several choices in the control, which alters the details of a section of scripting code or HTML that is placed on the page being edited.

Direct Mailer 

See Commerce Server Direct Mailer.

Direct Mailer database 

A SQL Server database that contains e-mail message, event data, and job data. Commerce Server Setup installs the Direct Mailer database when you install Commerce Server Direct Mailer. The database is installed on the same computer as Direct Mailer. See also Commerce Server Direct Mailer.


See design-time control.


See Data Transformation Services.

dynamic list 

A list of user records that the List Manager service creates at run time, when the list is needed (such as when the list data is being exported). Each time the list is requested, List Manager gathers the most recent data in the Data Warehouse. The information needed to create the list is stored in the List Manager database. (This differs from a static list where the entire list of user records is stored in the List Manager database.) Dynamic lists are useful for direct mail campaigns that are run frequently, or for lists of recipients that are updated frequently. See also static list.

dynamic report 

A report that is created at run time. Each time the report is run, it gathers the most recent data in the Data Warehouse. Only the report definition, which remains the same over time, is stored. (This differs from a static report, where the report is stored, with the data, in the Data Warehouse.) You can view dynamic reports in a Microsoft PivotTable or a Microsoft PivotChart. Use the Reports module to run dynamic reports. See also PivotChart report and PivotTable report.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


The process of buying and selling products and services over the Internet.

Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) 

The transfer of data between different companies using networks, such as the Internet. As more and more companies connect to the Internet, EDI is becoming increasingly important as an easy mechanism for companies to use when they buy, sell, and trade information.


A named set of properties that represents a specific business document. Envelope properties include an envelope format and may include a pointer to an envelope specification. Or, the header and footer information, or header information only, that encapsulates electronic business data for transport.


The occurrence of a specific action performed by a user. Typical events include pressing a keyboard key or clicking a mouse to choose a button. Events are recorded with the time at which they occur. Programmers write code to respond to these actions.

explicit profiling 

An information-collecting process in which users visiting a Web site supply profile data about themselves. For example, users might provide their names, addresses, phone numbers, and so forth. See also implicit profiling.


A condition that is evaluated against user profiles to determine whether to deliver content or to perform another action. For example, an expression might be "user.totalvisit > 100". If this expression evaluates to True, then a specific piece of content is displayed. Use the Campaign Expressions module to create expressions, and then combine the expressions with the action you want to perform after the expressions are evaluated.

Expression Builder 

A tool you use to create an expression. The Expression Builder includes a list of common expressions from which you can select to define the properties you want to target. You access the Expression Builder when creating a new target expression or catalog expression from the Campaign Expressions module. See also expression.

Extensible Markup Language (XML) 

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 Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML) on the World Wide Web. XML is not a single markup language. It is a metalanguage that is used 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.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


The process of taking resources, either individually or in a group, offline on one server cluster node and bringing them back online on another node.


A security checkpoint that separates an intranet from the Internet (or Internet groups). Only specific data may pass through a firewall. Only authorized users can access data secured by a firewall.

free-text searchable

A search that locates exact matches and words that are inflectionally generated from the one(s) you specified. For example, the word "drive" would return matches for drives, drove, driving, and driven.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


A file maintained on an Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 server for each application. The server automatically processes the Global.asa file when the IIS application starts and stops or when individual users start and stop browser sessions that access the Web pages of the application. This file typically contains scripts to initialize application or session variables, connect to databases, send cookies, and perform other operations that pertain to the application as a whole.

global resource 

A resource that is available for use by all sites. Global resources expose an object at the global level in Commerce Server Manager, and at the site level of those sites that are using the global resource. Properties for a global resource are configured at the global level.

The following global resources are included with Commerce Server: Commerce Server Direct Mailer and Predictor (which are also Microsoft Windows 2000 services), CS Authentication, Profiles, and Data Warehouse. Third parties can develop custom global resources to work with Commerce Server. Use Commerce Server Manager to manage global resources.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

horizontal scaling 

Increasing capacity by adding more servers to a server cluster. See also scaling and vertical scaling.

HTML Component (HTC) 

A control implemented using Internet Explorer Dynamic Hypertext Markup Language (DHTML) behaviors. HTCs are used in Commerce Server Business Desk modules for data display and manipulation.

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) 

The client/server protocol used to transmit and receive all data over the World Wide Web. When you type a URL into your browser, you are actually sending an HTTP request to a Web server for a page of information.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


See Internet Information Services.

implicit profiling 

An information collection process in which the actions and behaviors of a user visiting a Web site are recorded as the user traverses and interacts with the Web site. See also explicit profiling, Predictor resource.

Independent Software Vendor (ISV) 

A vendor who develops software such as tax, shipping, or inventory software, that integrates with Commerce Server and extends its functionality. You can compare an ISV to a Solution Provider, who customizes Commerce Server for specific customers or vertical markets, and designs and deploys systems.


A set of distinct computer networks joined together with 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 Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) suite of protocols.

Internet domain name 

The name used for a site hosted on the Internet. An Internet domain name is a combination of a second-level domain name (such as "Microsoft") and a top-level domain name (such as "com" or "net"), separated by a period. Before establishing a commerce site on the Internet, a business must first apply for and register a second-level domain name with an authorized Domain Name System (DNS) domain name registration authority. Also called an Internet address, domain name, and URL.

Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 

The Microsoft Windows 2000 services that support Web site creation, configuration, and management, along with other Internet functions. You must install IIS on a server before you install Commerce Server.

Internet Service Provider (ISP) 

A public provider of remote connections to the Internet. An ISP may host e-commerce sites for client companies, hosting several sites on a single server or server cluster. The ISP often might provide the infrastructure and perform administration tasks common to all sites; clients usually perform some site administration tasks from their remote computers.


A network designed for information processing within a company or organization. An intranet is so called because it usually employs applications associated with the Internet, such as Web pages, Web browsers, File Transfer Protocol (FTP) sites, e-mail, newsgroups, and mailing lists, in this case accessible only to those within the company or organization.


See Internet Service Provider.


See Independent Software Vendor.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


The length of time that a user must wait for a response to a request. Latency is the primary benchmark for determining whether a Web site is operating at an acceptable level.

load balancing 

Distribution of processing across multiple servers within a cluster. If a server fails, the load is dynamically redistributed among the remaining servers. Network Load Balancing, available on Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server, is the load balancing solution that Windows Clustering uses.

load testing 

See stress testing.

log file 

A record of the transactions or the processing that takes place on a computer system. The log file can be either a text file or a database file. Commerce Server log files are imported into the Data Warehouse so you can analyze site activity using the Analysis modules in Commerce Server Business Desk.

logical schema 

In the Data Warehouse, a conceptual model that maps to the data in the physical store, and provides an understandable view of the data. When a developer creates code to access or change data in the Data Warehouse, the developer interacts with the logical schema. Commerce Server processes access data in the Data Warehouse through the logical schema.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

mean time between failures (MTBF) 

The average time interval, usually expressed in thousands or tens of thousands of hours, that will elapse before a hardware component fails and requires service.

mean time to recovery (MTTR) 

The average time interval, usually expressed in hours, that it takes to repair a failed component.

messaging port 

A set of rules configured by using BizTalk Messaging Manager with which you can direct how documents are enveloped, secured, and transported to a designated destination organization.


The data used to describe other data. For example, data type describes data that makes up a profile.

Microsoft Management Console (MMC) 

A framework for hosting administrative tools, called consoles. A console can contain tools, folders, other containers, Web pages, and other administrative items. These items are displayed in the left pane of the console, called a console tree. A console has one or more windows that can provide views of the console tree. The main MMC window provides commands and tools for authoring consoles.


See Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions.


See Microsoft Management Console.

Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) 

A standard that extends the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) to permit data, such as video, sound, and binary files to be transmitted by Internet e-mail without having to be translated into ASCII format first.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

navigation pane 

In Commerce Server Business Desk, the window on the left side of a list page that displays the hierarchy of categories and modules.


Each member of a server cluster. See also server cluster.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

Order Processing pipeline (OPP) 

Software infrastructure that links several components and runs them in sequence. Commerce Server 2000 includes three Order Processing pipelines: Product, Plan, and Purchase.

online analytical processing (OLAP)

A class of technologies designed for live, ad-hoc data access and analysis. OLAP data is stored in a multidimensional database, which considers each data attribute (such as product, geographic sales region, and time period) as a separate dimension. OLAP data is grouped and organized, by shared dimensions, in cubes. The Data Warehouse uses OLAP cubes to store imported data, which accelerates report and query processing. See also cube.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


A file created by the Commerce Server Site Packager deployment tool that contains all the data necessary to deploy a site onto a different computer. This includes applications and resources, including resource property settings stored in the Administration database. A package does not contain those property settings that are specific to a computer (such as connection strings). Package files have a .pup extension.


A feature used to direct Web-based content or e-mail messages to users, based on their user profile data and their previous requests for content. See also Commerce Server Direct Mailer, Predictor resource.


A software infrastructure that defines and links together one or more stages of a business process, running them in sequence to complete a specific task. Each stage of a pipeline contains one or more pipeline components (COM objects) that can be configured to work with the unique requirements of the site.

Pipeline Component 

A COM server object that implements the required Pipeline Component interfaces. Each component performs operations on some part of an OrderForm object or Dictionary object before sending it to the next component or stage in the pipeline.

pipeline configuration file

A file containing the configuration data for a pipeline. The pipeline specified in the file is created and run by a pipeline object. The file contains stages and components that can be customized using the Pipeline Editor.

Pipeline Editor 

An application used to create and edit Commerce Server pipeline configuration files. The Pipeline Editor displays a pipeline as a pipe graphic, showing the stages of the pipeline as segments of the pipe. The components used in a stage appear as valves.

pipeline object 

An object that uses pipeline configuration files to execute a series of components. Commerce Server 2000 provides six objects to execute pipelines: MtsPipeline, MtsTxPipeline, PooledPipeline, PooledTxPipeline, OrderGroup, and OrderPipeline. The MtsPipeline and PooledPipeline objects do not support COM+ transactions.

PivotChart report 

A report displayed in an interactive chart. You can use the chart to view and rearrange data graphically, in a similar manner to a PivotTable report. In Commerce Server, you can view dynamic reports as PivotChart reports.

PivotTable report 

A report displayed in an interactive table. You can rotate the rows and columns of the table to see different summaries of the source data, filter the data, or display detailed data for different areas of interest. In Commerce Server, you can view dynamic reports as PivotTable reports. To view PivotTable reports, use the Reports module in Commerce Server Business Desk.

Predictor resource 

A global resource that is also a Microsoft Windows 2000 service. The Predictor resource is managed through Commerce Server Manager, and consists of a powerful data-mining engine that enables you to provide predictive capabilities for your Web site based on the aggregate properties of the entire user population that visits your site. Use the Predictor resource to build analysis models that you then deploy to your Web site in order to analyze user information. See also implicit profiling, personalization.


A set of characteristics that define any business-related item, such as a user, a company, or a business process.

Profiles resource 

A Commerce Server resource with global-level properties, managed through Commerce Server Manager. You use the Profiles resource to specify the database connection string to the database containing user profile data. You also use the Profiles resource to create, edit, and delete profile properties and profiles. You can add and remove data sources, such as SQL Server databases or Active Directory data sources.

proxy server 

A firewall component that manages Internet traffic to and from a local area network (LAN) and can provide other features, such as document caching and access control. A proxy server can improve performance by caching and directly supplying frequently requested data, such as a popular Web page, and can filter and discard requests that the owner does not consider appropriate, such as requests for unauthorized access to proprietary files.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

reference currency 

The currency unit used by a site, in conjunction with an exchange rate table, to calculate product prices in other currencies.

registered user 

Someone who visits a Web site and provides personal information, such as name, address, and phone number.


A measure of the time between failures (mean time between failures), where failure is defined as a departure from acceptable service for an application, a computer system, or the network system. In contrast, availability involves reliability as well as the time required to bring a system back to normal operations after it goes offline (or is taken offline for planned maintenance or upgrade). When you plan for a Commerce Server installation, you plan your hardware, network, and operational procedures to achieve the level of reliability you require.


The process of copying content and/or configuration settings from one server node to another. You can copy files manually or use replication software to copy them automatically. Replication is a necessary function of server clustering to ensure fault tolerance.


An entity that provides functionality to the applications in a Commerce Server site. A resource has one or more COM objects. These are used on the Web pages of an application to access the functionality of the resource. A resource may have group-level properties or site-level properties, but not both. Resource properties are stored in the Administration database. A set of resources ships with Commerce Server; some of these resources are also Microsoft Windows 2000 services. Third parties can develop custom resources to work with Commerce Server. Use Commerce Server Manager to manage resources. See also global resource, site resource.

retail site 

See business-to-consumer site.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


See system area network (SAN).


Expanding the capacity of a Web server or server cluster to accommodate increased site traffic and improve site performance.

server cluster 

Two or more computers connected together for the purpose of sharing resources. Each member of a server cluster is called a node. Nodes in a server cluster can have their own storage devices or share a common device. Typically, server clustering involves support for load balancing, fault tolerance, and failover. See also node, Web farm.

server extensions 

A set of programs on a Web server that support administering, authoring, and browsing a Microsoft FrontPage-extended Web site.


A program, routine, or process that performs a specific system function to support other programs, particularly at a low (close to the hardware) level. When services are provided over a network, they can be published in Active Directory, facilitating service-centric administration and usage. Services have a set of common administration functions. For example, a service can be started, stopped, paused, and resumed; its start parameters can be modified; and it can be administered using command line utilities and scripts. Commerce Server includes the following resources that are also services: Direct Mailer, Predictor, and List Manager. See also resource.


In Commerce Server Manager, a container for Commerce Server applications and site-level resources. For example, the Retail Solution Site contains two applications: the business-to-consumer Web site and the business-to-consumer Commerce Server Business Desk, and both share the same site-level resources.

Site Packager 

See Commerce Server Site Packager.

site resource 

A resource that is available for use by a specific site. All resources used by a site expose an object at the site level in Commerce Server Manager. For example, a global resource can also be a site resource: a global resource used by a site exposes an object at the site level; the only property that the object exposes is a pointer to the associated global resource at the global level.

A site resource can have all of its properties at the site level, or all of its properties at the global level, but it cannot have both. You configure the properties of a site resource at the site level. A set of site resources is included with Commerce Server, and third parties can develop custom site resources. Use Commerce Server Manager to manage site resources.


Stock keeping unit. A unique identifier used to track a product for inventory purposes. A SKU can be associated with any item that can be purchased. For example, a shirt in style number 3726, size 8 might have a SKU of 3726-8.

Solution Site 

A set of Commerce Server features that is pre-configured for a specific site scenario and bundled into a package file. Commerce Server includes the Blank Solution Site in the box. The two other Solution Sites, Retail and Supplier, are available online at . Each Solution Site is designed to be unpacked and then customized.


The practice of making a transmission appear to come from an authorized user to obtain access to a computer or network.

static report 

A report that is run immediately upon request and then stored, with the data, in the Data Warehouse. (This differs from a dynamic report, in which only the information needed to create the report is stored in the Data Warehouse.) You can post static reports to your Web site, and you can export the data in a static report to the List Manager module in Commerce Server Business Desk. Use the Reports module to run static reports, and use the Complete Reports module to view them.

stress testing 

Testing performed on a Commerce Server application to ensure that it can support the expected number of concurrent users and handle peak user loads while maintaining the required level of performance. Stress testing is performed with a stress tool that generates loads defined by the system administrator to approximate the expected usage patterns of the site. Also called load testing.


A trading partner in a business-to-business site. Use Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 to add suppliers to a site. Also known as a vendor.

supplier site 

See business-to-business site.

system administrator 

The primary user of Commerce Server Manager. This person is responsible for installing, configuring, and managing Commerce Server.

system area network (SAN) 

A network typically used to interconnect nodes within a distributed computer system, such as a cluster. These systems are members of a common administrative domain and are usually in close physical proximity. A SAN is physically secure. Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server supports SANs with certain hardware.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


See transaction cost analysis.


One or more expressions that identify to whom, where, and when content should be displayed. You can target demographics, sections of a Web site, or both.


Delivering specific content to specific users.

three-tier architecture 

An architecture that divides a networked application into three logical areas: the user interface layer (also called the top tier), the business logic layer (also called the middle tier), and the database layer (also called the bottom tier or back end). Layers may have one or more components. For example, there can be one or more user interfaces in the top tier. Also, each user interface may communicate with more than one application in the middle tier at the same time, and the applications in the middle tier may use more than one database at a time. Components in a tier may run on a computer that is separate from the other tiers, communicating with the other components over a network.

trading partner 

An external organization with which your organization exchanges electronic data. The exchange of data among trading partners is governed by the agreements, pipelines, and distribution lists that are created between your organization and the trading partners. Microsoft BizTalk Server 2000 handles the exchange of data among trading partners.


An action that adds, changes, or deletes data from a database.

transaction cost analysis (TCA) 

A method of estimating site capacity by measuring the performance cost of an e-commerce transaction. TCA helps you compare types of transactions with one another to determine which types put the greatest demands on your system.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) 

Identifies points of content on the Internet. The content can be a page of text, a video or sound clip, an image, or a program. The most common form of URI is the Web page address, also known as the Uniform Resource Locator (URL). A URI usually includes the filename for the resource, the name of the computer the resource resides on, and the protocol used to access it. For example, .

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) 

The address of a file (resource) accessible on the Internet. The type of resource depends on the Internet application protocol. For example, for the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) used on the World Wide Web, the resource can be an HTML page, an image file, a program such as a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) application or Java applet, or any other file supported by HTTP. The URL contains the name of the protocol required to access the resource, a domain name that identifies a specific computer on the Internet, and a hierarchical description of a file location on the computer.

usage profile 

A set of properties that describe the traffic patterns on a site. For example, a usage profile shows how many people browse a certain page, the average browse-to-buy ratio, and so on. System administrators use the usage profile to perform transaction cost analysis (TCA), to determine how many Web servers are needed, and to configure a site.

user profile 

A set of predefined properties that describe a user. For example, name, address, and other properties can constitute a user profile.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

vertical scaling 

Increasing Web site capacity by upgrading hardware (for example adding RAM or processors), while maintaining the physical footprint and number of servers in the server cluster. See also horizontal scaling.

virtual server 

Also called a Web Site (such as the Default Web Site). A virtual computer that resides on an HTTP server but appears to users as a separate HTTP server. Several virtual servers can reside on one computer, each one capable of running its own programs and each one with individualized access to input and peripheral devices.

Each virtual server has its own Internet domain name and Internet Protocol (IP) address and appears to users as an individual Web site. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) use virtual servers for those clients who want to use their own domain names. An ISP may want to create multiple Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 Web Sites and unpack Commerce applications for different clients into separate IIS Web Sites. Commerce applications under different IIS Web Sites can share global resources. See also Web site.


A series of requests by a user. A visit begins in one of two ways: the user can be referred to the site through a link, or the user can type the site URL in his or her browser. A visit ends when a specified period of time (the default is 30 minutes) has passed without any additional requests from the user.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif

Web farm 

Two or more Web servers connected together for the purpose of sharing resources. Typically, servers in a Web farm share resources through load balancing software, such as Network Load Balancing, to increase fault tolerance and permit redistribution of load in case of failure. These servers appear to the user as a single server with a single Internet Protocol (IP) address. Also called a server farm or server cluster.

Web server 

In general use, a computer equipped with the server software that uses Internet Protocols (IPs) such as to respond to Web client requests on a Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) network.

Web site 

In general use, a collection of files and applications accessed through a Web address, covering a specific theme or subject, and managed by a particular person or organization. Web sites typically use HTML to format and present information and to provide navigational facilities that enable users to move within the site and around the Web. From an Internet Information Services (IIS) 5.0 administration standpoint, Web Site specifically means a virtual server (such as the Default Web Site). See also virtual server.


Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif Cc936707.spacer(en-US,CS.10).gif


See Extensible Markup Language.