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We improve and extend this glossary on nearshore software development continuously. Do you miss a lemma or do you want to add or improve entries? Your feedback or input is most welcome at


Application Binary Interface

Abstract test case

See High level test case

Abstract Window Toolkit - AWT

A set of application program interfaces ( API's) used by Java programmers to create graphical user interface (GUI) objects, such as buttons, scroll bars, and windows. AWT is part of the Java Foundation Classes (JFC) from Sun Microsystems, the company that originated Java. The JFC are a comprehensive set of GUI class libraries that make it easier to develop the user interface part of an application program. A more recent set of GUI interfaces called Swing extends the AWT so that the programmer can create generalized GUI objects that are independent of a specific operating system's windowing system; see Swing

Acceptable Quality Level - AQL

Also referred to as Assured Quality Level. The largest quantity of defectives in a certain sample size that can make the lot definitely acceptable; Customer will definitely prefer the zero defect products or services and will ultimately establish the acceptable level of quality. Competition however, will 'educate' the customer and establish the customer's values. There is only one ideal acceptable quality level: zero defects; all others are compromises based upon acceptable business, financial and safety levels


See acceptance testing

Acceptance Criteria

The exit criteria that a component or system must satisfy in order to be Accepted by a user, customer, or other authorized entity

Acceptance Testing

Formal testing with respect to user needs, requirements, and business processes conducted to determine whether or not a system satisfies the acceptance criteria and to enable the user, customers or other authorized entity to determine whether or not to accept the system

Accessibility Testing

Testing to determine the ease by which users with disabilities can use a component or system


Conditional personal or professional liability “after” the fact, determined by action or responsibility. Accountability to action assumes the willingness to be held accountable for adequate expertise and capability (see responsibility)


The capability of the software product to provide the right or agreed results or effects with the needed degree of precision [ISO 9126]; see also functionality testing

Active Server Page - ASP

An Active Server Page (ASP) is an HTML page that includes one or more scripts (small embedded programs) that are processed on a Microsoft Web server before the page is sent to the user. An ASP is somewhat similar to a server-side include or a common gateway interface (CGI) application in that all involve programs that run on the server, usually tailoring a page for the user. Typically, the script in the Web page at the server uses input received as the result of the user's request for the page to access data from a database and then builds or customizes the page on the fly before sending it to the requestor. ASP is a feature of the Microsoft Internet Information Server (IIS), but, since the server-side script is just building a regular HTML page, it can be delivered to almost any browser. For Web service applications, Microsoft provides a new version of ASP support called ASP.NET.

Active Template Library - ATL

A Microsoft program library (set of prepackaged program routines) for use when creating Active Server Page ( ASP ) code and other ActiveX program components with C++ (including Visual C++)


ActiveX is a set of object-oriented programming (OOP) technologies and tools that Microsoft developed for Internet Explorer to facilitate rich media playback. Essentially, Internet Explorer uses ActiveX to load other software applications in the browser. Programmers writing for ActiveX create components: self-sufficient programs that can be run by the Windows operating system. These componentws or ActiveX controls are roughly equivalent to Java applets. One of the main advantages of ActiveX components is that they can be re-used by many applications (referred to as component containers). Unfortunately, that also means that the component can be re-used by an attacker to run malicious code and gain access to critical files

Actual outcome

See actual result

Actual result

The behavior produced/observed when a component or system is tested

Ad Hoc Review

See informal review

Ad Hoc Testing

An informal testing phase where the tester tries to 'break' the system by randomly trying the system's functionality; no formal test preparation takes place, no recognized test design technique is used, there are no expectations for results, arbitrariness guides the test execution activity and negative testing can be included; see also Monkey Testing


The capability of the software product to be adapted for different specified environments without applying actions or means other than those provided for this purpose for the software considered [ISO 9126]; see also portability

Agile Software Development - ASD

In software application development, agile software development (ASD) is a methodology for the creative process that anticipates the need for flexibility and applies a level of pragmatism into the delivery of the finished product. Agile software development focuses on keeping code simple, testing often, and delivering functional bits of the application as soon as they're ready. The goal of ASD is to build upon small client-approved parts as the project progresses, as opposed to delivering one large application at the end of the project.

Agile Testing

Testing practice for projects using agile methodologies, treating development as the customer of testing and emphasizing a test-first design paradigm; see also Test Driven Development


Asynchronous JavaScript and XML is a method of building interactive applications for the Web that process user requests immediately. Ajax combines several programming tools including JavaScript, dynamic HTML (DHTML), Extensible Markup Language (XML), cascading style sheets (CSS), the Document Object Model (DOM), and the Microsoft object, XMLHttpRequest. Ajax allows content on Web pages to update immediately when a user performs an action, unlike an HTTP request, during which users must wait for a whole new page to load. For example, a weather forecasting site could display local conditions on one side of the page without delay after a user types in a zip code.


A procedure or formula for solving a problem. The word derives from the name of the mathematician Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi, who was part of the royal court in Baghdad and who lived from about 780 to 850. Al-Khwarizmi's work is the likely source for the word algebra as well. A computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm. In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm usually means a small procedure that solves a recurrent problem.

Algorithm test

See branch testing

Alpha Risk

Alpha risk is defined as the risk of rejecting the Null hypothesis when in fact it is true. Synonymous with: Type I error, Producers Risk In other words, stating a difference exists where actually there is none. Alpha risk is stated in terms of probability (such as 0.05 or 5%). The value (1-alpha) corresponds to the confidence level of a statistical test, so a level of significance alpha = 0.05 corresponds to a 95% confidence level

Alpha testing

Simulated or actual operational testing by potential users/customers or an independent test team at the developers’ site, but outside the development organization; Alpha testing is often employed for off-the-shelf software as a form of internal acceptance testing


The capability of the software product to be diagnosed for deficiencies or causes of failures in the software, or for the parts to be modified to be identified [ISO 9126]; see also maintainability.


Any condition that deviates from expectation based on requirements specifications, design documents, user documents, standards, etc. or from someone’s perception or experience. Anomalies may be found during, but not limited to, reviewing, testing, analysis, compilation, or use of software products or applicable documentation; see also defect, deviation, error, fault, failure, incident, problem


Application Programming Interface

Apple Script

A programming language that allows Mac users to automate repetitive tasks and to customize applications to suit specific needs. Included in every Macintosh computer, AppleScript is an integral component of the operating system that allows technically sophisticated users (not necessarily programmers) to enhance the functionality of their computers. AppleScript programs (applets) perform like software robots: once they are written they can autonomously process and manage multimedia data, including digital video, text, and Web-based material. One of the newer developments in AppleScript is a capacity for enabling distributed computing through a feature that Apple calls 'program linking over IP'.

Application Binary Interface - ABI

A specification defining requirements for portability of applications in binary forms across defferent system platforms and environments

Application Program

Any program designed to perform a specific function directly for the user or, in some cases, for another application program. Examples of application programs include word processors, database programs, Web browsers, development tools, drawing, paint, and image editing programs, and communication programs. Application programs use the services of the computer's operating system and other supporting programs. The formal requests for services and means of communicating with other programs that a programmer uses in writing an application program is called the application program interface (API).

Application Programming Interface - API

(1) A formalized set of software calls and routines that can be referenced by an application program in order to access supporting system or network services (2) The specific method prescribed by a computer operating system or by an application program by which a programmer writing an application program can make requests of the operating system or another application.

Application Security

Application security is the use of software, hardware, and procedural methods to protect applications from external threats. Security measures built into applications and a sound application security routine minimize the likelihood that hackers will be able to manipulate applications and access, steal, modify, or delete sensitive data. Security is becoming an increasingly important concern during development as applications become more frequently accessible over networks and are, as a result, vulnerable to a wide variety of threats. Actions taken to ensure application security are sometimes called countermeasures. The most basic software countermeasure is an application firewall that limits the execution of files or the handling of data by specific installed programs. The most common hardware countermeasure is a router that can prevent the IP address of an individual computer from being directly visible on the Internet. Other countermeasures include conventional firewalls, encryption/decryption programs, anti-virus programs, spyware detection/removal programs, and biometric authentication systems. Application security can be enhanced by rigorously defining enterprise assets, identifying what each application does (or will do) with respect to these assets, creating a security profile for each application, identifying and prioritizing potential threats, and documenting adverse events and the actions taken in each case. This process is known as threat modeling. In this context, a threat is any potential or actual adverse event that can compromise the assets of an enterprise, including both malicious events, such as a denial-of-service (DOS) attack, and unplanned events, such as the failure of a storage device.

Application Service Provider - ASP

An Application Service Provider (ASP) is a company that offers individuals or enterprises access over the Internet to applications and related services that would otherwise have to be located in their own personal or enterprise computers. Sometimes referred to as apps-on-tap or Software as a Service, ASP services are an important alternative for both smaller and larger companies and individuals


Acceptable Quality Level


Asynchronous Ruby and XML is a development tool created for Silverlight, Microsoft's competitor for Adobe Flash and similar Web technologies. ARAX allows developers who prefer the open source, object-oriented Ruby programming language to create interactive applications similar to those created in Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) but without requiring JavaScript.

Arc testing

See branch testing


Agile Software Development


Active Server Page or Application Service Provider


A program that takes basic computer instructions and converts them into a pattern of bits that the computer's processor can use to perform its basic operations. Some people call these instructions assembler language and others use the term assembly language.


In the context of quality management: the determining of the extent of compliance with given requirements, when needed combined with the specification of actions necessary to fulfill these requirements


Evidence (verbal or written) that gives confidence that something will or will not happen or has / has not happened. See also: Quality Assurance

Asymmetric cryptography

Asymmetric cryptography or public-key cryptography is cryptography in which a pair of keys is used to encrypt and decrypt a message so that it arrives securely. Initially, a network user receives a public and private key pair from a certificate authority. Any other user who wants to send an encrypted message can get the intended recipient's public key from a public directory. They use this key to encrypt the message, and they send it to the recipient. When the recipient gets the message, they decrypt it with their private key, which no one else should have access to.

Asynchronous JavaScript and XML

see Ajax

Asynchronous Ruby and XML

see ARAX


Active Template Library


Active Template Library


The capability of the software product to be attractive to the user [ISO 9126]; see also usability

Attribute Data

Attribute data is the lowest level of data: purely binary in nature, like Good or Bad, Yes or No. No analysis can be performed on attribute data. Attribute data must be converted to a form of Variable data called discrete data in order to be counted or useful. It is commonly misnamed discrete data. Attributes data are qualitative data that can be counted for recording and analysis


A timely process or system to inspect whether specifications conform to documented quality standards. An Audit also brings out discrepancies between the documented standards and the standards followed and also might show how well or how badly the documented standards support the processes currently followed. Corrective, Preventive & Improvement Actions should be undertaken to mitigate the gap(s) between what is said (documented), what is done and what is required to comply with the appropriate quality standard.

Audit trail

A path by which the original input to a process (e.g. data) can be traced back through the process, taking the process output as a starting point, facilitating a defect analysis and allowing a process audit to be carried out


The process of determining whether someone or something is, in fact, who or what it is declared to be. In private and public computer networks (including the Internet), authentication is commonly done through the use of logon passwords. Each user registers initially (or is registered by someone else), using an assigned or self-declared password. On each subsequent use, the user must know and use the previously declared password. The weakness in this system is that passwords can be stolen, accidentally revealed, or forgotten. For this reason, Internet business and many other transactions require a more stringent authentication process. The use of digital certificates issued and verified by a Certificate Authority (CA) as part of a public key infrastructure is considered likely to become the standard way to perform authentication on the Internet

Automated Process

Known for eliminating labor costs, it is one of a family of four work processes characterized as an on-going endeavor undertaken to create a repetitive product or result which planned, executed and controlled (Artisan Process, Project Process, Operations Process, Automated Process)

Automated testware

Testware used in automated testing, such as tool scripts


The degree to which a component or system is operational and accessible when required for use; often expressed as a percentage


Abstract Window Toolkit

Credit Force

Studiu de caz: CreditForce

CreditForce este un furnizor de servicii al administrarii de credite. Serviciile CreditForce includ colectarea de datorii si facturarea, specialişti ce ajută în gestionarea creditelor, precum şi furnizarea de formare profesională. Până în anul 2006, procesele sale distincte au fost susţinute cu o varietate de produse software.

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