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Information Management's Glossary


A sandbox is a testing environment that isolates untested code changes and outright experimentation from the production environment.

On July 30, 2002, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Public Law 104-204) went into effect, and changed the corporate landscape in the United States in regard to financial reporting and auditing for publicly traded companies. The law establishes stringent financial reporting requirements for companies doing business in the United States. It was designed to make the executives of publicly traded companies more responsible and accountable for oversight of their companies.

Simple API for XML (SAX) is an event-based interface for processing XML documents.

The ability to scale to support larger or smaller volumes of data and more or less users. The ability to increase or decrease size or capability in cost-effective increments with minimal impact on the unit cost of business and the procurement of additional services.

A diagrammatic representation of the structure or framework of something. It is the logical and physical definition of data elements, physical characteristics and interrelationships.

An application or custom user interface that helps manage an organization's performance by optimizing and aligning organizational units, business processes and individuals. It should also provide internal and industry benchmarks as well as goals and targets that help individuals understand their contributions to the organization. The use of scorecards spans the operational, tactical and strategic aspects of the business and its decisions. Often, methodologies derived from internal best practices or an external industry methodology is used for scorecarding.*

Second normal form
The result of normalizing to ensure that a data model contains no partial key dependencies. In practice, when entities have compound keys, seek out any attribute that is dependent upon only part of the key. Whatever business thing is identifiable by that part of the key is an entity, and the 2NF violation is an attribute of that entity.

Secondary key
A secondary key is a set of one or more attributes whose value identifies a set of occurrences in a data structure that share common characteristics. Access by secondary keys may return multiple occurrences, where access by a primary key is assured to find no more than one occurrence.

The ability to provide differing access to individuals according to the classification of data and the user's business function, regardless of the variations.

Secure sockets layer (SSL)
Secure sockets layer is a security technology that is commonly used to secure server to browser transactions.

A SQL statement (command) that specifies data retrieval operations for rows of data in a relational database.

Small entrepreneurial manufacturer.

Semantic mapping
The mapping of the meaning of a piece of data.

A service that provides standard functions for clients in response to standard messages from clients. Note: A commonly used definition of server also refers to the physical computer from which services are provided.

Service-oriented architecture (SOA)
A service-oriented architecture is a collection of services that communicate with each other. The services are self-contained and do not depend on the context or state of the other service. They work within a distributed systems architecture.

Allow users to run Java code on the server and send HTML pages to a browser.

Share of wallet
The percentage of a customer's requirements that are filled by a particular brand of product or service.

Simple object access protocol (SOAP)
Simple object access protocol is a World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) specification that facilitates the interoperability between a broad mixture of programs and platforms.

Six sigma
A rigorous and disciplined methodology that utilizes data and statistical analysis to measure and improve a companies operational performance, practices and systems. Six Sigma identifies and prevents defects in manufacturing and service-related processes. In many organizations, it simply means a measure of quality that strives for near perfection.*

Slice and dice
A term used to describe a complex data analysis function provided by MDBMS tools.

Symmetrical Multi-Processing. The "shared everything" approach of parallel computing.

Snowflake schema
A snowflake schema is a set of tables comprised of a single, central fact table surrounded by normalized dimension hierarchies. Each dimension level is represented in a table. Snowflake schema implement dimensional data structures with fully normalized dimensions. Star schema are an alternative to snowflake schema.

Social network analysis
Social netowrk analysis (SNA) is the use of information and knowledge from many people and their personal networks. It involves collecting massive amounts of data from multiple sources, analyzing the data to identify relationships and mining it for new information.

Source database
An operational, production database or a centralized warehouse that feeds into a target database.

Structured Query Language. A structured query language for accessing relational, ODBC, DRDA, or non-relational compliant database systems.

SQL query tool
An end-user tool that accepts SQL to be processed against one or more relational databases.

Conformity to ANSI standards for Structured Query Language specifications.

Standard query
A stored procedure of a recently executed query. Technically, a standard query may be stored on the desktop as "canned " SQL and passed as dynamic SQL to the server database to execute. This is undesirable unless the stored query is seldom executed.

Star schema
A star schema is a set of tables comprised of a single, central fact table surrounded by de-normalized dimensions. Each dimension is represented in a single table. Star schema implement dimensional data structures with de- normalized dimensions. Snowflake schema are an alternative to star schema. A relational database schema for representing multidimensional data. The data is stored in a central fact table, with one or more tables holding information on each dimension. Dimensions have levels, and all levels are usually shown as columns in each dimension table.

Static query
A stored, parameterized procedure, optimized for access to a particular data warehouse.

A technique using colored circles to identify the content of a data element. The colors are defined by a set of predefined thresholds.

Subject oriented databases
Rather than build one massive, centralized data warehouse, most companies are building numerous subject-oriented warehouses to serve the needs of different divisions.

Summarization tables
These tables are created along commonly used access dimensions to speed query performance, although the redundancies increase the amount of data in the warehouse. See Aggregated Data.

Supply chain
The optimal flow of product from site of production through intermediate locations to the site of final use.

Supply chain analytics
The process of extracting and presenting supply chain information to provide measurement, monitoring, forecasting and management of the chain.

Surrogate key
A surrogate key is a single-part, artificially established identifier for an entity. Surrogate key assignment is a special case of derived data - one where the primary key is derived. A common way of deriving surrogate key values is to assign integer values sequentially.

Syntactic mapping
The mapping required to unravel the syntax of information.

Systems architecture
One of the four layers of the information systems architecture. The systems architecture represents the definitions and inter-relationships between applications and the product architecture.