Management Information System Terms (U-X)


UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration): Allows a Web service to be listed in a directory of Web services so that it can be easily located by other organizations and systems.

unified messaging: System combining voice messages, e-mail, and fax so that they can all be obtained from a single system.

Unified Modeling Language (UML): Industry standard methodology for analysis and design of an object-oriented software system.

Uniform Resource Locator (URL): The address of a specific resource on the Internet.

unit testing: The process of testing each program separately in the system. Sometimes called program testing.

UNIX: Operating system for all types of computers, which is machine independent and supports multiuser processing, multitasking, and networking. Used in high-end workstations and servers.

unstructured decisions: Nonroutine decisions in which the decision maker must provide judgment, evaluation, and insights into the problem definition; there is no agreed-upon procedure for making such decisions.

up-selling: Marketing higher-value products or services to new or existing customers.

Usenet: Forums in which people share information and ideas on a defined topic through large electronic bulletin boards where anyone can post messages on the topic for others to see and to which others can respond.

user interface: The part of the information system through which the end user interacts with the system; type of hardware and the series of on-screen commands and responses required for a user to work with the system.

user-designer communications gap: The difference in backgrounds, interests, and priorities that impede communication and problem solving among end users and information systems specialists.

Utilitarian Principle: Principle that assumes one can put values in rank order and understand the consequences of various courses of action.

utility computing: Model of computing in which companies pay only for the information technology resources they actually use during a specified time period. Also called on-demand computing or usage-based pricing.


value chain model: Model that highlights the primary or support activities that add a margin of value to a firm’s products or services where information systems can best be applied to achieve a competitive advantage.

value web: Customer-driven network of independent firms who use information technology to coordinate their value chains to collectively produce a product or service for a market.

Value-Added Network (VAN): Private, multipath, data-only, third-party-managed network that multiple organizations use on a subscription basis.

videoconferencing: Teleconferencing in which participants see each other over video screens.

virtual organization: Organization using networks to link people, assets and ideas to create and distribute products and services without being limited to traditional organizational boundaries or physical location.

Virtual Private Network (VPN): A secure connection between two points across the Internet to transmit corporate data. Provides a low-cost alternative to a private network.

Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML): A set of specifications for interactive three-dimensional modeling on the World Wide Web.

virtual reality systems: Interactive graphics software and hardware that create computer-generated simulations that provide sensations that emulate real-world activities.

Visual Basic: Widely used visual programming tool and environment for creating applications that run on Microsoft Windows.

visual programming: The construction of software programs by selecting and arranging programming objects rather than by writing program code.

voice mail: A system for digitizing a spoken message and transmitting it over a network.

Voice over IP (VoIP): Facilities for managing the delivery of voice information using the Internet Protocol (IP).


walkthrough: A review of a specification or design document by a small group of people carefully selected based on the skills needed for the particular objectives being tested.

Web browser: An easy-to-use software tool for accessing the World Wide Web and the Internet.

Web bugs: Tiny graphic files embedded in e-mail messages and Web pages that are designed to monitor online Internet user behavior.

Web content management tools: Software to facilitate the collection, assembly, and management of content on a Web site, intranet, or extranet.

Web hosting service: Company with large Web server computers to maintain the Web sites of fee-paying subscribers.

Web personalization: The tailoring of Web content directly to a specific user.

Web server: Software that manages requests for Web pages on the computer where they are stored and that delivers the page to the user’s computer.

Web services: Set of universal standards using Internet technology for integrating different applications from different sources without time-consuming custom coding. Used for linking systems of different organizations or for linking disparate systems within the same organization.

Web site performance monitoring tools: Software tools for monitoring the time to download Web pages, perform Web transactions, identify broken links between Web pages, and pinpoint other Web site problems and bottlenecks.

Web site: All of the World Wide Web pages maintained by an organization or an individual.

Webmaster: The person in charge of an organization’s Web site.

Wi-Fi: Standards for Wireless Fidelity and refers to the 802.11 family of wireless networking standards.

Wide Area Network (WAN): Telecommunications network that spans a large geographical distance. May consist of a variety of cable, satellite, and microwave technologies.

Windows 2000: Windows operating system for high-performance PCs and network servers. Supports networking, multitasking, multiprocessing, and Internet services.

Windows 2003: Most recent Windows operating system for servers.

Windows 98: Earlier version of the Windows operating system that is closely integrated with the Internet.

Windows XP: Powerful Windows operating system that provides reliability, robustness, and ease of use for both corporate and home PC users.

Wireless Application Protocol (WAP): System of protocols and technologies that lets cell phones and other wireless devices with tiny displays, low-bandwidth connections, and minimal memory access Web-based information and services.

wireless NIC: add-in-card (network interface card) that has a built-in-radio and antenna.

wisdom: The collective and individual experience of applying knowledge to the solution of problems.

WML (Wireless Markup Language): Markup language for Wireless Web sites; based on XML and optimized for tiny displays.

word processing software: Software for electronically creating, editing, formatting, and printing documents.

work-flow management: The process of streamlining business procedures so that documents can be moved easily and efficiently from one location to another.

workstation: Desktop computer with powerful graphics and mathematical capabilities and the ability to perform several complicated tasks at once.

World Wide Web: A system with universally accepted standards for storing, retrieving, formatting, and displaying information in a networked environment.

worms: Independent software programs that propagate themselves to disrupt the operation of computer networks or destroy data and other programs.

WSDL(Web Services Description Language): Common framework for describing the tasks performed by a Web service so that it can be used by other applications.


XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language): Hybrid of HTML and XML that provides more flexibility than HTML.

XML (eXtensible Markup Language): General-purpose language that describes the structure of a document and supports links to multiple documents, allowing data to be manipulated by the computer. Used for both Web and non-Web applications.