At Your Service

Software Developer Lingo

Application (app): a synonym for software program or software

Architecture: refers to the design of software or hardware, or to how the software and hardware work together to perform tasks. The architecture of a software program maps out the complete functionality of the application.

CAD (computer-aided design): CAD programs have replaced the drafting board as mission control for industries in need of multifunctional modeling and design systems.

CBT (computer-based training): software that allows users to create multimedia applications. Authors can combine text, audio and other elements to create a training manual, interactive resume or any number of other programs.

Client/server: This type of software enables your computer to communicate with a centralized server. Client/server software is critical if a company wants all employees to have access to information without loading that information onto every computer in the office.

GroupWare: software that allows users to share ideas, exchange information or work on the same project from different locations

License: A license is often what you actually pay for when you buy software. You aren't buying the software, but rather the license that gives you the right to use it on one computer (though some licensing agreements vary depending on the situation).

MiddleWare: refers to programs that connect two separate applications. MiddleWare is often used as the glue between database and Web-based applications-sometimes referred to as plumbing.

System requirements: a general term used to describe the capabilities a computer must have in order to successfully run a particular program. Most system-requirement information includes the minimum needs for memory (hard drive and RAM) and processor speed, what type of operating system the program can run on, and whether a CD-ROM drive or Internet access is required.

User interface (UI): User interfaces are what you see when you use a program, such as taskbars, pulldowns, scroll bars and so on.

Mie-Yun Lee is the founder and editorial director of, the Internet purchasing hub for small businesses. Doreen Vianzon contributed to this article.

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This article was originally published in the October 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: At Your Service.

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